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02 May 2017

Karen Handel Surges Thirty Points in Two Weeks, Narrows the Gap with Democrat

Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel is starting to see signs that members of her party are coalescing around her campaign.

Shortly before the 18 April special election to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a WSB-TV/Landmark Communications poll showed Republican Karen Handel trailing young Democrat upstart Jon Ossoff by 30 points.

Now, two weeks later, a new internal poll from the Ossoff campaign shows Handel closing the gap. The former Fulton County Commission Chairman is behind by only a single point - 48% to 47%.

Handel's surge can likely be attributed to the GOP consolidating their support around her candidacy.

Handel received endorsements from leading Georgia Republicans including state House Speaker David Ralston, Governor Nathan Deal and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson.

At the same time, Ossoff's support has stalled under the weight of withering attack ads. According to the Ossoff campaign's internal numbers, he's gone from 45% in the Landmark poll to just 47%; an increase of only two points.

Still, the Ossoff campaign is claiming the energy is on their side.

"This poll articulates the excitement and momentum we've been feeling on the ground: we're winning," said Ossoff campaign manager Keenan Pontoni.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Monday that advance voting by mail in the contest between Handel and Ossoff begins May 2nd.