November 25th, 2008
08:51 AM ET
5 months ago

Big bucks being spent in final Senate race

One of Georgia Democrat Jim Martin's ads bears a striking resemblance to an earlier ad by the Obama campaign.
One of Georgia Democrat Jim Martin's ads bears a striking resemblance to an earlier ad by the Obama campaign.

(CNN) - It's been less than three weeks, but more than $4 million has already been spent on the airing of campaign commercials in the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia, according to new numbers from the Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, will face off against Democrat Jim Martin, a former Georgia lawmaker, in a runoff election on Tuesday December 2, one week from today. The freshman incumbent won a plurality of the vote three weeks ago on Election Day, but Georgia state law calls for the winner to grab 50 percent plus one vote. Due to the inclusion of a third party candidate, Chambliss fell just shy of that threshold, forcing a runoff contest.

According to the numbers from CMAG, Chambliss's campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have spent just over $1.7 million in ad time since the day after the November 4 vote, with Martin's campaign and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spending more than $1.6 million. Outside groups account for the remaining $770,000 in campaign commercial spending. The vast majority of that money was spent by Freedom's Watch, a group that backs Republican candidates.

"This shows that there is still a lot at stake, this run off is giving campaign '08 a final act. Who would have predicted this, a red state Senate race with groups from the political left free spending and groups from the right clearly not taking this for granted," says Evan Tracey, CNN's campaign media analyst and Chief Operating Officer of TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG.

While he hasn't appeared in a TV commercial, Barack Obama is lending his voice to the Democrats' efforts to win back the Republican-held Senate seat in Georgia. The President-elect speaks out in a 60-second radio ad for Martin that hit the airwaves Friday.


Filed under: Georgia • Political ads
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Barbara in NC

    I sure hope GA gets it right and gets rid of that sleaze Saxby. Good luck GA – everyone get out and vote again.

    November 25, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. S Callahan

    What really have we learned in this recent economic crisis....
    Keep wasting money? To me, those millions would be better spent in the local community/state to feed the hungry, shelter the cold, and so forth.

    November 25, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  3. Candy West Virginia

    Its time to clean house and get rid of the hateful, venum tounged, spiteful, lying rethuglicans. Saxby Chambliss must go!

    November 25, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  4. Darren

    The sad truth is that the people of Georgia aren't smart enough to rid themselves of Chambliss.

    Low test scores, high drug use, high teenage pregnancy, anger, hate...it's the perfect Republican state.

    Had W run for a third term, he'd have won Georgia.

    Sadly, the rest of the country is charged with dragging the ignorant anchor that is is the state of Georgia.

    November 25, 2008 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  5. Hope in Georgia

    You in the other 49 states don't know how lucky you are. In Georgia we are still subjected to sleazy, low-life negative campaign commercials coming from both sides. All because our legislature, in its lack of wisdom, inserted a self-promoting law that mandated a run-off if neither candidate received 50 % of the vote. December 2 can't get here fast enough. We are all about to go crazy.

    November 25, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  6. Matt in NC

    If Chambliss does win then a compromise could allow Atlanta to secede from Georgia. It would become a blue district in the middle of a very red state. Imagine the marketing possibilities!

    November 25, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  7. Christina

    Chambliss accused triple amputee Vietnam Veteran Max Cleland of being unpatriotic and putting the nation at risk in a nasty smear campaign some years back. Imagine– Chambliss likened Cleland to Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein just for votes. How can anyone vote for someone of his character? Go Martin! It's time for decency and integrity.

    November 25, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. Terry in NY

    All I care about is getting Billary out of NY!!!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  9. Suzanne Martin

    Saxby Chambliss is slinging as much mud as he can find and selling half truths. I hope that a terrible person like him does not win this one.

    November 25, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  10. Lynn in NM

    Here's an idea. Instead of spending all this money on the Presidential race, the Senate race, the House race, etc., let's just put that money back into the economy. Oh wait, that would mess up the pending tax increases Pelosi can not wait to put into effect.

    November 25, 2008 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. BC

    Saxby Chambliss is an utter slimeball. People like him are why voters are turning away from the GOP in droves. The fact that the GOP is backing him to this extent is just another sign that they just don't get it yet. I wonder what it will take for the GOP to understand that the American people are sick of the disgusting tactics that these Republicans have used to get themselves elected (take a look at Chambliss's last campaign if you don't know what I mean). There must be some decent conservative politicians around someplace that the GOP can back instead of slimeballs like this one and Sarah Palin.

    November 25, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  12. JuleS

    That's great - millions of dollars more going toward the useless task of electing another useless politician.

    Wouldn't it be refreshing for a candidate to step up to the microphone and announce, "Instead of spending our campaign funds on yard signs and bumper stickers, I'm giving my millions to the homeless shelter/local school system/churches that serve those in need."

    When pigs fly, as they say in Georgia.

    November 25, 2008 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  13. Larry in WV

    Come on all you folks in Georgia who are having bad times,get out there and vote for Democrat Jim Martin.There's got to be way more of you than republicans and they don't care one lick for how you are going to pay your bills this month or how much money you make at your hard working jobs.This election should show everyone that thier vote does count and there is strength in numbers.Let's get that filabuster proof 60!!!

    November 25, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  14. LisaB

    McCain should be his permanent surrogate since they both are clueless on Economics...by their own admission...

    November 25, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  15. Dominic

    I believe Geogians would have realized that it is critically important that Martin win to further empower the President Elect and Democrats to freely get the job done for American people. I do not think that any one is in doubt where this Country wents to go now. We are deep in a hole as always is the case whenever Republican party got out of White house and democrats come back to put things back on track, We can not efford anymore obstructions. Therefore we need to do the necessary thing, and that is to increase Democratic number so as to deliver the American people from this terrible situation economically and renew our reputation in the world.

    November 25, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. Larry

    GO Saxby-The country and Georgia needs you !!

    November 25, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. Steven

    It seems the Republicans are putting a lot of money in TV ads. It seems like I can't watch any station without seeing Chambliss or his attack dogs spewing distorted information.

    Get out the vote, Georgia! Vote Jim Martin today, tomorrow (for early voting) or December 2nd (Election Day). I voted yesterday and the line in Columbia County was not very Democrat friendly.

    November 25, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. RealityKing

    In the midst of a self-made crisis of confidence, with jobs being lost and poor children in Atlanta are going hungry, millions are being wasted to promote the image of those who claim to care.., DISGUSTING!

    November 25, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  19. Wayne, Greenville TX

    And any ad by Freedom's Watch is not to be believed. They're bigger liars than the Swift Boat Liars and Jerome Corsi combined.

    November 25, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. skidog323

    As eveident in the commercial airing on TV, Saxby is clueless. While they both have issues with their candidacy, I would vote for someone that is not clueless.

    How in the world could you say you don't know what a recession is? Look all around you! Lets give the Dems 60, so they can get something done.

    November 25, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. John Santoro

    Goodbye Saxby! The country spoke and the Republican programs have been rejected. That includes Rudy.

    November 25, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. steve

    why are we still spending millions one these elections. this money could be spent on recovering from this god awful economy!!

    November 25, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. David in Dallas

    The last congress was a "do-nothing" congress because Republicans filibustered more legislation than any previous three congresses put together! If you want to undermine Obama's efforts to turn this nation around, then vote Republican and protect the Repub's ability to block meaningful legislation.

    Otherwise, let's get Dems the 60 senate seats needed to block filibusters and turn the next congress into a do-something congress!

    November 25, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  24. Stacy from Loudoun County VA

    Chambliss will probably win, but again for all the wrong reasons. The war cry for the GOP is "don't let the DEMs have control", but no regard for the fact that Chambliss is just a rancid excuse of a human being. I offer my congratulations to the GOP in advance for electing this shining example of their party to the Senate yet again. Feh!

    November 25, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  25. Seattle Sue

    Saxby Chambliss doesn't have the morals to be a Senator. He should go the way of Stevens and Craig.

    November 25, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
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