Palin to the Peach State

Can Sarah Palin save Saxby Chambliss?

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will make multiple campaign appearances on behalf of Sen. Saxby Chambliss next week in Georgia, serving as the political closer for the GOP senator who is battling to win a second term.
This is Palin’s first campaign appearance on behalf of another Republican candidate since losing her bid to become the nation’s first woman to serve as vice president.
Palin will attend a fundraiser on Sunday night, then appear at multiple campaign stops on Monday in an effort to rally the GOP base to turn out to vote for Chambliss. The incumbent Republican is facing a strong challenge from Democrat Jim Martin. A runoff is scheduled for next Tuesday, after neither candidate received the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win on Election Day. . . .
Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, said that it made sense for Palin to help Chambliss. . . .
“She is going to bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm to this run-off,” said Ayers, a close Palin confidante. “She is widely popular in Georgia, and I could not envision a stronger closer for Saxby in this election.”

Chambliss made the mistake of voting for the $700 billion bailout, and faces a runoff because Libertarian Allen Buckley got 127,723 votes (3%) in the general election.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

UPDATE: Politico:

All of Obama’s 25 Georgia field organizers remained in the state to work on the runoff, and the 25 Obama regional offices were immediately converted into Martin for Senate campaign offices. All told, more than 100 Obama field organizers are now in Georgia working Martin’s get-out-the-vote efforts, along with leading operatives who served under Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer of New York during the past election cycle. . . .
But the early signs are not encouraging for Martin. During the presidential election, African-Americans composed a record 30 percent of the electorate in Georgia — about 5 points higher than in the 2004 presidential campaign. And in early voting, they totaled 35 percent of the vote.
In the runoff, even as Democrats are vigorously encouraging supporters to vote early, only 22.7 percent of the 150,500 ballots so far have been cast by African-Americans.

It isn’t hard to see why black voters (or any other voters, really) would have a hard time getting excited about Jim Martin. He’s not exactly an inspirational leader.

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