Franken projects: I’ll win by 35-50 votes

posted at 5:32 pm on December 20, 2008 by Allahpundit

That’s Senator Stuart Smalley to you.

“On Tuesday, I will stand before you with that work completed. Al Franken will have a lead of between 35 and 50 votes. And, at some point not too long after that, Al Franken will stand before you as the senator-elect from Minnesota,” Elias said at a press conference Saturday.

The state’s Canvassing Board is expected to finish counting all the disputed ballots in the Senate race on Tuesday, adding the thousands of challenges that were withdrawn by both campaigns to the tally. Currently Franken leads by 251 votes, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s unofficial count…

Coleman campaign spokesman Mark Drake issued the following response: “This is just more bluster and hot air from a campaign that has been trailing for two years. While we can understand their need to latch onto their temporary lead, the reality is there’s a long way to go in this process. 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.”

How can Franken predict victory when there are still 5,000 withdrawn challenges to count? Because: (a) the Star-Tribune’s readers have been looking at and voting on those challenges for weeks and their polling puts him 40 votes ahead when all’s said and done; and (b) per Nate Silver’s latest analysis, Team Franken’s signaled in the past that it knows there aren’t enough Coleman votes in its own withdrawn challenges to put Coleman over the top. (If that sounds confusing, read Silver and it’ll make sense.) As for those 1,600 rejected absentee ballots, Silver again:

The problem for the Coleman campaign is that counting more absentee ballots will probably benefit Franken. Democrats made a push nationwide for early and absentee voting, and at least one pre-election survey also had Franken doing better among absentee voters. The behavior of the respective campaigns, of course [i.e. the fact that Franken fought to have the ballots counted], has been perhaps the strongest signal that such votes are likely to help Franken.

But now that he’s (probably) no longer ahead, Coleman has conflicting objectives on the absentee ballot front. On the one hand, he might want to gamble and count as many of them as he can — he has little to lose, and has to pick up votes somehow. But on the other hand, he knows it’s more likely than not that a plurality of such votes will be for Franken. The dilemma is a bit like that facing the gambler who, having lost his shirt at blackjack, puts his last few chips on ’00′ on the roulette wheel hoping to get even.

I had assumed that Franken fought to have the absentees included because he was trailing at the time and was willing to take any possible route to more votes that he could get, but maybe I’m wrong. In any case, per the state supreme court ruling, the standards for judging the absentee ballots have to be mutually agreed upon by the two camps, which means that to some extent whoever leads when the withdrawn challenges are counted on Monday controls his own destiny. And that’s likely to be weird Al. Exit question: When will Coleman concede? I’m hoping for 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, just to end the year on an appropriately dismal note.


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I sure wish Percy Dovetonsils would let me know what I could have done more of… I campaigned, wrote letters, went to rallys, knocked on doors and voted conservative… but I’m told I’m retarded, and that I don’t deserve to be a citizen of the United States. Well, asshats here on this thread, I fought and bled for this country and you all better look in your collective mirrors and see what you could have done better. What did you fail to do to assure that Obama wouldn’t win? Will you turn in your passports?

MNDavenotPC on December 20, 2008 at 10:44 PM

I don’t care if it’s Franken or Coleman, you shouldn’t be able to win a statewide election by 35-50 votes. That’s easily within the margin of error. The election should be declared a tie and there should be a runoff.

factoid on December 20, 2008 at 10:20 PM

Sure, just like in GA (though for different reasons). Coleman would probably win such a runoff by 20 points.

ddrintn on December 20, 2008 at 11:44 PM

Few people may have listened to Air America, but Rachael Maddow and Franken have both done quite well for themselves.

r keller on December 20, 2008 at 11:51 PM

I knew there was a reason I never liked Minnesota.

BadMojo on December 21, 2008 at 12:06 AM

What you say is true, but it is focused on the past few years. I’m curious why the trend has been going on since the beginning of the 20th century.
JDPerren on December 20, 2008 at 9:26 PM

Oh… THAT…

I attribute that to a basic human need to organize coupled with a dose of humanitarianism. Any basic level of education gets across the point that working smarter means working less for the same goal (or using fewer resources, or getting more done with the same amount of effort, etc; etc). A libertarian society does none of these things em masse. It’s inefficient because everybody has to replicate effort as part of competition. So it’s very VERY easy for a “smart” person to start thinking about global problems of world hunger, unhappiness and such and think, well gosh… it’s inefficient that so much effort is wasted for just a few dollars and my perfect utopia would be to have everbody work as I see fit. Sometimes it leads to communism, sometimes it leads to fascism. But it always ends in tears.
It’s plain and simple “do-gooder-ism” gone mad (see Hitler) and it’s far easier for people to say “We should feed the poor” than it is to stand up and say “I won’t let you spend our money to feed the poor because then WE will be poor.”

Skywise on December 21, 2008 at 12:39 AM

Thank God…he’ll be much funnier as a Senator than as a Comedian…see, it really did work out for Stewart Smalley in the end. Of course, we’re all screwed, but we might as well yuck it up while we can.

AUINSC on December 21, 2008 at 12:54 AM

I’ll Just have to say it again…
Until we have a JUSTICE system again and get rid of our LEGAL system then we can expect no good to come from any aspect of government. at this point in time we allow whoever has the most money and slickest ambulance chaser to win. We need to get back to when Right overcomes Might. or this country will continue to spiral down just like every other great civilization eaten by the worms from within.

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on December 21, 2008 at 12:56 AM

BTW, it’s this kind of buffoonery that will be the end of us…honestly, I sometimes feel like we are trapped in a cheap, half-assed re-run of the last days of the Roman Republic.

AUINSC on December 21, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Based on this outcome, I have a new motto for the Democrat-controlled US Congress…”Give us your mentally and morally challeged, your huddled masses of corrupt, inept, failed losers…send us your ex-comedians, clowns and buffoons, your intellectually tired, money hungry, poor examples of wretched humanity…” I’m feeling charitable, of course.

AUINSC on December 21, 2008 at 1:28 AM

You know If Franken does win the seat he will be forever known as the Democrat Senator from Minnesota who had to lie, cheat and, steal to win an election by only a handful of votes. As they say it is much better loose with honor than to win in disgrace.

Dreadnought223 on December 21, 2008 at 2:57 AM

Al Franken was never a comedian. He was a joke, still is and so is Minnesota.

hawkdriver on December 21, 2008 at 5:04 AM

We can thank Al Gore for all these election challenges. He started the trend.

bopbottle on December 21, 2008 at 5:13 AM

This is sick and painful news.

Jaibones on December 21, 2008 at 8:25 AM

MN- like FL only colder. I hope being represented by a clown give MN the ridcule it deserves.

ps: Ed, have you considered moving?

MikeA on December 21, 2008 at 8:33 AM

A win by Franken only validates the fact that this entire country and its inept, corrupt government is a sick joke.

rplat on December 21, 2008 at 8:41 AM

“…and doggoneit, people will like me… OR ELSE!!”

ZK on December 21, 2008 at 8:57 AM

he will be forever known as the Democrat Senator from Minnesota who had to lie, cheat and, steal to win an election by only a handful of votes.

Really? Like the governor of washington is known after stealing the election a few years ago? Anyone hear talk about the over 100,000 disputed absentee ballots in ohio anymore? barry only won ohio by 70,000 votes. Anyone who believes that we have fair and honest elections in this country anymore needs medication. As a matter of fact, I realize the truth and wish I were on medication.

peacenprosperity on December 21, 2008 at 9:11 AM

Franken. What a sad day for everyone if he actually succeeds. The Dems lose by winning here-they gain a Senate seat but lose any shred of decency and respectability. The Dems could have won by losing, by pressuring Franken to concede-I know: won’t happen now-but now he may further tarnish the Democratic party with his existence. A sad day for everyone.

Doug on December 21, 2008 at 9:13 AM

Ed, have you considered moving?

MikeA on December 21, 2008 at 8:33 AM

Don’t encourage him. As a squishy, moral relativist who doesn’t want to offend anyone, he may move to a red state and help throw the majority to the left.

peacenprosperity on December 21, 2008 at 9:14 AM

You know If Franken does win the seat he will be forever known as the Democrat Senator from Minnesota who had to lie, cheat and, steal to win an election by only a handful of votes. As they say it is much better loose with honor than to win in disgrace.

Dreadnought223 on December 21, 2008 at 2:57 AM

On behalf of the lieing, cheating, corrupt Democrats in the Senate, soon (with help of RINO’s) to have an unstoppable power center, let me just laugh at the notion that they give a rat’s you-know-what about honor or disgrace – winning and power is the important part to them, and if you think otherwise, you’re delusional and can console yourself with meaningless sayings all day as they rape the country.

Midas on December 21, 2008 at 9:16 AM

but lose any shred of decency and respectability.

Here in the land of paris hilton and lindsey lohan? If this country were a human being, years of institutional psychiatric treatment would be proscribed.

peacenprosperity on December 21, 2008 at 9:17 AM

The lunatics are running the asylum.

marklmail on December 21, 2008 at 9:25 AM

I wonder how Franken discovered the amount of Illegal votes ACORN sent in on his behalf? Perhaps The One told him. :oP

DannoJyd on December 21, 2008 at 9:26 AM

Franken. What a sad day for everyone if he actually succeeds. The Dems lose by winning here-they gain a Senate seat but lose any shred of decency and respectability. The Dems could have won by losing, by pressuring Franken to concede-I know: won’t happen now-but now he may further tarnish the Democratic party with his existence. A sad day for everyone.

I don’t know about that. I mean this guy has been around for the longest time, like TB. They actually like this guy. What’s weirder is they consider him to be honest. That’s down right disturbing given how much and how often he lies about stuff. (Oh, they’ll use the excuse that it’s usually technically correct even if he constantly tries to convince people of garbage that isn’t actually true.) That’s not even getting into his anger management issues and sexism issues. (Which is why I thought Coleman should have had some cute co-eds follow him around with a camera. There’s no way he could have gone 6 months without blowing up and either had a fit or said something far worse than Allen.)

At this point if I were the pubs I’d see if I could pull some strings and have him under watch for corruption violations. (I mean the guy is an admitted tax cheat and involved with stealing money from children. With a track record of such chicanery I doubt he can keep his nose clean for more than a year. However if it comes to that I’d hope Palenty would have sense enough to not to put Coleman back in the seat he actually won. Like they saying goes “They can’t cheat if it’s not close.” and Coleman made it close.)

Dave_d on December 21, 2008 at 9:40 AM

It’s beautiful outside now, a brisk -9 with a -30 windchill.

Minnesota may elect the occasional freak, but at least we have wonderful weather.

Bishop on December 21, 2008 at 10:28 AM

You know If Franken does win the seat he will be forever known as the Democrat Senator from Minnesota who had to lie, cheat and, steal to win an election by only a handful of votes. As they say it is much better loose with honor than to win in disgrace.

Dreadnought223 on December 21, 2008 at 2:57 AM

No it won’t. In the MSM it will be the Senate seat from MN that was courageously fought for by Al Franken. And it will prove that every vote should always count no matter how many times it takes to count. This will set a very bad precedent for future elections.

So someone explain to me how Pawlenty is allowing this to happen.

angryed on December 21, 2008 at 11:16 AM

Our country has becoming loaded with Cluster B personality disordered people or a mixture of them:

Narcissistic: not what you think: but, rather a DIMINISHED sense of self, requiring it to be taken from others and/or self-inflated;

Borderline: you are my idol or you are a POS depending upon whether you’ve told me you loved me enough today or any day;

Antisocial: continually using of others, cheating, and law breaking; fairly good fakers;

Histrionic: look at my sexuality but you better not; high proportion of any of these in the entertainment industry, and on the t-shirts many people where these days.

All with a huge sense of entitlement, and no empathy for others, though they can pretend very well they do until backed in a corner.

rlwo2008 on December 21, 2008 at 11:16 AM

t’s beautiful outside now, a brisk -9 with a -30 windchill.

Minnesota may elect the occasional freak, but at least we have wonderful weather.

I’m beginning to see a correlation between average temperature and propensity to elect morons. This leads me to believe that global warming is likely the best thing that could ever happen to this country! :)

BadMojo on December 21, 2008 at 11:16 AM

So let me get this straight — Al Franken, a guy who has proven repeatedly that he will lie to anyone at any time, a guy who has cheated on his taxes and taken money from people who steal from charities, claims that he has won the election, and everyone around here believes him?

Why do you believe him now? Why would this claim be any more plausible than the claims he’s made in the past?

I live in Minnesota. I see how Coleman’s camp is reacting. They aren’t panicking at all. No reason that anyone here should be, either. Watch how the vote totals change in the next few days, then see what happens.

Mr. D on December 21, 2008 at 11:41 AM

So let me get this straight — Al Franken, a guy who has proven repeatedly that he will lie to anyone at any time, a guy who has cheated on his taxes and taken money from people who steal from charities, claims that he has won the election, and everyone around here believes him?

Oh it’s not that I believe him.(He’d lie about what he had for breakfast if he thought it would help him somehow.) The problem is that it’s that close and as you’ve pointed out he’s that dishonest. In this situation it’s pretty much a given he’ll cheat and the closeness means that there’s a good chance it’ll put him over the top.

Dave_d on December 21, 2008 at 11:49 AM

Coleman should have conceded as soon as he saw the size of his win….the dems were going to steal it regardless so why waste everyone’s time and money.

JIMV on December 21, 2008 at 12:29 PM

I went to the star tribune voting site and it does look like most of those ballots are indeed for Franken. That is if you look at voter intent. Which of course means you ignore the rules and laws of what constitutes a valid vote. Like in Florida MN Democrats are too stupid to follow simple instructions like fill in oval for candidate. Instead they circle candidate or underline or mark with an X.

I don’t get why all states/counties don’t go to touch screen voting where none of this ambiguity can exist. In my county, it is damn near impossible to screw up your vote. Each race is clearly spelled out on the screen in big bold letters. You press the choice you want on the screen. Your choice is highlighted in yellow. Then you are asked is this the guy you want to vote for, with big YES/NO buttons. And at the end of the whole ballot you have to once again click YES/NO to confirm all the choices listed are what you intended to choose. None of this well I meant to vote for Franken but mistakenly touched Coleman’s name and crossed it out with a big X and so try to guess who I really meant to vote for crap that takes 2 months to figure out.

angryed on December 21, 2008 at 12:44 PM

Watch closely, folks.

This is what a stolen election looks like. This is how it’s done.

No doubt about it, for the next 6 years Minnesota is going to give America its next step down the moral slippery slope.

Welcome to fail.

pabarge on December 21, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Skywise,

All insightful comments, but I find it hard to accept as the whole story. After all, you’d have to wonder why the U.S. ever evolved into a free country at all, then. (There was certainly plenty of ‘do-gooderism gone mad’ in the late 17th/early 18th century.) That explanation would make the 19th century in Britain and America an impossibility.

It’s applicable to the period I mentioned, but it seems lacking. Sorry if I appear to be moving the goalposts here.

JDPerren on December 21, 2008 at 2:15 PM

You know If Franken does win the seat he will be forever known as the Democrat Senator from Minnesota who had to lie, cheat and, steal to win an election by only a handful of votes. As they say it is much better loose with honor than to win in disgrace.

Dreadnought223 on December 21, 2008 at 2:57 AM

Yeah, it’s Florida 2000 all over again. Bush never recovered from his win there. He did become president, but his popularity rating never broke through the 90% level after that.

factoid on December 21, 2008 at 4:41 PM

Either way the election goes, it’s a win for conservatives. If Coleman wins, we have a conservative senator representing a goofy liberal state. If Franken wins, we get an angry lefty buffoon which we can beat like a pinyata for years as he takes one ridiculous position after another.

Tantor on December 21, 2008 at 4:50 PM

Either way the election goes, it’s a win for conservatives. If Coleman wins, we have a conservative senator representing a goofy liberal state. If Franken wins, we get an angry lefty buffoon which we can beat like a pinyata for years as he takes one ridiculous position after another.

Sorry. You miss the point. Aside from the fact Coleman is not conservative; he’s a crossed-over Democrat who is middle-of-the-road, there is no functional conservative party for this dismal circumstance to benefit.

Who reading this didn’t KNOW that Franken would win the moment it went past election night? The only people paying attention who didn’t know that the Dems and their pals on the election boards and the courts wouldn’t steal this for Franken were Coleman’s campaign staff and his lawyers.

If he’s too stupid to see the train barrelling down on him, shaking the ground, puffing smoke and bellowing a warning then Norm has no business representing me or anyone like me. Screw these brain dead jerks. They can’t fight for themselves. They certainly don’t have the stomach to fight for us. The GOP is a party of LOSERS.

To quote Gen. Patton, “Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time.”

I realize now that’s one reason that a country that polls center-right will not vote Republican any time soon. They hate losers. They don’t respect politicians or a Party that gets bitch-slapped over and over and takes it with “grace” and a smile. The General continues, “I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed.” I have to agree. I’ve sucked it up and voted GOP regardless their treachery and cowardice but I’m done. I’m with the rest of America now; I will not tolerate a loser.

I hope the GOP shrivels and dies. I’m not going to stay home on election day. I’m going to consider vote against them just to kill them off. Their breathing is a waste of oxygen.

rcl on December 21, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Will someone PLEASE hit Franken in the head with an oar?

nelsonknows on December 21, 2008 at 6:14 PM

At this point I want Franken to win.

Isn’t he what Minnesota has really become?

Coleman was a good symbol while he lasted. A democrat who conveniently jumped sides to pretend he was a republican.

But let’s face it, Minnesota has gone commie. Let it burn.

jeff_from_mpls on December 21, 2008 at 9:04 PM

It’s easy for Franken to say that he will win–every candidate says he will win.

http://senaterecount.startribune.com/ballots/

According to the Star-Tribune’s numbers on the challenges, 852 Coleman challenges have been reviewed, of which Franken got 687 votes (81%), and 482 Franken challenges have been reviewed, of which Coleman got 283 votes (59%), and this has given Franken a temporary lead of 251 votes.

But there are still 5,432 challenged ballots to be reviewed, and only 1,344 have already been reviewed (20% of the total challenged ballots). Also, of the challenged ballots already reviewed, there were 370 more Coleman challenges than Franken challenges, so the remaining challenges will likely favor Coleman.

If Coleman receives only 57% of the votes from the remaining Franken challenges, he will fall short, but are those challenged ballots already reviewed representative of ALL the challenged ballots? Or did they come from counties that gave Franken an advantage in the pre-recount vote? If a Coleman voter is as likely to mis-mark a ballot as a Franken voter, the challenged ballots should come out roughly even, and Coleman could regain the lead once all the challenges are resolved.

Let’s just wait and see…

Steve Z on December 22, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Hang in there, Norm. Drag it out till next year, if you can.

chunderroad on December 22, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Hey, Ed: what is it with all the stupid people in your state? I mean, first Jesse Ventura, now this? Your fellow Minnesotans would elect a chimp to high office (as long as it was an unusually ugly and abnormally stupid chimp.) Something in the water up there?

Beo on December 22, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Beo
the only thing I’ll say civil to you based on your comment is that there ARE stupid people in MN, they voted for Franken. That said, what of us who voted for Coleman and all conservatives. You use that same broad brush that Percy Dovetonsils uses? It’s getting a bit tiresome. Again, as i said earlier, none of you can escape criticism for your votes or your state’s votes… not one of you… I could pick candidates out of every state I dare say, that you all could be put to task on. Grow up and start commenting on things logically and with reason, people.

MNDavenotPC on December 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM

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