Speed Reads

election day

Polls open in Georgia, South Carolina special elections

Americans in Georgia's 6th district and South Carolina's 5th district go to the polls on Tuesday to vote in concurrent special elections in traditionally Republican strongholds. "Stock up on coffee. Poised to be a very late night," a Republican involved in the tight Georgia race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel told Politico Playbook. "This race is truly too close to call — best guess is that Ossoff gets between 48-51 percent," a Democrat said.

The results will also test President Trump, who has enthusiastically shared his support for Handel. A defeat, though, could "rattle Senate Republicans as they try to jump-start legislation to overhaul the nation's health-care law by the end of this month," The Washington Post writes.

"The Georgia special election contains an important lesson," Paul Waldman explains at The Week. "It's an exaggerated version of something we should expect and even embrace for 2018 and 2020: the nationalized local election."

The South Carolina race is less of a nail-biter, with the Republican candidate, Ralph Norman, expected to defeat Democrat Archie Parnell. But by how much "can tell us how sour the national environment is for Republicans," FiveThirtyEight writes.