November 10th, 2008
07:50 PM ET
10 years ago

Coleman camp declares victory again, but race is far from over

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - For the second time in a week, Republican incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman's camp is labeling him the winner in Minnesota's far-from-over Senate race.

Coleman leads Democratic challenger Al Franken by just 206 votes as the first round of tallying comes to a close Monday evening.

"Sen. Coleman remains the winner in this election despite unexplained discrepancies in reporting ...that have virtually all benefited the Franken campaign," Coleman spokesman Tom Erickson said in a statement.

That result means little at this point: Minnesota law mandates a recount when the margin of victory in a race is less than .5 percent.

This instance falls well within that gap - more than 2.4 million Minnesotans cast votes in this year's Senate race.

Coleman's lead has shrunk since votes were first tabulated earlier in the week. On Wednesday, he led by 725 votes. Representatives with the Coleman campaign have charged that irregularities in tabulation throughout the week have unfairly benefited their opponent, Al Franken.

Franken spokesman Andy Barr dismissed the claim. "As much as the Coleman campaign would like to play political games and baselessly cast doubt on this process," Barr wrote in an e-mail to CNN, "we will continue to work to ensure that every vote is properly counted."

Barr also suggested that it would be wrong for anyone to declare victory before the statewide hand recount is complete. That process is set to begin November 19, and could last until mid-December.

Filed under: Al Franken • Minnesota • Norm Coleman
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. MN resident

    Norm and his campaign team...... just ridiculous!!

    November 10, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. xargaw

    I live in Washington State. We went through this in '04 in our Governor's race. The first two machine counts gave a slim lead to the Republican. A complete hand count gave the race to the Democrat. Only a complete hand count can demonstrate accuracy in a close race. Take the necessary time, count by hand and find out who really won, whoever that might be. The integrity of the election is most important. Machine scanners notoriously error as happened in the pre-election testing in Minnesota. A hand count will get it right. Colemen needs to chill and let democracy work.

    November 10, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  3. Rose

    Norm keeps forgetting his vote count went up by several hundred during the canvasing too. Franken's just went up a bit more.

    November 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Paul, Ohio

    Let's count the votes before we jump to conclusions

    November 10, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  5. James

    That's the lowest gap I have seen since this started a week ago.

    November 10, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    just a matter of who did tipped the scales less if you catch my drift

    November 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. Normy, Bush's Biatch

    Yet another feeble attempt by Sen. Bush boy to play politics and look foolish. Normy, you may very well lose and MN will be better off because of it.

    November 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Kat

    Wow, let's declare victory without the mandated recount...geez, I think I've heard this story before.

    November 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. Margo

    Gee Norm, what happened? If Franken was supposedly so wrong for Minnesota, why is there going to be a state ordered recount?

    November 10, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. Coleman should give up

    Let's face it lost the're trying to pull a Florida here, cheating you way to the election and trying to deny a recount which will prove it...fall on your sword and go get a job with the rich Iranian who gives you all that illegal dough....I feel sorry for politicians like you.

    November 10, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  11. VETS4Obama

    The recount is the law Norm!! Are you sweating it that your voter suppression efforts may not be enough? Go home with Sarah, John and your hero George!

    November 10, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  12. Dan

    I don't get it. Does the Coleman campaign think that if they ignore the recount process it will go away?

    November 10, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  13. Support Our President

    Good luck Mr. Franken. President Obama needs you right now and I dearly hope you win. Enough with the Republican already. Go away!

    November 10, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  14. Robert in Harford

    There are more than 10,000 undervotes left to count/examine. This is even before any recount (inevitable). It is asinine to claim victory with 200 votes with either one of these conditions. It would be equally moronic if Franken tried to call it for himself.

    November 10, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Al Franken was once a B-list comedian, but as a Senator he'd be a real joke. I know nothing about this guy Coleman, but he has to better that clown Franken.

    November 10, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. Jeff in Illinois

    Awww, poor Senator Coleman...sounds like he's facing a "vast left-wing conspiracy". "unexplained discrepancies in reporting" pfft.

    November 10, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  17. Kevin in MN

    Coleman should just "shut up" and let the process proceed. The more he whines about the whole thing the more people hope he loses. Can we just have some peace and quiet for a while now that the awful Coleman and Franken ads have finally stopped running? Too bad Barkley didn't win. He's no genius but he's a decent guy who would do a good job.

    November 10, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. minnesoootan

    Norms gotta go. He's gotta go.

    November 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Earl

    Al Freakin is an idiot, like all the good little marxists that voted for him.
    Al Freakin, and the magic negro, and all the rest of the democratic marxists, should get jobs that they're uniquely qualified for, namely
    cleaning animal cages, and toilets in the zoo of their choice.

    November 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  20. Scott

    The Republicans are jumping the gun again.

    And I'm not Al Franken

    November 10, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  21. tmess2

    Anybody who has ever been part of a recount knows that some ballots that a machine reads as undervote actually have valid votes under the counting standard.

    When a race is this close, it's important to have a full and complete hand count to determine who won. Of course, just as in motor sports or baseball, when you are in the lead, you want the rest of the race called off to avoid the possibility that you actually might lose.

    November 10, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  22. Jodi K

    He can declare himself the winner all he wants...

    and I can declare myself queen of the world. Doesn't make it true.

    November 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |


    November 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. Brad

    By the end of this, we'll be hearing that the winner is "me, Al Franken." I think Al speaks for the Everyman, and I'm tired of Republican blowhards always trying to sue their way into office.

    November 10, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |

    Wow... I love how the Republicans always try to play themselves as the victims of the "liberal media". FOX News spews enough hatred and ignorance to make up for any alleged bias by the other networks.


    November 10, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
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