While Franken and Coleman are still in the middle of a battle over the recount, the real power is still with the voters in Georgia. Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin are still gearing up their rhetoric for the final push in Georgia.
The Research 2000 survey conducted November 23 to 25 has Senator Saxby Chambliss leading 52 percent to 46 percent for the Challenger James Martin. This comes on the heels of the Public Policy Polling between November 22 and 23. Both of the polls are staring to show that Chambliss is widening the gap (margin of error is 4% and there are 2% undecided).
But, it is not all good news for Saxby Chambliss. Early votes are coming in and James Martin leads Chambliss 56% to 44%, and that’s despite the early voters being only 23% African American, who as a polling group voted 90% for Martin and only 7% for Chambliss.
Big Name Support:
On the one corner, Saxby Chambliss is not afraid to get help from the republican big names like Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and on Monday Governor Sarah Palin.
On the other corner is Jim Martin who is not shy about getting help from big names like Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Harry Reid (D-NV) the Senate Majority Leader, and Obama’s campaign staff from Georgia and from Ohio. Both sides are putting all they can into this election.
Saxby Chambliss raised in 8 days, between November 13 and November 21, $1.6 Million in large contributions (those over $1,000 that must be reported within 48 hours).
Jim Martin, through a spokesman said that while the large contributions lagged behind Senator Saxby Chambliss the Martin campaign had raised a combined total of $2.5 Million since the general election.
Who has the Fund Raising advantage in your mind?
Outside interests have also helped the Chambliss campaign. Outsiders like the National Republican Senatorial Committee spend $2,500,000 on behalf of Chambliss between November 8, and November 26.
Keys to Victory:
According to Dean Debnam the President of Public Policy Polling, and many others as well, “This runoff is going to be all about turnout”. This just may spell good news for Chambliss, and give cause for concern to Jim Martin because the young vote that Obama so skillfully brought out is not as likely to care about the Chambliss-Martin run off. If that’s the case, the Senior vote picks up in importance and that is where Chambliss has a significant lead over Martin with the over 65 polling group voted 69% to 31% in favor of Chambliss in the November 4 General Election.
Aside from the obvious why is this important for the GOP?
Keeping the Democratic party from having a 60 vote majority is important in itself. However, for me this is more about the future of the Conservative movement than it is about Saxby Chambliss or Jim Martin.
Key people who had a role in the 2008 election process have campaigned for Saxby Chambliss: Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee and now on Monday Sarah Palin.
The Sarah Palin appearances, the closer’s role for lack of a better term, will test her ability to truly mobilize the base. Governor Sarah Palin supporters will find out if she has any real power or not. Can Sarah Palin do the heavy lifting and bring out the base in Georgia for Saxby Chambliss.
It is my opinion that the future of the Conservative movement and the GOP lies squarely on the ability to bring out the base. That is the first step. So let us see if Palin can do it for Chambliss, and not just to the rallies. The next step however, is to measure whether Sarah Palin (or any of the leaders in the GOP) can bring out new faces to the base and grow the votes. After that, the next step is going to be about truly developing a grass roots movement that will have in impact in 2010.
The 2008 Senator Saxby Chambliss run off with James Martin will serve as a preliminary view as to the viability of Sarah Palin as a leader. Not accomplishing it won’t knock her out, but bringing out the base and a few other votes will certainly add kindling to the slow fire burning under Sarah Palin’s campaign ambitions and aspirations.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative