Friday, November 7, 2008

Al Franken's Deficit Is 236 Votes!

Al Franken is within .011 percentage points of Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.

Real life stranger than fiction! Except for a comedy genius like Franken himself, no one could imagine a more dramatic, darkly humorous last scene that continues to unfold. Saturday Night Live was never this weird! The simple and ideal solution would be to hold a new run-off election.

This is unbelievable—my nightmare of not having worked hard enough and losing by one vote—has unfortunately come true!

Earlier Coleman had declared victory and suggested that Franken should waive a recount. But Coleman kept to himself on Thursday, while Franken called reporters to talk about the prospects for a continued narrowing of the count:
Coleman said there was no reason for a recount, that there would be no movement. But you see that [his lead] has more than halved and the recount hasn't even started. This election will be decided by the voters, not by the candidates.
Determination of voter intent is what it's all about. Look at this:

Crazy outcome may top 'em all

In the 1974 New Hampshire race, both candidates were declared the winner, and the seat was also declared vacant before a revote.


  1. Thanks for the timely update, Coleen. I agree with you. The people of Minnesota deserve to have a runoff election, especially with that 3rd party candidate having been eliminated.

  2. Yeah, it's unfair that our joy about Obama's election cannot be complete here in Minnesota.

    The promise of at least a couple more months of nail biting may be good news for that one person out there with election post-partum but it’s also a time for some of us Minnesotans to kick ourselves for not having done more to secure the lousy couple hundred votes that now separate the candidates. (My only solace was in finding out today that the corner of Dakota County I doorknocked and leafleted, turned out more new voters who registered on Election Day than elsewhere in the county.)

    So what in the heck happened? The Franken vs Coleman Senate election did turn out exactly as I predicted, so unbelievably close and with 3rd party candidate Dean Barkley apparently drawing equally from both parties. But Minnesota’s weird split-voting all up and down the ticket just has to be in a category by itself. Minnesota’s 77% recorded voter turn-out led the nation (although we did not beat our state’s own turnout record of 80%). Obama walloped McCain 54% to 44%, yielding a significant 10% voting margin overall. But unfortunately among those people who turned out to vote, presumably to change Bush’s disastrous course by voting for Obama, there were significant percentages of Minnesotan voters who also voted to stay Bush’s course by voting for Norm Coleman and the other right-wing Bush sycophants like (our Congressman) John Kline. Not only were all three very right-wing Republicans elected to the U.S. Congress, but there was only a net pick up of a couple seats for the Democratic Farmer Labor Party in the Minnesota House. Why and how this all happened will keep politicos scratching their heads and debating for a while.

    The upshot is we’ll have to keep vigil a little longer here. Norm opposes the recount so he surely would oppose the scheduling of a new runoff election. He knows he’d lose.

  3. Al Franken is a national treasure. I don't understand how the good people of Minnesota don't realize that plain fact.

  4. What a crazy world...what's not to love about Al Franken??

  5. Ouch! Only 236 votes. Yes, it's recount time, and (hopefully) Coleman will lose by 236 votes. What can I do for Al at this point?

  6. I don't know what we can do right now but wait. It's possible the "Recount" process might require both candidates to keep fundraising for legal expenses. I volunteered yesterday on Franken's website to help with the recount if they need volunteers. Anyway I'll keep you all posted on ways to help if I see what they need.

    What people in other states probably don't understand with regard to Minnesotans' crazy split ticket voting is the power of the ad campaigns and Coleman's incumbency. Coleman is truly one of the slickest, slimiest but savviest politicians anywhere. He's been running for and winning elections since 5th grade! It was incredible to see how he turned the tables with his ad featuring his wife playing the victim emerge just a day after the corruption lawsuit scandal broke.

    Coleman won by turning the tables that way after Wellstone died, too, by pretending to take the high road and stop campaigning in deference to Wellstone's death. That fooled me also back then, the first time. But Coleman is really just a consummate polished politician and good actor.

  7. The GOP knows how to "spin." Please keep us posted about Franken's potential recount. I spent many wonderful hours with him on Air America.

  8. From tight to tighter: Franken now just 206 votes behind

    Like I said, no one could have ever imagined such an unusual ending to this election. But Minnesota's election procedures do have several procedures built in to ensure fairness.

  9. Reasons for Optimism: Democrats are more likely to mess up their ballots than Republicans.

  10. LOL, Vig. Let's hope at least 208 of them did.