In Georgia, US Democrats have narrowly missed an opportunity to cause great upset to President Donald Trump.
It was in the race for the vacant House of Representatives seat in Atlanta, that has drawn huge national attention. But Democrat, 30 year-old Jon Ossoff failed to garner 50% of the vote.
He will now face former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) in a June runoff since none of the 18 candidates in the race won a majority.
The seat became vacant after the occupant Tom Price was appointed Health & Human Services Secretary by Trump.
The results were disappointing for some Democrats hoping for their first big election victory of the Trump era — “I want to puke,” actress (and Ossoff campaign volunteer) Alyssa Milano tweeted Tuesday night, New York Daily News reported.
But Ossoff’s strong showing is the latest sign that Democrats are more energised and mobilised as they look to make big gains in the 2018 midterm elections.
Republicans usually win elections in the suburban Atlanta district by more than 20 percentage points, but Trump’s unpopularity with college-educated voters has showed up in a big way in the district.
The President won the district by less than 2 percentage points last fall after Mitt Romney carried it by 23 points in 2012, and Ossoff’s showing largely mirrored Hillary Clinton’s near-win in the district.
The race has drawn national attention and became an early referendum on how elections would play with President Trump in the White House.
Ossoff raised $8.3 million in the first three months, much of it from outside Georgia, and had big-name help including a radio ad from Samuel L. Jackson.
Republican groups were forced to spend millions to spur turnout and drag his numbers down enough to trigger a runoff.
President Trump took late notice of the race as well, tweeting about it repeatedly over the last few days and cutting a robocall in the district to drive Republicans to the polls.
*With report from New York Daily News