President Donald Trump has weighed in ahead of Tuesday’s surprisingly-close special election in Georgia, a race seen by many as an early referendum on his presidential performance thus far.
“The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal [sic] race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!” Trump wrote on Twitter Monday morning, part of an active social-media morning for the president that also included digs against the media and his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.
Tuesday’s race in Georgia’s 6th congressional district pits Democrat Jon Ossoff, a relatively unknown name even in local politics at the start of his campaign, against a field of Republicans that are likely to split the GOP vote in the typically-red district. The seat has been vacant since its last occupant, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, stepped down to join the Trump administration.
The race has garnered attention not just because Ossoff has proven a credible threat to Republican dominance in the district, but also because of the millions of dollars that have poured into his campaign from outside groups hoping to hand Republicans an embarrassing defeat.
It is the second time in as many weeks that Trump has weighed in on a special election to replace one of his appointees. The president recorded a robocall for Ron Estes, the Republican who last week won the Kansas congressional seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Estes won the race in the deep-red fourth district, where Trump won by 27 percentage points, by single digits.
Should Ossoff, who has the most support heading into Tuesday’s contest by a wide margin, win more than 50 percent of the vote, he would be elected to Congress. If no candidate finishes better than 50 percent, the top two candidates, regardless of party, are placed in a runoff.
While polls have shown Ossoff clearly ahead of the field in Tuesday’s race, they also have put him short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win the seat outright and avoid a runoff, where GOP support would coalesce around a single candidate.