GOP frets over Ossoff-Handel race, looks to sky for hope

On the early voting: “It’s very simple,” said an outside Republican strategist supporting Handel. “What does she lose early voting by? If Ossoff wins with 59 percent, that’s bad. If he wins with 54 percent, that’s good.” That is, if Ossoff racks up 59 percent or more of the early voting, he’ll have a lead so big that Handel can’t make up the difference by winning the election day vote. If, on the other hand, Ossoff is at 54 percent or so, Handel could well surpass him on Tuesday.

In a WSB-Landmark Communications poll finished in the final days of early voting, Ossoff had 54.4 percent of the early vote, to Handel’s 45.6 percent. That suggests a super-tight final result, but with perhaps enough room for Handel to squeak by. In another new poll of the early vote, the Trafalgar Group found Ossoff with just 51.3 percent of the early vote, to Handel’s 48.7 percent. That’s much better news for Handel. The problem is, no one knows which is correct, or whether either is correct.

The second factor, the Republican vote, is of deep concern to GOP strategists. “We’ve had some people who are Republicans and conservatives who are not motivated,” said one GOP worker on the ground in Georgia. “There is a rumor that Ossoff is going to pick up 15 percent of Republican voters.”