The early returns of a special House election in Georgia looked strong for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff on Tuesday night, but the race remained too close to call as more GOP-leaning precincts were yet to be counted.
Handel, Georgia's former secretary of state, won 19.8 percent of the vote.
Tuesday's election results, which saw first-time candidate Ossoff come up just short of winning the race outright, indicate that the two will continue to make headlines not only in the 6th District, which covers parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties, but across the United States.
Tuesday's election also narrowed the crowded field of eleven Republican candidates down to just one: moderate Republican Karen Handel, who is heavily favored to win in a district that hasn't sent a Democrat to Congress since 1979.
Ossoff received 48.1 percent of the vote in Georgia's 6th district, an affluent Republican area. Or do they divert resources to the May 25 special election for a House seat in Montana-a state that actually elects Democrats?
"We know that this is an important race, and it's going to stay in the hands of a Republican", Handel told CNN.
"BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia". Crediting himself, Trump added, "Glad to be of help!" Yesterday was emblematic of a fact that should make much of the right quite nervous: if Democrats can seriously compete in Georgia's 6th, it opens up all kinds of opportunities nationwide.
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Spicer later during Wednesday's press conference revisited the issue, insisting it is a "loss" because Democrats announced they wanted to win.
Republicans, including the president, wanted to ensure Democrats wouldn't be able to use the election as a referendum on the Trump administration. Trump had lent support to her through a series of tweets and robocalls.
Price won the district in November with over 60 percent of the vote, but Trump beat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, by barely a percentage point in the district.
He slammed Republicans for their "dark money" and negative ads - Handel countered that most his funding came from outside the district, and reprised criticism that Ossoff doesn't even live in the Sixth District.
The close contest had prompted Mr Trump to take to Twitter to urge Republicans to vote. Trump didn't fare as well in the conservative 6th district as many Republican candidates before him.
Meanwhile, Ossoff is celebrating his near victory. The party avoided embarrassment last week when it narrowly held a conservative Kansas seat vacated when Trump tapped Republican Representative Mike Pompeo to head the Central Intelligence Agency.