In Jon Ossoff’s bid to crack 50%, a ‘2%’ candidate could loom large

For very sound reasons, Democrat Jon Ossoff would like to win the Sixth District congressional contest outright next Tuesday, without a runoff in June that would give a Republican rival time to regroup.

Ossoff has raised an amazing $8.3 million in hopes of accomplishing the feat, and has spent most of it. Republicans in Washington, acknowledging the possibility, have dropped millions of dollars to thwart Ossoff’s promise to make President Donald Trump “furious.”

Breaking the 50 percent barrier when you’re one of 18 candidates is hard enough. For a Democrat to do so in a district that has gone Republican since Newt Gingrich was (somewhat) liberal is more daunting still.

In fact, Ossoff’s margin for error is so small that his fate could be decided not by the several “drain the swamp” Republicans who are chasing him, but by the one GOP candidate who could call himself an anti-Trump Republican. If he chose to.

On his best days, polls have shown David Abroms, a Sandy Springs businessman, with 2 percent of the Sixth District vote. That’s a small sliver – but an important sliver if you’re a Democrat who wants to make Trump furious by luring disaffected independents and Republicans to your side.

“I’m not running a campaign against President Trump, or against Hillary Clinton,” Abroms said this week, during an interview at a Dunwoody hotel. But he is the only Republican in the contest who has publicly said that he didn’t cast his presidential vote for Trump last November.

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin answers questions during an interview with AJC reporters in Atlanta last October. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Who did Abroms vote for? Probably the fellow who sat next to him. Evan McMullin was there for a campaign meet-and-greet.

You’ll remember McMullin as the former CIA guy and congressional staffer from Utah who ran a makeshift, independent campaign as a conservative alternative to Trump. McMullin won 13,017 write-in votes in Georgia. That includes 3,528 cast throughout Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties. The Sixth is made up of only a portion of each county.

That’s not a winning constituency. But in the right circumstance, those votes and a few more could serve as spoilers.

Abroms and McMullin met through a shared political consultant, Joel Searby. The Sixth is one of four congressional contests created by Trump’s cabinet choices, but it’s the only one that McMullin is dipping into.

“Technically, I’m still a registered independent. But other than voting for myself, I’ve never voted for anyone who wasn’t a Republican,” McMullin said. “I’m still hopeful the Republican party will be a good vehicle for true conservatives in this country.”

McMullin and Abroms have more in common than a political consultant. Both are ready to call an end to the war on gay marriage. “It’s been decided, and it’s not an issue that I wish to pursue in congress. We have so many serious problems to tackle in this country,” Abroms said. “I think it’s a distraction.”

Both men eschew the party tribalism that has crippled Congress, pointing to Obamacare and failed Republican efforts to repeal it.

“Apparently we’re living in a world where the only way you can pass legislation is if you’re in the majority. And that is a world that I do not want to live in,” Abroms said. “I think we need a different process.”

Ossoff has headed up a London-based, international documentary production company whose work has appeared on Al Jazeera TV. When Republicans in Washington launched a TV attack that linked the Democrat to “a mouthpiece for terrorism,” Abroms was the only Republican to object.

“I’m not afraid of the political bosses or insiders trying to bully me into this or that,” he said.

Abroms also has an abiding interest in new energy – one of his companies converts gasoline-powered fleet cars to natural gas. At a recent debate, I asked him what he thought of Trump’s promise to bring back coal jobs. “Coal is a technology of the past. I’m not per se against coal. I just think we need to be more forward looking,” Abroms said.

None of these positions has made Abroms an automatic Sixth District favorite among Republicans. But he draws a second lesson. None of his anti-Trump predilections have made him a GOP pariah, either.

Former secretary of state Karen Handel and former state senator Dan Moody, who are “more traditional Republicans,” are doing well, Abroms noted. The GOP candidates who have tied themselves most closely to Trump are the ones that are struggling.

“I don’t think being a hardcore, ‘I’ll follow Trump whatever he wants to do’ candidate has been a successful strategy,” Abroms said.

This could be the tallest obstacle standing between Jon Ossoff and his Tuesday bid to leap over the 50 percent barrier.

If you want to make Trump furious, Ossoff may be your candidate. But if you simply want to annoy the guy in the White House, you have plenty of other, suitably Republican choices. Abroms is only one of many.

Reader Comments 0

61 comments
James Brown8936
James Brown8936

There are 4 other Democrats running, including at least one African-American woman. Instead of supporting her or another of them Democrats have donated 8 million to the pretty white boy who only recently moved back to district. Interesting.

David W Moore
David W Moore

Due to Tom Perez's insistence of parading communist pedophile Bernie Sanders against the wishes of the majority base, all Democratic activists are encouraged to vacate Ossorf, and this special election. If you're sick and tired of communist Bernie Sanders, go let Tom Perez know.

Brandy Tucker Lmt
Brandy Tucker Lmt

Doesn't matter whether you voted for Trump or Hillary, you were voting to put a sex offender back in the Whitehouse. You lying to discredit Bernie because of some stupid paper he wrote in college that was completely taken out of context proves just how brainwashed you are.

David W Moore
David W Moore

Comrade Bernie is a child molesting pedophile, and that makes you just as sick to defend such.

Emmie Lynn
Emmie Lynn

The Democratic Party is now the Socialist party.

Mary Moseley Greene
Mary Moseley Greene

The AJC propaganda machine is giving Ossoff all the free campaign publicity possible! Thanks for reminding me, once again, why I refuse to subscribe to this pathetic rag.

Arden Jones
Arden Jones

Yet here you are. Bringing them $ by interacting with their posts. If you were really a person of your word you'd go away completely.

Dylan Coffey
Dylan Coffey

This is about the first positive thing I've seen them say of Ossoff during this campaign. The other nine articles out of ten are all hideously slanted.

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

I do not like him. He changes with the wind, and I do not think you can trust a word he says. Listen to his original ads, and then the latter ones. In the beginning he spoke of being a a thorn in trumps side to stop him from fullfilling his promises. Then when he realized this wasn't working he did an about face. He is just another of those that will say whatever it takes to get elected and once there will do as he please

Shelley Lange Rahiya
Shelley Lange Rahiya

I can tell you are a troll, but what you are saying is not true, you should really look at his campaign platform.

Polly Walden
Polly Walden

Why is it when you disagree with someone they are so quick to label you a troll. It is you who needs to look into all he has said fromn the start. You'll get whiplash.

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

If you want to win, you need to stop supporting the Democrat BS, of race baiting, tax and spend, entitlements, partiality in hiring practices, supporting anti-American behavior by racist groups, support for ILLEGALS, and access to welfare, SS, and all others programs that entice people to violate our federal immigration laws for free or cheap education, health care, welfare, EBT, etc... The Democrat party has become the single largest enemy of the American citizen, and white men, that this country has ever seen. You want to win elections? Great, Start ACTING LIKE PRODUCTIVE AMERICANS, and STOP DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO FORCE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

No. I love REALITY. Where the hell so you snowflakes come up with the garbage you swallow so readily?

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

Wow - absolute use of propaganda at its finest. Such snowflakery.

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

Slow flakes are what you see in the mirror, Einstein.

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

You just can't stop seeing the copy and paste of the right. They can't explain why blue states are supporting red states. They can explain why the education in blue states ranks higher than red. They can't explain how they want to take California voters out of the mix but leave Texas. You just have to hope they don't stress themselves out with the lies. Just know that facts aren't relative to interpretation they are indeed facts. The election showed that even though Clinton won significantly fewer counties than 45 she carried more than 60% of the economy. Those working and paying taxes are Democrats.

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

Education is based on money, not politics. Can you explain why blue state hate America enough to want to open it's boarders? No, you can't. But. if that's what the Demos want, that's what you want. It's the political Left who are the C&P champs. One day you'll come to that realization, and stop swallowing the CNN, MSNBC, HATE.

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

Trumps election didn't create the Democrat hate, but it did expose it. ....and I'm just as happy about that. You can't hide it any more.

Erik Moore
Erik Moore

What in gods name are you even saying? "Blue states hate America" - straight up propaganda speech. It's so generalized that it makes zero sense. The states that benefit most from open borders are states dependent on agriculture - i.e. Southern Red states. Stop with the propaganda. It's not convincing anyone.

Frank Cicalese
Frank Cicalese

Blue states hate America. Is that too tough for you to absorb? Democrats vote against America at every turn. WHY? Why do they vote to give welfare and SS to ILLEGALS. Why do you vote to allow Illegals ( Criminals who have ignored and broken federal immigration laws). These aren't difficult questions, and they DO make sense. If you political IQ was greater than your shoe size these things would be very clear to you. Each time you voted Obama, or Clinton, or for just about ANY member of Congress running as a Democrat, you are supporting the degradation of this country, by means of open borders, by means of protecting Illegals already hear, by means of allowing and excepting non-vetted "refugees", and by means of pushing the demented and perverted agenda of the Leftr. YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, and you sit there and claim "it doesn't make sence", and "everything is alright". It's not alright, and it's YOUR FAULT, and the fault of people like you. I'm a former Democrat, my self. but since Bill Clinton's presidency, I don't know what happened to the Democrats, but, to put it as simply as possible, they no longer represent the "Little guy" in America, and they no longer represent America's best interest. .

Shelley Lange Rahiya
Shelley Lange Rahiya

Jon's more like an independent than a democrat. He wants to work with both sides in D.C. He wants to cut fraud and waste. That's actually his own business in fighting corruption. He wants to bring good tech jobs to Georgia. I like him.

Renee Dutton Keeton
Renee Dutton Keeton

He has been bought and paid for by Soros money. I would not believe a WORD he says.

Shelley Lange Rahiya
Shelley Lange Rahiya

His campaign has an average of a $42 campaign contribution. The only people bought and paid for are the people who are backed by PACS.

Shelley Lange Rahiya
Shelley Lange Rahiya

Whatever. Why don't you say something nice for who you want to vote for?

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

We don't need more Blue state, carpetbagger commies in office in Georgia.

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

Yes because we are at the top in household income, education and income growth. Oh wait those are blue states.

Steve Rodemoyer
Steve Rodemoyer

I see a few people on here that must think they make too much money...

Dennis Nash
Dennis Nash

Jon liar pelosi's cancerous tentacle the of left !

Dustin Ketchem
Dustin Ketchem

All these snowflake conservatives on here whining. \U0001f923

Jim Nichols
Jim Nichols

Anyone voting for this libturd is part of the problem! No more DemocRATS, end this regime!

Shelton Brown Jr
Shelton Brown Jr

Yes because they are to blame for the condition of the state.

Brenda Wheeler
Brenda Wheeler

I thought it was well known that people who never blink for long periods while talking to you are usually lying? My observation after watching so many J.O. commercials. Vote red!

Dustin Ketchem
Dustin Ketchem

Technically the CIA manual says that the more a person blinks the higher the probability that they're lying.

SmartAlek69
SmartAlek69

Abroms doesn't have the personal appeal position on the issues to pull more than 2% of the polls, yet you give him some kind of "sage" status of knowing the 6th constituency?  

........Give me a break!