Sunday, November 09, 2008

Minnesota is the new Florida

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Well, not exactly. I mean, it's not like the outcome of the presidential election depends on the outcome of Minnesota's Senate election or anything, but, still, the extremely close race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, with a recount looming, has come to resemble what happened in Florida in 2000.

Coleman was up by 725 votes on election night. By Friday afternoon, the race had narrowed to just 239 -- see my post from Friday on the developments up until then. Here's the latest:

A judge ruled Saturday that 32 new absentee ballots will be counted in the race for U.S. Senate.

*****

On Saturday, Coleman's campaign asked Ramsey County Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin to issue a temporary restraining order regarding the counting of the ballots.Gearin denied the request because of a lack of jurisdiction.

Franken's campaign spokesman Andy Barr called it "a Saturday sneak attack" spurred by concern Franken was gaining ground.

Coleman has no plans to contest the results.

The Minnesota secretary of state's office most recent tally had Coleman 221 votes ahead of Franken.

Yes, it's now just a 221-vote lead for Coleman, with the margin narrowing rather significantly even before the upcoming recount. (Which isn't to say that Franken will win the recount, just that it's awfully close going into it.) CNN has the latest results here.

Needless to say, we'll continue to monitor this closely.

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