In last week’s election, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) received more votes than his Democratic challenger Jim Martin but fell 0.2 percent short of the 50-percent-plus needed under Georgia law to win the election. Both candidates are expected to be headed for a runoff election next month.
Last night on Fox News, when asked why he wasn’t able to “close the deal” with Georgia voters on election day, Chambliss said that because of Barack Obama, there was a “high percentage of minority vote” and that his campaign wasn’t “able to get enough of our folks out” to vote:
COLMES: Why do you think you’ve been unable…[to] close the deal with the people of Georgia in terms of what happened on Election Day?
CHAMBLISS: Well, listen, we have, for the first time in the history the our state, a 30-day advanced vote period, and let’s give the Obama people credit. They did a good job of getting out their vote early.
There was a high percentage of minority vote, and I am tickled to death that as many Georgians as did examined their right to vote. That’s what make our election process the envy of the whole free world, but we weren’t able to get enough of our folks out on Election Day.
Apparently, when Chambliss refers to “our folks,” he’s talking about Georgia’s white voters. He added that it’s going to be a “challenge to get them out in the runoff” but that his campaign “look[s] forward to that challenge.”
In fact, Chambliss has used racially loaded, us-versus-them rhetoric in this campaign before. Just prior to Nov. 4, Chambliss bluntly warned his white base that “the other folks are voting,” adding that the “rush to the polls by African-Americans early” has “got our side energized early, they see what is happening.”
However, it seems that Chambliss’s base wasn’t as energized as he thought.