Poll: Democrat Ossoff up by Three in Georgia Special Election, Impact of Shooting on Race a Wild Card


A poll of the hotly contested special election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District to replace Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) shows that Jon Ossoff, the Democrat, leads Republican Karen Handel by three points.

The poll, conducted by the Republican Trafalgar Group, was completed on Tuesday evening before Wednesday morning’s shooting of Rep. Steven Scalise (R-LA), staffers, a lobbyist, and two Capitol Hill Police at a Republican Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

It is unclear what impact that shooting will have on the outcome of the election, which will be held next Tuesday.

The race has become the most expensive in American political history. Ossoff has raised over $23 million, while Handel has raised about $4.5 million, according to Federal Election filings covering the period ending on May 31. In addition, a number of SuperPACs and other organizations have spent money on behalf or against both candidates.

One poll released on Tuesday showed the race tied, but the Real Clear Politics Average of Polls, which includes Wednesday’s Trafalgar Group poll, gives Ossoff a slight 3.2 percent edge.

News of the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), several staffers, and two members of the Capitol Police at a practice of the Republican Congressional baseball team at a field in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday morning shocked both campaigns.

“Handel’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Hodgkinson’s Facebook post. Earlier on Wednesday morning, Handel tweeted that she and her husband were sending ‘our thoughts & prayers to Rep. Scalise, Capitol Police, staff, & everyone affected by this horrific attack,’ ” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported:

Handel has canceled her public events for tonight.

Her Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, described the Facebook post as “sickening.”

“I condemn this appalling act of violence committed, obviously, by a disturbed individual,” Ossoff said. “The country is united right now in our prayers for those who are fighting for their lives and our appreciation of those who saved lives.”

Numerous reports indicated that the alleged shooter, James Thomas Hodgkinson, was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and posted a number of statements on social media indicating a hatred for President Trump.

“Hodgkinson local newspaper, the Belleville News-Democrat, reported that he frequently wrote letters to the paper protesting against Republicans and tax policies and supporting the legalization of marijuana,” the Journal Constitution reported:

Trump’s election as president was disturbing to Hodgkinson, who had also traveled recently to Washington to participate in protests, his brother told the New York Times.

“I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff,” Michael Hodgkinson said

“Hodgkinson also apparently worked as a volunteer with Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign and filed a number posts on Facebook opposing Trump,” according to the Journal Constitution.


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