Georgia Race For the Finish: Chambliss vs. Martin

Updated 11:57am PST, November 13, 2008

Georgia’s Senate race between Saxby Chambliss, anti-choice Republican, and Jim Martin, pro-choice Democrat is extremely close. And it’s making RNC Chairman, Mike Duncan, nervous. On Duncan says he’s angry that Obama campaign is sending volunteers to Georgia and Minnesota (where the race is even closer between Republican Norm Coleman and Al Franken, Democrat), claiming the campaign has "tens of millions of dollars leftover that they are sure to dump into the Democrat challengers’ campaign coffers."

DailyKos has Chambliss ahead in the race, 49% – 46% with a just certified December 2nd run-off election closing in on voters. reports that 87% of Georgia voters say they will vote in the December 2nd election (compare this to 67% of voters who voted in the general election on November 4th). However, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight doesn’t quite believe it:

People may have the best intentions, certainly, and there is probably some response bias in the sort of person who might answer a series of a pollster’s questions about the runoff election. Nevertheless, a lot of these people are pretty much … lying. They’re not going to show up. In 1992, when the late Paul Coverdell won his senate seat against Wyche Fowler in a runoff, participation declined from 2,251,587 Georgians in the first go-around to 1,253,991 in the runoff, roughly a 50 percent drop.

In a SurveyUSA poll, where the majority of respondents voted for Senator McCain, 51% of voters say they voted for Chambliss with 39% supporting Martin. Interestingly, the poll also noted that while 15% of voters said that a visit by John McCain to their state would encourage them to vote, 30% of voters said that a visit by President-Elect Obama would encourage a vote from them as well. 

And while Silver and his crew at are taking a more relaxed approach, NARAL Pro-Choice America says now is not the time to sit back. According to an email from the group, Chambliss is "about as anti-choice as they come…the fight is not over."

Chambliss’ presence in a new U.S. Congress could very well contribute to some devastating healthcare access and rights consequences.  During his reign, writes NARAL, he voted against expanding health care for low-income children, against tax cuts for middle-income Americans, has time and time again opposed legislation that would provide birth control and help prevent unintended pregnancy; went on record opposing Roe v. Wade, essentially declaring that the case was wrongly decided and should be overturned; and voted to end funding for clinics that offer birth control, pregnancy tests and breast cancer screenings to millions of American women.

Jim Martin, his challenger?

Well, Molly from, writes:

Jim Martin has stood on the side of women and now it’s our turn to stand with him. Throughout his entire legislative career, Jim was fighting against anti-choice politicians who threatened Roe v. Wade; who undermined a woman’s right to choose at every turn; who thought that they knew better than women and their doctors what was best for women and their families. Jim stood with us even when his family was threatened…even when it wasn’t popular…even when he constantly had to face down anti-choice politicians in the legislature.

Georgians who support reproductive health and rights, expanded access to healthcare for those Americans who need it (including children), and a proponent of women’s rights, have a real opportunity to see this come to fruition for the first time in years. If you need an infusion of optimism (or at least a reason not to despair),’s Silver gives his conclusion after analyzing the stats:

The point is … if the polls going into December 2nd say that Saxby Chambliss is going to win the runoff by 7 points, you shouldn’t be a but surprised if Jim Martin actually wins instead. And you also shouldn’t be surprised if Chambliss wins by 20. This will be a return to the high margins of uncertainty that we saw in the primaries.

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  • invalid-0

    I hope Chambliss gets his butt kicked. His attacks on Senator Max Cleland in the the 2002 election were the most despicable thing I’ve seen in politics for a long time. (And given the recent election, that’s saying quite a bit.)

  • invalid-0

    I am male and very conservative.

    I will be voting against Chambliss again for his vote on the bailout (theft) not his abortion stance.

    In August my wife delivered our 19 week old still born son Augustine. Abortion is a painful pill to swallow and it makes me sad for the women who choose this legal option.

    • faith


      According to Martin’s own website, he wants to throw another $300 billion on top of the $700 billion already spent before finding out what effect the $700 billion has.  How could anyone think Martin or the Democratic Party would help stop the economic bleeding?  

      "Chambliss: No to Working With Obama on Stimulus, Wait for Bailout to Work? ‘Martin said he would support a $300 billion economic stimulus plan proposed by national Democrats. Chambliss said he would oppose it until the current $700 billion rescue plan is given a chance to work’. [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 11/2/2008]"



    • invalid-0

      Not voting for something is also voting for the opposite. Do you not think Martin will support billions in bailouts? Lets get serious. Democrats want big government, it is their philosophy. Vote for the lesser of two evils.

  • invalid-0

    As a Georgia resident, I can tell you that Chambliss has not served our state well during his tenure in the Senate. We all know about his repugnant attacks on Vietnam veteran and former Senator, Max Cleland, but there is so much more to despise about this quintessential Washington insider! His vigorous support of Bush’s economic policy over the last several years has hurt Georgia particularly in the manufacturing sector. Chambliss has voted against providing healthcare for indigent children. He has blindly supported Bush’s policy on Iraq despite its multi-billion dollar monthly tab and its negative impact on other important national security priorities such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and a resurgent Russia. Jim Martin is a common-sense conservative Democrat who will work to get Georgia back on track economically, reform healthcare and implement a responsible foreign policy working together with the Obama administration and his party as well as progressive Republicans.

  • invalid-0

    I’m a moderate Republican and I will be voting for Chambliss. I’m not too crazy about him (or Jim Martin), but I don’t think one party should have complete control of the Senate, not even Republicans. I’m willing to forgive Mr. Chambliss for the attacks made in 02 against Cleland, and my father was a Vietnam veteran and I’m proud of it. I also have the utmost respect for the people who are voting for Martin as well as the gung-ho Chambliss suporters. They are entitled to their opinion and I respect that.