On the positive side for Republicans, their combined eleven candidates received 51% of the vote, meaning the party strategists need to coalesce the Republican supporters behind their new run-off participant, former Secretary of State Karen Handel. She placed second last night, with 20% of the vote, but almost double the number of votes that third place Republican finisher Bob Gray received.
The polling that predicted an Ossoff first place finish with him scoring well into the 40s was correct. Only Opinion Savvy, the one pollster that tested all 18 candidates, correctly projected Handel as the clear second place finisher. All others saw the four most viable Republican candidates as being closely bunched.
The run-off election is scheduled for June 20th. We can expect heavy political fireworks and major spending in this district from now until then. To be effective, the Republican apparatus will have to concentrate on turning out their vote. The Democratic operation excelled in the early voting phase of the race, dominating that particular vote segment for Ossoff.