Georgia Senate race – it looks like a runoff

In the U.S. state of Georgia, senate races have a crude form of preferential voting:  if no candidate secures 50% of the vote, the top two candidates go into a runoff election.  It looks like that may be about to happen:

With 99 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday afternoon, Chambliss [incumbent, Republican] had 1,841,449 votes, or 49.9 percent of the total, while Martin [Democrat] had 1,727,625 votes, or 47 percent. Libertarian Allen Buckley had 126,328 votes, or 3 percent.

It’s by no means certain – there are some 200,000 more votes to count and the whole thing needs to be certified – but if Chambliss stays below the 50% line, we could be about to have some (more) fun.

Given the visual scale of the Obama victory, it seems safe to assume that Martin would do better in the runoff.  A Martin victory would not give the Democrats the supermajority of 60 seats in the US Senate, even with the two independents, but it is nothing to be sneezed at and it’s safe to assume that if the runoff goes ahead the president-elect will be visiting Georgia in the next few weeks.

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