In analyzing the Georgia 6th District congressional runoff results, it is clear that north Fulton County’s Republican clout has not been diminished. And with the east Cobb County past of the district additionally flexing its GOP muscle, it is clear now-incumbent Karen Handel is in very good shape for her re-election next year. (She’ll be filling out the two-year term of now-HHS Secretary Tom Price.)

Where and How Votes Were Cast:

Quite a turnout for a special election, about 260,000 – that is higher than the turnout in the 6th CD in the 2014 midterm cycle. For example, the district cast about 213,000 total votes in the 2014 contest for governor between Deal and Carter. (The district cast about 331,000 votes for president last time.)

It was a tough election night for Ossoff supporters

Ossoff needed to get 45 percent in Cobb and 50/50 in Fulton but fell short in both, getting 42 percent in Cobb and 47 in Fulton. Handel did fairly well in DeKalb (42 percent), 4 points better than Trump did there last November.

Hard to see Ossoff running against Handel next year – if he could not win this race as an open seat, it becomes that much harder to defeat an incumbent.

Also, looks like Handel’s win “freezes” the 6th District representation for some time.  If she serves a standard 10-12 years, the seat might not become open again (vacant) until 2030 or so, so any state legislators (such as John Albers) looking to “move up” to Congress are frozen out in that area (It is suspected when redistricting comes along in 2021, Republicans will want to remove a lot of DeKalb from the district.)

Also of particular interest on the above chart is Handel’s advantage in election day votes.  Many pundits pointed to the ‘get-out-the-vote’ campaigns as the key to the election, and Republicans certainly dominated that contest.  It is often thought that election day rain benefits the GOP and their more dedicated voter base, and with the torrential downpours we saw across the district on Tuesday that certainly played a factor in turnout.


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