polling

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

11 Things I Think I Think After the Special Elections
Lessons from the Georgia and South Carolina races

Jon Ossoff supporters at the Georgia Democrat’s election night watch party are stunned as CNN calls the state’s 6th District race for Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is a final result. What seems like an endless stream of campaigning and ads and analysis finally comes to an end every time with vote tallies to digest until the next round.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans continue to play with electoral fire, but the GOP pulled off two more special election victories; this time in Georgia’s 6th District and South Carolina’s 5th District. As with the previous results in Kansas and Montana, there are enough tidbits in each result to formulate whatever conclusion helps you sleep better at night.

Survey: Optimism Grows Among Democratic Staffers
Aides are more confident minority party can block GOP agenda

The top three Democrats in the Senate, from left, Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray leave a policy luncheon in the Capitol on April 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican congressional staffers remain hopeful that they’ll enact significant legislation in 2017, but their Democratic counterparts are gaining confidence that they can block the GOP agenda, according to the June Capitol Insiders Survey of Hill aides.

Two-thirds of the Republican respondents expected it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll enact legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But only one in five of the Democrats said the same.

Republican Ralph Norman Wins Close Race in South Carolina
GOP winner likely to join House Freedom Caucus

Republican Ralph Norman won the special election in South Carolina’s 5th District (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Ralph Norman had a good birthday Tuesday night, winning the special election to fill South Carolina’s 5th District seat, albeit by a closer-than-expected margin.

Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell 51 percent to 48 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. 

Trump Attacks Ossoff in Georgia Special Election Closing Argument
President: Dem ‘wants to raise your taxes to the highest level’

President Trump is attacking the Democratic candidate in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, Jon Ossoff, seen here at his campaign office in Roswell, Ga., on the final day of campaigning on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As voters head to the polls in a key Georgia special House election, President Donald Trump’s closing argument paints Democrat Jon Ossoff as pro-high taxes and weak on crime and security.

By all accounts, Trump had Democratic leanings for much of his adult life living high above Manhattan. But his late push for GOP candidate Karen Handel - which essentially tries to rile up Republican voters with a read meat pitch - shows how, on many issues, he has drifted to the right.

South Carolina’s 5th District: The Forgotten Special Election
Race overshadowed by high-dollar showdown in Georgia

Archie Parnell, the Democratic nominee in South Carolina’s 5th District, greets potential voters at a Juneteenth celebration on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

YORK, S.C. — Just 200 miles northeast of suburban Atlanta where local and national media are trailing Democrat Jon Ossoff, South Carolina Democrat Archie Parnell — accompanied by a sitting congressman — was passing out campaign literature at a fish fry here on Saturday with just one reporter in tow.

Parnell, the nominee in the special election for the Palmetto State’s 5th District, is doing the kind of retail politicking Ossoff gets credit for in Washington, D.C. Both candidates have made voter contact — not just by phone and mail, but by handshake — a top priority.

It’s Election Day in the Most Expensive House Race Ever
Both sides in Georgia special election working to turn out Tuesday vote

Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional district, shakes hands with campaign workers and volunteers at his campaign office in Chamblee, Ga., on Sunday. Ossoff is facing off against Republican Karen Handel in the special election to fill the seat vacated by current HHS Secretary Tom Price on Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — It’s finally here. Voters go to the polls Tuesday in the most expensive House race in the country. 

In the final hours of the special election campaign in Georgia’s 6th District, both Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff are sticking to a variation of the same talking point: “It’s all about turnout.” 

Who’s Nickelback-Trolling Ben Sasse?
Sasse says someone signed multiple email addresses up for Nickelback newsletters

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: (L-R) Daniel Adair, Ryan Peake, Mike Kroeger and Chad Kroeger of Nickelback attend Live Nation's celebration of The 3rd Annual National Concert Day at Irving Plaza on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Live Nation)

Sen. Ben Sasse says “It's Not. Funny” that someone keep signing him up for newsletters for the band Nickelback. But his public response to the signups might have the opposite effect from what he intended.

Nickelback is a Canadian rock band that was popular in the early 2000s, but experienced a change of fortune as listeners in later years decided they were unhip and weren’t really that pleasant to listen to.

Trump Puts in Late Plug for Handel in Georgia Special Election
President following DOJ recommendation on Comey was 'not obstruction,' lawyer says

Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel face off Tuesday in a closely watched congressional election in Georgia's 6th District. President Trump on Monday morning tweeted his support for Handel. (Photos by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Taking a swipe at Washington Democrats, President Donald Trump is urging voters in a key special House race to elect the Republican candidate so his health care, tax and border security policies can move forward.

A day before voters will head to the polls in Georgia’s closely watched 6th District race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, Trump used his preferred method of communication, Twitter, to try and give the GOP candidate a boost.

Race Rating: Virginia Governor Contest Still Leans Democratic
Primary results don’t change GOP nominee’s uphill battle

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, right, seen here posing for a selfie with Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last year, remains the favorite in the commonwealth’s governor’s race this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While the margins, if not the outcomes, of Virginia’s gubernatorial primaries may have been a surprise, the long view of the race remains the same — Democrats are in position to hold the commonwealth’s governorship in November.

In the Republican primary, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie defeated Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors, 44 percent to 43 percent. It was a closer-than-expected margin of victory for Gillespie, the 2014 Senate nominee, over Stewart, former state chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.