Who will be the Senate nominee in 2008?

Bill Shipp has written about prospects for the Democrats in 2008 against Saxby Chambliss. He lists three possible candidates:

– Congressman Jim Marshall: A former Macon mayor, decorated Vietnam War hero and Mercer professor, he recently won re-election against journeyman politician Mac Collins in a very tight race. Keep this in mind: Marshall defeated Collins in a district drawn by Collins’ aides and guaranteed by Republican lawmakers to be Democrat proof.

– Congressman John Barrow: He also survived a full-scale Republican onslaught featuring mountains of money, two visits by President Bush to campaign against him and a custom-made congressional district, also certified to be a Democrat killer.

– Attorney General Thurbert Baker: As an African-American, he would have difficulty winning the Senate seat, but he is well liked by both white and black Georgians. He could serve as a lightning rod to turn out blacks and Hispanics in record numbers to help Democrats win other offices, besides the Senate. Ditto for Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, the first black ever to win a constitutional office statewide as a non-incumbent. (In other words, he was not appointed by a governor to his job before he ran for it.)

Out of those three…I could see Jim Marshall giving Saxby Chambliss some trouble. I wouldn’t put my money on Marshall though, this state is still trending red. But to his credit, he ran a good race against Mac Collins and the NRCC and has some popularity among Republicans in his district.

I’m not saying that a Democrat can’t win this seat, they just need a candidate with the right appeal. Chambliss has just gotten his approval rating above 50% for the first time in six months and the Democrats will likely be energized as memories of the 2002 race against Max Cleland start to resurface.

Democrats would probably do themselves well to draft Marshall into this race, he at least gives them a shot.


  1. Mojo says:

    The problem with drafting Jim Marshall into this race is that if he runs Democrats can count on losing his district, the same with John Barrow. The only choice is to go with either Baker or Thurmond, but Democrats should count on tough races to maintain those positions.

  2. Brian from Ellijay says:

    I am sure that the Democrats will have plenty of candidates for the primary; from Syham, to perhaps Cathy, the question should be “will Saxby take a VP spot and leave us to run an open race?”

  3. commonsense says:

    Given the 08 Senate map no national money is going to flow to GA because each side has far more important priorities (MN, CO, LA, AK, NJ, ect). Given that fact a self-funder could give Chambliss a run for his money. I doubt Baker or Thurmond would want to run given both having the posibility of a Fed appointment in 08 goes Dems way. Marshall and Barrow are tasting the majority for the first time and unless that looks to be in doubt going foward they also don’t have a reason to run other than to shift their massive fight for relection to every six rather than every two years. Jim Butler makes sense because he can spend the money to define Chambliss early.

  4. Adam Fogle says:

    If it’s Jim Marshall, then that would mean a good Republican shot at the 8th. And there would only be one name on my short list for a Republican in the 8th:

    Erick Erickson.

  5. atlantaman says:

    I have a little problem with his contention that Baker or Thurmond, as an African Americans, would have trouble winning a Senate seat. I think you could just as easily make the case that a moderate black Democrat would have and easier time beating a Republican then a white Democrat.

    Now I’m not naive enough to say the biggotry and prejudice don’t exist anymore, but I think it’s a relatively small portion of the population who would not vote for a black man because of his skin color. Both candidates have already won statewide on multiple occasions.

    If you’re a true biggot then wouldn’t you be one through and through. I can’t imagine some old racist actually weighing each office individually and deciding the pros and cons of having a black man as Attorney General and Labor Commissioner versus the US Senate.

  6. burnsbacker says:

    I just do not see john barrow running for senate, he has always struck me as a career backbencher in the house, and i think he knows that and is perfectly happy with that.

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