What does the Chambliss blowout victory mean?

posted at 9:55 am on December 3, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Republicans around the nation breathed a sigh of relief at Saxby Chambliss’ re-election yesterday, but no one could have predicted its scope.  Chambliss barely missed winning a majority four weeks earlier, but Jim Martin came within three points of Chambliss in the general election, and most observers figured on a relatively close race.  Instead, Chambliss won by a whopping 16 points:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) easily won reelection Tuesday night, trouncing his Democratic challenger in a runoff and thereby ensuring that the GOP will retain the ability to filibuster bills in the Senate.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Chambliss held 58 percent of the vote to Jim Martin’s 42 percent.

The result prevents Democrats from controlling the 60 seats in the Senate needed to override Republican filibuster efforts. Democrats have 56 seats, while two independents typically caucus with them. Republicans now have 41 seats and hope to hold one more, in Minnesota, where a recount between Sen. Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken remains to be decided.

Chambliss was introduced at his victory party Tuesday night by Republican National Committee Chairman Robert M. “Mike” Duncan as “Mr. 41,” and he declared that Republicans “now have the momentum” after his victory.

Momentum?  That’s an overstatement, but it does call into question the Democrats’ standing after the Obama phenomenon.  At least in Georgia, Obama had a lot more coattails than anyone credited.  I originally predicted that Chambliss would win by six or seven points without Barack Obama driving the turnout model, but his absence created a difference of 13 points between the two elections.  If that same dynamic holds true across the country in 2010, Obama may have an extremely disappointing midterm election and could find himself with at least one chamber of Congress under opposition control for the second half of his term.

Of course, one could also speculate that Republicans had a lot more motivation for turning out in this election to preserve the filibuster, a firebreak against the excesses of one-party governance.  But Democrats had a motivating factor in marginalizing Republicans for the next two years, and that didn’t seem to get them to the polls.  The general election did, and the only difference was that Obama was on the ticket.

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi should take note: their modest gains in 2008 didn’t come as an endorsement of their previous two years of leadership in Congress.  If they think they can move even farther to the Left and survive the next midterms, they’re fooling themselves.

Gary Gross notes the other significant impact Chambliss’ victory will have.  Now that the 60-seat majority is officially dead, the Al Franken/Norm Coleman race in Minnesota suddenly loses a lot of its attraction for Harry Reid.  If Reid had a shot at 60, he might have interceded on Franken’s behalf by invoking the Senate’s authority to decide the election.  Without that motivation, Reid will almost certainly avoid such heavy-handed tactics, especially since Republicans could now bring the Senate to a standstill over it.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Perhaps Stuart Smalley can now be appointed to the new Cabinet level position of Most Unfunny Man in America.

JammieWearingFool on December 3, 2008 at 9:58 AM

The margin of victory also speaks to what a great asset Palin is on the campaign trail.

poljunkie on December 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Young voters voted for the trendy candidate and stayed home for this boring election

Black voters stayed home.

There ya go.

brak on December 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Palin did it. Saxby had a 4 point lead in the polls before she showed up.

lodge on December 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Am I the only one who think Franken always looks like he’s had a stroke?

I’ve seen several pictures that I thought must have been photoshoped because his eyes and mouth twist in that bizarre “I just had an aneurysm” way… like good portions of his face have gone numb and he’s struggling to move them.

Lehosh on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

The 2008 general election proved it’s quite easy to make idiot voters out of ignorant people, watch the various election wrapup videos for details.. The gubbermint schools and the media provided the ignorants in prodigious quantity. The chief attraction was ‘free pies’ for everyone — But, it’s a one time deal after everyone wises up there is no such thing as free pies, someone always has to play the baker. In the end it is best if everyone bakes their own pies – Ask the old Soviet Union and Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela for details.

Reject Obamunism.

tarpon on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

It is only a matter of time. Franken will eventually win election to the US Senate, probably in 2014. The GOP is finished….permanently. All the GOP liars and nutcases wailing about the end of the world if this Democrat or that Democrat is elected, and then courtesy of the GOP we get eight years of George Bush, who ran this Country into the ground while betraying practically every principle the GOP ever pretended to espouse.

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Pic should be shopped to show a little spit shooting out of Franken’s mouth. It looks like he just took a right hook to the side of the face.

whitetop on December 3, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Another data point for my theory that the DNC engineered Obama’s nomination specifically because he is black and they needed to maximize black turnout in this election to win it.

My brother lives in Suwanee and saw Gov. Palin on Monday. He said there was a large turnout at his precinct, not so much in Atlanta as there was on Election Day.

rockmom on December 3, 2008 at 10:05 AM

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…….

rockmom on December 3, 2008 at 10:06 AM

ensuring that the GOP will retain the ability to filibuster bills in the Senate.

I really doesn’t matter the percentage of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. You have to remember how many RINOs there are. My goodness, just look who the RINO party had at the top the ticket this year. I will keep saying, “I can’t wait until the 2010 mid term elections”.

Tommy_G on December 3, 2008 at 10:07 AM

I wrote this on another thread but I strongly believe that Sarah Palin is now the de facto leader of the Republican party until someone else emerges, if he or she does before 2012. Saxby was predicted by RCP on November 30 to win by 5.3 points; on December 2 the day of the vote he prevails by 16 points. What event intervened? It’s called Palin power. Sarah is everything a GOP leader needs to be: courageous (spending political capital for Saxby), visionary (the election of Saxby begins the rebuilding of the GOP) and has coattails that bring others across the finish line in victory (the 16 point decisive win). For conservative and conservatism the proof is in the pudding.
As I wrote last night “Either you are for conservatism or against it. If you are the latter-get out of the way-we’re coming through.”

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:07 AM

courtesy of the GOP we get eight years of George Bush, who ran this Country into the ground while betraying practically every principle the GOP ever pretended to espouse.

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Good to know that prevention of another 9/11 event isn’t high on your list of priorities.

a capella on December 3, 2008 at 10:10 AM

America has rejected the failed policies of the Obama administration.

YYZ on December 3, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Franken is an ugly person. I hope he goes away soon.

pseudonominus on December 3, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Ed,

You are missing the forest for the trees. 2008 was anti-bush. Nothing more nothing less. It was anti-washington in a sense but voters thought the rep controlled congress instead of the dems. I blame the MSM on that one.

However, Obama was everything anti-bush. There was very little pro obama votes maybe 30-40% of the general was pro Obama the rest was anti Bush and Anti- RINO votes.

unseen on December 3, 2008 at 10:13 AM

It is only a matter of time. Franken will eventually win election to the US Senate, probably in 2014. The GOP is finished….permanently. All the GOP liars and nutcases wailing about the end of the world if this Democrat or that Democrat is elected, and then courtesy of the GOP we get eight years of George Bush, who ran this Country into the ground while betraying practically every principle the GOP ever pretended to espouse.

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Did they let all the inmates in the DUmmie insane asylum use the computers today?

Illinidiva on December 3, 2008 at 10:14 AM

Cult of Personality

HYTEAndy on December 3, 2008 at 10:14 AM

jay12: you sound like one of those people that I have constantly called out for being in favor of a one-party state. Hey, your guy Obama has the got the keys to the car now. But in a democracy our side get their chance to reclaim them. What you socialist-types want is that your side always wins and that the GOP be marginalized or destroyed. With leaders like Sarah Palin on our side, it ain’t going to happen my friend-and that is why your side hates her guts and will do anything or say or write anything in the next 4 years to destroy her. You know it and we know it!

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

NOT Sarah Palin. I like her, but don’t put all of your faith in her like she is our Messiah. Sure she is a solid Conservative, but there are others. Saxby won because Obama wasn’t on a ticket, and there wasn’t a historic black turnout. You will see in 2010 Sarah Palin or no Sarah Palin we will take out some big name Dems – we will get more of the youth vote (remember that the “youth” vote is graduating into no jobs, so unless Obama gives them all welfare, they will have less and less patience for him), and we will gain the hispanic vote somewhat. Coupled with the black vote being reduced to its normal level, we have a good shot.

I am looking forward to Senator Bush, and watch out Jim Webb, and blue midwestern Senators, we are taking back the Senate by 2012!

Canerican on December 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Why didn’t Obama push Martin? That’s my question.

McCain, Palin, etc. went to help Chambliss. Bill Clinton, etc. went to help Martin.

Where was Obama? Did he know it was a lost cause? Did he care about this race?

I agree that a lot of the margin was Republicans seeing the urgency of keeping this seat, and using Palin as the closer clearly helped.

cs89 on December 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Its shows Obamamania isnt sustainable. Means that the 2010 elections are winnible for the GOP.

Lets take back congress !

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:18 AM

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Absolutely, just because the election is over doesn’t mean that the media will stop campaigning against Gov. Palin.

Canerican on December 3, 2008 at 10:18 AM

Illinidiva on December 3, 2008 at 10:14 AM

He’s just the morning shift. Bunny, Drywall, Monkie, and the others will probably be around later.

Hannity was right. Barry did not want to get involved with Martin.

kingsjester on December 3, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Could we take back the House AND the Senate? I think we can take the Senate if all goes right, and maybe 30-40 House seats, but I think that the House will only be ours in 2012 (so long as we stick to our principles).

Canerican on December 3, 2008 at 10:20 AM

Absolutely, just because the election is over doesn’t mean that the media will stop campaigning against Gov. Palin.

Canerican on December 3, 2008 at 10:18 AM

The right needs to start bring both barrels against the MSM. I hope the right blogs start exposing the lefts attempts to spin the news.

It will take another “Dan rather” incident to force the lefties in the media to stop and think hard about pushing an agenda.

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:21 AM

I will never, ever grow tired of this:

Republicans had a lot more motivation for turning out in this election to preserve the filibuster, a firebreak against the excesses of one-party governance.”

You know, I’m doing some searches of the old Captain’s Quarters archives, and it’s good to see how worried you were about those excesses in 2004. :-)

Jazz Shaw on December 3, 2008 at 10:21 AM

jay12: you sound like one of those people that I have constantly called out for being in favor of a one-party state. Hey, your guy Obama has the got the keys to the car now. But in a democracy our side get their chance to reclaim them. What you socialist-types want is that your side always wins and that the GOP be marginalized or destroyed. With leaders like Sarah Palin on our side, it ain’t going to happen my friend-and that is why your side hates her guts and will do anything or say or write anything in the next 4 years to destroy her. You know it and we know it!

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Who said I don’t like Sarah Palin? My opinion of her is that she’s too good for the GOP (Grand Old Phonies).

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:22 AM

“Franken will eventually win election to the US Senate, probably in 2014.”

Yes, because there’s so many problems that this country faces where people will say, “We need a man like Al Franken on this.”

Franken is exactly what’s wrong with Congress presently, too many know-nothing, unaccomplished dimwits getting elected on the basis of celebrity or who they are related to.

Franken has nothing of value to offer the country, much like pretty much every other absolutely worthless Democrat Congressman.

NoDonkey on December 3, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Can the GOP take back the Senate ? Im not so sure

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_elections,_2010

1.1 Retiring Senators
1.1.1 Sam Brownback (R) of Kansas
1.1.2 Ted Kaufman (D) of Delaware
1.1.3 Mel Martinez (R) of Florida

1.2 Democratic incumbents
1.2.1 Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas
1.2.2 Barbara Boxer of California
1.2.3 Ken Salazar of Colorado
1.2.4 Christopher Dodd of Connecticut
1.2.5 Daniel Inouye of Hawaii
1.2.6 Illinois
1.2.7 Evan Bayh of Indiana
1.2.8 Barbara Mikulski of Maryland
1.2.9 Harry Reid of Nevada
1.2.10 Chuck Schumer of New York
1.2.11 Byron Dorgan of North Dakota
1.2.12 Ron Wyden of Oregon
1.2.13 Patrick Leahy of Vermont
1.2.14 Patty Murray of Washington
1.2.15 Russ Feingold of Wisconsin

1.3 Republican incumbents
1.3.1 Richard Shelby of Alabama
1.3.2 Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
1.3.3 John McCain of Arizona
1.3.4 Johnny Isakson of Georgia
1.3.5 Mike Crapo of Idaho
1.3.6 Chuck Grassley of Iowa
1.3.7 Jim Bunning of Kentucky
1.3.8 David Vitter of Louisiana
1.3.9 Kit Bond of Missouri
1.3.10 Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
1.3.11 Richard Burr of North Carolina
1.3.12 George Voinovich of Ohio
1.3.13 Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
1.3.14 Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania
1.3.15 Jim DeMint of South Carolina
1.3.16 John Thune of South Dakota
1.3.17 Bob Bennett of Utah

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet and we’re using this Senate win to demonstrate his essential weakness? Sorry. Can’t buy that.

He WON.

JiangxiDad on December 3, 2008 at 10:24 AM

The fact that this idiot could even get this far speaks volumes about the rapid demise of this once great nation.

rplat on December 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet and we’re using this Senate win to demonstrate his essential weakness? Sorry. Can’t buy that.

He WON.

Its not showing Obama’s weakness but rather showing that Obamamania was a one time event. It isnt sustainable.

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:25 AM

In 2010 Palin must be front-and-center leading the charge. I am not saying she is the only GOP leader that would significantly impact the results of the midterm election, but that she is the hub and the other leaders are the spokes. That has to be recognized by the entire GOP; I believe it has already been recognized by the conservative wing of the party. In 1-2 years I hope the rest of the party decides to jump on board as well.

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Why didn’t Obama push Martin? That’s my question.

McCain, Palin, etc. went to help Chambliss. Bill Clinton, etc. went to help Martin.

Where was Obama? Did he know it was a lost cause? Did he care about this race?

I agree that a lot of the margin was Republicans seeing the urgency of keeping this seat, and using Palin as the closer clearly helped.

cs89 on December 3, 2008 at 10:17 AM

Because The Obama™ is all about one thing: The Obama™. He got what he wanted and that’s all that mattered. The Obama™ loves The Obama™ and the idea that The Obama™ is President.

johnsteele on December 3, 2008 at 10:26 AM

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Ugh, no she’s not, apparently, as she continues to be a proud Republican.

And I like Grand Old Phonies, could you tell one way that Democratic Party is Democratic, I mean the people chose Senator Clinton, your elite chose Senator Obama, how is that Democracy? Its not even Representative Democracy. The Republican forefathers would have cringed seeing something like that – and remember they did not support direct election of Senators.

Canerican on December 3, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet and we’re using this Senate win to demonstrate his essential weakness? Sorry. Can’t buy that.

He WON.

JiangxiDad on December 3, 2008 at 10:24 AM

Oh no . . . we knew of his “essential weakness” long before now and that very weakness will ensure he is a one term president.

rplat on December 3, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Chambliss is NO Conservative… Remember group of 4 or was it 14 or was it… Oh whatever… Point is we MUST GET REAL CONSERVATIVES on the ballots for 2010, those that will AND CAN re-educated the American people of the Reagan principals of limited Federal Gov., reduced spending and A STRONG MILITARY… When and only when we expouse those CORE VALUES will true Republicans will back the majority. And as long as we have stupid people voting for Frankin, Biden, Reid and others it’s going to be an uphill climb. We need a drivers liscense, a Marriage liscense… But ignorant morons can vote for fools and radical leftists over and over again. Until Americans vote for THE COUNTRY and NOT for a self serving purpose, we’re in for a huge fight.

Mark Garnett on December 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM

I have this feeling that Obama wants the Dems in congress to have a little bit less power. I think he understands that Reid and Pelosi aren’t exactly the sharpest bulbs on the tree.

strictnein on December 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:23 AM

I just don’t see it. To me we can take out Reid, Dorgan, Salazar, Lincoln, Bayh (or if he is replaced by a Democrat, whoever that is), and Feingold.

They might be able to take Gregg, Specter, or Grassly, but I doubt it.

At this point I was say +5 for us.

Canerican on December 3, 2008 at 10:31 AM

strictnein on December 3, 2008 at 10:28 AM

He may view Harry and Nan as useful idiots who have outlived their usefulness. Like any news manager, he will want people that will carry water for him, not try to upstage him.

kingsjester on December 3, 2008 at 10:31 AM

What does Chambliss’ victory mean? Means the election season is pretty much over and it’s time to go get a deer. I prefer a .270 in the Winchester Model 70. They always did have the crispest action and cleanest trigger, though Remingtons are nice too.

whitetop on December 3, 2008 at 10:31 AM

Not sure what Chambliss victory says about Obama; as others have said, he hasn’t really done much yet except try to get his portrait painted everytime he gives a press conference. He never looks at the press, he’s always gazing off into the distance. ‘He can see things no one else can see; do things no one else can do.’ Mr Obama, do you have a six demon bag in the podium too? Anyway, what the Chambliss victory does seem to say though is that Palin is not the boat anchor moron that so many want to paint her as; even after all the attempts to ruin her by MSM and John McCain’s whispering campaign sources, she still provided a postive boost for Chambliss. Let’s not write her off yet.

austinnelly on December 3, 2008 at 10:32 AM

Before the Republicans get all worked up about re-tooling the message, let’s not forget two critical components to any competition: match ups and execution. The Democrats have done very well because they have choosen goods candidates that match up with the specific opponent they are running against: hence, the conservative blue dog Democrats. We need to adopt this type of match up strategy in New England, California, etc. if we are going to win. And that will focus on Fiscal Conservatives…

RedSoxNation on December 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Franken has nothing of value to offer the country, much like pretty much every other absolutely worthless Democrat Congressman.

NoDonkey on December 3, 2008 at 10:22 AM

If the GOP would get rid of religious bigots like Huckabee (or at least set him straight) and stop protecting wrongdoers like Mark Foley and Ted Stevens until their scandals blow up and damage the party, we wouldn’t have ever had to worry about an atrocity like Franken in the first place.

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Oh no . . . we knew of his “essential weakness” long before now and that very weakness will ensure he is a one term president.

rplat on December 3, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Thank you rplat. I happy to see you optimistic about that, and hope you are correct.

JiangxiDad on December 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

poljunkie on December 3, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Phenomenal assets

blatantblue on December 3, 2008 at 10:35 AM

Per another story here on HotAir, most folks don’t even know who controls the bloody congress, so let’s not try to find things in the tea leaves that aren’t there.

holdfast on December 3, 2008 at 10:35 AM

he declared that Republicans “now have the momentum” after his victory.

timing is everything

DaveC on December 3, 2008 at 10:36 AM

William Amos: I agree completely. In addition ‘white guilt’ shouldn’t be a major concern for the GOP in 2010 and 2012, especially with Sarah Palin leading the party. McCain was playing right into ‘white guilt’ by not going after Wright and those 2 black fellows (can’t remember their names) in the Fannie Mae-Freddie mac scandal. Sarah won’t do that. She will call them as she sees it. In addition Caucasians will return to voting how they really feel rather than out of a sense of guilt that they believed they bear for being the descendants of those horrible whites in the 18th to the mid 20c and from the MSM pounding away 24/7 that this was a ‘historical election’, that whites had to redress the mistakes, travesties and tyranny of the past by voting for Obama.

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:37 AM

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:23 AM

He makes my above point exactly… Look at the idiot States that have voted for the WORST CONGRESS IN HISTORY, the most radical far left Congress…

1) New York = Morons, Leftists, Radicals
2) Vermont = Brain Dead due to the bitter cold, Gays
3) Washington = Drug Addicts, Gays, Global Warmers, Radicals
4) Oregon = same as above, Tree-Huggers, Anti-Military
5) Maryland, Conn., Illinois = FOOLS & IDIOTS

Until America wakes up and gets MAD and yells from the mountain tops “AMERICA, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!”, we lose!

Another 9/11 won’t even be enough for some of these idiot States to realize the peril thier votes have placed us all in…

Mark Garnett on December 3, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Another data point for my theory that the DNC engineered Obama’s nomination specifically because he is black and they needed to maximize black turnout in this election to win it.

I believe that too, rockmom.

The people of Georgia didn’t want a filibuster proof Dem Senate majority. Ick. Thank goodness they were motivated enough by that to vote for Chambliss.

MayBee on December 3, 2008 at 10:38 AM

Interesting that this someone attached to the BO jaugernaut would have been concerned with changing this provision… in 2006. Wonder why.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/6687

Also interesting that Canada is covering but the MSM, et al is not.

UnderstandingisPower on December 3, 2008 at 10:40 AM

You know, I’m doing some searches of the old Captain’s Quarters archives, and it’s good to see how worried you were about those excesses in 2004. :-)

Jazz Shaw on December 3, 2008 at 10:21 AM

If I remember correctly, most complaints at that time were solely against the filibuster stopping judicial appointments.

Count to 10 on December 3, 2008 at 10:42 AM

If the GOP would get rid of religious bigots like Huckabee (or at least set him straight) and stop protecting wrongdoers like Mark Foley and Ted Stevens until their scandals blow up and damage the party, we wouldn’t have ever had to worry about an atrocity like Franken in the first place.

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

You mean like Wrangle and Cold Cash Jeffers in New Orleans and then there’s….. What a jerk and liar you are… The Democrates “protect” and PROMOTE and HONOR thier villians and crooks… Your post shows your an idiot.

Mark Garnett on December 3, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Its not showing Obama’s weakness but rather showing that Obamamania was a one time event. It isnt sustainable.

LOL do you honestly think the Democrats believe that they need states like Georgia when they are about to solidify their power in New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa ALL of the rust belt and the Northeast? How many election cycles will it be until there are no Republican senators above the mason dixon line in the east? Saxby Chambliss was a relatively popular incumbent in one of the nation’s reddest states. It means he won with a natural advantage. Nothing more.

DeathToMediaHacks on December 3, 2008 at 10:43 AM

If the GOP would get rid of religious bigots like Huckabee (or at least set him straight) and stop protecting wrongdoers like Mark Foley and Ted Stevens until their scandals blow up and damage the party, we wouldn’t have ever had to worry about an atrocity like Franken in the first place.

I’m not a big Huckabee fan, but what does he have to do with a race in Minnesota? Voters decided to go with an unqualified nutcase like Franken over an effective and rational politician like Coleman, because of Huckabee?

Meanwhile, the Democrats don’t only protect their corrupt and incompetent politicians until the scandal blows up, they protect them AFTERWARDS as well. The examples are just too many to mention.

Hasn’t seemed to hurt them. Barney Frank pretty much single-handedly destroyed trillions of dollars of wealth, and the fecal matter encrusted fat little pervert is still in his post and his idiot House Leader exanded her majority.

So what evidence is there that the American public votes at all rationally?

NoDonkey on December 3, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Before the Republicans get all worked up about re-tooling the message, let’s not forget two critical components to any competition: match ups and execution. The Democrats have done very well because they have choosen goods candidates that match up with the specific opponent they are running against: hence, the conservative blue dog Democrats. We need to adopt this type of match up strategy in New England, California, etc. if we are going to win. And that will focus on Fiscal Conservatives…

RedSoxNation on December 3, 2008 at 10:34 AM

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Democrats have brand name superiority. If two candidates are seen as equal, the Democrat (almost) always wins.

Count to 10 on December 3, 2008 at 10:47 AM

LOL do you honestly think the Democrats believe that they need states like Georgia when they are about to solidify their power in New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa ALL of the rust belt and the Northeast?

The question is can the democrats duplicate 2008 ? They wont have Obama at the top of the ticket in 2010 and historically the President who comes to power in his first election always loses seats in the very next election.

The real question is if the GOP has learned its lession or if it falsely believes that it just needs to be the democrat-lite party to win.

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:47 AM

If there had been another person with (R) by their name running against Chambliss, Chambliss would have lost.

I’m just surprised that enough people came out to vote. My daughter and I went around 1:30 to vote and there had only been 330 people who had voted before us. My sister told me that at one voting site in Gwinnett County had 65 votes casted.

This was more a vote against Martin, who is a poster child of what is wrong with DeKalb and Fulton counties in Georgia.

moonsbreath on December 3, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Democrats have brand name superiority. If two candidates are seen as equal, the Democrat (almost) always wins.

Count to 10 on December 3, 2008 at 10:47 AM

The democrats have an advantage in that they reach out to almost every group with an offer of some kind.

That is also their greatest weakness. They always alienate some group because they cant please everyone all the time.

The GOP has to learn how to alienate people from the democratic party.

William Amos on December 3, 2008 at 10:49 AM

When the VERY SAME people that got us into all the financial mess, Dodd, Wrangle, Reid, Frank keep getting elected by idiots in “blue” bankrupt, worthless, union thug run, welfare States, with a LOWER approval rating then Bush, we will have a hard time finding a silver lining in the RINO Chambliss victory. The “rust belt” poorly run States that could even consider Franken show the foolish radical people put SELF above Country…

Mark Garnett on December 3, 2008 at 10:50 AM

William Amos: I would call it ‘bleeding away people from the Democratic Party.’ I guess it’s a matter of semantics. But we have 59.4m votes to build on.

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:51 AM

William Amos: I would call it ‘bleeding away people from the Democratic Party.’ I guess it’s a matter of semantics. But we have 59.4m votes to build on.

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 10:51 AM

I call it re-educate folks to American values of hard work, self-determination, responsibility, limited Gov., ect.

59.4 Million “not so fired-up” votes… Put a REAL TRUE HONEST PROUD CONSERVATIVE that can articulate the message and watch the turnaround…

As Rush says, “Conservatisiam wins everytime it’s tried!”

Mark Garnett on December 3, 2008 at 10:55 AM

The question is can the democrats duplicate 2008 ? They wont have Obama at the top of the ticket in 2010 and historically the President who comes to power in his first election always loses seats in the very next election.

2008 isn’t just an Obama moment. It’s about Demographics. More parts of the nation are becoming racially and thus politically diverse. Democrats will lose seats in the house because too many Republicans will run against the bailout vote and Obama won’t be able to save them. But not enough of them will be vulnerable to flip the house, due to those demographic changes.

And in the senate the GOP has alot of seats to defend. It may be hard, financially, to finance all the defense they have to run and offense. Especially when Jeb Bush, no doubt, will be a major suck on GOP fund raising coffers just by virtue of who he is. Dodd may be vulnerable…but it’s CT. What Dems do you see as vulernable in 2010 in the senate?

DeathToMediaHacks on December 3, 2008 at 11:00 AM

When the Dem base realizes that all off the free stuff they were going to get doesn’t arrive they will turn their backs on the party and not show up. All that the GOP has to do is field a real conservative and they win. Apathy will return to the left wait and see.

thomasaur on December 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Frankly, not a damn thing. You’ll still see a filibuster-proof Harry Reid-led Dem majority, since the Dems seem to be able to keep their members in line.

The Republicans? not so much. All the Dems have to do is flip a couple of Republicans. Maybe throw a little pork their way, or put them on a plum committee/subcommittee.

I’ve been informed that I should call him Senator Harry “By Any Means Necessary” Reid.

I R A Darth Aggie on December 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM

like good portions of his [Franken's] face have gone numb and he’s struggling to move them.

Lehosh on December 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM

There are no good portions of that weenie.

kirkill on December 3, 2008 at 11:16 AM

I have hope for the future, and in part it’s based on the fact that the same Dem leadership which sunk Congressional popularity polls is still going to anger the population who want LEADERSHIP from their public servants.
Reid and Pelosi have failed the country in gargantuan ways, and now a member of the ‘do nothing Congress’ has been elected President.
Obama’s pride will not allow him to be remembered as the first FAILED Black President. I don’t think he wants to this generation’s “Jimmy Carter”. I’m not suggesting he will move to the middle, but I do think he will not be a willing co-conspirator to the Dem Congress’s failures.

Doug on December 3, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Could it be that Obama didn’t campaign for Martin because he doesn’t want a filibuster proof majority, in order to blame Republicans for anything that goes wrong?
That theory is out there… but, if its so, where is the call for Franken to throw in the towel?

ToddonCapeCod on December 3, 2008 at 11:24 AM

It means that about 8 million conservatives are wishing they had held their noses and voted on the 4th.

Vashta.Nerada on December 3, 2008 at 11:26 AM

One thing that the Chambliss victory did not mean is that Sarah Palin is the new Messiah. Chambliss would have won with or without her. Republicans were more motivated to come out to the polls out of fear of a Democratic supermajority and many Democratic voters are leary of giving their party too much power. While perhaps the average voter is not sophisticated as I am to say that sixty Senators of the same party is their greatest political fear, they do understand that either political party left unchecked is going to lead to disaster. Or at least they tend to vote that way.

It’s just not that the statement about the effect of Palin are overstated, they are unseemly. They are why many people become Democrats. They see absolutely lunatic “conservative” fuhrerprinzip when they are in high school or college, and they become Democrats. I was one such kid and I still meet such youngsters.

Of course, the obvious reply to me is what about Obamessiah? The Obama worship phenomenon should have made more kids cynical about him. I think for many kids, it’s not so much Obama himself–as the support for Obama it their way of atoning for the historical sin of racism. Voting for Obama was atonement like Christian Lent or Jewish Yom Kippur, but with the joy of Mardi Gras or the breaking of the fast after Yom Kippur. Kids like to be given “get out guilt, cheaply” cards. I only hope that we have to atone for the sin of our father’s and mother’s racism once. (If we are to be truly feminist, let our mothers bear some of the ancestral sin.)

thuja on December 3, 2008 at 11:27 AM

Frankly, not a damn thing. You’ll still see a filibuster-proof Harry Reid-led Dem majority, since the Dems seem to be able to keep their members in line.

That might have been true when it didn’t mean as much, but if the Congress tries to go far left, Democrats in the House especially won’t be able to portray themselves as “conservative Democrats” any longer.

The public is going to see (if they pay attention), that there is no such thing as a conservative Democrat, there are only corrupt, incompetent and worthless Democrat politicians.

My prediction is the Democrats will lose both Houses in 2010. Pelosi and Gambino errand boy Reid are both complete idiots who have no idea what it is that they are doing.

NoDonkey on December 3, 2008 at 11:29 AM

If Reid had a shot at 60, he might have interceded on Franken’s behalf by invoking the Senate’s authority to decide the election. Without that motivation, Reid will almost certainly avoid such heavy-handed tactics, especially since Republicans could now bring the Senate to a standstill over it.

The republicans should do that anyway, so there is a country to fix in 2011. It sure won’t hurt, as the dems did it in 2005, and won majorities from their efforts.

Vashta.Nerada on December 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM

The nutroots have come to realize that Obama pulled a hat pin from center right, and popped the air out of their swoon balloon.

All that’s left is to prick Franken. Or is that redundant?

locomotivebreath1901 on December 3, 2008 at 11:35 AM

I wouldn’t necessarily rule out Reid doing the nuclear option.

It’d put him at 59, and he knows he can count on at least one RINO like Collins or Snowe. So while he might not technically have 60 votes, he will de facto have them.

wildcat84 on December 3, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Here are 10 slogans or watchwords that illustrate what may have happened last night: 1)’the shot heard round the world 2) like the Doolittle raid, it didn’t win the war but it did show that Japan wasn’t invincible 3)one small step for the GOP but one large leap of faith for Sarah Palin 4)Rome wasn’t built in a day 5)the die is cast, we have crossed the Rubicon-Sarah Palin is the de facto leader of the GOP 6)when one door closes another one opens (the disappointment of November 4th but then the opportunity to showcase the talent of Sarah Palin) 7)the GOP has temporarily plugged up the breach 8)’a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ (Confucius)9)”Home, I go home (conservative roots)And I’ll think of some way of getting him (the control of Congress and the WH) back. After all…tomorrow is another day.” Gone With The Wind 10)”Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival (of the GOP)…I will take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at his juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all (thoughts of Sarah Palin) and to say, “Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.” Winston Churchill May 13, 1940

technopeasant on December 3, 2008 at 11:47 AM

From taxes to Gitmo, Obama is tacking hard to the center to pull the wool over the sheeps eyes. He stumbles on the auto bailout, however. The problem is not with the companies, but with the bailouts. Failing companies need to fail, bankruptcy which is good enough for individuals should be good enough for corporations of all sizes.

The auto bailout is a poorly disguised payback to the unions that supported Obama. Most workers are non-union and most healthy companies are also non-union. Blind faith in union leadership has hurt employees and it will also hurt Obama.

Angry Dumbo on December 3, 2008 at 11:50 AM

All that the GOP has to do is field a real conservative and they win.

thomasaur on December 3, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Good luck with that. There are about 3 people left in the United States who know what a “real conservative” is. And none of them are Republicans. The GOP is flled with sniveling cowards. They’ll talk like tough guys on here just to get somebody’s attention, but put these tough guys out there, and it’s nothing but waffle and betrayal.

jay12 on December 3, 2008 at 12:19 PM

This was a victory for only one person: Sarah Palin.

It’s her party now.

Hope P. Muntz on December 3, 2008 at 12:36 PM

Tommy_G on December 3, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Maybe you “real conservatives” should stop inviting other folks into your big tent, It sounds like all you want us for is to vote the way you tell me to and then shut up and bring you another beer. I’ve registered as an independent for the last 24 years, give me GOOD ideas and leadership and I don’t care if you have an R or D next to your name. And by the way, for all of you that complain about Collins and Snowe, either one is far better then FAR LEFT Tom Allen who is now out of a job in the house of rep. because he lost running against Collins. Elitism sucks, from both sides.

aceinstall on December 3, 2008 at 1:20 PM

The ratio of victory was almost a match for the Bush/Kerry race.

Turnout was near what is expected for a run off election.

Some suggested it was lack of interest for black voters to turn out for a white candidate.

If the Obama voter email lists for Georgia and the GOTV effort were used like in the General it would have been close again.

With the low turnout a few heavy Black counties like Dekalb and Fulton ,which make up Atlanta area, could have made the race much closer.

Simply the only reason for the run off to start with was that the Obama supporters were already in the voting booth and went for a straight Dem ticket. Otherwise they race likely would have been decided then by getting over the required 50% of the vote.

It also lends weight to the fact that Obama may not have very long coat tails as he drops items from his agenda and even fails to perform up to some groups expectation.

A spreadsheet with some calculations of the results is available here.

CommentGuy on December 3, 2008 at 1:33 PM

I don’t believe we need to read too much into the Chambliss victory.

2010 will be decided on the dominant issues of the day, whatever they may be. Will the top issue still be the economy? …environmental nuttery? …or a new external threat? …or something else not in focus at the present?
Who knows?

All that’s left is to prick Franken. Or is that redundant?

locomotivebreath1901 on December 3, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Yes.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2008 at 1:59 PM

BREAKING NEWS: Republican Wins Reelection in Southern State, People Read Way Too Much Into It

Nonfactor on December 3, 2008 at 2:14 PM

NONBREAKING – Nonfactor still doesn’t factor.

p.s. you really wanted to say “racist state”, not Southern.

Entelechy on December 3, 2008 at 2:16 PM

Of course, one could also speculate that Republicans had a lot more motivation for turning out in this election to preserve the filibuster, a firebreak against the excesses of one-party governance.

It’s easier to speculate that the vast majority of Obama/Martin voters don’t have a clue about filibusters.

Buy Danish on December 3, 2008 at 3:55 PM

You can tell Mr Nonfactor

is bothered by this BLOWOUT. It was not just a win.

30% of Georgia is Black and the Dem still got blown away.

Nonfactor you know this means Obama’s victory not near as big as you thought.

Jamson64 on December 3, 2008 at 7:04 PM

When the VERY SAME people that got us into all the financial mess, Dodd, Wrangle, Reid, Frank keep getting elected by idiots in “blue” bankrupt, worthless, union thug run, welfare States, with a LOWER approval rating then Bush

Try saying that to the citizens of Ohio and how they approve their representatives at the state and national levels. To add to that, I am proud that Ohio is not a RTW state and has maintained that status.

By the way, for those union-hostile Palin fans: Explain what her husband is with reference to his union membership? How was it referenced in her introduction in Ohio? Or do you just want to be comfortable that she drives the riff-raff mad?

The “rust belt” poorly run States that could even consider Franken show the foolish radical people put SELF above Country…

Never mind what is said about economic self-interest.

sethstorm on December 4, 2008 at 7:18 AM