The most expensive House race in history comes to an end Tuesday when Democrat Jon Ossoff faces off against Republican Karen Handel to win Georgia’s sixth district. The special runoff election is for the seat left vacant by Tom Price, who became the Health and Human Services Secretary for President Donald Trump.
Ossoff is a first-time candidate and one-time congressional aide. Handel was formerly Georgia’s Secretary of State. The race is down to the wire and extremely close in the polls.
FiveThirtyEight’s average of recent polls Monday gives Ossoff a 2.4 percent advantage. Those polls are from Trafalgar Group, Opinion Savvy, SurveyUSA, Landmark Communications and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The latest poll from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows Ossoff up just 1.7 percent with a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
RealClearPolitic’s survey of poll averages gives Ossoff a 1.5 percent advantage. Their average includes some of the polls that FiveThirtyEight does and in additional to others.
The district is traditionally very Republican. It voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election by a 23 percent margin, while the country as a whole went for former President Barack Obama by a margin of four points. In 2016 it chose President Donald Trump by a percentage of 1.5 while the country as a whole chose Hillary Clinton by two points in her popular vote win.
FiveThirtyEight also uses a predictor that blends the past two presidential elections in a three to one ratio favoring the most recent election. They add that to their generic candidate poll; this is an average of national polls asking in a congressional race whether respondents would choose a Democrat or Republican. Currently, the poll favors Democrats by seven points. After adding and averaging those figures, Handel comes out on top by a margin of 2.6 points.
While there is a national sentiment of…