Coleman Beats Franken, Recount Likely
The Minnesota Senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic comedian Al Franken is still too close to call. Coleman has a slight lead in all the counts and is expected to be ahead narrowly when the counting’s done. The Star Tribune says that a recount looms.
With 99 percent of the 4,130 precincts reporting, Coleman maintains an unofficial margin of less than 800 votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast, almost assuring that there will be a recount. Required in races with a winning margin of less than one half of 1 percent, the recount could delay a final result for days while ballots are retabulated across the state.
By law, Franken could waive a recount, but that seems highly unlikely.
Both candidates captured 42 percent of the vote. Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley captured 15 percent of the vote.
It would appear that, if Coleman pulls off his re-election bid, hes got Barkley to thank.
Franken struggled throughout the evening to hang on to all of the Democratic surge, losing some to ticket-splitters who opted for Coleman, particularly in the suburbs.
Returns showed Barkley trailing a distant third, but also pulling enough Democrats and independents to possibly cost Franken the race.
Gotta love third parties and those who vote for them in close elections.
As I was about to hit Publish, AP called it for Coleman. A recount is still almost certain.
UPDATE: With 100 percent of the precincts in, Coleman has a 600 vote margin. Franken has already called for a recount.
“The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days. We won’t know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard.”
After a bitter, long-fought race, it’s hard to blame him. The problem with recounts, though, is that, if the results change, the original winner’s supporters will never believe the election wasn’t stolen. We’ve got to figure out how to get it right the first time and have people confident in that fact.