Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, currently fighting to protect his seat from vile comedian Al Franken, got some good news and some bad news this week. The good news? Minneapolis officials lost 133 ballots, and they just gave up on finding and counting them. Those 133 ballots would most likely have given Franken a net recount gain of about 46 votes, based on the voting habits of Minneapolitans. So Coleman's 192-vote lead is looking good, as the board of elections moves to considering the thousands of challenged ballots. But here's the bad news: Coleman's under investigation by the FBI!
Sixty-four percent of the way through Minnesota's recount in the Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, the conservative remains ahead by 120 votes, about half his original lead. Unlike the hateful and anxious conflict over Florida's recount in 2000, this Minnesota recount is nothing more than a pleasure, with fun disputed ballots and two candidates willing to humiliate themselves to get any vote counted. Minnesota Public Radio has more disputed ballots for you to weigh in on, and while they can't top the classic Lizard People write-in vote, they demand your democratic attention:Challenged ballots in Florida smell like senior citizens, but challenged ballots in Minnesota are brisk, cold, and snappy. Things were looking good for Al Franken's chances of overcoming Coleman's tiny lead, but he needs more help to secure a victory. That's why every single controversial ballot is eliciting a challenge from both campaigns, no matter how small the question may be. Challenged ballots from Day 3 of counting don't display quite that same level of ingenuity as the genius of the Lizard People ballot, but it is amazing what each campaign will resort to arguing:
The recount in the Minnesota Senate race between asshole comedian Al Franken and regular asshole Norm Coleman is underway! And the campaigns have lawyers standing by to challenge every vote. So Drudge has had this image up all day, with the headline "DRAMA: Franken Is Challenging This Ballot." Yes, bullshit, obviously. The voter intent is clear. On the other hand, the Coleman campaign is challenging this ballot, this ballot, and this ballot. The whole recount system is obviously broken, the well-intentioned voter intent laws are being manipulated by the campaigns, and this nonsense will not be over with by the end of the year. Or, you know, Al Franken is stealing the election, whichever one you want to believe. [MPR via Wonkette]
We've been there for every step of the closely contested Al Franken-Norm Coleman race for the Minnesota Senate, like that time when a Coleman mailer called Al a child-molester (amazing!), Norm's lawsuit against the Franken campaign for slander, and now, the Franken campaign's desire to examine rejected absentee ballots. Although there was reason for optimism about Franken's chances to defeat the barftastic Coleman in the past, does that hold after the first hand count didn't help the former SNL regular?The reason for Franken's desperation — the hand recount of votes this week still left him down 204 votes out of about 2.9 million cast. With the recount set to begin on Tuesday, is Franken already doomed to become Secretary of Sketch Parody in an Obama administration, or a United States Senator?
Before he goes to bed every night, Al Franken watches the Kevin Spacey HBO take on the 2000 election, Recount, and cries himself to sleep. After an acrimonious Senate race, Franken's battle with longtime Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman is still going on after Coleman appeared to have won by 725 votes. As that margin changes in the fallout from Election Day, tears have flowed on both sides, and the recount doesn't even begin until Nov. 18! After 100 more Democratic votes popped up in St. Louis County, Norm Coleman's team got even angrier than they were during the campaign — and if you'll remember, they called Al Franken a child molester during the campaign. 2000 ain't got nothing on 2008:Located in Minnesota's Iron Range, a tiny precinct had 100 more votes for Franken — but the machine carried a date of Nov. 2. That was just an honest error, but that didn't stop the Coleman campaign from bloviating: "Obviously, this is highly suspicious. They found 100 votes, and it's statistically impossible that all 100 votes went to the two Democrats, even in St. Louis County," said Coleman flack Cullen Sheehan said. This is the same campaign that asked Franken to concede on election night. Like in Florida, the state is likely to see movement on both sides of the ledger during the recount. Just when you thought you never wanted to hear the word Diebold again... Although all votes in Minnesota are recorded on paper ballots, they are scanned by Diebold machines that are routinely found to be in error. (Diebold's even getting sued, Gizmodo reported today.) The recount will be by hand, and thus could take until the end of the year. AP reporter Brian Bakst argues this morning that the election is going to be decided by the undervotes — ballots that recorded a preference for presidential candidate but not for Senate. Some of these ballots might not have been properly scanned by machines, and they might break for Franken.
In the Senate, the Democrats picked up five seats. But hey, guess what? Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman barely held on to his seat. With all the precincts reporting, Coleman's won by 571 votes. Which means recount time! Poor comedian Al Franken should've won this, but a third party candidate took more of his votes than Coleman's (instant runoff voting, anyone? please?), and also he didn't run a very good campaign, and also Minnesotans, like many Americans, are in love with the idea of a divided government as some sort of good thing, because we all remember how well that worked in 1994, when the government shut down, as a stunt. And hey, let's check in on Alaska, the retarded child state America forgot it adopted until this year, when it nearly crashed the democratic car into a tree. Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who is a convicted felon, won his reelection campaign! Stevens, convicted just last week of seven counts of corruption, has a 4,000 vote lead over his opponent, some boring non-corrupt Democrat. There are still 50,0000 absentee ballots left to count, so you know, this could still go either way. But honestly, Stevens is probably a lock. Good work, Alaska.
Yesterday we reported on our enjoyment of the Minnesota senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and comedian Al Franken. Today a blogger has posted a mailer from the National Republican Senatorial Committee that looks like a cozy children's book. Among other things, the mailer alleges Franken derives pleasure from writing rape jokes. Click for more really offensive cartoons from the Coleman book.The mailer opens with a pedophile opening his door:
Democratic candidates are having a field day with the past eight years all over America, putting double digit leads together in swing states in what's shaping up as the beginning of a vast Democratic majority. Things are going to be a little tighter in comedian Al Franken's race against longtime Minnesota conversative Norm Coleman. Though Coleman held a lead in the early-going, Franken has closed fast. Still, is there a chance Franken could walk away empty-handed on his big day?After the lead Coleman started with, it's heartening for Democrats to see that Franken has closed the gap in some polls. Since polling is a dangerous art best practiced by Nate Silver, you can judge for yourself here:
Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman is a scummy asshole and also, usually, a surprisingly good politician. (You'd kinda have to be to be a New Yorker with a sham marriage to a wannabe Hollywood actress and still win in Minnesota.) He's the "which way is the wind blowing" style of campaigner, and now he's suspending his campaign to... no, sorry, he's "suspending all negative campaign ads" as of today. It's a great little stunt, actually. Coleman's running against Al Franken. Franken basically didn't have a chance in hell of winning, until a) Obama began surging and b) the economy went into a tailspin. Suddenly, Obama is occasionally polling in the double digits in Minnesota (a double-digit Obama victory may be the only way for Franken to get into office), and, even worse, Franken is sometimes outpolling Coleman (Franken is up 9 points in the most recent Star Tribune poll, which is an outlier, but Coleman's lead seems to be shrinking everywhere else). The campaign's been vicious and negative by any standard, but especially for Minnesota, where campaigns have always seemed a little more polite. All this was before a video of Coleman's spokesman disastrously not defending Coleman's gifts from wealthy businessmen swept across the internet. Finally, MSNBC points this statistic out: