Major impact Georgia’s special election could have on US politics

Political observers are turning their attention to a special runoff election in Georgia which many are calling a key test for both parties heading into the 2018 midterm elections.

It pits 55-year-old Republican Karen Handel against 30-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff in a race for the Sixth Congressional District seat which was vacated by Tom Price after he joined the Trump administration.

Ossoff won the first round of the special election on April 18 with 48 percent of the vote. Handel earned second place with just 19 percent of the vote. According to USA Today, "no one got more than 50 percent of the vote, a June 20 runoff between Ossoff and Handel was triggered."

Georgia 6th Congressional District special election

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Georgia 6th Congressional District special election
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff arrives to greet supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets Saad Ahsan at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets Samira Ahsan and her mother Sharifa Jahan at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 16: A campaign sign for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is seen among other candidates' signs as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 16, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 16: A campaign sign for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is seen among other candidates' signs as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 16, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff and his girlfriend Alisha Kramer greet supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 16: A campaign sign for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is seen among other candidates' signs as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 16, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The election on April 18th will fill the congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff arrives with his girlfriend, Alisha Kramer, to greet supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Campaign fliers are seen at an office for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speaks with the media as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District which hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District which hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District which hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff greets supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District which hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 15: Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speaks to supporters at a campaign office as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price, who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services on April 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The 6th Congressional District hasn't been held by a Democrat since the 1970s. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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The race is being so closely watched, in part, because it is considered a referendum on the effect Trump's ongoing problems like the Russia investigation have had on the Republican party.

There is also uncertainty about the outcome which could affect the fate of pending legislation like the GOP health care bill, notes CNN.

And even though a Republican most recently held the seat, the district has not been consistent in its conservative votes for president over the past several years.

SEE ALSO: Controversial Georgia special election ad politicizes shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise

In fact, the statistics site FiveThirtyEight reports, "If one uses the 2016 presidential election as a benchmark, this is a race that Democrats should be winning."

Nevertheless, Trump has decided to weigh in on the race, tweeting in a pair of messages, "Karen Handel's opponent in #GA06 can't even vote in the district he wants to represent...because he doesn't even live there! He wants to raise taxes and kill health care. On Tuesday, #VoteKarenHandel."

Turnout is expected to be a key factor but money has not been; passionate advocates on both sides have likely helped it become the most expensive House race in U.S. politics.

According to the Washington Post, security has also been a concern, especially since the recent shooting at a GOP baseball practice.

SEE ALSO: Body language expert shares prediction about the fate of Melania and Donald Trump's marriage

However, Brad Carver, a local GOP chairman in Georgia, appeared to refer to the tragedy as an advantage to Handel by saying at a rally, "I'll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us."

He explained, "...moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism."

The Post notes that both candidates have reported threats and are said to be protected by bodyguards as a result.

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