November 25th, 2008
08:51 AM ET
5 years 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. Bubba

    Simply put, Saxby hasn't shown why he should keep the job. His best argument even now is that he at least keeps the Dems from being filibuster-proof, and man, that's pretty thin. Martin wants the job and is ready to work; Saxby has a boy bringing him mint juleps on the porch.

    November 25, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. jon

    georgia wake up the usa needs a democrat to start the rebuild get rid of chambliss

    November 25, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. Tim in Wa.

    Shame all this money can't be used to feed people, provide health care to children, or help in some other way those less fortunate. Ridiculous sums during the Pres Election, ridiculous sums for a senate race being spent by both parties...

    November 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    The more things change–the more they stay the same. Everyone is desperately holding on to what they've got–in Washington.

    Meanwhile–we the people–find ourselves with a new President–but the same old crap going on all around him. Is there really a place for the people to "hope" something will change .

    November 25, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. GA Independent

    Mr. 911 is coming to GA? How sad. The whole Republican team is coming to GA to encourage people to vote for Chambliss – a bigot, a racist who doesn't appear to have more than two braincells. Is this really the best the Republicans have to offer?

    And how does Mr. 911 sleep at night knowing that Chambliss used 911 to slime his patriotic and US Vet opponent in the last election?

    Next thing you know, they'll be sending the 2nd worst they have to offer – Palin!

    November 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. whippingstick

    skeletor campaigning for chambliss will ensure his impending demise. guiliani leveraged tragedy for his own political campaign and it backfired. good riddance for both of these hateful humans.

    November 25, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Alistair

    Go Jim, America needs you!!

    November 25, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Boise, ID

    Lord, please bless the intellectually less fortunate souls that believe in trickle down economics. Grant them enough intelligence to see through the fear tactics of those that seek to use them for their own gain. Please allow them to see that you cannot blame Clinton for the eight years after his presidency (Future) while blaming the Democratic Congress for our current situation (Present) and Obama for the two months prior to his Presidency (Past). Please show them that people with different colors on their skin are every bit as good if not better than themselves. Grant them the humility to realize that they have no right to project their own flawed morals upon others that seek to share their lives together in peace and tolerance. Show them that you cannot drill for more oil and protect our planet at the same time. Lord, please raise the price of gas continuously until we finally find something else. Please teach them how to spell so they don't look so dumb when they try to respond to this.

    November 25, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. vic

    Saxby – just another shameful republican that will try and win no matter the cost.
    He's joined the ranks of the shameful republicans that will do and say anything to be elected.
    I hope he loses.

    November 25, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Chambliss got 5 deferrments from going to Vietnam, yet linked Max Cleland to bin laden and Saddam Hussein.
    Yes, the same Max Cleland who LEFT 3 limbs in Vietnam fighting for this country.

    The fraud Chambliss perpetrated is shameful and I hope the people of Georgia realize that fact this time.

    November 25, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. Chut Pata

    The biggest corporate lobbyist Ruddy 911 will bring more corporate mega bucks. Let us see who wins. Corporate mega bucks or American people who wants for change, someone who would speak for them, not for coporate America.

    November 25, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. MESA MICK

    Noun, verb, 9/11. Nice job Rudy – Glad to see that you are personally making sure Dems win GA...

    November 25, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. Susan

    I do hope that my fellow Georgians will not fall for the fear, smear and disgusting ads run by Saxby chambliss. A vote for Chambliss will mean that Georgia will continue to go down the drain based up Chambliss belief that the middle clas are just plain stupid.

    November 25, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. mike NY

    The money from both parties would be better spent helping President Obama pay for the Inauguration. Rmemeber the 9.74 million tax dollars are not enough. Let Georgians make Georgia's decision in peace. They don't need all these vultures who did not get enough before November 4th.

    November 25, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  15. happy thanksgiving

    it's time to get rid of chambliss, his support of bush helped create the mess we are in. vote jim martin dec. 2, 2008. do it georgia do it for your family.

    November 25, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. Noah

    BOISE ID- OK, so judging from you asinine comment you blame everything on republicans and do not hold any Democrats responsible. Yes, that sounds like such an intelligent argument. You say that no one has the right to hoist their morality on you yet you are "praying" for higher gas prices and the demise of anyone who does not agree with you. I cannot believe how twisted Liberals are.

    November 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Jen, Cali

    Boise, ID November 25th, 2008 10:26 am ET
    Lord, please bless the intellectually less fortunate souls that believe in trickle down economics. Grant them enough intelligence . . .
    ____________________________

    Lord, please forgive the idiot above, for he knows not whereof he speaks.

    November 25, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. Brad, California

    Saxby Chambliss – get rid of him! With such an elitist sounding name, I'd have expected nothing anyway. Pig.

    November 25, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. grahame

    To Boise ID
    Couldn't agree more. I swear that some of these idiots (Usually and sadly Republican) can't spell or even use spell check.
    Perhaps they are so angry that they just type away without checking. It's sad when you consider the American Education System or lack thereof.
    Hopefully Obama can change that also

    November 25, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Curtis - Marietta, GA

    Darren,

    As a GA resident, I apologize now. Yes, Chambliss is probably going to win. I worked on the Obama campaign and I'm helping Martin now, but our numbers have dwindled considerably. But, please don't consider us an anchor, we are trying.

    Give it time though. When President Obama turns out to be as good, if not better than we thought, GA will go blue for his second turn. :)

    November 25, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Rick

    Looks like the excessive spending is about equal on both sides. I agree Tim in Wa that the money would be far better spent feeding people and providing health care. Besides if Obama can't get anything done with 58 or 59 Dem Senators, he will have failed miserably on his biggest selling point – that he can work across the aisle.

    November 25, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. John

    They need to re-run the Saxby add where he tries to link Cleland to BinLaden. Enough people are now awake that they will see the scum-bag tactics for what it is and dump Saxby the chickenhawk.

    November 25, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Susan in NC

    Come on, Georgia - join the winning team. Vote Martin!

    November 25, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. lovable liberal

    A vote for Saxby Chambliss is a vote for obstruction. That could be what Georgia wants.

    November 25, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. I can't stop laughing!

    This just in JOE THE PLUMBER is in Georgia this week endorsing Saxby Chambliss for Vice President to Sarah Palin.

    Come on Republicans, support vice, stupidity, fear mongering and lies one more time. Vote Chambliss!

    November 25, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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