Democrats are considering Tuesday’s runoff election in Georgia a referendum on the Trump Administration. And Trump opponents in Hollywood and higher education are united with the DNC in hoping that Jon Ossoff, a relative newcomer to the political scene, trounces Republican opponent Karen Handel for the open Congressional seat.
But while residents of Georgia’s 6th district are the only ones who can vote, money has poured in to Ossoff’s coffers from desperate Dems across the country, making the local election the most expensive in history. A whopping $27 million has flowed in and out of GA-6 in the three months that Ossoff has been in the election. A massive 90% of that has come from out of state.
The two candidates have spent $25.6 million, mostly on television ads. Among Ossoff’s top donors: college professors. At least one professor from each of the nation’s top 15 schools (that includes Ivy League staples like Harvard and Yale, but also public schools like the University of Michigan) has donated to Ossoff’s campaign.
According to The College Fix, 90% of the top 100 colleges had at least one employee who donated to Ossoff, almost exclusively from out of state. All eight Ivy League schools were represented, though not a single one of those is located in Georgia’s 6th district.
The University of California system and Virginia Tech University are listed among the Ossoff’s top contributors, despite being far away from Georgia’s 6th (in addition to being home to several of Ossoff’s donors).
Most professors say they heard about Ossoff’s campaign through Democratic listservs and marketing emails, which pushed them to donate. “I was also influenced by a desire to resist Trump’s plan to defer to Russia and make America insecure,” a Stanford philosophy professor told The College Fix.
Ossoff, darling of the progressive university social justice set, isn’t just raising cash from terrified professors who believe Trump is out to end gender studies programs nationwide. He’s also a Hollywood darling, and has raised a significant amount of cash from coastal millionaires who have probably never even flown over Georgia, much less lived there.
Ossoff, a “documentary filmmaker” by trade, boasts a number of A-list donors including Jessica Lange, Sam Waterston, Kristen Bell and Kyra Sedgwick, as well as some B- and C-listers like Rosie O’Donnell, Jon Cryer, Chelsea Handler and Sean Daniel. He’s also a favorite of Jane Fonda and ’80s sitcom star Alyssa Milano has been volunteering for Ossoff’s operation by using her Twitter feed to encourage other people to do work on behalf his campaign.
Oddly enough, though, aside from Milano, none of the listed celebs have stepped foot in Georgia’s 6th. There’s a limit to how much they can handle flyover country; happy to tell them who to vote for, but not interested enough to actually come in contact with anyone who’d dare to live in the South.
The closest anyone else got was Samuel L. Jackson, who cut an Ossoff radio ad.
Despite the money and influence, though, experts still consider Tuesday’s race a toss-up, with Handel, who is running behind by a tenth of a point, predicted by Vegas bookmakers to pull out a narrow victory.