Jon Ossoff, the Jewish upstart who could flip a Republican-leaning Georgia House seat, apparently is capturing a significant amount of support from right-of-center voters.
According to a statistical analysis from consulting firm Optimus, the Democrat won at least 8% to 10% of the Republican vote in April’s first round election, when he came first in a field of more than a dozen competitors.
“Based on the final results of the jungle primary, most independents and a small but relatively sizable portion of Republicans voted for Jon Ossoff,” Alex Alduncin, an analyst at Optimus, told Politico.
That matters in the suburban Atlanta district because most voters there are Republican, and Ossoff will not be able to prevail in a June runoff against Karen Handel, his right-wing opponent, without a critical mass of bipartisan support.
Ossoff initially ran on a promise to irritate the White House, but since the primary has been adopting a message of fiscal restraint intended to draw right-of-center voters.
In a recent television spot, he slams “both parties in Congress” that “waste a lot of your money” and promises to “reduce the deficit so the economy can keep growing.”
The competition in the Georgia district comes after former Representative Tom Price left the seat to become President Trump’s secretary of health and human services.