Monday, December 01, 2008

Martin Leads Chambliss In Georgia Senate Run-off Early Voting

For what it's worth, Democratic challenger Jim Martin appears to be leading GOP incumbent Saxbe Chambliss in the early voting for tomorrow's run-off election for one of two remaining undecided U.S. Senate races.

In a Public Policy Polling canvass of Georgia voters (as of Nov. 23) 27% of respondents said they'd already voted (under Georgia's liberal early voting rules). Among those voters, Martin was leading by 52%-46%.

That's the good news. The bad news is that Martin trails among ALL likely voters in every poll taken in the Peach State, by between 2-8 points.

UPDATE: Today, PPP released its final poll of Georgia voters and the early voting numbers have flipped, with Chambliss now leading Martin by 58%-41% among the 35% of respondents who said they'd already voted. Did things really flip in just a few days of additional early voting? Not likely--more likely is a polling anomaly. In any event, Chambless appears to have a solid lead going into today's runoff.

While the early voting lead is nice, Martin had a similar lead (as did Obama) among early voters before general election day on Nov. 4, but ended up behind Chambliss (and Obama behind McCain) when the votes were fully tallied.

Our guess is that Martin will fall short by 4-5 points after running a good, hard-fought campaign.

In the other still open race, it appears that Dem challenger Al Franken will fall just shy of ousting GOP Senator Norm Coleman in Minnesota. With the statewide recound almost complete, Franken is a couple hundred votes short and it does not appear he'll be able to make up that ground.

We still think that with 58 senators in their caucus, Democrats will be able to defeat GOP filibusters on most issues.

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