Coleman Wins Recount (For Now) - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Coleman Wins Recount (For Now)

All the precincts in Minnesota have finished their recounting, and as of now the Star Tribune numbers have Norm Coleman ahead by 238 votes, up from the 215 vote lead he had going into the recount. There are several wrinkles left, however. One is the outstanding issue of 133 ballots reportedly missing in a Democratic leaning precinct that the Franken campaign argues would mean a net gain for them of as many as 46 votes. The second issue is the more than 6,000 ballots being challenged by the campaigns. The campaigns have begun to pare down that number and the Coleman campaign has proposed that the two sides sit down to further reduce the number of challenges. It’s hard to predict how the challenged ballots will affect the outcome of the race, because different types of challenges will affect the vote margin in different ways. Based on the ballots I’ve seen, most of the challenges appear to be frivolous ones that will likely be thrown out by the state Canvassing Board. As of this writing, Coleman has challenged more ballots than Franken, and given that challenges currently count as “no votes,” odds are that Coleman’s lead will be reduced once the Board makes the final ruling on the ballots. But even if you factor in the so-called 133 “mystery” ballots, and assume Franken makes some gains once the challenges are all in, the math still seems difficult for Franken. That’s why, in the end, the race may hinge on how far Franken is willing to go to fight over rejected absentee ballots — of the thousands of such rejected ballots, the Franken campaign argues that up to 1,000 should be ligitimately counted. He has the option of taking the matter to the courts, and — if that fails — proceding to the U.S. Senate, where Democrats may or may not want to take on a bitter partisan floor fight. So, in other words, sit tight. Things are looking positive for Coleman right now, but there are several of bumps along the road in the next few weeks. For what it’s worth, a poll shows that 67 percent of Minnesotans expect Coleman to win the recount.

UPDATE: The Franken campaign is claiming they’re up by four votes, according to TPM. That’s based on assumptions about how the Canvassing Board will rule on the challenges, and also anticipates a 46-vote gain from the 133 “mystery” ballots.

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