Chambliss 'in Trouble' in Runoff

Thursday, 13 Nov 2008 12:00 PM

By David A. Patten

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Republicans may see yet another Senate seat slip into Democratic hands unless they rally behind Georgia incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss, says political strategist and columnist Dick Morris.

“I really feel that Saxby Chambliss is in trouble,” Morris told “Hannity & Colmes” viewers this week.

If the election becomes “a turnout duel,” Morris said, incumbent could be in danger because “the left is so much better at mobilizing and turning out their people than the right is.”

“And when an incumbent gets about 48 percent of the vote, it means 52 percent voted for somebody else,” he said.

Chambliss won 49.8 percent of the vote on Nov. 4. Democrat Jim Martin received 46.8 percent, and Libertarian Allen Buckley won 3.4 percent. Buckley has yet to announce whether he’ll endorse either candidate in the general election. Georgia law requires that a candidate receive more than 50 percent of the vote to win.

Martin has promised to help facilitate Obama’s agenda if he wins the Dec. 2 runoff. Chambliss is reminding voters that another GOP loss would virtually assure Democrats of control over the White House, the House, and the Senate.

Democrats already have 57 of the 60 seats they need to cut off a filibuster debate in the Senate. And Democratic leaders believe they probably can persuade “two or three” Republicans to cross the aisle and vote with them on any given issue.

The Georgia runoff may hinge on the impact of independent groups such as GOPTrust.com, Morris said. That group’s ads were considered instrumental in persuading independents to vote for Arizona Sen. John McCain in the presidential election.

GOPTrust.com already is “doing independent expenditures in Georgia,” Morris said.

“I think that we can no longer trust the Republican Party to be the spokesmen for conservatism,” he said. “We need groups like that to be the spokesman.”

McCain is scheduled to visit Atlanta Friday to campaign for Chambliss.

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