GEORGIA: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that 2,000 showed up yesterday to see McCain campaign for Sen. Saxby Chambliss. "'I did not think I would be back on the campaign trail quite this early,' McCain said. 'But there is a lot at stake here. I'm asking you to go into battle one more time. 'The eyes of the country and the world will be on the state of Georgia Dec. 2.'" More: McCain never mentioned Obama's name during his 12-minute speech… [But] when Chambliss first used the words 'President-elect Barack Obama,' the partisan crowd booed loudly. 'Let me say, I will pray for him every day, just as I've prayed for every other president,' Chambliss said. Chambliss, however, warned that a Democratic supermajority would unleash a rash of 'liberal' initiatives."
The New York Times writes about the Georgia Senate run-off, casting the race as "the first test of Mr. Obama's coattails." (But is that a fair characterization when Obama lost that state by five points?)
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is up with a new TV ad whacking Chambliss.
ILLINOIS: The Chicago Tribune reports that Obama's "decision to step down from his U.S. Senate seat Sunday has ratcheted up the pressure on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to name a successor more quickly than planned, sources close to the governor said Thursday. No decision is expected before the U.S. Senate begins its lame-duck session on Monday, sources familiar with the governor's deliberations said. Blagojevich has only said he would name a successor before the end of the year, and his office declined comment Thursday."
MINNESOTA: "In the latest twist in Minnesota's continuing U.S. Senate race, the Al Franken campaign hit Ramsey County with a lawsuit Thursday, seeking the names and addresses of voters whose absentee ballots were rejected," the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes. "The DFLer's campaign hopes to force counties across the state to turn over the lists of rejected absentee voters who, if later found eligible, could tip the balance in the closest Senate race in the country. With Republican Sen. Norm Coleman 206 votes ahead of Franken, a hand recount is scheduled to begin next week."
"Minnesota is preparing to move a seemingly stalemated U.S. Senate election into the tedious process of a statewide recount as it readies an army of workers to sort through nearly 3 million ballots. Election workers at dozens of sites will examine ballots, one by one, building piles for Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. A separate stack of disputed ballots will fall to a state board for a final ruling."
Meanwhile, with his re-election status in limbo, Norm has decided not to run for chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "According to The Hill newspaper, Coleman on Thursday called Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to tell him that he was ending his bid and supporting Cornyn for the post. Cornyn, who is vice chairman, has no other opposition for the top job."
NORTH CAROLINA: Winning solves lots of things. Kay Hagan dropped her libel suit against Elizabeth Dole for that "Godless" TV ad.