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“With an Obama candidacy and Democrats doing a far better job than they’ve ever done in the get-out-the-vote effort, I wouldn’t be surprised if the black vote got up to 30 percent of the total,” Mr. Bullock said. “If indeed it does that, then this race is even tighter than the polls suggest, and Martin might be even slightly ahead.”

Mr. Chambliss’ popularity also took a hit last year when he supported immigration reform that was supported by the Bush administration and many Democrats.

A photograph in which Mr. Chambliss appeared with liberal Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at a pro-immigration reform press conference drew condemnation from the Georgia senator’s constituents. Mr. Chambliss eventually switched his position and voted against the measure.

Mr. Martin also raised more money than Mr. Chambliss during the three-month period ending Sept. 30, according to campaign finance reports. Mr. Martin took in more than $1.3 million - by far his best fundraising period. Mr. Chambliss raised about $1.1 million during the same period.

Nevertheless, Mr. Chambliss still holds a decisive fundraising advantage and is expected to hit the challenger hard in the next two weeks.

“He’s got plenty of resources to come back and try to put Martin on the defensive,” Mr. Black said. “I think Chambliss would be a slight favorite, but he would only be a slight favorite …if the Democratic tide comes across in November.”