Are Republicans losing their grip in Georgia? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Are Republicans losing their grip in Georgia?

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

October 2, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Could November's election turn Georgia from red to blue? The margin is narrowing.

Two weeks ago the McCain-Palin ticket had a 16 percent margin, now that margin has narrowed to 6 percent. But local republicans say they're not losing a grip on the state and voters say it's not about blue or red but the issues.

Georgia's deep red color maybe lightening. The Republican's once large margin in Georgia is now as small as six percent, but voters say it has nothing to do with red or blue, it's all about the issues.

"I typically vote republican because republicans are more closely aligned with what I believe on the issues but I do look at the issues on each candidate and see how they stand before I vote," said Dennis Vann, a voter.

"Typically Democrat, but this time it's more about the issues, the economy and gas prices," said Robert Gervin, a voter.

"The issues are what runs the country," said Thomas Marshall, a voter.

In Dougherty and Lee Counties, Republicans know races are won or lost on independent and undecided voters that's why they've been focusing on their grass roots campaign.

"I think that voters are absolutely from this point on really focused on the issues, there are a lot of independents out there I think the McCain Palin ticket is going to be the ticket of choice for independents in the final analysis," said Karen Kemp, Dougherty County Republican Party Chairwoman.

It's not just the national campaign, Senator Saxby Chambliss has also seen his overwhelming lead fade to a margin of error. Local republicans believe the additional turnout won't necessarily hurt them.

"We love to see people engaged in the process and we believe that turn out is going to help our candidates," said Thomas.

When the ballots are counted November 4th, Republicans feel sure Georgia will remain red. "I'm not going to say forever but in the foreseeable future I believe they will," said Vann.

Voters say they'll be watching the Vice Presidential debate closely, hoping for something that may sway their decision.

In our continuing political coverage, WALB News Ten will host a United States Senate debate. The three candidates, Saxby Chambliss, Jim Martin and Allen Buckley will debate the issues right here in our studios. You can watch the debate Monday, October 20th at 7:00 p.m.

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