A conclusion draws near in the Minnesota Senate race

In the highly contested recount between incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman and challenger Democratic Farmer Laborer Al Franken, only a few hundred votes are putting Franken in the lead.  After more absentee ballots were counted today by the Minnesota Canvassing Board, Franken’s lead increased.  Of the ballots counted, 52% went for Franken, 33% for Coleman, and the rest didn’t have someone listed or voted for “other.”  That “other” category is mostly Dean Barkley, the Minnesota Independence Party candidate for US Senate this November.  He got more than 15% of the vote.

As for who will be Minnesota’s Senator, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said,

Coleman’s attorneys said that depending on what the court decides, they would be ready to file a legal action contesting the recount results as early as Tuesday. Recount attorney Fritz Knaak said that he believed 300 to 400 ballots would go Coleman’s way in a contest, including through the addition of absentee ballots so far excluded and the elimination of so-called “double votes” in Minneapolis.

“We are prepared to go forward and take whatever legal action is necessary to … remedy this artificial lead that we believe is being shown now for the Franken campaign,” Knaak said.

Franken recount attorney Marc Elias was somewhat restrained in his comments following the counting, expressing satisfaction that the disputed absentee votes were counted and confidence that Franken will be declared the winner Monday.

17 thoughts on “A conclusion draws near in the Minnesota Senate race

  1. Catholic Trotskyist

    OH LORD, GOD BLESS OUR ABIDING FRIEND AND CATHTROTIC FELLOW TRAVELER ALBERT FRANKEN. May he bathe in the glory of God as a member of that anointed body the US Senate, increasing the Democratic majority to new heights of greatness. You have overcome all odds, great friend, including a vicious attack by the fascist/stalinist Nader agent pig criminal Dean Barkley, and slime Norm Coleman, and you have prevailed.

    God bless the pope, God bless Obama, God bless Rick Warren, and rest the soul of Claybourne Pell. Amen.

  2. Jaron Blake

    What’s with the sour grapes? Franken has won, fair and square. And if Coleman goes to court…well, he’ll be the loser in more ways than one. Minnesota is to be congratulated for a thorough and transparent recount. It’s time for this to be over. Franken won and should take his seat in the U.S. Senate.

  3. Gene Berkman

    Neither Coleman nor Franken received anything close to a majority. Each got about 42% – 16% went to three alternative candidates.

    With a winner achieving “victory” by a couple hundred votes, Dean Barkley received in excess of 460,00 votes, with 23,000 going to Libertarian & Constitution Party candidates. Alternative Party candidates received 2000 times the difference in votes!

  4. sunshinebatman


    A Louisiana- or Georgia- style runoff in early December would have resolved this issue earlier!

  5. Trent Hill

    How does it resolve this issue? In a runoff election it’d be just as likely that two candidates could get within 100 votes of each other.

  6. NewFederalist

    I can’t wait to see the skits Franken will perform in the U.S. Senate! It will make C-SPAN II “must see TV”.

  7. Sivarticus

    Though Franken looks headed for victory, the MN Independence Party had better watch out. The Democrats are going to be even more vigilant in the future. They’ve wanted the IP dead for years since they believe it spoils statewide elections for their candidates.

  8. Libertarian Joseph

    The democrats are surging everywhere, I think. That’s funny. The GOP gave us years of unfulfilled fiscal conservatism that the people are tired of.

    In other words, the people think what they had was free markets, even though Bush was fiscally insane. Even MORESO than FDR. Sheesh.

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget#Total_Outlays_in_Recent_Budget_Submissions

    So the people are now ready to call the end to the freeing up of the markets that we never had and a hail to the already rapidly acceleration towards socialism.

    fascinating hehe

  9. Melty

    Yes. Formidable showing by Dean Barkley. Minnesota Independence Party is a a force to be reckoned with and the ruling parties know it too.

  10. Melty

    @8 some runoff systems’re good some’re not. Ones that eliminate to realocate (like “Instant Runoff”) are bad. Most deliberative runoff methods are a plus. In this case, a top-two runoff would’ve been reseasonable.
    If only Minnesota, or any state, would adopt Approval Voting… ruling parties won’t have it, though. Still, at the local level as far as I’m aware, it could be taken on.

  11. Trent Hill

    Yes, the Minnesota IP ranks among the strongest third-parties. The others are the Vermont Progressives, Alaskan Independence Party, and various affilliates of the big three (specifically im thinking of the CP’s Utah and Nevada, The GP’s Maine and Illinois, and the LP’s North Carolina and Texas.

  12. Steven R Linnabary

    I can’t wait to see the skits Franken will perform in the U.S. Senate! It will make C-SPAN II “must see TV”.

    You never listened to Franken’s radio show, did you?


  13. Ross Levin Post author

    Yeah, Franken’s a pretty boring guy when not doing some sort of comedy.

    Even if he didn’t win a majority, he got elected. And I’m excited to see him in the Senate.

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