Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Georgia commentator predicts Allen Buckley could go as high as 9% in his Senate race

Senateguru, in crafting an endorsement for Democrat Jim Martin in the Georgia Senate race, tries to explain why Martin (currently 13-16 points behind Saxby Chambliss in head-to-head polling) could actually beat the incumbent Republican.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, however, the only chance of defeating Chambliss keeps coming back to ... Allen Buckley:

Second, third Party candidates will play a big role in Georgia on Election Day. The Libertarian nominee for President this year is former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr. While Barr obviously can't shave votes directly from Chambliss, the Georgia Libertarian Party is also running a Senate candidate, attorney Allen Buckley. Buckley was the Libertarian nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the same 2006 election in which Jim Martin ran. Buckley scored 3.6% of the vote. With Bob Barr creating a higher profile reason for disenchanted Republicans nationwide (and in Georgia particularly) to leave the GOP for the Libertarian ballot line, Buckley can expect to do even better in 2008. And, of course, it's very reasonable to expect that voters for the Libertarian Buckley would more likely have voted for Chambliss than for the Democratic nominee. Buckley could shave four or five or, heck, maybe eight or nine points off of Chambliss' right wing.

This does have a certain whistling past the graveyard sound, when you are expecting another candidate to carry you past a strong incumbent--but it does speak volumes for the potential growing support for Buckley.

More germane for Allen's chances, however, is the continuing coverage he's receiving in Georgia media, including yesterday's story about the Democratic challengers in the Macon Telegraph, which asked Buckley for his take:

Whoever wins the Aug. 5 runoff, which any registered voter who did not vote in the Republican primary this past Tuesday can participate in, will face Chambliss in the November general election. Libertarian Allen Buckley also is in the race, and he said this week that he's not impressed with either of the Democrats still standing, or with Chambliss.

"I'm certain I would make a better senator than them," said Buckley, who called himself "a real conservative" who vows to stay out of people's business and espouse conservative fiscal and foreign policies.

"I will have solutions to problems," Buckley said. "They will involve sacrifice."

With the Telegraph how having carried stories that reference the Libertarian candidate for several days running, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (which includes him in the weekly question for candidates), it might even be possible to see Buckley's name included in the polls one day soon.

Most current polls are showing 10-14% of the voters unwilling to accept either Chambliss or one of the Democrats as a preference; I suspect that with Buckley's name in the mix he would pick up at least 4% right now.

Of course, hell will have to freeze over before that happens....

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