Saxby Chambliss Win is a Ray of GOP Hope

After the humbling trouncing the GOP suffered in the November elections, many in the party were set to dig in for a long fight before seeing any signs of resurgence. Now we have a bit of hope that the climb, while steep, is not impossible.

Republican Saxby Chambliss has delivered a big win — nearly 20 points — in the Senate runoff in Georgia. Barack Obama aired ads for Democrat Jim Martin, and all the big guns in the Democratic Party campaigned for Martin. Likewise, Chambliss brought in a few big names of his own, including Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The GOP win cost the Democrats the filibuster-proof Senate they craved, and may quell the pompous posturing of an assumed mandate. The supermajority has been denied, and the GOP lives to fight another day.

Many in the media claimed that the Georgia Senate runoff would be a referendum on President-elect Obama, and it will be interesting to see how they analyze the situation now. Has the Obama coattail effect already worn off? Whatever the Monday morning quarterbacking, it is nonetheless encouraging news for Republicans.

We are still a two-party nation, and the tattered half of that system can now take some comfort in knowing that while the majority of voters last month rejected us, the electorate still wants a robust two-party system. Republicans have to be stronger and more sure-footed, more focused, better organized, and more sharply defined by principles that connect with a broader coalition of Americans. That's the message we can take with us as a new president takes the oath of office and a new Congress is sworn in. The GOP still has a voice, and that voice just became a bit stronger.