The results are nearly in the hotly contested Georgia District 06 congressional special election between Karen Handel (R) and Jon Ossoff (D). The election for the vacant House of Representatives seat ended up being the most expensive congressional race in history as both parties tried to make the race a referendum on the Trump administration.
Out of state interests reportedly spent over $20 million on the campaign, including a Super Pac associated with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) who spent several million dollars supporting Handel. Ossoff reportedly received thousands of small, individual donations from supporters in California.
According to reports, with over 80% of the vote in, it seems clear that Karen Handel will fairly handily win the election by a margin of around five points.
538 Media’s Nate Silver had an interesting take on the election as it appeared Handel was on her way to victory:
Repeating myself from before a bit … but I see a lot of people focusing on the fact that Georgia 6 had a high turnout and South Carolina 5 had a low turnout. That’s an important difference between those districts. But another difference is that Georgia 6 went from being very Republican to nearly voting for Clinton, while South Carolina 5 was once competitive-ish but went very strongly for Trump. So the lesson may be that these special elections aren’t only about Trump. Traditional partisanship still matters as well.
Also tonight was a special election for South Carolina’s District 05 that ended up being far closer than many polls and pundits predicted. Republican Ralph Norman narrowly beat Democrat Archie Parnell by 3.2% despite the fact that the district overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
The elections means that Republicans will keep their current margin in the House of Representatives.