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Palin to Stump for Chambliss

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is already planning a trip back out on the campaign trail. TPM Election Central’s Eric Kleefeld reports the Alaska governor is heading down South to stump for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in a run-off election with Democrat Jim Martin for a U.S. Senate seat from Georgia.

As Kleefeld notes, this special election is all about jazzing up the base and getting out the vote. Polls are close right now, but since it’s an unusual election with just this seat up for grabs, it’s hard to gauge how many people will show up next Tuesday to vote.

One good point of reference, though, is the presidential election. The Obama campaign had hoped to pick up the long-time Republican stronghold, but even with a highly energized Democratic base, Sen. John McCain still won Georgia with 52 percent of the vote.

I’ve written before that Palin’s appeal has been over-stated, as she was not able to deliver the base for McCain in key swing-states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Overall, she was probably a 2-point drag on the ticket.

Republicans did make up some ground in Appalachia and the deep South, so Palin might be helpful in rallying southern conservatives for Chambliss. It will be worth watching.

If Chambliss doesn’t pull off a win, that would put the Democrats just within reach, 59 seats, of a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority. The Sen. Norm Coleman-Al Franken race in Minnesota has not been called yet. If Franken wins, that would deliver Democrats the 60th seat.

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