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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Chambliss Gets His Vote Out

Well, the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff is finally over, and while the result was no surprise, the margin for Republican Saxby Chambliss–57%-43%–was higher than most people expected.
A quick and superficial look at the numbers confirms the suspicion that Chambliss’ vote came back out for the runoff more strongly than that of Democrat Jim Martin. Total turnout was down about 40% from November 4. But in suburban Cobb and Gwinnett Counties, Chambliss’ margin over Martin actually went up 17,000 votes in each. Meanwhile, in the two largest urban/suburban counties where Martin needed a big vote, his margins declined significantly: by 77,000 in Dekalb and by 62,000 in Fulton. These four counties alone account for a significant share of the bloated Chambliss margin.
Since there was no exit polling, it will take a while to get the demographic breakdowns, but it certainly looks like the indications from early voting that African-Americans were not turning out for Martin as they did for Obama on November 4 held true on Runoff Day. We will also need to wait a bit to determine if Chambliss’s stop-Obama message actually turned some voters.

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