Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss handed the GOP a firewall against Democrats eager to flex their newfound political muscle in Washington, winning a bruising runoff battle Tuesday night that had captured the national limelight.
Chambliss’ victory thwarted Democrats’ hopes of winning a 60 seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. It came after a bitter monthlong runoff against Democrat Jim Martin that drew political luminaries from both parties to the state and flooded the airwaves with fresh attack ads weeks after campaigns elsewhere had ended.
Minnesota—where a recount is under way—now remains the only unresolved Senate contest in the country. But the stakes there are significantly lower now that Georgia has put a 60-seat Democratic supermajority out of reach.
With 92 percent of the precincts reporting, Chambliss captured 58 percent to Martin’s 42 percent. Chambliss’ win is a rare bright spot for Republicans in a year where they lost the White House as well as seats in the House and the Senate.
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