Archive for ‘Saxby Chambliss’

December 4, 2008

Chambliss win bad news for GOP?

No matter what happens — even a 14-point Republican victory — the media geniuses will always find a way to spin it as bad news for conservatives:

With time and money on their sides, though, we can expect that Obama and other Democratic leaders will be look to make 2012 the year that the Solid South is broken once and for all. Certainly with an incumbent president and demographic trends continuing to work, Democrats could cement gains in Virginia and Florida and perhaps even North Carolina. . . .
With an invigorated Democratic effort and Libertarians drawing better than 3 percent in key races, it wouldn’t take long for the rest of the South to turn blue.

Somehow these geniuses can’t accept the simple and obvious explanation that nominating a bald, grumpy, old guy for president is bad politics. No, the Big Picture must be something nuanced and complex, so that only geniuses can explain it.

As I’ve said before: Don’t overthink it. At some basic level, politics is about popularity. When the other guys nominate Will Smith and you nominate Mister Magoo, no grand ideological theory or demographic trend is necessary to explain why you got your ass kicked.

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December 3, 2008

‘Man, she was dynamite’

December 3, 2008

Advice for Saxby Chambliss

From Erick Erickson:

Now Saxby, pay attention: If you do not fire Charlie Harmon tomorrow and undergo a significant restructuring of your Washington office you will prove yourself a fool who has learned nothing from this. Hiring a Democrat to run your office was a bad idea. That he pushed you to engage in bipartisan compromises that did nothing but piss off your base was inexcusable.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

December 3, 2008

Huffpo love for Georgia

A commenter at Michelle Malkin’s mentioned that the HuffPo comments field was going toxic in reaction to Saxby Chambliss’s win in Georgia, and he wasn’t kidding:

Way to go Georgia!! Keeps you right in there with Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, South Carolina and Alabama as bastions of family values (those primarily being that it is desirable to marry within ones own family). lesterbud

It’s reminicent of lynching or raping a child or pummeling a little old lady. — Kit Chandler

I have come to conclusion that the South prefers not to be educate their young, they would rather keep them dumb, and vote Republican. — jpshotwheels

Is anyone really surprised by this evolutionarily challenged, brainless, toothless, interbred heehaw state? I’m not. — ConcernedAboutRFuture

The real story is about how incredibly gullible and stupid Georgia voters are. — raker

GA is a racist redneck rethug holdout. — roshni

There are also multiple commenters who repeat the Democratic propaganda claim that, in the 2002 Senate race, Chambliss somehow libeled Max Cleland. The truth — which no Democrat wants to accept — is that Cleland had voted to allow unionization of the Department of Homeland Security. The Chambliss campaign ran a tough ad attacking Cleland for that vote, and that is the sole grounds of the myth that Chambliss mistreated Cleland. But Democrats cling to that myth — “How dare Republicans question Max Cleland’s patriotism!” — because it helps them rationalize their hate.

Oh, and as to all those “toothless inbred hillbilly” comments: Chambliss got his decisive margins in the prosperous, fast-growing suburbs and exurbs surrounding Atlanta.

UPDATE: Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote Monday about the “attacking Cleland’s patriotism” canard.

UPDATE II: Welcome, Jawas!

December 3, 2008

Chambliss and the growth factor

In analyzing Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ impressive victory in Georgia — he defeated Democrat Jim Martin by more than 300,000 votes in Tuesday’s runoff — it is important to understand where that Republican margin comes from. While liberals will try to explain Martin’s defeat as a product of retrograde rural backlash, the decisive factor for Chambliss was his large margins in the prosperous, fast-growing suburban and exurban counties around Atlanta.

As usual for Republicans in Georgia, Chambliss piled up huge margins in the mega-suburban counties of Cobb and Gwinnett, beating Martin by nearly 50,000 votes in each. But Chambliss also piled up a combined margin of nearly 150,000 votes in nine “outer ring” exurban counties. Here are those counties, showing Chambliss’ margin and each county’s population growth rate (April 2000-July 2006) according to the Census Bureau:

County… Margin…Growth
Barrow……7,184……38.1%
Bartow.….10,948…..20.1%
Carroll…….6,642……23.0%
Cherokee…33,274……37.6%
Coweta……15,002……29.2%
Forsyth……30,624…..53.4%
Hall………..20,625…..24.4%
Paulding ….12,795…..48.9%
Walton…….12,681….30.8%

Please note that the margins are based on results available at 8 a.m., when 97% of precincts statewide were reporting, and the vote is not complete in all counties.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

December 3, 2008

Election Day in Georgia

UPDATED & BUMPED: Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Chambliss’s double-digit victory dashed Democrats’ dreams of securing a filibuster-proof, 60-vote “super majority” in the Senate and buoyed a Republican Party battered by staggering losses in the Nov. 4 general election.
“Republicans still know how to win an election,” Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan told hundreds of Chambliss supporters at the Cobb Energy Centre.

The size of the victory (a margin of more than 300,000 votes) is important as a warning to Democrats going forward that the GOP is still a viable opposition. It is also important that Barack Obama diminished himself by refusing to risk his political capital campaigning for Democrat Jim Martin.

I’ve added an analysis of the vote here. Also, Michelle Malkin responds to my defense of Chambliss’ immigration record: “[T]he guy went wobbly went it mattered most — and it took massive resistance and vigilance to set him straight.” OK, but at least he responded to the outcry, whereas Maverick did not.

PREVIOUSLY: Associated Press and New York Times call it for Chambliss. With 93% reporting at 10:15 Chambliss leads 58-42% with a 300,000+ margin. Still 70+ precincts to report in Fulton County and, for some odd reason, only half the precincts in Paulding have reported. I might add an analysis if I can get those numbers.

With 84% of precincts reporting by 9:30 p.m., you’ve got the makings of a solid victory for Chambliss. The key thing to notice is the Republican’s overwhelming majorities in the fast-growing exurban “outer ring” counties. Most of these margins are based on partial reports, but look:

Carroll ………2.2-to-1
Cherokee …..4.5-to-1
Coweta …….2.8-to-1
Fayette …….2.3-to-1
Forsyth ……..5.3-to-1
Hall …………3.3-to-1
Paulding …….3.2-to-1
Walton ……….3.7-to-1

It looks like Chambliss is cruising to re-election. But I’m disturbed to see Michelle Malkin transmitting misinformation, calling Chambliss a “pro-amnesty Republican.” This is false. Chambliss has an A+ rating from NumbersUSA for his opposition to amnesty. Yes, Chambliss supported the bailout, but he’s been a solid conservative vote on immigration issues.

UPDATE: Michelle responds by reminding me that Chambliss was booed at the Georgia GOP convention in May 2007 for defending the guest-worker provisions of the bill that was then pending in the Senate. But Chambliss eventually voted against cloture on S.1639, just as he had voted against S.2611.

I remember being shocked by Chambliss’ May 2007 defense of the immigration bill, since I knew he’d opposed S.2611. I am under the impression that, between the Atlanta business community and the Beltway echo chamber, Chambliss had gotten the mistaken idea that maybe the “enforcement” bells and whistles on the shamnesty bill would be enough to satisfy the base. Getting booed at the convention apparently sobered him up pretty quick.

New York Times reports low turnout in Atlanta:

At the Atlanta Public Library on Ponce de Leon Ave., where more than 1,600 people voted in the general election, only 400 people had voted by noon today.

This is probably good news for Chambliss. Also, Bob Barr has endorsed Chambliss. Will update.

Boosted by Sarah Palin’s whirlwind tour, Sen. Saxby Chambliss appears poised to win today’s runoff in Georgia. Jim Antle reminds us why the runoff was necessary:

Libertarian Party candidate Allen Buckley . . . received nearly 3.5 percent of the vote, running almost 100,000 votes ahead of Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr . . .
Many of those voters were fiscal conservatives upset with Chambliss’s vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout — or, as he prefers to describe it, “the financial rescue package.”
“It’s for the people, by the people,” an anti-bailout conservative told the Politico in late October. “I think that 99 percent of the phone calls that Saxby got were for him to vote against the bailout, yet he did it anyway. He’s supposed to represent the people of the state of Georgia.… By far, the vast majority did not want the bailout.”

“Libertarian populism,” anyone?

(Hey, who is Bryan Caplan, and why is he stealing my title without credit?)

December 1, 2008

Palin vs. Ludacris

Sarah Palin drew “several thousand people” to an 8:30 a.m. rally for Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss today in Augusta, Ga.:

The Palin rally in Augusta drew a crowd of 3,000 to 4,000 people, many holding aloft campaign signs and shouting their adoration of the GOP vice presidential candidate.
“Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!” they chanted. One woman stood behind Palin with a huge red sign that read: “Save My Gun.”

Meanwhile, Democrat Jim Martin is planning a “rally at the state Capitol at 5:30 p.m. with civil rights veterans and hip-hop star Ludacris.” Hip-hop vs. the hockey mom — we’ll see which gets a majority in Tuesday’s Senate runoff.

UPDATE: Another big crowd in Savannah:

More than 3,000 people flocked to the Savannah Civic Center, some to rally support for Chambliss, others, to catch a glimpse of Palin and see her in person.
When she was introduced, the crowd erupted in applause for the Alaska governor and former vice-presidential candidate, eclipsing the ovations for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and the candidate himself, Chambliss.

Barracuda!

UPDATE II: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers.
Palin was greeted by cheers of “Sarah! Sarah!” in what is decidedly Republican country: south Houston County. More than 2,700 people RSVP’d for the rally at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter, one of several appearances for the duo today across Georgia. . . .

But this afternoon, in Perry, the energy belonged to the GOP. The crowd packed in close, shoulder to shoulder for, as state Sen. Ross Tolleson called Palin, “one of the most exciting women in U.S. politics.” . . .
“It isn’t just about your state,” Palin told the crowd. “It is about the entire United States of America and our future. … The eyes of our nation are on this stage. We all have Georgia on our minds.”

Next stop: Gwinnett County.
UPDATE IV: The Gwinnett rally:
Oh, the Saxby Chambliss signs are plentiful, but it’s clear even before you walk in that this is a Sarah Palin for President event, four years ahead of its time.

Several thousand people are already here at the Gwinnett Center, a majority grouped in front into one large mosh pit.
A decidedly younger crowd than Republicans usually draw to the events like this, and the music is less twangy as well. More rock than country, and many young ladies with tiaras and beauty contest ribbons. . . .
Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and former GOP nominee for vice president, just got an extended standing ovation from a crowd of several thousand in the Gwinnett Center.
Palin said re-electing Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss, and denying Democrats a 60th vote in the Senate, was essential to “maintaining the checks and balances needed for our democracy.”
She mentioned that she had been here once before — a politician always likes to say, “It’s good to be back” — when her oldest son graduated from boot camp at Fort Benning. “Georgia, you took care of my boy, now he’s taking care of you,” she said.

A smashing success. Sounds like Sarah’s the most popular Yankee in Georgia.

Chambliss was “happy to become the warm-up act at his own final rallies,” said CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who is covering the Georgia runoff election. . . .
Sen. John McCain returned to the trail to campaign with Chambliss just nine days after losing the presidential election to Obama.
Two weeks ago, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination before dropping out in March and backing McCain, also campaigned with Chambliss. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also teamed up with Chambliss. . . .
Last week, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned with Chambliss. . . .
Some in the crowds were chanting “Sarah, Sarah” at times, and the audiences were much larger than when the other Republican surrogates teamed up with Chambliss in recent weeks.
“With adoring signs and ‘Palin for President’ T-shirts, it may be easy to forget Palin came to Georgia campaigning for someone else,” observed Bash. (Emphasis added.)

Sort of refutes the notion that she was a drag on the McCain ticket, eh? Also, here’s a Democratic prediction to remember:

Martin called Palin’s four campaign stops Monday a sign of desperation for Chambliss, adding that “bringing Sarah Palin is not going to help him (Chambliss) because the voters of Georgia want someone who will stand up for them in Washington. Someone who understands their issues.”

OK, so the Democrat says Palin won’t help Chambliss. We’ll see what you have to say in 24 hours, Jim Martin.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Video via Hot Air, where Allahpundit notes Palin’s reference to John McCain, which doesn’t get many cheers from this grassroots GOP crowd. The ‘Cuda needs to scratch any references to the Maverick from future speeches, and instead start talking Reagan.

November 25, 2008

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.

November 8, 2008

Who says Libertarians don’t count?

Libertarian Party candidate Allen Buckley got 127,723 votes (3%) in the Georgia Senate race, enough to throw Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss into a runoff with Democrat Jim Martin.

Chambliss voted for the $700 billion bailout. Should have listened to me, senator!

UPDATE: Ace wants his readers to donate to save Chambliss’s seat. I’m having a hard time working up any real enthusiasm for that. His constituents were bombarding his offices with phone calls and e-mails begging him to oppose the bailout. He didn’t listen. He pays the price. And if part of the price is a veto-proof Senate majority for Obama, well . . . whose fault is that?

These out-of-touch big-government Republicans commit political suicide and then come running to the conservative base expecting help. Screw ’em. Sen. Richard Shelby provided a solid argument for his vote against the bailout. Why didn’t Saxby Chambliss listen?

UPDATE II: I’ve been watching this YouTube video of the last debate with Chambliss, Martin and Buckley, and you can see how Buckley (an attorney and CPA) slams Chambliss from the right. Martin — he’s just feeble. Should have been a Buckley-Chambliss runoff. And if I still lived in Georgia I’d have voted for Buckley, who at least tells the truth about entitlements bankrupting the country.