Despite losing the support of the Lizard People, comedic glasses-adjuster Al Franken has suddenly taken a lead in the perpetual Minnesota Senate race. This recount is exciting!

The Star Tribune says Franken now leads by more than 250 votes, up from just single digits this morning. But the NYT says, hey, still 5,000 absentee ballots left to be awarded, things can change. So what does Nate Silver, overlord of all things statistical, Grand wielder of the fancy calculator, say?

"This is fuzzy, fuzzy math, but with Norm Coleman again converting only a very low percentage of his challenges in counting this morning, I am now projecting a Franken lead of something like 40 votes after all challenged ballots — including ballot challenges withdrawn by both campaigns, and special circumstances ballots — have been processed."

If Nate Silver says Franken will win by 40 votes (earlier this month he said 22 votes), who are the courts et al. to disbelieve him? Prepare your Senator Franken paraphernalia, Minnesota knick-knack vendors.