Ossoff Only Earned 1.3 Percent More Than Clinton In Georgia's 6th

Canvassers with Planned Parenthood in Georgia’s sixth district. CREDIT Kira LErner

Nevertheless, Mr Ossoff's strong showing offered proof of a re-energised Democratic base that could fire up a a torrid fight for the Congress mid-term elections next year, said analysts. Republicans are bidding to prevent a major upset in a conservative Geor. With 100 per cent of precincts reporting, Mr Ossoff finished far ahead with 48.1 per cent support.

The White House downplayed the results of Tuesday's congressional election in Georgia, calling it a major loss for Democrats.

Harnessing clear frustration and dissatisfaction with the new president, 30-year-old Jon Ossoff came in first by a wide margin in a crowded field of candidates in Georgia's 6th district, securing 48.1 percent of the vote.

Ossoff is a former congressional aide who has also worked as an executive producer for a handful of news documentaries, while Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state, according to the New York Times. "We are united behind one candidate". Great job Karen Handel! The bottom line is they went all in on it.

"BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia".

With few other events on the political calendar, the race was billed as a referendum on President Trump's first few months in office. Or do they divert resources to the May 25 special election for a House seat in Montana-a state that actually elects Democrats? The Dunwoody retiree and Handel volunteer says Republicans were too cautious in the primary for fear they'd "step on toes". Republicans have controlled the seat for decades, but Trump only won it by 1 percentage point in last November's presidential election.

"Only the Republicans could try to define this as a defeat for the Democrats", said Porter.

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed the sentiment.

"The reaction has been that they nearly won - no, they lost", Mr Spicer insisted. "They came up short", Spicer said. National Republican groups spent millions of dollars painting Ossoff as a neophyte who does not live in the area he aims to represent.

"Handel's challenge is to mobilise supporters of the other Republicans. And voters, if they're hearing what the message the Republicans are putting forward and the message - the non-message Democrats are putting forward, they'll go with Republicans".

"I think it's overstated the effect that what is going on in Washington has on a local race like this, where local issues are the most important thing to voters", Ossoff said.

But he fell short of the 50 per cent of votes needed to send him straight to Washington. Last week the GOP held on to held a conservative Kansas seat vacated when Trump tapped Republican Representative Mike Pompeo to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

More tests await, with special elections approaching in Montana and SC in May and June. Price won 62 percent of the vote in November, about 14 percentage points ahead of Trump's total.