Chambliss, Martin run hard to the very end - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Chambliss, Martin run hard to the very end

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

December 2, 2008

ATLANTA, GA (WALB) - It's runoff day in Georgia. The hard-fought battle for the U.S. Senate seat is nearing an end.

Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin are anxiously waiting for the polls to close and the counting to begin.

It's been a campaign of attack ads, out of state money, and visits from big name politicians showing the national importance of this race.

Compared to this marathon campaign, today has been a low key day for both candidates who spent the morning meeting with media, talking with supporters and encouraging people to get out and vote.

At the AFL-CIO office in downtown Atlanta union members set up a phone bank and canvassing center to support Jim Martin.

Union members put together 35 canvassing groups who also worked the neighborhoods.

At Saxby Chambliss' headquarters volunteers were doing the same working the phones and going door to door.

Both candidates say it's up to the voters now.

"I feel good about the election," said Martin. "I know our message is the one that's resonated with the voters in Georgia. They want someone to go to Washington who's going to e able to work with our new President to bring about meaningful change and make our economy better."

 "Turnout is key and you know we're excited about where we are, we've got the wind at our back, we've got great momentum," says Chambliss.

Both campaigns hope their efforts yesterday, the Chambliss rallies with Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the Democrats big rally with civil rights leaders and Ludicrous are enough to remind voters to head to the polls.

Both camps have been surveying the polls and say today's turnout has been lower than they had hoped for, but that was expected with the runoff campaign.

Both campaigns have big parties planned for Tuesday night here in Atlanta, but only one will be a victory celebration.

Chambliss got 49.8% of the vote four weeks ago. Under Georgia law, he needed more than 50% of the vote, plus one to avoid a runoff.