Race to replace Tom Price: Ossoff pulls ahead while Handel, Gray are tied

New ads for 6th district seat put under 'truth test'

ATLANTA, Ga – A new poll conducted by zpolitics/Clout Research shows Democrat Jon Ossoff with a solid lead in the race to replace Tom Price in the 6th congressional district.

The survey, which ran from March 15-16, found Ossoff increasing his support among voters from 32 percent to 41 percent. Former Republican Secretary of State Karen Handel now only has a marginal edge over former Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray, as both effectively tie at 16 percent.

State Sen. Judson Hill remains solid with nine percent support, while former Republican state senator Dan Moody bumped up to five percent. President Donald Trump’s national diversity coalition leader, Bruce LeVell, dropped to less than one percent.

RELATED: Handel campaign releases first digital ad

RELATED: Gray launches web ad defending Trump, attacking Ossoff

The poll also included former Democratic state senator Ron Slotin and self-funding Republican businessman David Abroms. Neither managed to gain a significant edge, with Slotin at three percent and Abroms at two percent.

RELATED: Abroms says America is going broke

RELATED: Slotin hopes to turn district into Democratic win

Respondents were asked the following question: “If you were voting today in the special election for Congress representing our area, and the candidates were – in alphabetical order: Republican David Abroms, Republican Bob Gray, Republican Karen Handel, Republican Judson Hill, Republican Bruce LeVell, Republican Dan Moody, Democrat Jon Ossoff, and Democrat Ron Slotin – for whom would you vote?”

The race has attracted national donors and attention, with Ossoff, a first-time candidate who lives just outside the district, bringing in national Democratic money and volunteers.

RELATED: Leading in polls, Ossoff doesn't live in district

Clout pollster Fritz Wenzel said Ossoff’s gain may have resulted from waves of attack ads that have been thrown at him. The ads could be activating left-leaning voters, but he predicts the momentum probably won’t be enough to lead to a runoff victory in the GOP-heavy district.

“Ossoff’s support from Democrats in the district is at a very high level, and it is extraordinarily strong,” said Wenzel. “Democrats appear to be flocking to support him in backlash to these attacks, but in a runoff election, they are very likely to drive Republican and Independent voters away from Ossoff. He will likely be hard-pressed to make gains against what is expected to be a massive Republican and conservative onslaught to save this seat for the Republican Party.”

The new poll included 625 respondents, mostly including “very likely” special election voters.

Monday, March 20, was the last day to register to vote or update voter information for the April 18 special election to replace Price, who is now President Donald Trump’s secretary for Health and Human Services.

Advance voting begins March 27 and runs through April 14. Saturday voting will be available on April 8. The only way to avoid a June 20 runoff would be if one candidate receives 50 percent-plus-one on April 18, almost an impossibility in such a crowded race.

Follow 11Alive's extensive digital coverage of the race here.

The district includes portions of Atlanta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Doraville, Tucker, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek Milton and Mountain Park. Before it was last redrawn as part of Census reapportionment, Republicans Newt Gingrich and Johnny Isakson held the seat.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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