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Chambliss faces strong Martin challenge

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

November 4, 2008

ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - Outside the presidential race, the biggest race on Georgia's ballot is for a U. S. Senate seat.

Republican Saxby Chambliss is fighting off a strong challenge from Democrat Jim Martin, and the race could go to a runoff.

Senator Saxby Chambliss called it a tough campaign as he spent the day thanking those who have supported him. 

The stage is set at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead. While Jim Martin talked with voters on the streets Tuesday, Senator Saxby Chambliss worked the phones with a positive message for his supporters that he thinks he's gotten the job done.

As voters filled the polls in Buckhead many were just as interested in the U.S. Senate race as they were in the race for President. Voter reaction is mixed, for Chambliss and against.

"Because I think he's done a great job and I don't think we're going to need change in that regard and I'm happy with his job so far," said Susan George.

"Definitely the economy, definitely the economy. There are other issues world peace and all that but the economy is the biggest issue right now affecting me," Lynn Brown McKinney.

Senator Saxby Chambliss knows that thought will be on many voters minds, but stands by his decision to support the rescue plan.

"It's hurt some, no doubt about it but the rewarding thing about getting around to all four corners of the state over the last 12 days is everywhere I would go somebody would come up to me, 3,4, 5 people at each stop and say look I may not have agreed with you but we now figured out something had to be done," he said.

Tuesday he worked the phones thanking supporters and stopping just short of declaring victory.

"We feel good about the opportunity to win this tonight. We've had the wind at our backs the last couple of weeks our numbers are trending in the right direction. The independents and conservative democrats have started trending our way."

Chambliss says he's counting on a good turnout in north Georgia and strong support from the southern part of the state to seal an outright win.

"Nobody wants to go through another four weeks of the campaign especially one that's been as hard fought as this one has."

It was two weeks ago Chambliss kicked off a bus tour of the entire state in south Georgia, which ended Monday here in Atlanta.

Nearly a thousand people turned out at four rallies yesterday. He says that's energized the campaign to finish strong.

Senator Saxby Chambliss is seeking re-election for his second term in the U.S. Senate where he is the ranking republican on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

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