Obama, McCain face rematch in Senate race

November 11, 2008

WASHINGTON – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his defeated Republican rival, John McCain, are engaged in somewhat of a rematch. The two are trying to help their respective parties win a razor-close U.S. Senate race in Georgia. 

McCain has accepted an invitation to attend a rally in Atlanta on Thursday for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, while Obama aides are being dispatched to the state to provide a hand to Democratic challenger Jim Martin, a former state senator.

A Dec. 2 runoff is being held because neither Chambliss nor Martin obtained the majority required under state law in the Nov. 4 election to be declared the winner.

A Democratic aide said no final word has been given on whether Obama will visit Georgia on behalf of Martin. A Republican aide said there’s a chance former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin may show up for Chambliss.

While Obama won the White House, McCain took Georgia.

Georgia is one of three states where tight U.S. Senate races have yet to be decided.

The two others are in Minnesota, where Republican incumbent Norm Coleman is trying to fend off a challenge by Democrat Al Franken, and Alaska where Republican incumbent Ted Stevens, convicted last month of political corruption, is clinging to a narrow lead over Democrat Mark Begich.

Democrats gained six seats in Tuesday’s election to increase their majority in the 100-member chamber to 57.

If they win the three remaining races they would reach for the first time in three decades the 60 needed to pass legislation over Republican hurdles.

Both political parties along with political analysts say they don’t expect Democrats to run the table and pocket 60.

For more Reuters political coverage, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Tami Chappell (Sen. John McCain grabs arm of Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss during campaign rally last February in Georgia)


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TO: Thomas Ferraro

I respect Reuters news service, and appreciate their good work; however, is it possible you would refrain from using trite phrases, such as “…run the table and pocket 60…”

Thank you.

Posted by Terry Wong | Report as abusive

Please, please, President-elect Obama, come to Georgia for Jim Martin. We need to win this election and we can if you come down.

Posted by Nancy Shea | Report as abusive

[…] Obama, McCain face rematch in Senate race – Reuters BlogsWASHINGTO N – U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and his defeated Republican rival, John McCain , are engaged in somewhat of a rematch. The two are trying to help their respective parties win a razor-close U.S. Senate race in Georgia.  McCain has […]

Posted by Obama aides heading to Georgia for Senate runoff – Seattle Post Intelligencer | John McCain – War Hero – Presidential Candidate | Report as abusive

I hope they win this seat. It wouldnt be crazy to think that we could get to 60 if we get this seat. We are in a recount against a convicted felon and the recount in Minnesota keeps getting closer.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

I am still baffled that Ted Stevens [R-AK]believes he can return to the Senate after being found guilty on corruption charges. That offends my sensibilities. But I also see the logic in trying to hold the seat so that Palin can appoint herself to it providing that Stevens actually wins the seat again. The conclusion is not yet apparent.

As far as Saxby Chambliss goes, I hope he loses because I saw the 9/11 ad he is running which essentially puts FEAR again in the public’s psyche. That is also offensive and totally unwarranted. If he feels he has to use FEAR to win, he has a problem and I hope the voters see it and punish him for fear-mongering as he deserves it!

The vote count is too close to call on Franken vs Coleman, but I am hoping Franken gets it!

Posted by InWantofaUnitedNation | Report as abusive

Pls help us turn ga blue ,come see how backward the south really is ,help us spread true democracy in this state…help jim martin win

Posted by ria | Report as abusive

Not really a fair rematch. If Chambliss gets the same votes he did in the election, Martin would have to win 100% of the third party candidate’s votes. Also, it is Georgia, a big red state and McCain is actually campaigning there, Obama will not be. Give me a break.

Posted by b | Report as abusive

For the good of the country, let’s hope Obama or at least Biden shows.
Isn’t McCain embarrassed to cover Chamblis? The GOP should send Tom Delay who knows how to stir this kind of pot.

Posted by markbrand | Report as abusive

This is about DNC vs GOP. Obama is beyond this now. McCain and Palin are only looking for some kind of redemption in the easiest race.

Posted by stephane mot | Report as abusive

Chambliss seems like a pretty scurrilous guy, given what he did to his opponent six years ago.

Obama should support the democrat, but not appear personally. it is too bad.

Posted by Melvin Sukhatytski | Report as abusive

Chambliss beat Martin by only 3%. This is no cakewalk election for the republicans at all. In run offs, the problem is always lower voter turn out. If the tens of thousands of savvy, experienced Obama volunteers from all over the south converge on Georgia, the democratic turn out will be healthy. I don’t think that Chambliss has a ground game that could compete with that, so let’s not buy the republican spin that there is no chance in Georgia. This could well be the magic 60th seat that will make it much more possible to accomplish the things that Obama ran on. Obama asked us to work hard for Senate seats so he could do as much as possible to heal the nation. Obama supporters are still looking for ways to support our candidate and this is a way we could provide our president with the tools he needs. Minnesota and Alaska will be as they will be, but we have as good a chance there as the republicans. In Alaska, the early votes that have already been counted so far are coming in heavily for Obama as they did in other states. Georgia is different. This is a race that we can and should actively fight for. How about if we focus the full force of the Obama ground game on Georgia with no distractions and demonstrate what a grass roots movement can really accomplish????

Posted by karela | Report as abusive

Did we not learn the dangers of one party controlling all three governing bodies during the five six Bush years? That’s already the case now for the Dems, but now we don’t want the minority party to be able to philibuster? Seriously? As an Independent, it makes me sick to think that either party could pass legislation without compromise.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

Georgia is not nearly the hardcore red state people in other parts of the country imagine. Think about it. We have Atlanta, Athens, Macon, and Savannah, all of which are both urban and liberal. We also have the \\”Black Belt\\” area running in a crescent from district 2 up through the center of the state (look at the color coded maps showing the voting patterns with fine granularity. The middle of the state is Blue, which is consistent with the parties of our congressmen). And 49 to 46 per cent is hardly a blowout. My guess is that demographic shifts alone will make Georgia a blue state within two electoral cycles. If the Democratic Party is consistent and smart we could even speed up the process a bit.

Posted by LarryFeltonJ | Report as abusive

Do or say anything u wish 2 This guy saxeby is a piece of garbage,an needs to be tossed out He desecrated Max Cleand a triple amputee. Didn’t vote for Up Body armor 4 our troops Just Check on VoteVets.org an u will see the add
Mc shame said nasty things about this guy yrs back now he is riding in to help him Typical scummy fear mongering Republicians.. Bill

Posted by Bill L | Report as abusive

YES, you’re right, you good minded folks…Obama might win any one of those three states-Ga, Ak, Mn. Great, Wonderful, where do we go from there? And what do we get? Let’s get real here…There are people that want to come through our borders and do us harm. Bush is right. Bomb ’em!

Posted by Spewum | Report as abusive

The democrats won`t win Georgia, the only reason it was close was the AA turnout for Obama and in a special election few will return.
Chambliss is a dog and if Georgia voters were smart they would vote in a democrat who could get more done with a democratic president, but it won`t happen.
Sixty really doesn`t mean that much, several conservative democrats will block legislation that won`t play at home and several of the moderates will vote with the democrats, so with 58 senators they can probably get a lot of their stuff through, it will be tough to hold all repubblicans on a fillibuster especially the Maine senators and possibly Spector who is up for re-election.

Posted by JOEL | Report as abusive

No way Obama can get personally involved in this race. It is more important that he drive the post-partisan meme. It is unlikely that Martin will win this run-off with or without Obama’s personal involvement and having him stay above the partisan fray in the Senate is much more valuable than even a democratic win in Georgia. Obama’s presidency will face nearly as many challenges from democrats as from republicans and he will have to build cross-party coalitions in order to get important things done.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

It would be seriously inadvisable to have one party with that much control. Though the Republican party has little wiggle room, with the Democrats short of the 60 they needed there is still some balance maintained.

Posted by Jordan | Report as abusive

a 60 seat super majority would be a disaster for our country, worse than the one that has already struck. Mr Obama’s lack of substance and foreign policy will truely sink this nation. Too many people voted the way the did because it “felt good.” My my, there are many things that “feel good” that you just don’t do because you know better and are a responsible person. There is a list of 6 national defense imparatives that was published by the defense science board (non-partisan). I wonder what Obama’s plan is for that? Too bad we could not see past the glitz and glitter and examine the real person beneath public persona non grata. John McCane is the closest you can get to a democrate without being a democrate. He just didn’t have a good marketing team.

Posted by Jim L | Report as abusive

I hope the Socialists win and the entire US House, Senate, Presidency, & Courts and brought into ruin and fall apart. Then the people of this once great nation may finally have their eyes opened as to whom they have elected: ObamaNation!

Posted by Ellen | Report as abusive