Spoiler: It’s true. But it’s sort of fitting. For one thing, exaggerating his credentials is par for the course for Ossoff. On top of that, fully 95 percent of this guy’s donations came from out of state. If non-residents are going to pick the Sixth District’s representative, why shouldn’t the candidate be a non-resident himself?
Ed wrote this morning about Trump’s decision to attack Ossoff on Twitter but I can’t decide on whether I think it’s a good idea or not. Which side is more likely to be motivated by it? My hunch is that it’ll work to the GOP’s advantage on balance, on the theory that Democrats have already nationalized this race as far as it can possibly be nationalized. The left recognizes it as their first real opportunity to score an electoral victory since November. To do it on Republican turf, by stealing Tom Price’s seat, would make it that much sweeter, and would ignite a million “Democratic wave coming in 2018?” hot takes. Case in point:
“Knockout blow”? Good lord. The 95 percent figure cited above is all the proof you need that this is fundamentally about Trump, not Ossoff, in which case what harm is there at this point in Trump weighing in? The only suspense tonight is whether Ossoff can avoid a runoff by hitting 50 percent and winning the seat outright. If Trump’s tweets succeed in goosing a bit more Republican turnout, the odds of Ossoff hitting 50 are that much smaller. Just hold him to 49 percent and then count on the Republican to win a showdown in this red district in June.
But here’s the wrinkle: Although the Sixth District leans Republican, Trump isn’t very popular there. Romney won it by 23 points in 2012. Tom Price won it by 23 points last November. Trump won it … 48/47. A rallying cry from the president to local Republicans to turn out won’t have the same effect there as it would in, say, West Virginia. There’s at least a chance that some local low-information Democratic voters who hate Trump but are otherwise tuned out of this local House race will get wind of his attacks on Ossoff today and perk up with an interest in voting. But given all of the attention to the race over the past month plus the mind-boggling amount of money Ossoff has had to spend on advertising ($8.3 million in fundraising is insane for a House election), the whole thing is probably a wash — there likely aren’t many voters with low information about this race left in the Sixth District at this point.
We’ll see. If Ossoff overperforms tonight, tomorrow’s hot takes will lay some of the blame squarely on Trump for foolishly intervening at the last moment and inspiring higher-than-expected Democratic turnout, whether that’s true or not. Dems want this to be seen as a repudiation of the White House. And now, thanks to his tweets, it’ll be easier than before to make that argument.