Chambliss Keeps his Seat, Denies Dems 60December 2, 2008 - by Donny Shaw
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) easily won re-election tonight in a runoff against Democratic state Rep. Jim Martin. Chambliss’ victory means that the Democrats’ hopes for a 60-seat, filibuster-proof Senate, which always was a long shot, is now officially out of the question.
>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.
>"It’s been a hard and tough four weeks," Chambliss said at a victory party in Cobb County. “We had a hardcore campaign on both sides and while things look good right now, we’re going to continue to follow the returns as they come in.”
>In the end, Martin, a 63-year-old former state lawmaker from Atlanta, wasn’t able to get Obama voters back to the polls in large enough numbers to overcome the Republican advantage in Georgia, which has become an increasingly a reliable red state since 2002.
>Turnout was light throughout the state Tuesday. A spokesman for Secretary of State Karen Handel predicted between 18 and 20 percent of the state’s 5.75 million registered voters would cast ballots – far less than the 65 percent who voted in last month’s general election.
The only outstanding Senate seat at this point – the one that will determine whether Democrats have 58 or 59 seats next year – is in Minnesota, between incumbent Senator Norm Coleman® and Democratic challenger Al Franken. There’s a recount happening up there, and the tally is extremely close – Coleman probably leads currently by about 100 votes or less with eight percent of the states votes still to be recounted.