Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss easily won a run-off election in Georgia on Tuesday, denying Democrats the chance for a 60-seat "super majority" in the Senate that would have enabled them to pass legislation virtually at will....Chambliss, an incumbent who first won his U.S. Senate seat in 2002, defeated Democrat Jim Martin for the seat in a race that gained national significance because Democrats and their independent allies held 58 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate after the November 4 election....One seat in Minnesota, subject to a recount because the vote count was so close, remains undecided.....A 60-seat majority would have enabled Democrats to overcome procedural hurdles set up by Republicans, who are the minority in the Senate. Such a majority would have been particularly potent with a Democratic president, Barack Obama, moving into the White House on January 20......"You have delivered tonight a strong message to the world that conservative Georgia values matter," Chambliss, 65, told cheering supporters in his victory speech......Martin, a 63-year-old former state legislator, thanked his supporters and said the defeat was "a sad moment."
With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Chambliss had won 57.5 percent of the vote and Martin 42.5 percent, according to data from the Georgia secretary of state's website.
Chambliss gained more votes than Martin on November 4, but fell short of the 50 percent-plus majority required by Georgia law. His victory surprised few in Georgia, a southern state in the most conservative part of the country that has a Republican governor and backed Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain over Obama in the presidential election.
Chambliss thanked his supporters, including volunteers from 43 states who came to Georgia to help his campaign.