Minnesota Recount: A Note of Caution « The Washington Independent
For those of you who, like me, are obsessively watching the livestream of the Minnesota State Canvassing Board’s review of the challenged Senate ballots (Franken’s lead right now is 266), let me issue a reminder, lest you think that Al Franken is running away with this race.
Withdrawn challenges have not yet been processed. Since Franken withdrew about 400 more challenges than Norm Coleman, Coleman will make up significant ground once these are taken into account. Exactly how much ground depends on the nature of the challenges — a withdrawn challenge to an initial non-vote (when the election official decided that voter intent could not be discerned, or that the vote went to a third-party candidate) will result in no change, whereas a withdrawn challenge to a vote for a certain candidate will result in a gain of one vote for that candidate.
For example, let’s assume that half of each campaign’s withdrawn challenges were initially aimed at turning votes from the other candidate into non-votes, and the other half were aimed at turning non-votes into votes for the campaign’s candidate. In this case, if Franken withdrew 400 more challenges than Coleman, then Coleman would gain 200 net votes when the withdrawn challenges are processed. If, on the other hand, three-quarters of the withdrawn challenges were to initial votes for the opposing candidate, then Coleman could expect to net 300 votes.
With Franken’s lead currently at 266, the makeup of these withdrawn challenges could make all the difference in determining which candidate will come out ahead at the end of this challenged ballot review.
Then, of course, we get to the rejected absentee ballots, which are expected to help Franken, and the inevitable litigation, which will more likely come from the Coleman camp.
This election is by no means decided, although I still feel good about my bet on Franken, even with the 2-to-1 odds I gave our CEO.
Side note: InTrade’s been monitoring the race, but their odds have lagged a couple days behind mine. On the 15th, they put Franken’s chances of winning at just under 55 percent. It took more than two days, and a lot of developments in Franken’s favor, for them to catch up. Now they give him close to 80 percent.
Image has not been found. URL: /wp-content/uploads/2008/12/intrade-franken.jpg