GA-Sen: Martin within 5 Points of Chambliss
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:05:32 PM EDT
Today certainly is a day for interesting and surprising Senate polling. I noted earlier the numbers showing Andrew Rice down by just a single-digit margin against Jim Inhofe in Oklahoma. Now comes new polling from
Rasmussen Reports pegging Jim Martin within 5 points of Saxby Chambliss in Georgia -- the second straight survey to show results in that neighborhood.
Jim Martin, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate after defeating Vernon Jones in a run-off primary election earlier this month, is now trailing incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss by just six percentage points. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Peach State finds the incumbent ahead of his challenger 48% to 43%.
When "leaners" are included, Chambliss leads 50% to 44%.
Though the latest numbers could represent a temporary primary "glow" for Martin, the poll marks the lowest level of support for the incumbent since tracking of this year's election began. Last month, Chambliss had a 51% to 40% lead over the Democrat.
A poll released last week by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee showed Martin down 6 points, suggesting that Rasmussen's numbers here aren't likely too far off the mark. Now getting from 43 percent or 44 percent to closer to 50 percent will be no easy task for Martin; then-incumbent Democratic Senator Max Cleland received just 46 percent of the vote in 2002 in a race that was assumed to be much closer than that. Nevertheless, it does appear that the support given to Martin in the primary by Chuck Schumer and the folks over at the DSCC is paying off, if not in a race that's necessarily likely to flip at this juncture but at the least one that the Republicans are genuinely going to have to play defense in.