Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised $23 million in his quest to win the Georgia 6th congressional district special election. According to The Hill, that is a new fundraising record.
Most polls show the June 20 runoff remains quite competitive, with all but one survey taken since the April 18th primary showing a difference of two points or less.
Will President Trump live-tweet to his 31.9 million followers during today's testimony by former FBI Director James Comey? Here's an embed of his twitter account that should update whenever he tweets:
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The state polls - and thus the conventional wisdom - gave Donald Trump seemingly little chance to aggregate 270 electoral votes and win the 2016 presidential election. Yet he did win, remaking the electoral map by winning several states that had not been won by a Republican in a generation.
Why were the polls off in 2016? This excellent review, from The Upshot (New York Times) found several reasons that the polls were off. "At least three key types of error have emerged as likely contributors to the pro-Clinton bias in pre-election surveys. Undecided voters broke for Mr. Trump in the final days of the race, or in the voting booth. Turnout among Mr. Trump’s supporters was somewhat higher than expected. And state polls, in particular, understated Mr. Trump’s support in the decisive Rust Belt region, in part because those surveys did not adjust for the educational composition of the electorate — a key to the 2016 race." It is final reason that may have been the largest source of error.
The article provides more detail on each of these issues. It also delves into what is perhaps the more important question. Are the errors fixable so that polling can be trusted going forward? Here the answer is a bit murkier. If the above items accounted for most of the error, pollsters can make adjustments. However, if the root cause is nonresponse from certain segments of the electorate predisposed to one candidate, that is a much more difficult issue to address. In either case, the problem is compounded by the decline in well-designed, high-quality state polling, which has occurred in response to budget pressures on newspapers and other more traditional media outlets.
Georgia's 6th congressional district special election remains a nail-biter, a new poll from Landmark Communications for WSB-TV finds. Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Republican Karen Handel by one point, 49% to 48%. Just 3% say they are undecided 2 1/2 weeks out from the June 20 runoff.
Despite the fact that more than $36 million has been spent on this race, the most expensive House election in U.S. history, the findings of this poll are consistent with just about every survey taken since late March. All but one of these polls has found the candidates separated by two points or less, well within the margin of error.
While the overall race is extremely tight, it is notable that Ossoff leads Handel by over 21 points with voters 18-39. Handel has almost as large a lead with voters 65 and over. Although not quite as pronounced as with age, the poll also found a sizable gender gap. Ossoff leads by 10 points among women, Handel by 9 points among men.
Republican Greg Gianforte will become Montana's at-large congressional representative after winning Thursday's special election by about 6 points over Democrat Rob Quist. The race, already more competitive than expected, was thrown into last-minute turmoil Wednesday night as Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with a reporter. It appears that incident didn't have a huge impact on the outcome, with nearly 2/3 of the total votes cast in the election submitted by mail prior to Election Day.
Gianforte apologized for the incident, and to the reporter by name, while speaking to supporters Thursday night. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 7th.
Donald Trump won the state by 21 points in November, while Ryan Zinke was reelected to this House seat by about 16 points. Zinke resigned to become Secretary of the Interior on March 1st.
Upcoming Special Elections
Once Gianforte is sworn in, Republicans will have 239 seats in the House; Democrats 193, with three vacancies. Those seats will be filled over the next month:
Montanans will go to the polls today to fill their at-large Congressional seat. The seat has been vacant since Ryan Zinke resigned on March 1st to become President Trump's Secretary of the Interior. The polls are open until 8:00PM Mountain Time (10:00PM Eastern).
The race, already more competitive than originally expected, was thrown into last-minute turmoil Wednesday night when the Republican, Greg Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with a reporter from The Guardian. While Democrats called on Gianforte to withdraw, it is unclear how much of an impact this event will have on today's vote. Over 250,000 ballots have already been returned by mail in a state with just 699,000 registered voters, according to The New York Times. In the 2016 general election, about 517,000 votes were cast in the state. That 74% turnout is unlikely to be replicated for a special election on the Thursday before a holiday weekend. This means the majority of votes in this election have already been cast.
Additionally, while there's no across-the-board data, early voting in many elections is often disproportionately Democratic vis-a-vis Election Day itself, when more Republicans tend to vote. Some of that can be seen in the most recent poll on the race. While finding a 14 point lead for Gianforte, his Democratic opponent Rob Quist held a one point lead among those in the poll who had already voted. The point is: Given the current war on the media from the right, some of today's voters in this conservative state will look favorably on Gianforte's standing up to a reporter.
Libertarian Mark Wicks is the third candidate on the ballot.
Democrat Jon Ossoff has a 7 point lead over Republican Karen Handel in a new SurveyUSA poll of 549 likely voters in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Ossoff is at 51%, Handel 44%. The runoff election is four weeks from Tuesday (June 20th).
While the 7 point spread is the largest we have seen for this election, The pollster cautions that the result is “close enough in a low-turnout, stand-alone runoff to be anyone’s call, though clearly Ossoff is in a better position than Handel.”
For those that want to communicate with one or more of their elected representatives, we've updated our elected officials look-up with a variety of contact information. You can see (where available): Mailing address, phone number, e-mail and website. For Congress, Facebook and Twitter links are also included.
Input your address (or any U.S. address, Zip Code, state etc.) into the input form on the page. Alternately, you can click/tap this link to get the results for your current location. Where a full address or Zip Code is provided, information on state legislators will also be provided. Contact information for state governors will be added within the next few days.
Five weeks out from the June 20th runoff, a new Gravis Marketing poll mirrors what other polling has found: A highly competitive race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This new poll of 870 likely voters gave Ossoff a two point lead, 47% to 45%. This is within the poll's 3.3% margin of error.
Ossoff's 47% is little changed from the 48% he received in the April 18th non-partisan primary. Handel received 20% on that date, although her vote was split among a number of viable Republican alternatives. Since nobody received a majority of the vote, these two will meet in the June runoff.
This race has attracted national attention and, as we noted earlier this month, will be the most expensive House race in U.S. history.
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