Republican Karen Handel won Georgia's special runoff election Tuesday evening, beating Democratic opponent Jon Ossoff by less than 5 points.

Georgia's 6th Congressional seat was vacated by the appointment of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to secretary of health and human services. The initial election in April went into a runoff after Ossoff won 48 percent and the Republican candidates won a combined total of 51 percent, The New York Times reported.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and the race remained tight until Handel was declared the winner at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.

Importance of Race

The outcome of the election is not as monumental as it was hyped up to be.

Republicans have held the seat since 1979, according to CNN, and will continue to hold it until at least 2018.

Hendel will serve Georgia's 6th District for 18 months before facing reelection in 2018. Ossoff could face Hendel again for the midterm elections, or Democrats could seek a different candidate.

Mitt Romney won the right-leaning district north of Atlanta by 23 points in 2012, CNN reported, and Donald Trump won the district by only 1.5 points. Democrats saw this as an opportunity to flip the district, and invested man power and millions of dollars into the race.

As the most expensive House race in history, at $50 million, a win for either party was important for morale.

A win for the Democrats was important for voter and donor morale after the devastating loss of Hillary Clinton to Trump in 2016.

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A loss for the Republicans could have sent them into a panic over the 2018 midterm elections. Hendel's win could signal the Republicans' ability to distance themselves from Trump amid his growing unpopularity.

Turn Out

Ossoff needed a high voter turn out in his favor from those who did not vote in April or a fraction of voters to shift their vote from one of the other Republican candidates to him.

Almost 150,000 Georgians voted early, compared to the 193,000 total voters in April, The New York Times reported. At least 40,000 people who voted early did not vote in April.

Republicans were expected to be the majority of early ballots, but Ossoff supporters cast nearly 5,000 more early votes than Handel supports, according to The New York Times. Of those who voted in person for the April elections, more Democrats opted to vote by mail for the runoff election. Handel had at least 16,000 more Election Day votes than Ossoff.

Weather was feared to slow and deter those voting in person after a thunderstorm rolled through in the afternoon.

Handel had more than 127,000 votes, and Ossoff had more than 114,000 - voter turn out surpassed April's election by at least 48,000 votes.