Here’s How Badly Republicans Are Freaking Out About That Georgia Special Election


A new poll has Democrat Jon Ossoff at 43 percent—seven points below the threshold to win outright and avoid a runoff—in the special election for the House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The district, which was once represented by Newt Gingrich, has been solidly Republican for decades but was nearly carried by Hillary Clinton in November (Price faced only token opposition). Ossoff, for his part, has raised $4 million thanks to a newly mobilized Democratic base. It is the kind of affluent suburban district that Democrats will need to win to take back the House in 2018, and although Republicans have publicly expressed confidence in their candidates, their actions betray their fears about a Democratic resurgence.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super-PAC affiliated with the House Republican leaders, announced last month that it was spending an extra $2.2 million against Ossoff. That was on top of an earlier $1.1 million investment attacking the Democrat for—seriously—dressing up as Han Solo in college. Their latest spot, apparently ripped from the front pages of the New York Post circa 2002, slams Ossoff for producing a documentary for the Qatari-own Al Jazeera:

Did Jon Ossoff do 9/11? It’s an open question.

  • Tim Murphy

    Tim Murphy is a senior reporter at Mother Jones. Reach him at

Members like you

Mother Jones is a nonprofit, and stories like this are made possible by readers like you. or to help fund independent journalism.