This wasn’t even close…
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss handed the GOP a firewall against Democrats eager to flex their newfound political muscle in Washington, winning a bruising runoff battle Tuesday night that had captured the national limelight.
Chambliss’ victory thwarted Democrats’ hopes of winning a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. It came after a bitter month long runoff against Democrat Jim Martin that drew political luminaries from both parties to the state and flooded the airwaves with fresh attack ads weeks after campaigns elsewhere had ended.
Minnesota – where a recount is under way – now remains the only unresolved Senate contest in the country. But the stakes there are significantly lower now that Georgia has put a 60-seat Democratic supermajority out of reach.
With 70 percent of the precincts reporting, Chambliss captured 60 percent to Martin’s 40 percent. Chambliss’ win is a rare bright spot for Republicans in a year where they lost the White House as well as seats in the House and the Senate.
So maybe, just maybe, there’s something to the notion that Obama’s win was a repudiation of Bush, a rejection of McCain, and a rare Democratic candidate with crossover appeal.
Chambliss Obama and Martin each finished with 49% 47% of the vote on Nov. 4 (see below), but in the runoff Martin didn’t have Obama’s coat tails to ride, putting about where he’d have normally been running as a Democrat in a statewide election in Georgia.
Given the state of the Republican party, one has to take small victories such as this…
November 4 Results
Georgia - U.S. Senate Candidate Votes Saxby Chambliss - R Incumbent 1,865,336 50% Jim Martin - D 1,754,383 47% Allen Buckley - L 127,822 3%
Georgia - U.S. President Candidate Votes John McCain - R 2,044,870 52% Barack Obama - D 1,838,281 47% Bob Barr - L 28,727 1%