If Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide and documentary producer, manages to win Rep. Tom Price’s seat in Georgia, a seat that Democrats haven’t held since 1979, “it would set off a political earthquake,” writes Michele Goldberg.
“Right now, though Trump is unpopular nationally, Republicans in Congress haven’t wanted to break with him, because they fear primary challenges more than general election defeats,” says Goldberg.
However, if Ossoff, a first-time Democratic candidate, takes former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s old seat, all bets would be off, since some Republicans could be motivated to turn on him in order to save themselves. That kind of defection would seriously weaken President Trump who has thus far counted on the unwavering support of his party despite his many missteps and his failure to unite enough congressional Republicans to pass the GOP’s signature bill meant to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“The Georgia Republican Party,” Goldberg notes, “is trying to boost turnout by appealing to the base’s sadism; one mailer features a photograph of a sobbing man and the words, ‘MAKE A LIBERAL CRY…’ “
What’s mainly driving Ossoff’s campaign is an intense local mobilization, and the role of local women in making this “special election competitive cannot be overstated,” says Goldberg. As for Ossoff, he said they are doing the hard work on the ground, and he’s taking his cues from them.