Trump shadows over Georgia’s 6th district run-off
As all eyes turn to the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, voters there will be happy when the run-off election between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff is over.
“I think the people in this district and Atlanta as a whole, I think they are probably tired of hearing about it but they need to pay attention because it matters right now,” Jade Morey, a Handel supporter, told CNN outside a campaign event in the final days before Tuesday’s election.
An influx of money from both Democrats and Republicans has focused attention on the historically conservative district, and both sides expect it to be tight.
President Donald Trump’s narrow victory there in November’s presidential election gave Democrats an opening to flip the district to their side, but Republicans are putting up a fight.
With more than $50 million spent between the candidates, their parties and super PACs, it has become the most expensive House race ever.
“It’s a microcosm of what is coming down the road in 2018. We want to flip this district, we want to flip 25 districts to get the majority back in the house,” Craig Rusert, an Ossoff volunteer, told CNN.
Although both Handel and Ossoff have mostly avoided talking about Trump directly, some voters see the race in the shadow of Trump’s divisiveness.
CNN spent time with voters on opposite sides of the Congressional race, many with strong feelings about Trump.
Republican retiree Miriam Asper told CNN that she feels that Handel’s views reflect her own.
“I really like Trump and I feel good about what he’s doing,” Asper told CNN. “I feel that our country right now is safe, and I feel that we can go down the street now not worrying about what’s going to happen to us, and I like that feeling.”
Lee Roberts, a general contractor who used to be Republican and now leans Democrat, supports Ossoff.
“He’s fiscally conservative and socially moderate and that most reflects my position,” Roberts told CNN. “With the current executive branch being controlled by Trump, I almost see it as being dangerous to have a Republican-controlled Congress.”
Both Asper and Roberts are bothered by the divisiveness in today’s politics, put place the blame with different parties.
“I love this country and I feel like the news, with the Democrats, is trying to make Donald Trump not be able to do what he needs to do,” Asper said.
Her husband Bob, agreed: “I’m afraid that the Democrats are totally focused on destroying Trump rather doing their jobs, doing what’s good for the country. They don’t really have a plan other than get Trump.”
“I don’t support the Trump administration, I think that he has divided our country both politically and socially,” Roberts said. “To have our President denouncing Obamacare and almost wishing and hoping that it fails, I don’t know that he appreciates that he’s saying: ‘I hope people die.'”
Though both Handel and Ossoff have tried to keep the focus on specific issues like health care and the economy, voters like Asper and Roberts see larger implications for the future in their vote.
Asper told CNN Ossoff worries her because of his lack of experience at 30 years old.
“I want the right people in our government,” Asper said. “We’ve had a good life and I want it to be the same for our children and our grandchildren.”
For Roberts, Handel’s agenda is tied too closely with Trump’s.
“She wants to forward the Trump agenda,” Roberts said. “She’s focused on how electing her as a representative will help Trump.”