For many it is seen as a referendum on President Trump and a sign of the Democratic Party's chances in 2018. Ossoff's vows to "stand up to Donald Trump" have helped him become a rising Democratic star, though on the campaign trail he largely sticks to more moderate rhetoric that includes promises to cut wasteful spending.

Trump did not expound on his unfounded accusations about 30-year-old Jon Ossoff, but the president's Twitter broadside just a day before the special primary underscores how big a Democratic victory would be nationwide and in the historically conservative northern suburbs of Atlanta.

212980212981212981Georgia Dems aim for upset in Republican strongholdA special election on Tuesday will replace an open House seat in Georgia's 6th congressional district left by Tom Price, who is now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There is only one serious Democrat candidate, Tom Ossoff, running against a dozen Republicans.

But Jon Ossoff needs to get over 50% of the vote in Tuesday's election to avoid a run-off.

The Republican leaders appear to be Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state; technology executive Bob Gray; and two former state senators, Moody and Judson Hill - all of whom national Republicans say could defeat Ossoff in a second round.

Ossoff, in a statement, responded that Trump was "misinformed", saying he would bring "fresh leadership, accountability and bipartisan problem solving to Washington".

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The 18-candidate "jungle primary" comes a week after Republicans sweated out a single-digit special congressional victory in Kansas. Unless one candidate captures a full fifty per cent of the vote, there will be a runoff between the top two finishers, on June 20th. If Ossoff can get to 50 percent, he wins outright.

What's not in doubt, though, is that the race has turned into a bruising proxy battle between national Republicans and Democrats. In a recent cover story, NY magazine called Ossoff a "Trump-hate weather vane".

Democrats haven't won this House seat - which was occupied for 20 years by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - since 1976. "And as we seek to achieve fiscal responsibility, to do so on the backs of folks who have no voice-low-income children or seniors-I think reflects the wrong set of priorities".

Party strategists, however, say the drop-off was harmful but understandable: Democrats grew complacent with President Barack Obama in office, while Republicans - incited by his performance in the White House - grew angry.

The ad, apparently paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, reportedly began running on Saturday, with just days to go until the vote.

Without mentioning Ossoff by name, Trump said the candidate wants to "protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes".