Democrat John Ossoff Leads In Georgia Special Election

With a month to go before the Special Election to replace former Congressman Tom Price, who became Donald Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Democrat John Ossoff holds a lead over Republican Karen Handel according to a new poll:

A new poll shows Democrat Jon Ossoff with a 7-point lead against Republican Karen Handel ahead of the runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

Of the 700 voters interviewed in the SurveyUSA poll conducted for Atlanta TV station WXIA, Ossoff leads with 51 percent compared to Handel’s 44 percent. Six percent of respondents were undecided and the margin of error was 4.3 percent.

Voters in the district were surveyed as evenly split on the Republican proposal to replace the 2010 health care law signed by former President Barack Obama, with 47 percent supporting and an equal number opposing.

Handel might also be hurt by President Donald Trump, who has a 51 percent disapproval rating in the district.

A majority of voters polled also said it was not an issue that Ossoff did not live in the district or that Handel did not have a college degree.

It’s worth noting that this poll shows Ossoff with a larger lead than either candidate has had in polling that has shifted back and forth over the past several weeks, so it’s possible that this is an outlier. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that the Georgia 6th has generally been a Republican district for some time now, so it’s surprising to see Handel struggling at this point. Why Ossoff is performing so well is unclear, but it does seem as though Trump’s unpopularity may be dragging on Handel. As I said in my post after the first round in this election, the outcome of the Special Election runoff on June 20th will depend largely on which candidate is most likely to get their voters to the polls for an election taking place at a time when many people will likely be on summer vacations, or otherwise not paying much attention to an off-year, oddly timed election. Right now, though, it seems to be Ossoff’s race to lose. We’ll see how polling goes as we get closer to Election Day.

FILED UNDER: 2017 Election, Congress, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. DrDaveT says:

    Am I missing something here? How is 7 points a “double-digit” lead?

  2. Stormy Dragon says:


    Doug went to a school that taught new math and only knows how to subtract in base 6.

  3. Jen says:

    Two reliably Republican state house seats flipped yesterday, one in NY and one in NH. The seat that the Dem won in NH has never been held by a Democrat before.

  4. @DrDaveT:

    My mistke. Fixing

  5. @Jen:

    To be fair, the Senate in New York has flipped back and forth between both parties several times over the past 20 years.

    As for NH, that state has been trending more and more blue over the past decade or more.

  6. Jen says:

    @Doug Mataconis: NH has been trending blue, but the House, Senate, and Governor are all Republican right now. And the notable thing about that house seat isn’t that it switched, it switched in a solidly Republican area. That seat has never been held by a Democrat. Trump won solidly in that town. I believe the same is true for the NY House seat, it’s in an area Trump won.

    If these were borderline areas, it wouldn’t be a big deal. My hunch is that this isn’t a sign that these areas are becoming blue so much as it seems to show that Democrats are *finally* figuring out they have to show up for special elections.

  7. JohnMcC says:

    @Jen: Quoting from the redoubtable Paul Campos at LawyersGunsMoney-dot-com:

    In a race for a New York State Assembly seat, Christine Pellegrino, who was a Bernie Sanders delegate last summer, racked up a 16 point win in a very heavily Republican district that had never before elected a Democrat.

    And from the Newsday article quoted in the post:

    With all precincts reporting Pellegino won 58% of the vote to Garguilo’s 42% according to Suffolk and Nassua boards of elections returns posted Tuesday night…. While Republicans hold a 13 point registration advantage in the district progressive activists hoped to capitalize on opposition to Trump by turning out motivated Democrats in the election, Long Island’s first since November.

    Hope that helps.