A year ago, the GOP's Georgia senatorial incumbent Saxby Chambliss seemed one of the few safe Republican seats in the chamber. Nor did a lackluster field of Democrats vying to take him on seem to offer any hope of changing that.
But Libertarian Allen Buckley has been running hard, focusing his entire campaign on pulling votes away from Chambliss, whom he considers a big-government, big-spending wastrel.
And it's paying off.
Buckley has been consistently pulling at least 4% in recent polls, and the difference between Chambliss and Martin is down to 2 points. Under Georgia law, the winner has to have a clear majority, not a plurality, so Buckley's effort may result in a December run-off between the two Demopublicans for the seat.
Which may also end up being the seat that determines whether the Democrats end up with a filibuster-proof majority or not.
There is a balance of power, and it may rest more in the hands of third parties around the country than anybody has heretofore believed.