Georgia special election stokes raw emotions in final stretch

One of the most expensive and highly publicized congressional races in U.S. history is reaching its conclusion, with voters in Georgia’s sixth congressional district heading to the polls to choose a replacement for Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price’s vacant House seat. The field was first narrowed to two candidates — Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff — in an April primary.

Though the district has not had a Democratic representative since 1979, supporters of Ossoff are hoping the 30-year-old first-time candidate can build on the momentum of Hillary Clinton‘s near miss in the district in November. Observers widely view Tuesday’s election as a referendum on President Donald Trump‘s first five months in office.

In addition to Ossoff’s youth and relative inexperience, healthcare and campaign finance reform have become major issues in the district.

Here’s a look at the story lines in the final day of the campaign:

Ossoff keeps his cool as pressure builds

After Ossoff finished strong in April’s primary and narrowly missed the 50-percent threshold needed to win the seat outright and avoid a runoff, Democrats saw a real opening and poured in money and resources to help the young Democrat see his race through.

After their surprising defeat in the presidential race last November, Democrats have been looking for a win but also arguing about the best way to appeal to voters moving forward. Win or lose, some Democrats will try to spin Ossoff’s race as model for what may or may not work across the county.

Despite his age, Ossoff has maintained his composure and stayed on message even under the intense pressure of the national spotlight.

“For all the attention to the national frame here, what folks want is representation that delivers a higher quality of life,” said Ossoff. “This gridlock, dysfunction, scandal in Washington doesn’t.”

With criticism of the president building among Democrats, he also noticeably steers away from about…

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