It Appears That John Ossoff Is Heading to a Runoff

April 18th 2017

Mike Rothschild

The contentious and high profile special election in the Georgia 6th Congressional District to fill new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price's seat will go to a runoff.

The 30-year-old Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff raised over $8 million, with nearly $6 million spent on ads attacking him. That spending wasn't enough for an outright victory in Tuesday's jungle primary. Ossoff will a spot in an upcoming runoff election, with 48.3 percent of the vote, according to the New York Times' live coverage. But since he didn't hit 50 percent, as per Georgia's election law, he now goes to a June 20 runoff against Republican Karen Handel, who came in second with 19.7 percent percent of the vote. (These numbers are taken from when the election was called, and may change as final tallies trickle in.) The New York Times breaks it down thusly:

Georgia 6th Congressional District's Election Results Breakdown

The election was seen by pundits as a referendum on the first nearly-100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, as well as an early indicator of how the 2018 midterm elections might go. And though he narrowly missed the percentage needed to avoid a runoff, Ossoff said in a speech "there is no doubt this already a victory for the ages," also saying that they had "shattered expectations," given his performance as a Democratic candidate in a conservative district.

A similar special election in Kansas saw Democrat James Thompson pick up 20 points in the polls from Trump in 2016, though he still lost the race to Ron Estes.

With a crowded field of Republicans splintering the vote, Ossoff saw a similar bump, carrying his explicitly anti-Trump campaign to what promises to be a hotly-contested runoff. With a win in that contest, Ossoff would become the first Democrat to represent the Georgia 6th since Republican Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1978. 

Read more of ATTN:'s coverage of the Georgia 6th Congressional District here, and learn about the other upcoming special elections here.