Thursday, November 06, 2008

Georgia Senate Update: Run-Off Election Coming?

While I predicted that the Georgia Senate race between Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin would go to a run-off contest on December 2, I didn’t think Chambliss would come this close to the 50-percent vote requirement to win the race outright on Tuesday.

The latest report from the Georgia Secretary of State shows Chambliss with 49.9 percent of the vote with 46.7 percent for Martin -- this is with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

Thousands of votes were still being counted late into Wednesday night but with many of those coming from Democrat-rich Fulton County -- which Barack Obama won with 69 percent of the vote -- the chances are slim that Chambliss will be pushed over 50 percent and avoid the run-off election mandated if no candidate hits that mark.

This will hopefully lead to part two of my prediction, which is that the next 28 days will leave time for a load of Democratic money to flood Georgia and, more importantly, a whole bunch of visits by high-profile people like President-elect Obama to help Martin close the gap and win it the second time around.

The December 2 runoff will not be officially called until Tuesday's vote is certified -- that could happen by tomorrow or maybe not
until next week -- but both candidates believe that will occur and are staying in full campaign mode for that likely outcome.

"We're going to win on December 2nd, because this race is going to be about helping President-elect Barack Obama get our economy back on track and making the economy work for the middle class again," said Martin on Wednesday. "This isn't going to be a difficult race for anybody to figure out. I'm going to do everything I can to help Barack Obama get off to a fast start and Saxby Chambliss has promised to do everything he can to stop Barack Obama from succeeding."