President Donald Trump has launched a fresh attack on the Democratic candidate in Georgia special election that many see as a referendum on his presidency and which his opponents hope will deliver him a bloody nose.
As polls opened in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, Trump repeated his criticism of Democrat Jon Ossoff, accusing him of being “weak on crime and security”. Moreover, the President said the 30-year-old would raise taxes and said he did not live in the district. “Karen Handel for Congress. She will fight for lower taxes, great healthcare strong security-a hard worker who will never give up,” he said. Trump’s comments came as Democrats across America, desperate for a win after the surprise loss to Trump last November, have poured millions of dollars into the contest in Georgia, making it the most expensive congressional race in history. They hope a win here will inspire the party’s grass roots, and lead to a turnaround of fortunes in the 2018 midterms.
The seat, which has been held by Republicans since 1979 and was once the district of Speaker Newt Gingrich, became vacant after incumbent congressman Tom Price joined Mr Trump’s cabinet.
Democrat candidate Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel have focused on local issues rather than talk about the national situation. Reports suggest Ms Handel originally kept some distance between herself and Mr Trump, though the President visited to support her campaign.
On Tuesday morning, as the most recent poll, commissioned by WSB, put Mr Ossoff on 49 points and Ms Handel on 48.9, Mr Ossoff again tried to talk about his district, centred on the frequently well-heeled suburbs north of Atlanta.