November 5th, 2008
11:54 AM ET
6 years ago

Franken not conceding

 The race for the Minnesota Senate is in a dead heat.
The race for the Minnesota Senate is in a dead heat.

(CNN) – Minnesota Senate challenger Al Franken is not conceding his race against incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.

The two men are separated by less than 600 votes with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. The Associated Press called the race for Coleman Wednesday morning.

U.S. Senate Results Map

"Under Minnesota state law, we will now enter into an automatic statewide canvass and recount," Franken said earlier Wednesday.

"The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days. We won't know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard."

UPDATE: The AP has uncalled the race for Coleman

Read Franken's full prepared statement after the jump

The Secretary of State's office reports that all but nine of Minnesota's 4,130 precincts have reported in. And this race is too close to call, with a margin of just about 1100 votes out of 2.9 million cast. That's four one-hundredths of one percent of the vote. And we expect that when those final nine precincts are counted this morning, that 1100-vote margin will shrink into the hundreds.

Under Minnesota state law, we will now enter into an automatic statewide canvass and recount. It will be the first one since 1962, when I was 11 years old. I remember that year very clearly for two reasons. The recount between Elmer L. Anderson and Karl Rolvaag. And the Gophers were in the Rose Bowl that year.

And we have twice as many ballots to count this time.

Let me be clear: Our goal is to ensure that every vote is properly counted.

The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days. We won't know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard.

There is reason to believe that the recount could change the vote tallies significantly.

Our office and the Obama campaign have received reports of irregularities at various precincts around the state. For instance, some polling places in Minneapolis ran out of registration materials. Our team has been working on those issues for several hours already, and they will continue to do so this morning as the recount process begins.

Let me be clear: This race is too close to call, and we do not yet know who won. We are lucky enough to live in a state with built-in protections to ensure that in close elections like these, the will of the people is accurately reflected in the outcome.

This has been a long campaign, and it's going to be a little longer before we have a winner. Senator Coleman, Senator Barkley, and I have done a lot of talking. Minnesotans have waited a long time to have THEIR say. And thanks to our state's laws, we will eventually understand precisely what they have said.


Filed under: Al Franken • Norm Coleman • Race to '08
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. Glenn in California

    It shouldn't have been that close, but it was, due to the incompetence of how the Republicans have handled the country over the last 8 years.

    They elected a pro wrestler as Governor, so a comedian isn't that far out of line.

    However, this is no joke and every vote needs to be counted (again). Just remember Florida in 2000 for Gore. That was a turning point in our history, in the wrong way. Let's not repeat that mistake.

    November 5, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Fuad

    Al has the right for asking the votes to be recounted. There are procedures for it in Minnesota, so why now. Nobody lost if it was a tie ... But then again I don't use "conservative mathmatics" to form my conclusions either.

    November 5, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. andrew arther

    rock on obama. you did and awsome job

    November 5, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Mel C

    Good Luck, AL, hope you get the Senate seat you are seeking.,

    November 5, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. t-law

    Change has come... Regardless of what happens with Minnesota, you can already see that the people all over the country have clearly spoken and overwhelmingly given their support to liberal politicians - that is right, LIBERALS.

    Eight years of disastrous Bush misrule, full of conservative stubbornness, unchecked CEO-centered economics (what happened to the workers?!), and rampant fear-mongering are coming to an end.

    A decade ago you could scare people by screaming, "OMG, s/he's a Liberal!" as if it were the worst insult ever. Well, after last night, that's not gonna fly any more.

    Liberals are here to stay. Being a Liberal is being American. Deal with it. You can scream "Liberal this, liberal that," all you want, but that will not sit well with over sixty (60!) million voters who cast their ballots on Nov. 4 for a liberal Democratic President (and over 50 liberal Senators).

    So just a small tip for the Republicans: if you want to win in the future, you might want to rethink your old fear-mongering strategies that rely on making people scared of "Liberals," "blacks," "immigrants," "gays," "Mexicans," and the list goes on... That stuff's not gonna work any more.

    November 5, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. keith

    those who laugh first get laughed at last as my wise grandmother always said ,noah.

    November 5, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Give 'em hell, Al. Hope to see you in the Senate.

    November 5, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Al supporter

    Why does everyone say that because he was a comedian that he can't be our senator? I don't see why not, better a down to earth, intelligent, hilarious comedian than a political machine. Especially better than Norm Coleman. I love Al and I'm still hoping that he takes this one. They better count my absentee ballot!

    November 5, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Al is brilliant

    Al Franken is a brilliant thinker and a sincere patriot. He has run his campaign with honesty and clean politics. How rare! It seems like the sore losers in America are focusing on Franken now, in the hopes that they can steal at least one more election, just like the old days. Well, I for one, hope that Al wins this one, just to piss off the bloggers who have slandered him.

    November 5, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. a cali republican who voted for obama...

    omg.......i hope frankenstein doesnt win...next we should have rush in office too or mayb o reily....theres a point to where we should learn that some people artb polaticians...franky,,,,arnald...and a certain past mn gov are great reasons why we should not put people in that are actors , entertainers or talkshow hosts....they dont do well

    November 5, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. James

    Al Franken is a wonderful human being, he doesn't epitomize anything more than that!

    Norm Coleman is a dirty politician, and Al Franken is in a split vote with an Independent taking votes away from him, and he's less than 1000 votes in margin, with over a million votes counted. in VA in 2006, the difference between senators was 5000, giving jim webb the win, and the republican's certainly voiced opposition over that.

    November 5, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Reality

    There is no way in heck that it should even be this close. Even the most Conservative of all Repubs have to see what a joke that Coleman is, right? I guess not.

    November 5, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. Drea

    Fired up and ready to go! Stop hating you sad pathetic angry for no reason dogs. you are now barking up the wrong tree put a muzzel on it and shut the hell up. Can't you see that your hateful thoughts are not welcomed or honored get use to change and step into the now. being a bigot gets you nowhere fast. So go to sleep haters and while you are taking your nap sleep on the fact that a BLACK key word MAN is the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Peace

    November 5, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  14. Jim in AZ

    Franken?? You have got to be kidding me. Then again any state that would elect someone like Jesse "The body" Ventura as their Gov would not surprise me at all.
    Minnesota, it is time to be serious about politics. Next it will be Garrison Keilor.

    November 5, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    If you can elect Jesse Ventura, Ronald Reagan, The Govinator... why NOT Al Franken?

    My god, if you can stomach Michelle Bachmann, ANYONE else would HAVE to be better.

    November 5, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. SNL

    Good god, first we lay off Movie Stars now Politicians?

    Please dont tell me Franken really wants to get into politics, the guy was as radical as Fidel Castro.

    Whats next Adam Sandler for Prez?

    November 5, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Stephen

    Well clearly Franken would be a "99% improvement" over Norm Coleman. GO AL!

    November 5, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Tosso

    Yeah! The "funny guy" want to improve public schools, research renewabyl energy, and make sure ALL children have health insurance. What a despcable person – let's get him!

    November 5, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Bill

    Al Franken is actually a Harvard graduate, not 'just' a comedian. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Norm Coleman was Bush's buttboy until it became convenient to speak out against him.

    November 5, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  20. Dean O

    Al Franken would be the worst senator ever. He would make MN the laughing stock of Democracy. At least Coleman has dignity and grace. Franken has anger and spite. Stuart Smalley should go back under his rock now.

    November 5, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  21. Wayne Kopesky

    Would a re-vote ever be completed because of irregularities at various precincts around the state? For instance, some polling places in Minneapolis ran out of registration materials.

    November 5, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. b. Lowe

    Go Al! After what happened 4 yrs ago in Ohio I think it is really important that you stay in there and insist that there be a recount under Minn State Law. I think it is so important that to follow this up not just for Minnesota but, for the nation!

    November 5, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. LT in Texas

    Gopher from the Love Boat used to be in Congress, Fred Gandy.

    Sony Bono made it as well.

    Nothing suprises me anymore.

    November 5, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  24. Shortpants

    I wonder if most of those that say the word "liberal" with such venom read the policy goals of those they vote for, or just buy into the short sighted view that all folks left of center are out to ruin the American way of life.
    I am an independant myself, and was hoping Ron Paul would split his organization off into a viable third party, I was hoping more folks would join this way of thinking where we actually take a long hard look at each candidate based on their policies and merits, but it seems the quick and easy labels are what matters the most to our fast food nation.
    I am no liberal, but Frankly, if liberal is the opposite of what we've had for the past eight years, sign me up.
    Good luck Mr. Obama, you will need it.

    November 5, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. LW In Texas

    My in Laws live Minn and they say, hang in there and demand a recount

    November 5, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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