Democrat Jon Ossoff won a whopping 48.1 percent of the vote in Georgia’s special election to fill the House seat formerly held by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price on Tuesday. But Ossoff needed to garner 50-plus percent of the vote in order to avoid a June runoff in the suburban Atlanta district, reports Emily Cadei. Now, he’ll need to face Republican Karen Handel, Georgia’s former secretary of state, in a run-off election in June.
“Defeating that Republican will be a much steeper climb in the traditionally GOP-held district, especially with her party—and even President Donald Trump—on high alert over potentially losing the seat,” says Cadei.
Still, the fact that first-time candidate Ossoff ran as strongly as he did in a Republican district—and still has a chance to flip it—tells us quite a bit about the current political environment, points out Cadei: namely that anti-Trump voters came out in force to deliver a message and Democrats can count on a big turnout in 2018 if they keep the grassroots engaged. All of which could spell unexpected victories for Democrats in the midterms.