United States Senate election in Georgia, 2008

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United States Senate election in Georgia, 2008
Georgia (U.S. state)
2002 ←
November 4 and December 2, 2008
→ 2014

  Saxby Chambliss.jpg Jim Martin october 2008.png
Nominee Saxby Chambliss Jim Martin
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,867,097 general
1,228,033 runoff
1,757,393 general
909,923 runoff
Percentage 49.8% general
57.4% runoff
46.8% general
42.6% runoff

Georgia Senatorial Runoff Election Results by county, 2008.png

County Results (Run off)

U.S. Senator before election

Saxby Chambliss
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Saxby Chambliss
Republican

The 2008 United States Senate election in Georgia took place on November 4, 2008. The run off election took place on December 2, 2008. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, first elected in 2002, sought re-election to his position as a United States Senator from Georgia. He was challenged by Democratic nominee Jim Martin and Libertarian nominee Allen Buckley. After a runoff election on December 2, Chambliss was elected.[1][2][3]

The runoff was necessary as neither Chambliss nor Martin, the two major party candidates, had won a majority of the vote in the first round. Early voting hours are set by county, and starts November 17 or November 18. The Georgia Board of Elections maintains a list of times and locations on Georgia Early Voting and Advanced Voting by county. Prior to the runoff, advanced polls were open from November 24 to the 26th.[4] Since the election is a run-off, only those voters who registered in time for the general election could cast ballots.

Election dates[edit]

The state party primaries were on July 15, 2008 with primary runoff elections on August 5, 2008. The general election was held on 4 November 2008 and the general election runoff will be held on December 2, 2008 because no candidate received the necessary fifty percent of the vote.[5]

Democratic primary[edit]

The general primary was held July 15, 2008.[6] A run-off between the top two Democratic contenders was held on August 5, in which Jim Martin defeated Vernon Jones.[7]

Candidates[edit]

Polling[edit]

Source Date Cardwell Jones Knight Lanier Martin
Insider Advantage July 8–9, 2008 11% 20% 4% 1% 31%
Strategic Vision (R) June 27–29, 2008 22% 25% 14% 6% 17%
Mellman Group (D) May 29, 2008 7% 16% 2% 3% 21%
Insider Advantage May 12, 2008 14% 21% 1% 5% 3%
Strategic Vision (R) May 9–11, 2008 20% 28% 11% 5% 15%

Initial results[edit]

Results[9] for the first round showed that since Vernon Jones did not win a majority of the vote, a runoff was held between him and Martin. Martin subsequently won the runoff.

2008 Georgia U.S. Senate Democratic primary election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Vernon Jones 199,026 40.4
Democratic Jim Martin 169,635 34.4
Democratic Dale Cardwell 79,181 16.1
Democratic Rand Knight 25,667 5.2
Democratic Josh Lanier 19,717 4.0
Turnout 493,226 100.0

Run off results[edit]

2008 Georgia U.S. Senate Democratic primary election runoff
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jim Martin 191,061 59.9 +25.5
Democratic Vernon Jones 127,993 40.1 -0.3
Turnout 319,054

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

2008 Georgia U.S. Senate Republican primary election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Saxby Chambliss 392,902 100.0
Turnout 392,928 100.0

Initial general election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Democratic[edit]

Jim Martin, a former State Representative, former State Human Resources Commissioner, Vietnam War veteran, and 2006 nominee for lieutenant governor, is challenging Chambliss for his seat. He has made his support for PeachCare and other social services a signature issue in the campaign[citation needed]. He has made his opposition to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 an issue in the run off[citation needed].

Libertarian[edit]

Allen Buckley - Attorney, Accountant, 2004 gubernatorial nominee, and 2006 nominee for lieutenant governor. He was eliminated in the general election, but his endorsement was sought by both the Martin and Chambliss campaigns[citation needed].

Republican[edit]

Sen. Saxby Chambliss running for re-election for the first time, is a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and had only one serious election challenge while in the House[citation needed]. He maintains high ratings from conservative interest groups such as the National Rifle Association, and the National Right to Life Committee[citation needed], and correspondingly low marks from liberal interest groups such as the NAACP and ACLU[citation needed]. He has sponsored legislation while in the Senate to replace the income tax with a national sales tax[citation needed].

Predictions[edit]

CQ Politics rated this race as 'Tossup'.[10] The Cook Political Report considered it 'Lean Republican'.[11] The Rothenberg Political Report considered it a 'Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party'.[12]

Polling[edit]

Chambliss vs. Martin[edit]

Source Date Chambliss (R) Martin (D)
Public Policy Polling November 2, 2008 48% 46%
Survey USA November 2, 2008 48% 44%
Rasmussen Reports October 30, 2008 48% 43%
Rasmussen Reports October 22, 2008 47% 45%
Survey USA October 12, 2008 46% 43%
Insider Advantage October 9, 2008 45% 45%
Rasmussen Reports October 7, 2008 50% 44%
Research 2000[13] September 29 - October 1, 2008 45% 44%
Survey USA September 29, 2008 46% 44%
Rasmussen Reports September 16, 2008 50% 43%
Survey USA September 14–16, 2008 53% 36%
Rasmussen Reports August 14, 2008 50% 44%
Rasmussen Reports July 21, 2008 51% 40%
Strategic Vision June 29, 2008 57% 28%
Rasmussen Reports June 26, 2008 52% 39%

Chambliss vs. Jones (Hypothetical)[edit]

Source Date Chambliss (R) Jones (D)
Rasmussen Reports July 21, 2008 59% 29%
Strategic Vision June 29, 2008 57% 27%
Rasmussen Reports June 26, 2008 57% 30%
Strategic Vision December 12, 2007 57% 27%
Rasmussen Report November 13, 2007 55% 32%
Rasmussen Report September 23, 2007 53% 28%
Strategic Vision June 24, 2007 55% 31%
Rasmussen Report September 23, 2007 53% 28%
Strategic Vision June 24, 2007 55% 31%
Insider Advantage May 23, 2007 48% 31%
Strategic Vision April 7, 2007 57% 29%

Results[edit]

Results by county

As no candidate reached a majority on November 4, a runoff election was held on December 2, which Chambliss won.

2008 Georgia U.S. Senator general election[14][15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Saxby Chambliss (incumbent) 1,867,097 49.8 -3.0
Democratic Jim Martin 1,757,393 46.8 +0.9
Libertarian Allen Buckley 127,923 3.4 +2.1
Socialist Workers Eleanor Garcia (write-in) 43 0.0 n/a
Independent William Salomone, Jr. (write-in) 29 0.0 n/a
Majority 109,704 2.92
Turnout 3,752,577

Run off general election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

  • Chambliss (R)
  • Martin (D)

Campaign[edit]

Both qualifying candidates' runoff campaigns began in earnest on November 10, when election returns made it clear that a runoff would be required. With an election date of December 2, candidates were given only 3 weeks for additional campaigning.

The Libertarian nominee did not endorse either candidate in the run-off, though both campaigns reportedly inquired about getting Buckley's endorsement[citation needed]. Major political figures such as former President Bill Clinton, Republican Senator and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain and his former running mate Sarah Palin campaigned in Georgia[citation needed], because of the election's potential to determine whether the Democratic Party could block filibusters in the United States Senate. Historically, run-off elections in Georgia have had significantly lower turnout than have general elections[citation needed].

Chambliss's campaign verified that former Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Mike Huckabee would be campaigning in Georgia on the Senator's behalf, and former Democratic Governor and former U.S. Senator Zell Miller endorsed Chambliss. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned on Martin's behalf. Sarah Palin campaigned for the Chambliss campaign on December 1, the eve of the run-off election.[16] President-elect Barack Obama had also been invited by the Democratic campaign but decided against making a stop.[17]

The results of the runoff election were of particular interest to both parties.[citation needed] Subsequent to the November 4 general elections, Democrats had captured 58 seats in the Senate, two shy of a filibuster-proof supermajority. The result of Georgia's runoff election, as well as the results of an extremely close race and recount in Minnesota, would determine whether or not the required majority of 60 seats would be met.[18]

Polling[edit]

Source Date Chambliss (R) Martin (D)
Public Policy Polling November 30, 2008 53% 46%
Public Policy Polling November 23, 2008 52% 46%
Rasmussen Reports November 18, 2008 50% 46%

Results[edit]

Results by county
Runoff results [19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Saxby Chambliss (incumbent) 1,228,033 57.4 +7.6
Democratic Jim Martin 909,923 42.6 -4.2
Majority 318,110 14.8
Turnout 2,137,956
Republican hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] CNN News projection
  2. ^ [2] NBC News projection
  3. ^ [3] FNC projection
  4. ^ Elections Division Georgia Secretary of State
  5. ^ Georgia Elections and Elected Officials
  6. ^ Unofficial And Incomplete Results of the Tuesday, July 15, 2008 General Primary Election Georgia Secretary of State
  7. ^ Martin Wins Georgia Dem Runoff, Will Challenge Sen. Chambliss : Roll Call
  8. ^ "Says Cardwell: Chambliss is ‘a borrow-and-spend pawn of the special interests'". 
  9. ^ 7/15/2008 - Federal and Statewide
  10. ^ Senate CQ Politics
  11. ^ 2008 Senate Race Ratings The Cook Political Report, October 9, 2008
  12. ^ 2008 Senate Ratings The Rothenberg Political Report, October 15, 2008
  13. ^ Daily Kos: GA-Sen: Holy crap, it *is* tied!
  14. ^ "Georgia Election Results: United States Senator". Georgia Secretary of State. 2008-11-10. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  15. ^ "Georgia 2008 General Election". The Green Papers. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ Tharpe, Jim (2008-11-11). "Senate runoff fast and furious". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  18. ^ Britt, Russ (2008-11-06). "Democrats still have shot at filibuster-proof Senate". Market Watch. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  19. ^ "Georgia Election Results". State of Georgia Secretary of State. December 2, 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 

External links[edit]