[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/17/art.martinad1117.yt.jpg caption="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.