Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Runoff Live Blog

7:01 p.m. - Polls are closed, and we're officially waiting now (though The Wife just received another call from the Georgia GOP ... at 6:57 p.m.).

7:05 p.m. - Word is that the Jim Martin people are pretty calm right now, which is a good sign. I've spoken with a few folks throughout the day who said that they were seeing good things as far as turnout in the urban areas, which he'll need. From my personal observation, it was pretty crowded at Malcom Bridge where I voted ... and I'm gonna go on a limb and suggest that I was the only Martin supporter in that room. Anyway, the poll workers said turnout had been very steady and better than expected, which, of course, means 'yay' for democracy. Though, given the demographic and voting patterns of my neck of the woods, that's bad for Martin.

7:10 p.m. - Via Flack, Senate Guru has an excellent breakdown of counties to keep an eye on tonight.

7:15 p.m. - Though it's insanely early, it's good news for Sara Doyle. While Martin and Jim Powell trail with only a handful of precincts reporting statewide, Doyle has a small lead over Mike Sheffield. Her winning would be a positive for a variety of reasons, not the least of being her resemblence to Kellie Martin.

7:25 p.m. - Martin flips Bacon County ... winning 18 to 10. Seriously. I know runoffs have low turnouts, but 28 versus 3,642? That can't be right (but would be good news since Saxby Chambliss won two-to-one there).

7:31 p.m. - Early signs of forboding ... Chambliss won Fayette County 35,528 to 19,420. With only two precincts reporting, he's up 2,337 to 379. Again, it's just two precints out of 38, but that's a troubling early sign.

7:34 p.m. - Early signs of the positive ... out of the existing 34,271 who have voted for Chambliss, only 31,197 voted for Lauren McDonald in the Public Service Commission Race. Jim Powell, however, only faces a 497-vote difference between Martin voters and his voters, which suggests that Democrats are voting down ballot and Republicans aren't holding the line.

7:41 p.m. - Flack points out something to me in Jasper County, where Chambliss won 3,399 to 2,093. With two precincts in, Martin's up 391 to 307.

7:44 p.m. - Bacon County is back in the fold, and Chambliss is up big with almost a five-to-one advantage with three precincts in. Oh well ...

7:53 p.m. - The positive trend continues as the defection difference for Chambliss to McDonald is now 12,074, while it's only 1,958 for Martin to Powell. If that trend continues, and Democrats turn out and vote down ballot, Powell's got a chance (and Doyle should cruise).

8:01 p.m. - Completely unrelated, a commercial for Stepbrothers was just on, and it highlighted this scene which has had me laughing out loud for the past few minutes.

8:19 p.m. - We've got 25 percent reporting, and Chambliss holds a solid lead of close to 140,000 votes. No precincts are reporting yet from DeKalb County or Fulton County, which gave Martin his biggest wins on Election Day. It's hard to see him getting the necessary turnout to overcome the deficit, but he'll narrow the gap. I could see a 55-45 win for Chambliss happening. The PSC race remains interesting because the defection difference for Chambliss to McDonald is pushing 24,000 right now.

8:31 p.m. - Chambliss is up by more than 200,000 votes with 40 percent reporting. It looks rough but ... DeKalb County, with 26 precincts reporting out of 195, has already had 50,000 votes counted. To achieve the turnout level of Election Day, you'd need roughly 1,500 voters to come out to each precinct. We're only marginally off that level right now, which is impressive and far outpacing turnout in some rural, Republican areas. Martin won DeKalb County by 168,000 votes.

8:42 p.m. - With 55 percent reporting, Doyle has opened up a small lead, but a significant one with favorable counties remaining for her. It's difficult to see Sheffield making up much ground.

8:46 p.m. - Turnout, of course, is a fickle creature as Flack notes that Chambliss is dramatically overperforming his general election vote totals and Martin is underperforming. Hence the larger margin for the incumbent.

8:50 p.m. - Looks like the same thing for Powell. Republicans are defecting from McDonald, but fewer Democrats are showing up to vote in the runoff ... which, unfortunately, is threatening a strong candidate for PSC.

8:57 p.m. - I don't see the numbers being there for either Martin or Powell, which is a shame. I didn't truly see Martin being able to survive the runoff, but I had high hopes for Powell. It looks like Republicans turned out to be that 'firewall' and happened to just look down the ballot and check anything else with an 'R' next to its name. That's disappointing since Powell had been endorsed by two Republicans, including the sitting commissioner.

9:03 p.m. - NBC News calls it for Chambliss who has overperformed in every county in the state, though it's difficult to determine if that was Republican enthusiasm or depressed Democratic turnout. Probably a combination of both with more emphasis on the latter as suggested by lower African-American turnout levels during early voting.

9:12 p.m. - So, no filibuster-proof Democratic majority. Though, given the number of moderate Republicans and 58 Democratic senators, filibusters can be averted on a case-by-case basis, and there's still the Minnesota recount to sort through (and that could take forever since recent estimates have Al Franken down by as few as 13 votes with seven percent left to report). Still, this race was a long-shot, and it says a lot to think that Democrats forced Chambliss into a runoff with a candidate who jumped into the race at the last minute. The demographics are slowly shifting in Georgia, making it a more favorable place for progressives, and that's one of the successes of this election season.

9:23 p.m. - Well, if we're going to be disappointed, then let's at least end with another musical score ... how about some clips from the musical season finale of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.


Blogger redfawn said...

Just wanted to say thanks for live blogging. I'm following you here in Athens. My robo calls finished today at 2pm. In the process we heard from Bill Clinton, Michele Obama, Barack Obama, and finally Jim Martin. This was all after the automated voice of a Georiga Democrat Party member. I'm not opposed to robo calls in concept (as long as they are truthful), but five is a little much even from the Democrats.

8:42 PM  
Blogger hillary said...

I also got at least five, all for Martin.

12:14 PM  

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