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Polls close in close-fought Georgia House race seen as test of Trump

Democrat Jon Ossoff. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)
Democrat Jon Ossoff. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Polls are closing in Georgia this evening in a House special election that has emerged as a surprisingly white-knuckled referendum on President Trump's early presidency.

The first returns from the 6th Congressional District, in the north Atlanta suburbs, are expected to benefit Democrat Jon Ossoff, given his multimillion-dollar effort to round up early votes and the appearance on the ballot of nearly a dozen GOP candidates who split the district's majority Republican vote.

By the time the final returns are in, Democrats hope Ossoff can get just over 50% of the vote, allowing him to win the seat outright in the all-candidates primary.

Republicans hope to deny Ossoff an outright victory, allowing them to consolidate voters for the June 20 runoff. Taken together, as election day neared, the polling percentages for all Republicans combined narrowly outdistanced the Democratic total.

Trump issued a series of tweets in the closing days of the race, exhorting Republicans to turn out and prevent Ossoff from winning the seat without a runoff.

"Republicans must get out today and VOTE in Georgia 6. Force runoff and easy win! Dem Ossoff will raise your taxes-very bad on crime & 2nd A," Trump tweeted Tuesday.

The Georgia special election comes five months after Trump won the district by less than 2 percentage points, far below the 20-points-plus victories usually awarded Republican nominees by its voters. That gave Democrats an opening, but also raised the stakes involved in trying to flip the seat to their side of the aisle.

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