Polls opened Tuesday morning for the much-hyped and very tight special election in the deeply red Republican congressional district. She barely mentioned him ahead of finishing second to Ossoff in an April primary. In a 2010 interview with WXIA, she said that same-sex relationships "are not what God intended", and implied that same-sex parents were not as qualified as different-sex parents.
"Still, for Handel's campaign, this could be a problem".
More than 140,000 voters have cast early ballots, suggesting total turnout will exceed a typical midterm election. But the downpours could dampen voter participation in GOP bastions as well.
"If we're losing upper middle-class suburban seats in the South, we need to start having discussions immediately on. how in the world are we going to limit the damage in 2018 with Donald Trump as head of our party and president of the United States", Lake added.
The party needs to flip at least 24 GOP-held seats by next November to reclaim a House majority. He raised $23 million for his campaign, but most of that came from outside of Georgia from liberal enclaves like NY and California. He acknowledges though that the man in the White House has galvanized his volunteers and helped bring in cash.
"A [Republican] loss will signal momentum for the Democrats, especially picking up a seat once held by [former House] Speaker Newt Gingrich and HHS Secretary Tom Price", Kevin Paul Scott, an Atlanta-based Republican strategist, told FOX Business. "People are fed up everywhere".
Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional staffer and documentary filmmaker, is seeking support from moderate voters with ads focused on the economy and national spending, while Handel, 55, is focusing on her experience as Georgia secretary of state and the leader of the state's largest county commission. Shares on the likelihood of Ossoff winning closed above shares on Handel winning continuously since May 16 and saw spreads reaching as high as 36 cents on June 11. The Georgia Democrat lives a few miles outside the district, but says he'll move back there once his fiancée finishes medical school. It could also show House incumbents that they can separate themselves from Trump effectively on the campaign trail, and stave off a potential wave of retirements.
Supporters of Democrat Jon Ossoff wait for the polls to come in at Ossoff's election night event in Atlanta, Georgia, June 20, 2017.
Smucker and Democrat Christina Hartman spent a combined $2.8 million through their own campaigns while $1.4 million was spent by political action committees and other sources.
Handel, meanwhile, hasn't fully embraced Trump, but she hasn't completely distanced herself from him either. She supported Gary Johnson in the 2016 Presidential election.