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Franken Campaign: We Will Win

Entertainer Al Franken's (D) campaign said Saturday that he will ultimately defeat Sen. Norm Coleman (R) even as the recount in the Minnesota race plods on.

Marc Elias, counsel to the Democrat's campaign, asserted that Franken will lead by between 35 and 50 votes when the state canvassing board finishes their review of challenged ballots early next week, adding that "at some point not too long after that, Al Franken will stand before you as the Senator-Elect from Minnesota."

The Coleman campaign, not surprisingly, begged to differ with that assessment. Mark Drake, Coleman's communications director, called Elias' statement "bluster and hot air", adding: "We have no doubt that once this recount is fully completed, Senator Coleman will be in the lead and will be reelected to the Senate."

Elias' pronouncement is reflective of the increasing confidence among state and national Democrats that, after more than six weeks of counting and re-counting of ballots in Minnesota, Franken is increasingly likely to prevail. (Want to get a feel for what the canvassing board is going through? Check out this nifty gadget from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.)

Expect Franken to try and declare victory if and when every ballot is counted -- assuming he remains ahead; Coleman, on the other hand, will do publicly make clear to voters that the outcome remains very much up in the air while privately pursuing his legal options.

The key? It could well be the Associated Press. If they call the race for Franken, it will be hard for Coleman to make the case he can still win. Of course, since the AP already called the race for Coleman and was then forced to pull it back, they may be cautious the second time around.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 20, 2008; 7:45 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Another really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS

Posted by: hclark1 | December 24, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what Hannity and O"reilly think now as they had their man winning a month ago and thought the recount would all go the way it has in the past.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | December 22, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the republicans would dare cry foul after the two illegal Bush election wins. The fact that this election is even close is all due to "POLICIES AND CORRUPTION OF THE BUSH ADM." The republican party is in shambles just like he has our country.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | December 22, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Let all the votes be counted!
Minnesota's performance in this election is a million times better than that of Florida in 2000. Any objective observer monitoring the OPEN review of disputed ballots here can see that a good faith effort is being made to allow every voter a fair chance to have their vote be included in the final tally. It seems like only Republican partisans have a problem with that. They care only that their candidate win, even if that requires having large numbers of voters disenfranchised along the way.
The GOP strategists have determined that the more voters they can disenfranchise, the better the GOP's chance of winning. There are a lot of words that can describe such a strategy- but neither DEMOCRACY nor LEGAL are among them.

Posted by: DoctorB | December 22, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Let all the votes be counted!
Minnesota's performance in this election is a million times better than that of Florida in 2000. Any objective observer monitoring the OPEN review of disputed ballots here can see that a good faith effort is being made to allow every voter a fair chance to have their vote be included in the final tally. It seems like only Republican partisans have a problem with that. They care only that their candidate win, even if that requires having large numbers of voters disenfranchised along the way.
The GOP strategists have determined that the more voters they can disenfranchise, the better the GOP's chance of winning. There are a lot of words that can describe such a strategy- but neither DEMOCRACY not LEGAL are among them.

Posted by: DoctorB | December 22, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

actually, I think that was Chevy Chase. Al Franken was noted for declaring at its onset that the 1980's would be the "Al Franken Decade".

Posted by: pcpatterson | December 22, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I remember when he used to say, "..I'm Al Franken, and you're not!"

Posted by: 2Funny | December 22, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

59 and counting until 2010 when Dems will pick up the magic number of 60 Senate seats to make the GOP completely irrelevant and hopefully follow their leader Bush into “Hoovervilles” until a next Ronald Reagan arise to lead them out of the political wilderness...

Posted by: citystreet | December 22, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse


I said it once and I'll say it again, "Be a man."

Posted by: caesarganz | December 22, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

vgailitis-
I checked your link to Fox. I think the author there has not told the whole story on the 'clear' Coleman vote 'switched' to Franken. Here's the ballot image: http://senaterecount.startribune.com/media/ballotPDFs/minneapolis_4_8_challengedballot3.pdf

Note, on page 2, the reason for the challenge: the ballot is marked as an original, that the voter asked to correct. But there is no duplicate ballot corresponding to the Original (the ballot is marked Orig 6, there should be a corresponding ballot in that precinct marked Dupe 6). So the Franken campaign challenged the vote for Coleman. The board approved - that the challenge should be upheld. Here's the tricky part: they did not grant the vote to Franken, there was no 'switch'. They merely kept the vote from Coleman's column. Here's what I assume their logic is: the dupe ballot did not get properly marked as a dupe, so has already been properly counted in the pile of (presumably) uncontested ballots, where the vote was properly recorded for whomever the voter eventually chose.

Key point: the strib site has the ballot 'marked' for Franken. I think they are not counting it as a Franken vote, but as indicating that the Franken challenge was upheld. Fox missed the nuance.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 22, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

vgailitis writes
"For example, a vote clearly marked for Coleman was called for Franken because the voter cast votes for Obama/Biden! Another voter filled the box clearly over an "x" for coleman, that was decided was for Franken! Yet another ballot with the exact same markings, the oval filled in over an "x" for Franken, was deemed for Franken. Even you caesarganz might think something is odd here."

Could you cite the relevant ballots? The Star Tribune has all of the contested ballots displayed on their web site. Based on the decisions I've seen from the canvassing board, I suspect you're not telling the whole story; perhaps because you weren't told the whole story by your source. I'd like to see, for example, the ballot (allegedly) clearly marked for Coleman that was called for Franken because of the voter's presidential vote. Something tells me its not quite as clear cut as you describe...

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 22, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

caesarganz talks about Florida 2000! Yet even the most revered leftist rag couldn't dispute the election results. The dems have been living in this revenge cycle for so long they've lost what little was left of their minds. For example, the Minn elections people are now diving intent! For example, a vote clearly marked for Coleman was called for Franken because the voter cast votes for Obama/Biden! Another voter filled the box clearly over an "x" for coleman, that was decided was for Franken! Yet another ballot with the exact same markings, the oval filled in over an "x" for Franken, was deemed for Franken. Even you caesarganz might think something is odd here. Perhaps not. But get an idea of how voter "intent" is being divined by the obviously biased boards, just look at the ballots then decide, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,470892,00.html forget its fox news. The dems are stealing the election, and if you want to drift back to 2000 where even the best election stealing dem couldn't provide evidence to support the claim Bush stole it, then by all means live in that cloud for the rest of your life.

Posted by: vgailitis | December 22, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"Al Franken: my least favorite Democrat.

Not a standard-bearer for civility."

Ah yes, like those Republican standard-bearers for civility, such as Dick Cheney.

The Dems need someone to stand up to foul-mouthed scumbags like that.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 22, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse


Vgailitis, you don't have to go way back to 1974 to find stolen votes. Check out 2000 in Florida. It's always handy to have the state atty gen be the chairman of the Bush campaign in Florida.

You guys and FoxNews are struggling to find some controversy surrounding Obama and the Dems. You lost the predidency, the senate, the House and Minnesota. Accept it. Be a man.

Posted by: caesarganz | December 22, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Bondosan writes
"Compare Al Franken to Norm Coleman, who will switch parties and positions depending on where his electoral chances lie."

That is the only relevant piece of your long post on Franken. Franken can make a reasonable argument that he's the lesser of two evils. The primary thrust of this argument is based on Franken's lack of a voting record, compared to Coleman's known wishy-washiness.

As a MN voter, I have low confidence in either candidate to represent me and the state in the Senate. Flip a coin, draw straws, armwrestle, I don't care. At this point we'll get tweedledum or tweedledummer - what difference does it make?

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 22, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Democrats steal elections, and they've done so for a long time and in plain sight. The first clue was Franken bringing his weasel/ferret face to DEC to confer with Reid, and there was a reason. As one columnist wrote about democrats and election winning, "In 1974, Republican Louis Wyman won his race for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, beating Democrat John Durkin by 355 votes. Durkin demanded a recount -- which went back and forth by a handful of votes until the state's Ballot Law Commission concluded that Wyman had indeed won by (at least) two votes.

Wyman was certified the winner by the New Hampshire secretary of state and was on his way to Washington when ... the overwhelmingly Democratic U.S. Senate refused to seat Wyman.

Despite New Hampshire's certification of Wyman as the winner of the election, this was the post-Watergate Senate, when Democrats could get away with anything -- up to and including a prank known as "President Jimmy Carter."

The U.S. Senate spent months examining disputed ballots from the New Hampshire election. Unable to come up with a method to declare the Democrat the winner that didn't require a guillotine, the Senate forced New Hampshire to hold another election.

It was a breathtaking abuse of power. New Hampshire had certified a winner of its Senate election, but it was a Republican, so the Democratic Senate simply ordered a new election..."

The miracle votes found for Franken are the same miracles found for Schumer in NY when he ran against D'Amato. Except in NY where more people voted than were registered, hardly anyone blinked. You would think with strong midwestern values, people in Minn. would want real vs imitation. If Franken wins, it won't be because he actually won, it'll be because the dem party in its need for a majority let him win! Corruption is all part of the party's history, and the dems embrace it like the pedophiles they are!

Posted by: vgailitis | December 22, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The folks claiming that Al Franken is some kind of clown are going to get quite an education after he is sworn in as senator.

I've been following Al for some time, and the thing that made his comedy successful was the fact that he is extremely well-informed and works very, very hard.

Do you think being a successful comedian and satirist is easy? Go try it.

Most of the anti-Franken folks here have never read any of his books. He used humor to eviscerate the right wing because very few other were doing what needed to be done. He went after Limbaugh, and Coulter, and Hannity, and O'Reilly, when others were too timid or too scared to.

Witness this classic outburst from O'Reilly taken from the complaint in his sexual harassment lawsuit:

"If you cross Fox News Channel, it's not just me, it's Roger Ailes who will go after you. I'm the street guy out front making loud noises about the issues, but Ailes operates behind the scenes, strategizes and makes things happen so that one day BAM! The person gets what's coming to them but never sees it coming. Look at Al Franken, one day he's going to get a knock on his door and life as he's known it will change forever. That day will happen, trust me."

Compare Al Franken to Norm Coleman, who will switch parties and positions depending on where his electoral chances lie.

And no, Franken is not continually demanding recounts. Minnesota law required a recount and he is benefiting from it. Once all the votes that were properly cast are counted, Al Franken will be the Democrats' 59th vote in the Senate.

And the country will be much better off.

Who knew that the "knock on the door" O'Reilly talked about would be the one informing Franken that he's now a United States senator-elect?

Posted by: Bondosan | December 22, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I do not see why the election board challenged most of these ballots. I worked on the board in Iowa and it is clearly obvious who the voted intended their vote for - in some cases it looked like someone on the board in various counties added a pencil or black pen mark onto the marked ballot. In some cases it looked like the writer may have been unable to see clearly or hand shook as may have been an older voter... The intent is clear so give the voter his vote ---

Posted by: jmcshane | December 22, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse


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Politico is reporting "Obama to absolve Emanuel in gov. scandal"


WHEN WAS OBAMA IN CHARGE OF INVESTIGATING EMANUEL ??? The Transition team should not be investigating anything, OR coming to "conclusions" which it releases to the public.


THEN they leak the "report" to George Stephanopolous AT ABC WHO WAS PALS WITH RAHM EMANUEL ON THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN AND IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE.


IS THIS SILLY OR WHAT???


AND WHY DID IT TAKE 2 WEEKS TO "ABSOLVE" RAHM ???


Does it take that long to come up with a story?


The knew exactly what happened WHEN IT HAPPENED - IT WAS ONLY A FEW WEEKS AGO.


PLEASE IS THE MEDIA GOING TO REPORT THIS OR LAUGH AT IT???


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Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 22, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

After six years of a Senate term, the first four of which were spent licking George Bush's boots, Coleman garners a whopping 41.99 % of Minnesotan's votes.

A more clear repudiation would be tough to find.

Posted by: mathas | December 22, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"WHEN WAS OBAMA IN CHARGE OF INVESTIGATING EMANUEL ??? AND why is the transition team investigating itself? Why is Obama taking 2 weeks to release all the information about BLAGO ???"

Have you not watched or read the news?

Obama became in charge of Emanuel when he assigned him as Chief of Staff. When he was asked to release all information about contact that his team had with the Governor's office, that's when the transition team had to investigate itself. They've taken two weeks to release the information because:

1. They needed to find out who had talked to whom and about what. I don't know how things work in your office, but in mine there are 50 people. I'd bet that Obama has just as many if not more. You know how long it takes to talk to 50 people and be confident you know what they all did? It took Obama's team a week, which is quicker than I'd be able to get it out of my office, and I'm not trying to fix a falling economy and build a Presidential staff.

2. They wanted to release it last Monday, but the Justice Department asked them to wait, indicating that they didn't want the information in the public as it could jeopardize the case. Obama announced last Monday that he'd release it in a week.

Do you honestly think that Obama's team is the only one investigating any conversations between them and Blago? Patrick Fitzgerald is a great prosecutor. Whoever has involvement will be brought out if and when they have information to prosecute.

Posted by: vb1175 | December 22, 2008 5:03 AM | Report abuse

Al Franken is not an entertainer. Franken has been very concerned about the country for many years now. That is why he has been on Air America for a long time. He is just what America needs. Franken wants to help the country, unlike so many politicians who are already in office.

Posted by: fedup11 | December 21, 2008 10:54 PM | Report abuse

what's all the ballyhoo about? You count the votes. Whomever has the most votes is the winner. Of course if Coleman loses he can always have the Supreme Court declare him the winner. It's happen before and the way this guy talks about going to court, it could happen again.

Posted by: Opa2 | December 21, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

what's all the ballyhoo about? You count the votes. Whomever has the most votes is the winner. Of course if Coleman loses he can always have the Supreme Court declare him the winner. It's happen before and the way this guy talks about going to court, it could happen again.

Posted by: Opa2 | December 21, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse


civility is the least problem in the senate. the buying and selling of votes is much more serious, thank you Norm coleman. good bye and good riddance , you turncoat former Democrat. 59 votes and only 1 senator among the GOP easy-squeezies to bring over to our side on important votes. YES WE CAN !!!!!

Posted by: cruztbone | December 21, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The Minnesota Supreme Court orderd the wrongly rejected absentee ballots be counted by December 31. We still have not heard how they will do it.
I think the way to resolve the absentee votes is as follows:
1.The precincts should be ordered to continue sorting through the uncounted absentee ballots with wrongly challenged put in a separate pile five. Coleman and Franken can have observers.
2. All ballots in pile five should be sent to the Secretary of State (SOS) along with a copy of the proof that the ballot was WRONGLY rejected. For example, if it was rejected because the voter was NOT registered, then a copy of the voter's registration should be attached.
3. The SOS and representatives from Franken and Coleman go through the ballots. Those they all agree should be counted go in one pile. Those they all agree should NOT be counted go in a second pile. Those they don't agree on go in a third challenged pile.
4. The ballots in pile one are opened and counted with both campaigns allowed to challenge the ballots.
5. The challenged unopened ballots from pile 3 and the challenged opened ballots are sent to the Board. The board rules on the challenges and the votes are awarded.

Posted by: abowers1 | December 21, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

"What?...you say the key may be the call by the Associated Press?...doesn't making the wrong call already invalidate any presumption of accuracy?....and why does the press believe that they hold an ounce of preeminence in the determination of any election?.....the press are a sideshow...this statement is typical of the self-serving/self-aggrandizement/self-congratulatory spew frequently offered by press elitists as fact...."

Its not about how the Press feels about their own pronouncements. Its about how the people feel about their pronouncements. If several media outlets call a race for a candidate, the PUBLIC PERCEPTION begins to believe that person is the winner. Once the public perceives one person as the winner, then the public PERCEIVES any attempts (regardless of the validity of those attempts) to challenge the results as an attempt to "change the outcome" of a decided election.

Again, its all about public perception.

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | December 21, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

A MODEST PROPOSAL: RUN-OFFS REQUIRED IN TIGHT RACES...

Has anyone considered a law that would require run-off election in the event that the margin of victory in any contest for national office is less than, say, 1 or 2 percent of the total votes cast?

Would such a provision require a Constitutional amendment? Maybe...

Such a law would have prevented the constitutional crisis of election 2000.

BUT WILL THE ELECTION EVEN MATTER? Not as long as government-supported extrajudicial "vigilante injustice" squads are "community/gang stalking" American citizens, making a mockery of the rule of law:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/american-gestapo-state-supported-terrorism-targets-u-s-citizens
OR members.nowpublic.com/scrivener RE: "American Gestapo..."

WHAT IF THEY COULD SHOOT YOU
WITHOUT
LEAVING A TRACE? THEY CAN. AND DO.
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/zap-have-you-been-targeted-directed-energy-weapon-victims-organized-gang-stalking-say-its-happening-usa-1
OR members.nowpublic.com/scrivener RE: "Zap! Have You Been Targeted by a Directed Energy Weapon?"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 21, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

.

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Politico is reporting "Obama to absolve Emanuel in gov. scandal"

WHEN WAS OBAMA IN CHARGE OF INVESTIGATING EMANUEL ???

IS THIS SILLY OR WHAT???

AND WHY DID IT TAKE 2 WEEKS TO "ABSOLVE" RAHM ???

PLEASE IS THE MEDIA GOING TO REPORT THIS OR LAUGH AT IT???


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Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 21, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

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Why is Obama taking 2 weeks to release all the information about BLAGO ???


AND why is the transition team invesigating itself?


This is beginning to sound like NIXON'S 3RD TERM.


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Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 21, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

What?...you say the key may be the call by the Associated Press?...doesn't making the wrong call already invalidate any presumption of accuracy?....and why does the press believe that they hold an ounce of preeminence in the determination of any election?.....the press are a sideshow...this statement is typical of the self-serving/self-aggrandizement/self-congratulatory spew frequently offered by press elitists as fact....

Posted by: josephfranklyn | December 21, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Entertainer Chris Cillizza has an entertaining blog, and gosh darn it, I like him.

Posted by: optimyst | December 21, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Entertainer" Al Franken?

That is just plain disrespect.

And do your homework: Candidate Franken is running for the Democrat-Farm-Labor party (DFL).

Posted by: VeronaItaly | December 21, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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Franken is gearing up to declare victory because he believes he has an advantage at this point - with some ballots missing and others being counted twice (this is not a joke)

so if Franken is behind at the end of this round, will he concede??


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Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | December 21, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Al Franken was by no means the strongest possible DFL candidate. However, he was well-known and had enough money to get the nomination during the primaries. If the party had its choice, I assume they would've selected a different candidate.

However, Colemans inability to defeat such a flawed candidate should be seen as evidence of Minnesota's dissatisfaction with his service. In addition to suitgate (a GOP donor has apparently also been buying him suits, in addition to flying him around the globe), there's the story of his fishing trip with Ted Stevens paid for by lobbyists, and the posh DC apartment for which he is paying below-market rent.

Minnesotans overwhelmingly voted for change on Nov. 4th. It just so happened that they did so by voting for two candidates - Franken and Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley.

Regardless of who is ahead at the end of the recount, I will not be confident that it is reflective of the democratic process. The margin will almost surely be within the system's margin of error. 130 missing ballots in Dinkeytown? Up to 1600 improperly rejected absentee ballots? Up to 150 ballots that were possibly double counted? How can the canvassing board confidently declare a winner under such circumstances?

Some here are already calling for a coin flip, which our state prescribes in the event of a tie. Again, this fails the democratic process. Expensive as it is, the only real solution is a runoff election. However, that would require an act of legislature, and I doubt the state senate wants to get involved.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 21, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Interesting. I'm thinking Al Franken will be a better Senator than Norm Coleman. At least he'll read the legislation before he votes.

Posted by: Samson151 | December 21, 2008 4:42 AM | Report abuse


JBaustian wrote. "..... and I enjoyed watching [that airbag slamming into franken's head] over and over, at intervals of about 0.2 seconds..."

----------------------

i guess that would explain his boxer like responses.

cnn; "mister franken, how are you doing in the polls?"

franken; "darrrr"

cnn; "are you leading?"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "are you losing?"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "what are you running for?"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "can i get you some water?"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "hey franken! that big birds about to sh*t on your head!"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "say mister franken! a 5 ton safe just fell out of that window! it's going to squash you!"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "mister franken?"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "mister franken?"

franken; "darrr"

cnn; "ahhh f* it.. pull the plug. you have my permission"

franken; "darrr"

Posted by: DriveByPoster | December 21, 2008 3:29 AM | Report abuse

JBaustian wrote; "I have fond memories of a scene from that sitcom Al Franken was in, back 10 years or so. He was demonstrating how the driver's-side airbag functioned in a collision, and I enjoyed watching it slam into his head over and over, at intervals of about 0.2 seconds.
What does this have to do with the Senate race in Minnesota? Nothing, except I'd obtain more enjoyment from watching him get whacked in the head than from watching him pontificate from the floor of the Senate. Especially as he has turned into such a big fat moron."

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"what does this have to do with the senate race in minnestoa? nothing."

LOL!

i'm just sitting back with my hands behind my head and eyes closed picturing this...

:D

Posted by: DriveByPoster | December 21, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse


rbrander wrote, "Why does everybody assume Franken will keep doing comedy as a Senator? Sonny Bono didn't keep singing "I Got You Babe" on the house floor or anything. It's possible he'll ... just be a Senator..."

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why do we assume franken will keep doing comedy? well.. ummmm.. because he's a friggin clown? could it be the bozo face he has? that big red round nose he has? those size 44 shoes he wear? i think they are all hints....

and personally.. as much as i HATE sonny and cher.. i would rather be doomed in eternity hearing their sh*tty songs over and over and over.. rather than see frankenstein's ugly face demanding more and more recounts... at some point, even frankensenseless has to admit he's just an a**hole and GO AWAY.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | December 21, 2008 3:10 AM | Report abuse

Why does everybody assume Franken will keep doing comedy as a Senator? Sonny Bono didn't keep singing "I Got You Babe" on the house floor or anything. It's possible he'll ... just be a Senator, with about the same positions as his friend Paul Wellstone; the Senate survived that era somehow.

Posted by: rbrander | December 21, 2008 2:46 AM | Report abuse

"Nate Silver @ fivethirtyeight.com called the Presidential election almost exactly, as well as Senate races & the overall count of Democratic Senate seats.

A few weeks ago, after running reams of data through statistical analysis, Silver predicted that after the recount Franken would win by 27 votes! (But he did caution that that was well within the realm of error.)"

I don't put much stock in a prediction like that, but Silver's analysis of the situation is amazing.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 21, 2008 2:20 AM | Report abuse

"The Fix" seems to be appropriate place for this story.

Posted by: truth2 | December 21, 2008 1:33 AM | Report abuse

Al Franken: my least favorite Democrat.

Not a standard-bearer for civility.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 21, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about Associated Press?

Its about perception. Once one news agency calls a race, the pressure is on for the others to do so as well. The more agencies that call a race, the more the perception sinks in that the person DID win and that any change would be taking victory from the "declared winner". For an example, take a look at the 2000 Gore v Bush. Fox rushed to call Florida and the other news agencies followed suit. The next morning, because the news agencies called the race, the perception was that Gore was trying to overturn the will of the people by asking for the recount. Of course, things have changed since then and news agencies are much more careful, but the perception issue remains and that is what each candidate wants to win (in addition to the actual race).

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | December 21, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about the Associated Press?

Nate Silver @ fivethirtyeight.com called the Presidential election almost exactly, as well as Senate races & the overall count of Democratic Senate seats.

A few weeks ago, after running reams of data through statistical analysis, Silver predicted that after the recount Franken would win by 27 votes! (But he did caution that that was well within the realm of error.)

Still, if Franken does win by such a razor-thin margin, it is another feather in Nate Silver's cap.

Posted by: blackhook | December 21, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I have fond memories of a scene from that sitcom Al Franken was in, back 10 years or so. He was demonstrating how the driver's-side airbag functioned in a collision, and I enjoyed watching it slam into his head over and over, at intervals of about 0.2 seconds.

What does this have to do with the Senate race in Minnesota? Nothing, except I'd obtain more enjoyment from watching him get whacked in the head than from watching him pontificate from the floor of the Senate. Especially as he has turned into such a big fat moron.

Posted by: JBaustian | December 20, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Why are a group of newspaper reporters the arbiters of an election?

At the same time, Coleman has to achieve some kind of gross legal perversion to triumph at this point, I think.

Posted by: SeanC1 | December 20, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The Senate will be a better place with Franken in it. The guy is smart and right on most issues. Humor is sorely lacking in Washington and I can't wait to hear him take apart the self righteous remnants of the Republican party still left in Congress.

Posted by: JohnDoug | December 20, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The AP? Why is that Republican-biased so-called press agency the arbiter of close elections?

I say, let's wait for MSNBC to call it.

Posted by: RealCalGal | December 20, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

"Expect Franken to try and declare victory if and when every ballot is counted..."

Unlike Coleman who wanted to declare victory before every ballot was counted.
How Republican of him.

Posted by: Canonera | December 20, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

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