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Penn State Student's Efforts Fall Short In Georgia Runoff

This story was written by Mandy Hofmockel, Daily Collegian
Sunday Wright, who volunteered for the Democratic candidatein Georgia's runoff election Tuesday, was on her way home and only got to Virginia before she heard her choice for the U.S. Senate seat had lost.

The Associated Press reported Republican incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss won against Democrat Jim Martin. Despite the loss, Wright (freshman-communications) said the experience was worth it.

Thoughthe PennState studentdidn't stay in Georgia to watch the results, Wright, still spent a portion of her day canvassing for the candidate, she said.

Wright said she knocked on doors, distributed information about precinct numbers and voting locations, and made phone calls.

Campaiging also occurred in State College where students gathered in the downtown Democrat office calling Georgia residents and asking for their support.

Bill Van Saun (freshman-history and political science) was among those at the office to phone bank for Martin. Van Saun, who helped run Democrat Mark McCraken's race for a seat in the House of Representatives, said he believes in helping down-ticket politicians.

The Senate race in Georgia, in which neither candidate got 50 percent of the vote on the Nov. 4 election, was not the only race without a clear winner, the AP reported. Minnesota is still undergoing a recount between Democrat Al Franken and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, according to the AP.

"There's nothing we can do in Minnesota because that's just a recount," Van Saun said.

Another Penn State student was able to vote in the election when he went home over break.

Though the chairman of the College Republicans, Alex Smith, said his group was not involved in this race because the local headquarters are closed, he said the Democrats might have to work more with the Republicans now that the Democrats can't achieve a 60-seat majority.

Chambliss' victory blocks the Democrats from achieving a 60-seat majority, which would have allowed them to block Republican filibusters, according to the AP.

Democrats in the Senate might have to work more closely with Republicans now than if Demcrats had that majority, Smith said.

"The Democrats might have to address reality more than they would have if the had a supermajority," he said, later adding, "they still have a majority regardless."