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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chambliss Wins Georgia Senate Race

George Wenschhof

One month after the General Election, voters in Georgia returned to the polls today. This time, in a runoff election to vote again for their candidate for U.S. Senate. At 9:00 PM ET, NBC News projects Chambliss is the winner. With 60% of the precincts reporting, Chambliss had 60% of the vote to 40% for Martin.

Incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss had failed by several tenths of one per cent to win a majority of the votes in a three person race in the November 4 election. The failure of a candidate to win a majority of the vote resulted in this special runoff election between Saxby Chambliss and the Democratic challenger Jim Martin. It was required under the state constitution.

In a ominous sign for Democratic hopefuls, the voter turnout was reported as light today. The NY Times has more here. Democrats had needed a win today and a win in the recount in the Minnesota Senate race to reach a filibuster proof 60 Senators. Democrats currently hold 56 seats with Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who often vote with them, giving them 58 in the Senate.

Democratic and Republican heavyweight politicos have been in the state recently promoting their candidate. However, President-elect Barack Obama has wisely kept his distance.

Although tremendous hype was given by both the Democratic and Republican parties about the importance for and against Democrats reaching 60 seats in the Senate, do not look for the outcome in this race to have any significant impact on future legislation. Obtaining several votes from Republican Senators, should they be needed, should not be a problem in a Obama administration.


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