Trump celebrates after his unpopularity puts red seats in play

No, not around here, but a special election to fill the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by Tom Price who was picked by President Trump to head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Instead, Ossoff, who would become the youngest member of Congress if elected, forced a June runoff with the GOP front-runner, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, which will check the temperature of the 2018 races.

But what Pelley failed to mention was that despite how much Ossoff was "the top vote getter", the Republican vote was dangerously split between 11 different candidates.

Handel, who said Trump called to congratulate her on Wednesday morning, dismissed Ossoff as a well-funded novice who would flounder as Republicans consolidated support behind a single candidate. When Price gave up the seat to join Donald Trump's cabinet, the question wasn't whether he'd be replaced by a Republican, but rather, which one.

The White House has claimed a special election in Georgia in which a young Democrat came first by nearly 30 points, was in fact a "big loss" for the party. Democrats are also looking to build momentum heading into next year's midterm elections.

"BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia". Crediting himself, Trump added, "Glad to be of help!"

Winning such a seat will depend on Ossoff keeping voters like Shari Sprigle engaged in the race.

Ossoff almost pulled off a major upset win in a district comprising some of Atlanta's wealthiest, best-educated suburbs - an area that has been represented in Congress by Republicans for almost four decades. "It is now Hollywood vs. Georgia on June 20th", Trump wrote, alluding to celebrity donors to Ossoff.

Trump won the district by only 1.5 percentage points in November against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who drew support from its many college graduates.

Ossoff was backed by major Democratic PACs and raised $8.3 million this quarter, mostly from outside groups.

Pundits said Mrs Handel will likely win the run-off, but on Tuesday the Republican said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person". Trump had criticized Ossoff in the days leading up to the race and tweeted after the results were in. "We have defied the odds. shattered expectations", Ossoff said, and he urged his supporters to embrace the prospects of a runoff, telling them they would "carry us to victory".

At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer tried to do exactly that.

Vanessa Coleman