Georgia Senate Race, Round 2 - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Georgia Senate Race, Round 2

I just got off a conference call held by Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the Georgia Republican who is heading into a a runoff against Democrat Jim Martin after falling about 8,000 votes short of an absolute majority. Georgia requires that the winning candidate receive at least 50 percent plus one. “We were having so much fun we decided to extend [the campaign] about four more weeks.”

Chambliss said he was not surprise his re-election fight turned out to be competitive. “When this race was pegged to be a 20-point race, I kept saying it was not a 20-point race. All Senate races in Georgia tend to be close,” he said. “We anticipated a close race. What we did not anticipate is the economic crisis.” They also wer not sure of the extent of the “Obama factor”: “His folks did a good job.” Chambliss acknowledged that the Libertarian Party candidate was a factor, pointing out that the LP’s senatorial nominee finished 100,000 votes ahead of former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, the LP’s presidential candidate. Chambliss further acknowledged that a lot of the Libertarian’s supporters “were upset with me because of my vote on the rescue package.” AKA, the bailout. He also remarked that it’s “very rewarding to see these people come back.”

Chambliss described Martin as “the most liberal member of the state house,” “a very pro-choice” candidate who “supports partial-birth abortion, supports gun control, voted against making English the official language of Georgia, he voted against toughening laws against child prostitution.” Chambliss concluded that Martin had “nothing in common” with the people who voted Libertarian.

Since Chambliss finished 100,000 votes ahead of Martin, John McCain carried Georgia, the Libertarian didn’t make the runoff, and this will be the first red-state election after Barack Obama’s victory, the Republicans should hold this seat. But they are concerned about money and turnout. Former Obama campaign workers from Florida are now assisting Martin in about 25 of his offices across Georgia. This will help get-out-the-vote operations for the Democrats. Chambliss also noted that the race is likely to be expensive, costing $7 to $10 million on both sides.

Early voting starts next Monday, “election day” is Dec. 2. Republicans are hoping for a replay of Paul Coverdell’s runoff victory over Wyche Fowler in 1992, after Bill Clinton was elected. Democrats are hoping to get closer to 60 Senate seats.

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