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2002 United States Senate election in Georgia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2002 United States Senate election in Georgia

← 1996 November 5, 2002 2008 →
Saxby Chambliss.jpg
Nominee Saxby Chambliss Max Cleland
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,071,153 931,857
Percentage 52.8% 45.9%

Georgia Senate Election Results by County, 2002.svg
County results
Chambliss:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Cleland:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

U.S. Senator before election

Max Cleland

Elected U.S. Senator

Saxby Chambliss

The 2002 United States Senate election in Georgia took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Max Cleland ran for re-election to a second term, but was defeated by Republican Saxby Chambliss.

This was the last midterm senate election in which an incumbent of the out-of-presidency party lost reelection until 2018.[1]

Democratic Primary

Max Cleland, the incumbent U.S. Senator, won renomination unopposed.[2]

Republican Primary

Three candidates ran in the primary:[3]

Chambliss won easily, carrying nearly every county.

Republican primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Saxby Chambliss 300,371 61.1
Republican Bob Irvin 132,132 26.9
Republican Robert Brown 59,109 12.0
Total votes 491,612 100.00


Chambliss's campaign used the refrain of national defense and security, but drew criticism for television ads that paired images of Cleland and Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and for questioning the commitment to homeland security of his opponent, a triple amputee and decorated Vietnam veteran.[5][6] Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said of one ad, "It's worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible."[7] McCain, along with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, made significant complaints to the Republican National Committee until the ads were taken down.[8]



General election results
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Saxby Chambliss 1,071,153 52.8%
Democratic Max Cleland (incumbent) 931,857 45.9%
Libertarian Claude Thomas 26,981 1.3%
Total votes 2,029,991 100.0%
Republican gain from Democratic


  1. ^ Why The 2018 Senate Elections Are Looking Bad For Both Parties. FiveThirtyEight.
  2. ^ "Official Results of the August 20, 2002 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  3. ^ "GOP candidates for U.S. Senate debate in Macon". 2 August 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  4. ^ "2002 Georgia Senate Primary". Georgia Secretary of State. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  5. ^ Chambliss Ad (Cleland), YouTube, August 2, 2006
  6. ^ Politico: Cleland ad causes trouble for Chambliss. November 12, 2008.
  7. ^ The Atlantic: The Daily Dish: Quote for the Day. November 12, 2008.
  8. ^ The Orlando Sentinel: Ex-senator Boosts Kerry, Battles Critics. June 13, 2004
This page was last edited on 18 August 2020, at 18:03
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