Guest blogged by Jim Cirile
One of the more closely watched Senate contests is still undecided as of 11:30 PM Pacific time--Al Franken vs. Norm Coleman in Minnesota. Right now CNN.com is showing them in a statistical dead heat with 42% of the vote each with 94% of precincts reporting. However, at this moment Franken is behind by... 72 votes. That's right--72. Just minutes ago with 93% reporting, Franken was down by 6,500 votes.
As Brad notes during his broadcast on NovaM Radio tonight, Franken was the only Air America Radio host who never wanted Brad on his show, as he was apparently completely disinterested in election integrity issues. So it should be interesting to see if Franken changes his tune if the numbers remain this close. If Franken loses by two votes, perhaps he'll realize the importance of counting every vote. Of course, we hope Franken pulls it out. But right now it's a squeaker! Stand by...
UPDATE 11:40pm PT Franken now trails by 1,200 votes but the race is still statistically tied.
UPDATE 11:55pm PT Franken down by 1,400 with 95% reporting. But: a caller just reported that the New York Times website was reporting that exit polls had Franken ahead by 12%--that data has now been scrubbed. Election integrity experts, have at it. Even if Franken wouldn't stick up for election integrity, we shall stand up for him--and the voters in Minnesota. More on this to come, I'm sure.
UPDATE FROM DES, 11/5/08, 9:40am PT: The Associated Press announced this morning they are 'un-calling' the race they had previously rushed to call in favor of Coleman:
The AP called the race prematurely.
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the recount won't begin until mid-November at the earliest and will probably stretch into December.
Franken has, wisely, not conceded. More from Brad on all of this, no doubt, when he's able to get caught back up from out of the prevailing whirlwinds...
UPDATE 11/5/08 9:02pm PT: More details on the race, and the flawed op-scanners used to 'count' it now here...