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Blog Home Page --> Senate -- Georgia

Georgia Gov, Sen Poll

A DailyKos/Research2000 poll finds Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) leading two potential Democratic challengers, and gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine (R) leading three Democrats.

*Dems tested: Rep. Jim Marshall, ex-Gov. Roy Barnes; Atty. Gen. Thurbert Baker; ex-Adjutant Gen. David Poythress. (Barnes defeated Poythress and others in the 1998 gubernatorial Dem primary, before going on to win the general election.)

*GOPers tested: Sen. Johnny Isakson; state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine; Sec. of State Karen Handel.

Senate
Isakson 48 - Marshall 40 - Und 12
Isakson 47 - Barnes 43 - Und 10

Governor
Oxendine 46 - Barnes 44 - Und 10
Handel 39 - Barnes 45 - Und 16
Oxendine 47 - Baker 42 - Und 11
Handel 40 - Baker 42 - Und 18
Oxendine 47 - Poythress 43 - Und 10
Handel 39 - Poythress 43 - Und 18

Palin To Stump For Chambliss

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will appear with Sen. Saxby Chambliss at four rallies across Georgia next week, the Chambliss campaign announced today. Palin and Chambliss will stump together on Dec. 1 in Augusta, Savannah, Perry and north metro Atlanta.

Palin's visit comes after other prominent Republicans who have also swung through the state, including John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to appear with Chambliss today.

Georgia Senate Runoff Update

The list of big names swinging through Georgia continues to grow, while a poll released today shows the incumbent senator leading by 6 points.

Former Vice Pres. Al Gore spoke in Atlanta last night on behalf of Democratic challenger Jim Martin, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. Gore folllows Bill Clinton, who campaigned in the state for Martin last week. President-elect Obama likely won't turn up in Georgia, but he recently cut a radio ad for Martin.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss has brought in some top Republican names as well, with Sen. John McCain and former governors Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney all stumping for the Republican incumbent. Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to show up tomorrow.

Chambliss currently holds a 6-point lead over Martin, according to a PPP poll released today. The survey of 871 likely voters was taken from Nov. 22-23 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3%. To pull out a victory, Martin is banking on the large number of African American and young voters who turned out on Election Day to return to the polls almost one month later.

GA Sen: Chambliss +3

Democrats must win the Georgia Senate runoff if the party wants sixty seats in the upper chamber. A new poll shows that scenario isn't entirely out of reach.

The DailyKos/Research 2000 poll, conducted 11/10-12, surveyed 600 likely voters for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin were tested.

Runoff Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind)
Chambliss....49 / 13 / 85 / 47
Martin.......46 / 84 / 11 / 44

General election polls unanimously showed Chambliss ahead, but the race tightened to single digits after the Republican voted in favor of the bailout legislation. Now, these results are almost identical to those of the general election, when Chambliss scored 49.8% to Martin's 46.8%.

Little-known as the race started, Martin now has an almost identical approval rating as Chambliss. Martin is seen favorably by 55% of Georgians, while 42% see him unfavorably; Chambliss' ratings are 54% favorable to 44% unfavorable.

GA: Chambliss +6

Good news and bad news for Senator Saxby Chambliss: A new poll shows his lead at six points, higher than several earlier surveys, but the Republican is still well below 50%. The Mason-Dixon poll for NBC News surveyed 625 likely voters 10/22-23 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Chambliss, ex-state Rep. Jim Martin and Libertarian Allen Buckley were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Wht / Blk)
Chambliss...45 / 14 / 77 / 36 / 59 / 12
Martin......39 / 75 / 8 / 38 / 23 / 78
Buckley..... 5 / 2 / 4 / 12 / 6 / 1

Increasingly, it looks like Martin's chances of winning depend on a high African American turnout and a decent performance for Buckley, who has run several times before. But if no one gets to 50%, the top two finishers will head to a December runoff.

GA: Chambliss +4

Yes, Senator Chambliss, you really do have a race. A Democracy Corps poll, conducted by Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, surveyed 600 likely voters 10/16-19 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin were tested.

General Election Matchup
Chambliss......48
Martin.........44

Chambliss' job ratings aren't stellar. Just 39% say he's doing an excellent or good job, while 43% call his job performance "just fair" or poor.

But it may be an intensely local issue that saves the senator: At a recent debate, Martin said he didn't favor deepening the Savannah Harbor Channel by six feet, which local officials said could put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk. Though Martin later said he hadn't understood the issue, Chambliss has already jumped on the misstatement and criticized his Democratic opponent.

GA: Chambliss +2

The DSCC is advertising. Democrat Jim Martin outraised Senator Saxby Chambliss in the third quarter. And a new poll shows Georgia's a tight race. The Research 2000 poll conducted for DailyKos surveyed 600 likely voters between 10/14-15 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Chambliss, Martin and Libertarian Allen Buckley were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Chambliss....47 / 12 / 81 / 45 / 51 / 43 (+2 from last, 10/1)
Martin.......45 / 80 / 11 / 47 / 41 / 49 (+1)
Buckley...... 5 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 3 (no trend)

Don't let anyone tell you it's not a close race.

GA Sen: Chambliss (R) +1

If Democrats want to get to 60 Senate seats, they'll have to be at least competitive in Georgia. A new poll suggests they may just be.

The poll, conducted by Research 2000 for DailyKos, surveyed 600 likely voters between 9/29-10/1 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Senator Saxby Chambliss and ex-state Rep. Jim Martin were tested.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Chambliss....45 / 13 / 77 / 42 / 48 / 42
Martin.......44 / 78 / 11 / 46 / 41 / 47

The race hasn't been close in earlier polls, but Georgia may be feeling the effects of the recent economic downturn. September's market turmoil could give Martin at least a chance to scare Chambliss.

Martin To Face Chambliss

In Georgia, former state Rep. Jim Martin earned an overwhelming victory in the Democratic runoff against DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, winning 60% of the vote to 40% for Jones. Martin is now tasked with taking on a well-funded Republican incumbent in Sen. Saxby Chambliss.

Jones led the five-candidate primary field in July, but failed to secure the nomination after earning 40% of the vote, ten points shy of an outright win. Martin, who didn't join the race until March, outraised Jones and earned a spot in the runoff by finishing second with 34%.

In yesterday's runoff, Jones received just 40% of the vote once again, with Martin apparently winning over the voters who had preferred the other three primary opponents. Martin even took a 24-point victory in Jones's DeKalb County, which Jones represented as a state representative and CEO for 16 years.

Martin enters the general election as a serious underdog against Chambliss. The first-term senator holds a large fundraising advantage over Martin, who was forced to spend money on two contests to receive the nomination and now has less than three months to recover before the general election.

-- Kyle Trygstad

Dems Battle To Face Chambliss

DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones and former State Rep. Jim Martin will face each other once again tomorrow in a runoff for the Democratic nomination in the Senate race in Georgia. Jones led the five-candidate July 15 primary field with 40 percent of the vote, 10 points shy of the votes needed to secure the nomination. Martin finished second with 34 percent, earning a spot in the runoff for the national party's favored candidate.

No matter who wins the nomination tomorrow, Senator Saxby Chambliss is gearing up to defend his seat from possibly its most potent threat -- the voter registration drives of the top Democrat on the November ballot, Barack Obama. Along with Virginia and North Carolina -- Southern states with the potential to swing Democratic -- the Obama campaign is making a major push in Georgia to register African Americans and get them to vote Democratic in November.

That's why the Chambliss campaign and the state GOP are heading up their own aggressive GOTV drives, and why the incumbent has readied an invitation to tomorrow's winner to participate in a series of debates, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

However, if Jones wins, he shouldn't expect much help from Obama. Jones, a conservative Democrat who has boasted about voting for President Bush twice, sent out a flier in early July featuring a doctored photo that appeared to place him and Obama next to each other. Obama made clear his displeasure: "I do not endorse him. I have not endorsed him. He put my picture on his literature without asking me."

Jones also has a checkered past that could hurt him in the general election, and one that a candidate for president may not want to be associated with. Some have even argued that Jones is so divisive, he could cost Obama the state.

With Georgia's Republican tilt and his large fundraising advantage, Chambliss is heavily favored to retain his seat for a second term. The state last voted for a Democrat for president in 1992, and most recently President Bush defeated John Kerry by 17 points in 2004.

Whoever wins the nomination tomorrow will need to begin raising cash immediately. In their second quarter financial reports, Martin reported having $300,000 on hand, twice the amount of Jones, while Chambliss reported having $4 million in the bank. Those numbers have changed by now, but with a competitive runoff, it's likely the margin has only grown.

-- Kyle Trygstad

Georgia Incumbents Win

Despite what looked like spirited challenges, two Georgia incumbents easily won their primaries last night, likely guaranteeing them a seat in the 111th Congress, while Republicans got the candidates they wanted in two runoffs in Alabama.

In the northern Tenth District, freshman Republican Paul Broun, who has been in Congress for just a year, took 71% of the vote to knock off State Rep. Barry Fleming. Broun will face Democratic nominee Bobby Saxton, an Iraq war veteran, in November, but in a district that gave President Bush a thirty-point win, he is expected to coast to victory.

South of Broun's district, in a seat that encompasses both Savannah and Augusta, two-term Rep. John Barrow survived a primary challenge with surprising ease, as many suspected State Senator Regina Thomas, who is African American, would have a good chance to knock off Barrow in a 45%-black district. But Barrow, who got help in the form of a radio ad featuring Barack Obama, won a wide 76%-24% victory. He will face former Congressional aide John Stone in November.

Democrats came a step closer to settling on a Senate candidate to take on Republican Saxby Chambliss, as well. DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones led the Democratic field, taking 40% of the vote, while former State Rep. Jim Martin finished second, with 34%. The two will head to a runoff on August 5, though polls have showed Chambliss easily leading both candidates.

Runoffs can be costly politically. In Alabama, two Republicans who came through runoffs last night start in a hole now, having to scramble to catch up to Democratic nominees who settled their races months ago.

With the retirement of Democratic Rep. Bud Cramer, Republicans have a shot to take back a seat that votes heavily for their candidates on a presidential level. President Bush won the northern Fifth District by twenty one points in 2004, but Cramer, who held the seat for eighteen years, never had a serious battle for re-election. This year, State Senator Parker Griffith won the Democratic nomination early, while advertising executive Wayne Parker had to wait until last night to secure the GOP nod. He beat attorney Cheryl Guthrie by a whopping 79%-21% margin.

Farther south, Democrats actually have a shot to pick up a Republican-held seat based in and around Montgomery and vacated by Republican Terry Everett. Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright cleared the Democratic field, while State Rep. Jay Love and State Senator Harri Anne Smith had to fight over the Republican nomination that was decided yesterday. Love, who spent heavily out of his own wallet, won a surprisingly close 53% to 47% margin. The two nominees will face off in what will be one of the most closely-watched races in the South.

Dems Trail Chambliss

Though Democrats have been able to expand the Senate playing field into states like North Carolina, Mississippi and Alaska, the party hasn't made every race this year competitive. The latest poll out of the Peach State shows Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss in strong position to keep his seat for another six years.

The poll, conducted by Strategic Vision, surveyed 800 likely voters between 6/27-29 for a margin of error of +/- 3.5%. Chambliss was tested against DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, ex-State Rep. Jim Martin, former reporter Dale Cardwell, engineer Rand Knight and Josh Lanier, a veteran and former aide to Senator Herman Talmadge. A subsample of 328 likely Democratic voters had a margin of error of +/- 5.4%.

Primary Election Matchup
Jones...............25 (-3 from last, 5/14)
Cardwell..........22
Martin...............17
Knight...............14
Lanier.................6

General Election Matchups
Chambliss.........57 (-1)
Jones................27 (-2)

Chambliss.........58 (+1)
Cardwell...........29 (+2)

Chambliss.........58 (nc)
Knight...............28 (+3)

Chambliss.........58 (+1)
Lanier................25 (+1)

Chambliss..........57 (no trend)
Martin.................28 (no trend)

Chambliss and his Senate colleague, Republican Johnny Isakson, each enjoy good approval ratings. 53% approve of Chambliss' job performance, while 33% disapprove, and Isakson has a 58%-31% approval rating. Still, if Democrats have any chance at making the race competitive, it could be because just 12% of Georgians approve of the job Congress is doing, while 77% disapprove.

Republicans have a lot to worry about this year, but given that Chambliss is running so far ahead of any of his possible rivals, Georgia will not be on the list of things to fret over.

Chambliss Leads Big

While some polls have showed bad news for their incumbents around the country, Georgia is a state where the Republican brand is doing just fine. A new survey from a Republican-leaning independent firm shows incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss leading all his potential rivals by wide margins.

The poll, taken by Strategic Vision, surveyed 800 likely voters between 5/9-11 for a margin of error of +/- 3%. Chambliss was tested alongside DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, former television reporter Dale Cardwell, former State Rep. Jim Martin, and businessmen Rand Knight and Josh Lanier. A subsample of 400 likely Democratic primary voters pitted the Democrats against each other for a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.

Primary Election Matchup
Jones 28
Cardwell 20
Martin 15
Knight 11
Lanier 5

General Election Matchups
Chambliss 58 (+1 from last, 12/9/07)
Jones 29 (+2)

Chambliss 57 (nc)
Cardwell 27 (+2)

Chambliss 57 (no trend)
Martin 27

Chambliss 58 (nc)
Knight 25 (+2)

Chambliss 57 (-1)
Lanier 24 (+2)

President Bush still has upside down approval numbers in the state, but most Georgia voters approve of Chambliss' job performance, by a 54%-32% margin. National Democrats were excited when Martin, the party's 2006 lieutenant governor candidate, jumped in the race, but early surveys don't show him with any breakout potential just yet.

While national Republicans struggle to get beyond their current unpopularity, it appears, so far, that Chambliss is not in jeopardy.

A side note that's interesting to observe: In every poll out of Georgia we've seen in the last four years, be it from Strategic Vision or from another organization, Chambliss is slightly less popular than his junior colleague, Johnny Isackson. Both are Republicans, and both were elected by wide margins. Anyone in Politics Nation from Georgia able to describe the phenomenon?

Expanding The Field

As Democrats look forward to another positive landscape in 2008, the party has cast a wide net. A new Democratic poll out of Georgia suggests the party could even give an otherwise safe incumbent at least something of a scare. While the party may not have a real shot at Senator Saxby Chambliss' seat, if they can scare the Republican into staying home and focusing on his own race, it will help elsewhere.

The poll, conducted by the Washington-based Mellman Group, was conducted between 2/21-24 for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. 600 voters were included in the sample, for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Chambliss was only tested against generic Democrats.

General Election Matchup
Chambliss 42
Generic Dem 37

Chambliss, forced from office when redistricting would have placed him in the same district as fellow Republican Jack Kingston, ran instead for Senate, beating incumbent Democrat Max Cleland. The campaign was one of the most brutal in the country, including an ad that featured Cleland's face next to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Many outraged senators, including John Kerry and John McCain, spoke out against the ads slamming Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran.

Since then, polls have continuously showed Chambliss as less popular than fellow Republican Senator Johnny Isakson, who was first elected two years after his senior colleague. The Mellman poll shows Chambliss' job approval at an upside down 38% positive and 40% negative, while just 37% said they would vote to re-elect the incumbent.

Despite his disappointing numbers at home, Chambliss remains the heavy favorite. Even as the national Republican Party has suffered, Georgia has trended more towards the GOP than virtually any other state under President Bush. Democrats have also failed to recruit a truly strong candidate. DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones appears to be the front-runner in the Democratic primary, though he faces former television reporter Dale Cardwell and businessmen Josh Lanier and Rand Knight.

While Democrats hope to expand the field, in the absence of a strong candidate it appears they may fall short. Former State Representative Jim Martin, who ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2006, may be considering a bid of his own, but even his statewide name I.D. would likely fall short against the incumbent.

Saxby's Smooth Sailing

A new Strategic Vision poll out this morning shows what looks like an easy ride for freshman Sen. Saxby Chambliss. The Georgia Republican crushes all comers in a state that is fast becoming the reddest in America.

The poll, conducted 12/7-9, surveyed 800 likely Georgia voters for a margin of error of +/- 3%. Along with Chambliss, DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, businessman Rand Knight, reporter Dale Cardwell and businessman Josh Lanier, all Democrats, were surveyed.

General Election Matchups
Chambliss 57 (nc from last, 10/21)
Jones 27 (-1)

Chambliss 57 (-1)
Cardwell 25 (-1)

Chambliss 58 (nc)
Knight 23 (-2)

Chambliss 58 (nc)
Lanier 22 (-2)

In the three years they have served together, Chambliss has always been slightly less popular than seatmate and fellow Republican Johnny Isakson. Still, Georgia voters approve of his job performance by a 53% to 34% margin, healthy for any incumbent seeking re-election. Isakson enjoys a 58% job approval margin, while 33% disapprove.

Even in this bastion of Republicanism, though, President Bush does not fare well. Just 39% approve of his overall job performance, while 45% disapprove. The same percentage approve and disapprove of his handling of the war in Iraq, though a plurality of 46% say they do not favor a withdrawal of troops within six months. Perhaps most telling of Republicans' feelings toward Bush: Strategic Vision always asks Republican respondents whether they see Bush as a conservative in the mode of Ronald Reagan. In Georgia, just 7% said yes, while 79% said no.

While Chambliss looks like he's in solid position, Bush's own standing among his base doesn't appear too good. That GOP malaise won't have a decisive impact on Chambliss, but it could be felt in other, closer states.

A State Of (Cham)Bliss

A Strategic Vision (R) poll shows Sen. Saxby Chambliss looking like a safe bet for re-election. The survey, of 800 likely voters, was conducted between 10/19-21, for a margin of error of +/- 3%. Chambliss was tested alongside Democrats Vernon Jones, CEO of DeKalb County, former investigative reporter Dale Cardwell, environmental engineer Rand Knight and Vietnam veteran Josh Lanier.

General Election Matchups
Chambliss 57
Jones 28

Chambliss 58
Cardwell 26

Chambliss 58
Knight 25

Chambliss 58
Lanier 24

Chambliss has a less than perfect 52% approval rating, while 36% disapprove. President Bush's job approval is in negative territory -- 36% to 49% -- while Congress has an even worse 18% approval rating. One plus-side for Democrats: Without a better, top-tier candidate, the party will probably find their baseline vote in the state.