During the final days before the special congressional election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, Republicans sought to transform the contest into a referendum on the increasingly hysterical tactics of the anti-Trump Left.
The Congressional Leadership Fund released a mailer last week that linked Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and lumped him in with vehemently liberal Hollywood entertainers such as Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Fonda, and Kathy Griffin, the comedian who came under fire after posing with a bloodied and severed head blatantly resembling Trump.
“Hollywood liberals can’t get enough of Jon Ossoff,” the mailer read.
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Throughout the race — the most expensive congressional contest in history — Handel and the GOP have painted Ossoff as Pelosi’s handpicked candidate who would only be a vote for California’s liberal elite. Although the Left has packaged the Georgia 6th race as a referendum against the Trump presidency, Ossoff has struggled to distance himself from a record-setting number of out-of-state donors.
“So much money is flowing from San Francisco to Democrat Jon Ossoff that the Bay Area’s own Mercury News is the go-to place for coverage of who’s funding Ossoff’s campaign,” Republican National Committee (RNC) Rapid Response Director Michael Ahrens wrote in an email Saturday.
In fact, Ossoff recently reported receiving nine times as many donations from the state of California than he received from Georgia, according to campaign finance data analyzed by The Mercury News. Although he received 808 donations from Georgia, the Golden State offered him 7,218 donations from March 29 through May 31. Of California’s donations, 3,063 of them originated from the Bay Area, equaling three times as many as he received from Georgia. These individual donations only include those totaling $200 or more.
Ossoff, who can’t even vote for himself because he lives just outside the 6th district, received $228,474.44 from Georgia and $456,296.03 from California. Of the California money, $220,523.10 came from the Bay Area.
“Some of Ossoff’s more notable Bay Area donors include Charlie Cheever, the co-founder of tech company Quora, who gave $2,200; Laszlo Bock, a former Google executive, who gave $2,700; and Justin Faggioli, a Marin County entrepreneur and the former mayor of Belvedere, who gave $2,700,” The Mercury News reported.
The Georgia Democrat initially launched his campaign by portraying himself as “Trump’s worst nightmare,” although he has since backtracked from a strategy that pegs his entire candidacy to anti-Trump fervor. Nevertheless, Democrats and donors nationwide are looking to Ossoff to stunt the GOP’s electoral dominance and offer Trump a symbolic blow.
“It’s the only thing that I can do,” Rosaria Haugland, an Ossoff donor from Palo Alto, California, told Mercury News. “I don’t care if the person who becomes president is Democrat or Republican. I care if it’s a person you can trust. The only way that can help is if the Democrats start getting more power.”
In the days leading up to the election, national polls showed Ossoff with the slightest of edges. A RealClearPolitics average from June 5 through June 15 shows the Democrat with a 2.8 percent lead over Handel, although the polls represented show anything from Ossoff leading seven percent to Handel leading by two percent. An Opinion Savvy poll published Sunday by Fox5 Atlanta showed Ossoff with less than a one-point lead over Handel at 49.7 percent to 49.4 percent.
“It’s all well within the margin of error,” Matthew Towery of Opinion Savvy told Politico. “I’d say the preponderance of evidence suggests that Ossoff has a very, very slight lead. But it really is a coin flip right now.”