GOP Official: Scalise Shooting Will Win Ga. Election for Us

We find out Tuesday if it's Karen Handel or Jon Ossoff
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2017 10:24 AM CDT

It's a race that's both the most expensive one for a House seat in history and down to the wire: Voters in Georgia will decide on Tuesday whether Democrat Jon Ossoff or Republican Karen Handel will fill a congressional seat for suburban Atlanta. It's incredibly tight, and with hours to go the parties and some super PACs are doing what they can to give their candidate an edge—not all so successfully.

  • President Trump gave Handel a boost on Twitter Monday morning, tweeting, "The Dems want to stop tax cuts, good healthcare and Border Security. Their ObamaCare is dead with 100% increases in P's [premiums]. Vote now for Karen H."
  • Cue the analyses of a tweet. The Washington Post thinks Trump is trying to tell supporters that the success of his agenda requires a Handel win. "That’s not the case, of course, given the composition of the House. But if Handel falls in a district that leans Republican, it suggests that other similar districts might also go blue next November. And it suggests, too, that Trump may be a drag on the party, not a boon."

  • The Hill reports both candidates are uniting in denouncing a last-minute campaign ad produced by the Principled PAC that suggests a link between Ossoff and the shooting that wounded Rep. Steve Scalise. An image of the majority whip on a stretcher is shown (Kathy Griffin and the severed head later make an appearance) as a voice narrates, "The unhinged left is endorsing and applauding shooting Republicans. When will it stop? It won’t if Jon Ossoff wins on Tuesday."
  • The super PAC apparently wasn't the only one to try to make such a connection. The Washington Post has these lines spoken by Brad Carver at a Saturday get-out-the-vote event for Handel. "I think the shooting is going to win this election for us," said Carver, the GOP chair of an adjacent congressional district. "Because moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism. I get that there’s extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them. ... Democrats have never given this president a chance."
  • Whoever wins, Nate Silver lays out an argument at FiveThirtyEight that the ensuing insights made about the victories will likely be "dumb." A narrow win would reflect "what we know about the political environment," and he feels that win will "be portrayed as a more important predictive signal than it really is." But there's a catch. "Sometimes dumb things matter if everyone agrees that they matter." He explains.
(More Jon Ossoff stories.)

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