The Special Election in Georgia Is Heading to a Runoff

But it was so close.

Miguel Juarez Lugo/ZUMA Wire

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Democrat Jon Ossoff came up just short of an outright victory in Tuesday’s special election for the Georgia congressional seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Instead, after finishing a few points shy of the 50 percent threshold in a 20-candidate field, he’ll face off against Republican Karen Handel on June 20.

The race was the third special congressional election since November, but the first in a district considered even remotely competitive. Although the 6th District was considered safely Republican for decades and Price never faced serious opposition, Hillary Clinton nearly won the district in November. Ossoff raised more than $10 million—more in a single quarter than a House candidate in history—and turned the race into a magnet for anti-Trump activism, even as the candidates in the race stayed largely quiet on the subject.

Special elections are screwy barometers of the national mood, which is unfortunate because their isolation makes it much more likely they’ll be interpreted as such. Democrats won their first seven special elections of the Obama era ahead of the disastrous 2010 wave, including in a pair of soon-to-be red seats in upstate New York. Moral victories are lame, but for a party that’s aiming to expand its map in 2018 and make Georgia competitive statewide sooner rather than later, there are greater tragedies than having to spend another month organizing the 6th District.

In the meantime, we’ll have another special election to fixate on. Montanans will pick the successor to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on May 25. Hold onto your butts.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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