ATLANTA -- A newly-released poll is offering a first look at how voters feel about the race to replace Tom Price's district seat in Congress.
The April 18 election will decide which person will represent Georgia's 6th District, which became available when Price was confirmed by the Senate as President Trump's health and human services secretary.
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The poll by zpolitics and Clout Research shows local film executive and Democrat Jon Ossoff leads the 18-person field with 32 percent. He currently has endorsements from both Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson.
Republican Karen Handel, the former Georgia Secretary of State, comes in second with 25 percent, but that's still within the roughly seven-point margin of error for the poll.
As of Feb. 21, 18 percent are undecided who they'll vote for.
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This new poll conducted over the phone surveyed nearly 700 likely voters in the 6th District, which covers the Northern suburbs of Atlanta, including parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton Counties.
The early lead for Democrats has been significant, as Trump won the district in November, albeit by a razor-thin margin of one point. However, most analysts also believe the race will end up in a runoff, which would take place in June.
Andra Gillespie, an Emory University political science professor, said it's shaping up to be what she previously called "an interesting race."
“We expect in this polarized partisan charged environment, Democrats are going to pour a lot of resources into the race," Gillespie said. “So despite the fact that the poll indicates that President Trump has a lot of support in the district, Democrats are looking for an early victory.”
Despite the slight lead Osoff currently has, Gillespie warns the special election will be a very different group of voters because it's not a November election, or even a July primary election. She said it will be mostly up to the candidates to drum up support.
“It’s incumbent upon all of the candidates to identify their base of support and cultivate that base of support and mobilize them to get out to vote,” she said.
To vote in the special election, all voters must register before March 20, 2017. A runoff election, if needed, will be held on June 20, 2017.
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