Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Georgia Senate

There was breaking news on CNN tonight at 10 pm, December 2, 2008. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss won the Georgia Senate race run off and Democrat Jim Martin has called to concede the race to Chambliss.

The win was projected with 59% of the votes for Chambliss and 41% going to Martin with 90% of the votes counted. In November both Chambliss and Martin were left shy of the 50-percent of votes needed in Georgia as the Georgia race was a three way race that included Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley. This resulted in a rematch between incumbent Chambliss and challenger Martin.

The significance of this win in the Senate is that it confirms 41 Republicans and 58 Democrats in the Senate. With only one other race still undecided, the Chambliss win means that Democrats will be just short of the 60, desired number of Senate seats to thwart Republican filibusters. It gives Republicans what Chambliss has called a "firewall" against a Barack Obama administration with a Democratic majority in the Senate.

Both sides have fought long and hard in Georgia to win this senate run off. Both Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton came to Georgia to campaign for their respective party candidates.

John McCain won in Georgia and many have expressed disappointment that President-elect Barack Obama did not come to Georgia to support the Jim Martin campaign. The Obama camp has pointed out that they did in fact do a radio address and CNN reports that privately they expressed that they did not believe that it would have mattered.

The one outstanding senate race in Minnesota between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken is not a run-off but an official hand recount. Even if the Democrats win in Minnesota, that will only give the Democrats 59 seats but not the magic number of 60. While the ballots in the Minnesota race are supposed to counted by Friday, there is a meeting scheduled for December 16, 2008 to address ballot challenges so the winner of the Minnesota senate seat may be unknown for sometime.

In his acceptance speech, Senator Saxby Chambliss said "People all around the world have had their eyes on Georgia and you have given a message to the world that conservative values matter."

David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst calls this a real "shot in the arm" for Republicans and he adds, "This puts a lot more pressure on Barack Obama to govern from the center."