But he appears to have fallen short of 50 percent, and must advance to a runoff where his Republican opponent will be favored to win the suburban Atlanta seat formerly held by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
In second place in the special election, but lagging behind with just under 20 percent of the vote, was Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state. Handel, on the other hand, will most likely see an increase in donations as Republicans realize how close the party came to losing the district outright and coalesce around her candidacy. His strong showing in the conservative district, driven by eye-popping fundraising numbers from out-of-state donors, underscored Democrats' eagerness to get a win against Trump as they strive to take back House control in 2018.
You just tweeted moments ago to Donald Trump, "thank you for the call this morning". He still engenders an intense loyalty among his core supporters but alienates many independents and even Republicans, leaving him unable to command a majority of the electorate.
"It's a test case for how far a Democratic candidate can go in a Republican district on the strength of opposition to Trump", said Todd Rehm, a Georgia Republican strategist who is not affiliated with any candidate in the race.
"Voters here in the district also like his spirit, the fact that he's young and the fact that he would be a fresh face in Congress", he said.
He demonstrated the tightrope through the final hours of the primary campaign.
The Hollywood reference follows Trump's previous assertion that the media is backing Ossoff.
But Trump's deep unpopularity with college-educated white voters - and growing populations of Asians and Hispanics in the area - meant he won the district by less than 2 percentage points last fall, after Mitt Romney carried it by 23 points in 2012. Some Republicans have suggested Trump could personally campaign in Georgia now that it's a two-person race, while Democrats plan to keep up the pressure - after falling short in another recent House special election in Kansas. She linked him to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi several times, and criticized the enormous amount of funds he's raised.
Really, though, it's all about Ossoff - the only candidate who is expected to be in the ballpark of 50%.
District 6, which includes the northern suburbs of Atlanta and parts of Fulton, Cobb and DeKalb counties, is a traditionally red district.
"I am humbled by Governor Deal's endorsement of my campaign".
Simas says members of Congress from districts like Culberson's have some work to do, even if it's too early for them to be anxious.