Democrats across the country have rallied behind Jon Ossoff as he campaigns in a deep-red district of Georgia. National media attention combined with a strong anti-Trump sentiment has propelled Ossoff to the head of the 18-candidate race, but Republicans still have a few advantages.
For starters, Ossoff is campaigning to take the seat that was held by Tom Price before he became Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services. The district is a Republican stronghold so the GOP does have that going for it. A lot of the regular voters are going to be Republican loyalists so there the determining fact will be whether or not Ossoff can convince non-regular voters to come to the polls.
The good news for Rs: a lot of reliable R vote to come.
The good news for Ds: a lot of irregular voters (at midterm levels in ~20% range) pic.twitter.com/Ta9atlAGy5
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) April 15, 2017
However, Republicans do have one other major trick up their sleeve and that is the way the districts have been drawn. Since Republicans control the state legislature, they were the ones in charge of drawing the districts after the 2010 census. It’s an open secret that districts are often drawn to favor the party that is drawing them, but it’s rather difficult to prove.
However, one state senator, Fran Millar, accidently slipped up and admitted to the use of gerrymandering when discussing those Democrats who believe it is “done deal that this kid’s going to become the Congressman.”
‘I’ll be very blunt: These lines were not drawn to get Hank Johnson’s protégé to be my representative. And you didn’t hear that. They were not drawn for that purpose, OK? They were not drawn for that purpose’
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Millar made these comments at a GOP breakfast. These comments aren’t surprising because of their content. Unfortunately, gerrymandering has become an expected practice. However, it is rare for party members to actually admit that they drew districts with the intent to harm their political opponents.
Ossoff has tapped into a groundswell of support from across the country, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to overcome the GOP’s grip on Georgia’s sixth district.
Featured image via Getty Images