“Why Democrats Have a Shot in a Georgia District Dominated by Republicans”

Nate Cohn for NYT’s The UpShot:

Mr. Ossoff probably would not have raised nearly as much money if he’d been competing for attention with 434 other races. His fund-raising tally is better than that of 96 percent of the congressional challengers who raised more than $100,000 in 2016, and there’s still time for him to move up the list.

Instead, it’s the Republicans who are struggling to coalesce. They have 11 candidates on the ballot, with none emerging as the obvious favorite, although former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, the businessman Bob Gray and state senator Judson Hill are considered among the strongest contenders. Whoever advances to a runoff (assuming anyone does) will have only two months to coalesce support and raise funds with the benefit of party unity.

Low turnout could work to Democrats’ advantage, too. The enthusiasm that brought millions of Democrats to the streets and millions of dollars into Mr. Ossoff’s campaign account might just translate into an unlikely and possibly big turnout edge….

Democrats can’t count on huge fund-raising, a split Republican field and a low turnout for future victories.

But a strong Democratic turnout in Georgia’s Sixth would certainly raise the possibility that the party can cure its enthusiasm gap in the midterms. And if the Democratic turnout stays anything like what it is so far, it will be fair to start wondering whether Mr. Ossoff will win the election outright, with no need for a runoff. Weird things happen in special elections.

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