Today’s runoff election in Georgia between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and challenger Jim Martin is a test of whether Barack Obama’s election heralds a new political movement, or just a moment, writes Sasha Issenberg in the Boston Globe. Democrat Martin is campaigning as an Obama ally, using the president-elect’s lines in his speeches. If he wins, chalk it up to the Obama magic.
"That kind of loyalty to a person rather than to an institution is not as transferable," said one Democratic official. "Yet this is a new kind of organization: It is highly electronic and it might work." While campaign stars have hit Georgia for both candidates, Obama has remained conspicuously absent, hoping not to have failure rub off on him if Martin loses. Martin was buoyed by a huge black vote in November, but now turnout looks to be down on both sides.