Now, after forcing the front-runner into a June 20 runoff, Republicans are vowing to unite and defeat the Democrats' chosen candidate in two months.
If Donald Trump's recent tweets about the recent congressional races in Kansas and Georgia are any indication, the president seems to believe that Republicans are on a roll.
Republican Karen Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state who has allied herself with President Trump and is viewed as an establishment-friendly Republican. He garnered 48.1 per cent of the vote.
Ossoff will now head towards a runoff with Republican candidate Karen Handel, who finished second in the race with 19.8 percent of the vote out of a field with at least three other Republican candidates.
While Democrats can savor the moral victory of almost snatching a seat outright in a Republican stronghold, they will need to translate anti-Trump fury and substantial fundraising into concrete ballot-box results if they are to mount a viable comeback.
In comparison, Handel reportedly raised just $463,000.
Trump only won Ossoff's congressional district by a single percentage point in 2016, whereas Romney won it by 23 percentage points in 2012. Those in the race are split among Trump supporters and candidates trying to hold the president at arm's length. Ossoff led the 18-candidate field.
Jon Ossoff addresses the crowd following his big election win.
Levell, who worked on Trump's campaign, got less than 1% of the vote. The Dunwoody retiree and Handel volunteer says Republicans were too cautious in the primary for fear they'd "step on toes".
Marlins fall two outs shy of combined no-hitter against Mariners
He put the Mariners in a quick hole by surrendering two runs in the first inning and never appeared to find a comfort zone. It was the first homer at Safeco as a visiting player for the 43-year-old Ichiro, who last went deep there April 18, 2012.
Handel told "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday morning that she's already spoken to most of her GOP competitors in a push to unite the party. "We all have to rise above it, that it is about the district that has a long legacy of Republican leadership". "I think we have a chance to pull it out today". She did not immediately get a nod from the conservative Club for Growth, a Washington organization that spent six figures attacking her as a big-spending "career politician".
Ossoff is sounding equally confident.
"We defied the odds and shattered expectations - and we are ready to fight on and win in June".
Ossoff has acknowledged he lives just outside the district, so his girlfriend is closer to work.
Democrat Jon Ossoff drew 48.1 percent of the vote in Tuesday's special election, just shy of the 50 percent needed to win the most closely watched USA congressional race since Trump took office in January.
Spicer was also asked if Ossoff's relative success in the race shows that Republicans need to pay attention to demographic changes in the South.
It's easy to forget that Georgia's 6th District is a very Republican district.
Sanders, an Independent from Vermont who ran as a Democrat in the 2016 presidential elections, held a campaign rally in Omaha on Thursday for mayoral candidate Health Mello, a Nebraska state senator who sponsored a bill in 2009 that would require women to be told they have a right to a fetal ultrasound prior to deciding to have an abortion, according to Politico.