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23 October 2008

President Clinton Hits The Trail For Jim Martin

Most political pundits agree.

If the Georgia Senate race between Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin goes to a December run-off, money from both sides of the aisle will flow through the Peach State like the Chattahoochee River.

However, both campaigns have indicated that they don't want the election to go into overtime. They want a win in regulation [Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Runoff for Senate seat could make Georgia ‘center of the universe’", October 23, 2008].

The desire by Saxby Chambliss and the Republicans to score a victory on November 4th has resulted in his campaign stepping up his attacks on the Democrat as election day nears. Chambliss has aired 3 consecutive ads criticizing Jim Martin on a variety of issues from taxes to the local issue of deepening the Savannah harbor [Source: Savannah Morning News, "Saxby Chambliss ad slams Jim Martin for opposing deepening Savannah's harbor", October 23, 2008].

In addition, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), Freedom's Watch and the Trust In Small Business PAC have all launched independent ad campaigns benefiting Chambliss [Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Freedom watch took the high road, the NRSC chooses the low one, with an attack on Martin", October 22, 2008; Atlanta Journal Constitution, "A Freedom Watch ad for Saxby Chambliss", October 21, 2008; Georgia Politics Unfiltered, "Small Business Group Announces T.V. Ad Campaign For Saxby Chambliss", October 21, 2008].

But, Jim Martin has stepped up his game as well, bringing in former President Bill Clinton for a fundraiser Saturday evening.

In an email to supporters, the Martin for Senate campaign wrote, "Things are moving quickly in our campaign to defeat Saxby Chambliss, and we have exciting news to report: President Bill Clinton will be coming to Georgia to campaign with me this Saturday, October 25th!"

President Clinton's visit will be the second high-profile surrogate to hit the trail for Jim Martin within the past week. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb came down to Georgia Tuesday morning and endorsed Jim Martin's candidacy saying that Martin didn't need to attend a committee meeting to learn about military service [Source: Georgia Politics Unfiltered, "Virginia Sen. Jim Webb Endorses Jim Martin", October 21, 2008].

Real Clear Politics ranks Georgia's Senate race as a toss-up and CQ Politics recently downgraded the race from Republican-favored to Republican-leaning.