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10 October 2008

CQ Politics: Chambliss Re-election Prospects Down-Graded

Just about two months ago, CQ Politics released its election forecast for Georgia's U.S. Senate race and if you want to know the truth, their forecast really surprised no one.

Chambliss is the heavy favorite to keep his Senate seat for a second term. The Democratic challenger, former state Rep. Jim Martin, faces an uphill battle to make a serious run at Chambliss, who benefits from Georgia’s recently strong Republican voting trend and a daunting campaign finance advantage. [Source: CQ Politics, "Dems Have Georgia on Their Minds but GOP Remains Strong", August 13, 2008].

Since the August report was first released, however, the campaign between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin has gone through a dramatic change with four polls showing the Democrat within a few points of his Republican opponent. This unexpected shake-up has prompted CQ Politics to release another Georgia election forecast; one that contains a major surprise for both sides of the aisle.

CQ Politics has down-graded the Georgia Senate race from "Republican-favored" to "Leans Republican."

As the incumbent of a conservative state who drew no primary opposition, Chambliss was pegged early on as a clear favorite in the race.

But Chambliss’ lead in polls has slipped significantly in recent weeks. Political scientist Charles S. Bullock III at the University of Georgia believes Chambliss’ vote for the financial industry "bailout" plan last week contributed to his recent plunge. Bullock also noted that Barack Obama ’s presidential campaign has inspired a big increase in Democratic voter registration in the state, including among African-Americans, who threaten to complicate Chambliss’ hold on the seat.
[Source: CQ Politics, "Dems Gain in CQ Politics’ Four Senate Rating Changes", October 10, 2008]

So Jim Martin has a respectable chance of pulling off an Appalachian State-style upset victory over Saxby Chambliss, but he needs your help to do it.

Make a contribution to Jim Martin's Senate campaign today!