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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

It appears that the late ballots did, after all, bring incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss under 50% in his race against Jim Martin, and so a special election will be held December 2, four weeks after the yesterday’s election day.

In special elections, turnout is generally way down from general elections. It becomes much more about base motivation, organization, and GOTV. So, although Jim Martin appears to have been behind by a handful of points last night, don’t assume he can’t win a special election, even if the polls show him behind in every release.

As we said last night, we’ve been getting emails from organizers who had already purchased their plane tickets to come down to Georgia. It won’t be for a 60th seat, but it will be a seat nonetheless, and Democrats will have the rallying cry of “Remember Max Cleland!” Chambliss defeated Cleland in 2002 after airing a notorious ad that tied war hero Cleland to Osama bin Laden.

Keep an eye on this race, especially for the influx of organizing.

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