Georgia: DSCC Ramping Up Bid to Defeat Chambliss

Posted October 15, 2008 at 6:28pm

With polls showing Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) in a virtual tie with his Democratic challenger, ex-state Rep. Jim Martin, national Democrats are shifting significant resources into Georgia this week to fund television advertising buys in the hopes of ousting the first-term lawmaker.

Polling in the state has seen Chambliss’ lead shrink considerably over the last several weeks — including a new InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position poll showing Chambliss and Martin tied at 45 percent. Those numbers have given Democrats renewed hope that they may be able to retake the seat, which Chambliss won in 2002 after a bitter contest with then-Sen. Max Cleland (D).

As a result, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has begun dumping cash into the race. According to Democratic sources, the DSCC this week gave cash to the state Democratic party to help pay for an ad buy that the state committee would be taking out against Chambliss.

Additionally, the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Wednesday reported the committee had made a $500,000 television ad buy. According to the paper, the DSCC will run ads on five television stations serving the Atlanta area. The ad is scheduled to run 369 times, largely during prime time and newscasts, by next week, the paper reported.

Although DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller declined to comment on the committee’s spending on television ads, he argued that Chambliss’ connections to the Bush administration and voter frustration with Congress has made him vulnerable.

“Saxby Chambliss is in real trouble because he has been a consistent vote for the status quo in Washington and Georgians want change,” Miller said.

But Chambliss spokeswoman Michelle Grasso dismissed the effect that the ads may have on voters.

“No amount of money from Jim Martin’s liberal Washington friends can change the fact that Jim Martin is too liberal for Georgia,” Grasso said.