Minnesota Recount: Looking grim for Franken

posted at 9:09 am on December 1, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

At least in the recount itself.  The margin separating Al Franken from Norm Coleman may look small — and it is — but it’s big enough to withstand the pending challenges, according to Ramsey County’s election manager:

While a tiny margin separates the candidates in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, it is wide enough that Democrat Al Franken faces a daunting task in challenging votes to erase Sen. Norm Coleman’s lead.

The two sides have disputed thousands of the other’s votes, but many of those challenges are regarded by experts as frivolous.

To win his case before the state Canvassing Board, Franken must prevail on more than 6 percent of his challenges of Coleman votes even if Coleman fails to succeed on any of his challenges, a Star Tribune analysis shows.

If the outcome of past election disputes provides a clue, Franken will have a hard time reversing enough votes to win, said one veteran elections official who has been involved in the Senate recount.

“Based upon the kinds of challenges I’ve been looking at in the last two weeks, I think that’s just not going to happen,” said Joe Mansky, Ramsey County elections manager.

The recount will finish this week, at which point the Canvassing Board will start to address the challenged ballots.  Both sides have challenged almost equal numbers of them, but Franken has to outperform Coleman on challenges by 6% in order to overcome Coleman’s lead.  We’ve already seen the kinds of challenges Franken has filed, and Mansky may have understated Franken’s chances of prevailing.

This election will go to the courts in the end.  Franken thinks he can overcome Coleman with a selective look at the rejected absentee ballots, but that again presumes that Franken voters are at least 6% less adept overall than Coleman voters.  I’ll leave the irony of that assumption for Hot Air readers to ponder.


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This is an outrage! The day that a good liberal like Franken can’t steal an election in a liberal state like Minnesota in the most Democratic-leaning year since 1976 is a sad day, indeed. This is all the product of Republican treachery! /sarc

Outlander on December 1, 2008 at 9:12 AM

I blame Bu$h. Maybe we’ll never hear Franken’s first senate monologue on CSPAN. Drat.

EconomicNeocon on December 1, 2008 at 9:16 AM

…Franken voters

are at least 6% less adept overall than Coleman voters…

At least. I would say 6 % is an underestimation of their ignorance.

Don’t you understand? He is a never-was celebrity. His books don’t sell. He is not funny enough to speak at Corporate Meetings. We owe him this position. /sarc off

kingsjester on December 1, 2008 at 9:17 AM

We need Franken in the Senate. He will be the poster-boy for the Obama years when we look back in 2030.

lodge on December 1, 2008 at 9:17 AM

No offense Ed…but…
Ventura, now FRANKEN (within a whisper of a US Senate seat)!
Just what or who WON’T the good people of Minnesota vote for?

What’s going on up there?

edgehead on December 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Some may refer to Congress as a collection of perverted pornographers practicing politics, but only if Franken succeeds in stealing the election will this be literally true.

BKennedy on December 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

At least Franken has his comedy/writing/radio career to fall back on. Most liberals starve when they lose an election.

Tommy_G on December 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

What is wrong with the people in Minn that the election of a foul mouthed, porn user, etc., etc., can be this close?
Were they just trying to poke fun at the senate?
Or are they all foul mouthed porn users?

Bambi on December 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

Gee, this is really too bad. What better representative could the leftist Democrats have fielded than this two-bit, idiot comic.

rplat on December 1, 2008 at 9:19 AM

We’ve already seen the kinds of challenges Franken has filed

You’ve only highlighted the frivolous challenges that Franken has issued, not the ones that Coleman has issued. I logged in to the Star Tribune’s recount site, and the first ballot they showed me was this one, which is clearly a frivolous challenge by Coleman: http://senaterecount.startribune.com/media/ballotPDFs/LacQuiParle_CerroGordo_challengedballot1.pdf (they claim an identifying mark).

Browsing through the ballots on that site, you can see that the reality is that most challenges by *both* sides are frivolous, and I don’t see a trend showing one side is more frivolous than another. If you have a source that indicates otherwise, that would be interesting to see.

That being said, Franken is probably a longshot to win at this point.

tneloms on December 1, 2008 at 9:20 AM

Not to worry about Al. If he loses his attempt to steal the election, 0bama will appoint him as Secretary of Education.

Amazed on December 1, 2008 at 9:21 AM

I hate to say it Ed, but how in the hell did a complete nutter moron like Franken come close to a good and decent man like Coleman…

What has happened to the people of Minnesota?

Keemo on December 1, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Franken’s ONLY claim to fame was that he was on Saturday Night Live back when it was funny.

He wasn’t funny: his only line, “I’m Al Franken”, delivered in a tone implying that someone should care, was mildly amusing the first time you heard it. By the 100th time (a milestone I believe he achieved in his first appearance), it was just annoying.

Franken: No substance, no talent, just annoying.

landlines on December 1, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Thank you Minnesota (Go Gophers!) for possibly electing this “man-child” to an office on the federal level.

Takes the pressure off of Georgia for having Carter as the biggest Loser to run for a federal level election.

>;^)

Branch Rickey on December 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM

This is the best news I’ve heard all year. I just couldn’t imagine him in the senate.

ErinF on December 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Who gets the last laugh, funny-boy?

jgapinoy on December 1, 2008 at 9:30 AM

Most liberals starve when they lose an election.

Nah. They just go back to spending either Daddie’s trust fund or spending the estate of their gold-digging wife’s first husband.

crazy_legs on December 1, 2008 at 9:31 AM

Go to hell, Minnesota. Find yourself another country.

Percy_Peabody on December 1, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Franken can still rely on Reid to just declare him the winner, regardless of what the courts and voters decide.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Democrats have used their numerical superiority to steal a seat.

MarkTheGreat on December 1, 2008 at 9:35 AM

We’ve already seen the kinds of challenges Franken has filed, and Mansky may have understated Franken’s chances of prevailing.

Ed: I think you mean overstated here.

Athanasius on December 1, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Franken’s ONLY claim to fame was that he was on Saturday Night Live back when it was funny.

landlines on December 1, 2008 at 9:26 AM

landlines, I do believe you are being a bit harsh on Simple Smiley. He was good in “Trading Places” as an idiot transit worker.

Oh, my apologies, wait, you are right; he wasn’t acting. :)

Branch Rickey on December 1, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Most Democrats are pretty stupid, otherwise they wouldn’t have voted for an unqualified clown act like Al Franken in the first place.

So Franken has every reason to believe in the utter incompetence of his voters. They were stupid enough to cast a vote for a clown him, weren’t they?

NoDonkey on December 1, 2008 at 9:40 AM

After a rage filled concession speech, Coleman should walk over and tell Franken that he wansn’t smart enough, he wasn’t good enough, and gosh darn’t people didn’t like him.

THE CHOSEN ONE on December 1, 2008 at 9:42 AM

Thank you Minnesota (Go Gophers!) for possibly electing this “man-child” to an office on the federal level.

Takes the pressure off of Georgia for having Carter as the biggest Loser to run for a federal level election.

>;^)

Branch Rickey on December 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Just thank half of Minnesota…I still can’t get over the fact that is was this close.

right2bright on December 1, 2008 at 9:46 AM

I hate to say it Ed, but how in the hell did a complete nutter moron like Franken come close to a good and decent man like Coleman…

What has happened to the people of Minnesota?

Keemo on December 1, 2008 at 9:23 AM

Obama?

johnsteele on December 1, 2008 at 9:47 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/us/politics/01policy.html?hp

Interesting….

IF they can tie this up in the courts long enough for the new Congress to be installed…. and Barry in power…

Democrats in Senate THEN declare him the winner, Obama then uses FEDERAL troops and the Power Bush gave himself over National Guards (and the fact that they are deployed overseas) to install him as Senator in order to restore Public Order.

We live in intersting times…. have there been recent earthquakes on the East Coast? As our Founding Fathers roll over in their graves?

Romeo13 on December 1, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Voting for Frankin,Rangle,Dodd. Pelosi and Reid,Clinton,Kerry,Kennedy just shows how stupid the Liberals are.

High Gas prices . Liberal policies.
Stock market falling. Liberal policies.
Housing bubble busting. Liberal policies.
Food cost rising. Liberal policies.

And so on and so on.

Rick007 on December 1, 2008 at 9:50 AM

That picture makes me think that things are looking grin for Franken.
chagrin.

(If you need to look it up, I am once more too hip for the room. Take your hard and pass it back over your head while making the “zoom” sound.)

Doug on December 1, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Taking it to the courts huh…so much for all that “will of the people” business.

t.ferg on December 1, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Percy_Peabody on December 1, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Canada?

dglenn on December 1, 2008 at 9:59 AM

At least Franken has his comedy/writing/radio career to fall back on. Most liberals starve when they lose an election.

This, class, is a perfect example of what we call a non-sequiter.

drunyan8315 on December 1, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Any state that would even come close to voting in Stuart Smalley for US Senator is terminally stupid.

drjohn on December 1, 2008 at 10:12 AM

(If you need to look it up, I am once more too hip for the room. Take your hard and pass it back over your head while making the “zoom” sound.)

Doug on December 1, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I think if I posted that I would: Take my hand, pass it across my neck while make a slitting sound…

right2bright on December 1, 2008 at 10:12 AM

At least Franken has his comedy/writing/radio career to fall back on. Most liberals starve when they lose an election.

More to the point, wasn’t Franken’s political career supposed to be the fallback position from his failed comedy/writing/radio “career”?

Pray his next career is as a masked mime.

drunyan8315 on December 1, 2008 at 10:13 AM

This election will go to the courts in the end.

And, when Franken doesn’t get the result he wants, does he go whining to Harry Reid to get the Senate to overturn the will Minnesota voters?

Rhetorical question, I know.

irishspy on December 1, 2008 at 10:16 AM

They are STILL counting?

Jim708 on December 1, 2008 at 10:17 AM

But there are lots of Obama voters in Minnesota who did not also vote for Franken. That proves there are a lot of stupid voters who did not give proper evidence of stupidity on their ballot.

Right_of_Attila on December 1, 2008 at 10:59 AM

hey lets have a little more respect for stuart smalley, here

after all, he’s good enough and smart enough and doggone it people like him. just not enough for him to win

billypaintbrush on December 1, 2008 at 11:08 AM

I predicted this last week when the Canvassing Board rejected Franken’s request to examine the rejected absentee ballots.

LFRGary on December 1, 2008 at 11:11 AM

At least Franken has his comedy/writing/radio career to fall back on.
Tommy_G on December 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

keep it coming, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all day!!

neal7 on December 1, 2008 at 11:20 AM

Not to worry about Al. If he loses his attempt to steal the election, 0bama will appoint him as Secretary of Education.

Amazed on December 1, 2008 at 9:21 AM

Not so fast. That post is reserved for Bill Ayers!

Christian Conservative on December 1, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Would it have been any less grim if Al Frankenstein had run as Stuart Smalley?
The Christian Conservative just beat me to it! If Ayers doesn’t get the job, he may bomb Al’s house; it will be a field trip for his new students.

Christine on December 1, 2008 at 11:34 AM

Over half the country voted for Obama. Why pick on MN for keeping Franken close (at least it is below 50%)

duff65 on December 1, 2008 at 11:43 AM

“Tom and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly advocate the violent overthrow of the United States government.”
– Al Franken, SNL, mid-70′s

mojo on December 1, 2008 at 12:04 PM

Over half the country voted for Obama. Why pick on MN for keeping Franken close (at least it is below 50%)

duff65 on December 1, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Because Obama looks like Winston Churchill compared to Franken…Franken is that bad.

right2bright on December 1, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Why doesn’t this assclown Franken just concede the election and get it over with? He can then go write his next big blockbuster “How Come The Black Guy From Chicago Got Elected President And I Didn’t Even Win In Minnestota?!!!”

pilamaye on December 1, 2008 at 1:13 PM

What a FACE this guy has!! A has-been SNL comedian for
U.S.Senator??? WTF???????

gary on December 1, 2008 at 2:05 PM

…that again presumes that Franken voters are at least 6% less adept overall than Coleman voters.

Crap, he has it won doesn’t he?

gekkobear on December 1, 2008 at 2:27 PM

No offense Ed…but…
Ventura, now FRANKEN (within a whisper of a US Senate seat)!
Just what or who WON’T the good people of Minnesota vote for?

What’s going on up there?

edgehead on December 1, 2008 at 9:18 AM

I don’t know what my state’s problem is. It makes one wonder.

Aronne on December 1, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Not to worry about Al. If he loses his attempt to steal the election, 0bama will appoint him as Secretary of Education.

Court jester.

eyedoc on December 1, 2008 at 7:28 PM