Palin in Georgia: 'We Need Checks and Balances'

Palin pushes Saxby Chambliss as a way of keeping "balance" in Washington.

December 1, 2008, 10:43 AM

Dec. 1, 2008 -- With one day to go before a run-off election which will help determine the scope of the Democratic Party's majority in the United States Senate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged voters in Augusta, Ga., on Monday to re-elect Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

"We need Saxby because we need checks and balances in Washington, and we will not have that if Saxby is not re-elected," said Palin. "With one party in control of the House and the Senate and the White House we need a conservative who will speak for themselves."

Georgia is holding a Senate run-off election on Tuesday because neither Chambliss nor former state Rep. Jim Martin (D) received more than 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4 due to Libertarian candidate Allen Buckley garnering 3.4 percent of the vote.

At present, Democrats control 58 seats in the Senate with Democratic pick-up opportunities in Georgia and Minnesota still undecided.

If Democrats were to win both races, the party would have a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate. Even if the Democrats lose both races, no party has had a 58-seat majority in the Senate since the Democrats controlled that many seats in the 96th Congress which took place from 1979-80.

The Georgia race has featured high-profile surrogates on both sides.

In addition to her Monday morning rally in Augusta, Palin is joining Chambliss at rallies in Savannah, Perry, and Atlanta.

The Alaska governor is not the only high-profile Republican who has stumped on behalf of Chambliss. The Georgia senator has also been aided by John McCain who campaigned in Atlanta on Nov. 13, Mike Huckabee who stumped in Duluth on Nov. 16, and Mitt Romney who hit the hustings in Savannah and Atlanta on Nov. 21.

On the Democratic side, Martin has been helped by Bill Clinton who stumped in Atlanta on Nov. 19 and Al Gore who campaigned in Atlanta on Nov. 23.

One high-profile Democrat who has not appeared in Georgia is Barack Obama.

The president-elect attempted to aid Martin by cutting a 60-second radio ad and by recording a robo call.

Listen to Obama's radio ad here:

Listen to Obama's robo call here:

Obama has refrained, however, from making a personal appearance in the Peach State.

Obama advisers fear that making an all-out push for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate would undercut the president-elect's effort to cut a post-partisan image.

The last US Senate runoff in Georgia occurred in 1992 when votes for Libertarian Jim Hudson forced a run-off between Republican Paul Coverdell and Democrat Wyche Fowler. Coverdell won the run-off despite having finished second to Fowler in the initial balloting.

ABC News' Arnab Datta and Rigel Anderson contributed to this report.

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