Ossoff netted 48.1 percent of the vote but did not become the clear victor of the race to fill the 6th Congressional District's House seat vacated by now-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. As it is, he will go forward for a run-off on June 20th against Republican Karen Handel.
Democrats heavily pushed Ossoff before Tuesday's vote, casting the race as a referendum against President Trump in hopes of turning the reliably red district blue. Or do they divert resources to the May 25 special election for a House seat in Montana-a state that actually elects Democrats? "We have defied the odds. shattered expectations", Ossoff told supporters, adding that they'd "carry us to victory" in June.
Meanwhile, Ossoff is celebrating his near victory. The nearest Republican was former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, who won just 19.8 per cent of the vote. But Trump, his political brand at stake, painted an opposing picture.
Handel said she got a congratulatory phone call from President Donald Trump Wednesday morning. Mr. Ossoff now goes to a June 20 runoff.
The election has been closely watched throughout the country and is widely considered to be an early popularity test for President Donald Trump .
Press secretary Sean Spicer said the results marked a "big loss" as they had been anticipating a large win. "They came up short", Spicer said during Wednesday's briefing.
Spicer left open the possibility that Trump campaigns in Georgia ahead of the run-off. Trump himself targeted Ossoff with robocalls and a barrage of Twitter messages.
As they see it, a win in Georgia could jumpstart efforts to retake the House in 2018. "‶Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person". "The progressive energy out there is palpable".
"The reason is clear: voters are rejecting Trump and his policies".
Demographic changes have made Georgia's affluent 6th Congressional District more competitive for Democrats.
"It does tell you this is the kind of seat that Democrats would and should focus on", he told CNN.
For his part, Ossoff said for weeks his goal was to win outright, but he rejected any notion that he lost.
Last week in Kansas, a Democrat came within seven points of winning the race for CIA Director Mike Pompeo's old seat, in a district that Trump won by 27 points in November.