SANDY SPRINGS, Georgia — Amy King, an accountant in this Atlanta suburb, said she's always been a Republican.
But when a Republican, Judson Hill — the first candidate to enter the first competitive congressional race of Donald Trump's presidency — knocked on her door Tuesday evening, King told him she was considering voting Democrat or just skipping the upcoming special congressional election.
"I've been thinking about how no one in the Republican Party is standing up to what is crazy," she said while standing her driveway, mentioning some of Trump's controversial Cabinet appointments and statements.
"It's immensely shaken my confidence in the Republican Party," added King, who declined to say who she voted for in the presidential election.
With dispirited Republican voters like King on one side and a fired-up liberal base on the other, Democrats are hoping to use the April 18 special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District as a model for how to convert Trump's unpopularity into votes in future contests.
It's a high-profile race for a seat that used be held by Newt Gingrich and which was recently vacated by former Rep. Tom Price, who joined Trump's cabinet as Health and Human Services Secretary.
But even though Trump is at the center of this race, which both parties are watching as a bellwether of the midterms in 2018, most contestants in the sprawling 18-candidate field don't want to mention his name.
Hill, a former Ronald Reagan aide who represented a large swath of this district for 12 years in the state Senate, insists he is asked about Trump only by reporters, not voters.
"This is not referendum on the president," he told NBC News.
Still, while Hill says that he has no doubt a Republican would handily win here in a more conventional election, he's worried this one is different. As he knocks on the doors of reliable Republican homes in this affluent area, Hill finds politically weary voters who are bit overwhelmed by their choice among 11 GOP candidates.
"People are not expecting an election in April. Getting them to be aware of the election and focused on it when they've gone through a lot in 2016 with the presidential race has been a real challenge," Hill said.
In low-turnout elections like this, when a few hundred votes can make the difference, enthusiasm goes a long away.