Against Mr. Ossoff her greatest liability has less to do with her than with President Trump.
“I was yelling at the TV and throwing things at the TV”, recalls the 55-year-old mother of three.
The candidates, Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, finished in the top two spots in a previous special election where none of the four Democrats, 11 Republicans or two Independents won 50 percent.
Polls open at 7 am on Tuesday as the nation’s most expensive congressional race in history comes to an end.
The race is being viewed nationally as a gauge of whether President Donald Trump’s sagging approval ratings are a drag on Republicans that could threaten the party’s control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.
The president is tweeting about Ossoff and his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, a day ahead of their matchup that is billed as a preview of the 2018 midterms.
Handel maintained some distance from Trump in the primary but has fully embraced his support and agenda since, including a joint fundraiser.
For McCleary, 58, it’s less about Trump. It would also give progressives who pumped $23 million into Ossoff’s campaign something to celebrate. Republicans have held the seat since 1979, when Newt Gingrich first took the seat.
Democrat Jon Ossoff is blasting as “disgraceful” a last-minute ad that attempts to link the Georgia 6th Congressional District candidate to last week’s shooting of a Republican House leader at a GOP baseball practice.
“We let that happen”, she said.
But the national attention – and all the money – tells another story.
“Big day tomorrow in Georgia and South Carolina”, Trump tweeted, referring to a second state which is holding a special congressional election Tuesday.
But he’s financed that message with a fundraising haul from outside the district, and his donor list contains far more addresses from California, New York and MA than from Georgia.
“The strategy for this campaign has always been about who is best and the right fit for people of this district”, Handel said on Monday. But Handel also has benefited from millions in out-of-state spending.
Despite their emphasis on local matters, the candidates have generally aligned with their national parties on policy. Ossoff says any tax changes should be “fiscally responsible”. He supports a higher minimum wage, with caveats; she’s opposed. The two campaigns and political groups have bombarded Atlanta airwaves with election advertising.
More than 140,000 voters cast their ballots early – an astounding number for a special election, and one that almost matches presidential contests. “It’s time to be sending those emails”, Secretary Price told supporters at a weekend rally for Republican Karen Handel. A source familiar with Ossoff’s campaign said they’re bracing for the possibility of a recount.
“I think he can win”, the Doraville, Ga., Democrat said at an Ossoff rally. I used to live in D.C. and I know what it’s like to have zero representation in Congress. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has pumped hundreds of thousands into ads on black radio stations and digital ads, as well as $325,000 for get-out-the-vote mail pieces targeting those voters.