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. NObama

    Are people in Minnesota so stupid they want AL FRANKEN to represent them? Can we think about that for a minute? That's like putting Bill O'Reilly in the senate, people that will make a mockery of the government and be useless in solving problems. COME ON!

    November 10, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. glenn

    57% voted against this incumbent. Seems like the voter are rejecting Mr. Coleman.

    November 10, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  3. Brian

    I think they're both losers, but state law is state law. Does Coleman think he's above the law as he's attempts to circumvent it? Let the process work, you dirtbag.

    November 10, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. Dave

    wth is wrong with all of you, saying one or the other should just give up? both candidates have worked hard and long for an oppurtunity to represent Minnesota. Its their right and the right of Minnesotans to have a recount. go blow on an exhaust pipe. you people make me sick

    November 10, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Real Minnesota Resident

    Coleman was just trying to save us taxpayers the money it is going to cost to do the recount. Franken is just trying to figure out who will let him perform fraud and add some votes for the win. 77% of Democrats believe that if there is voter fraud it would be a democrat performing it.

    November 10, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  6. A Really Conservative Realist

    Lots of irregularity in the precincts that Al is finding votes in. Appears that lots of folks voted for Franken and not BO. HMMMM. Very interesting. But hey, you dems have never claimed to be ethical.

    November 10, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. Bob

    Why is it whenever an election is this close Democrats always think they won? They always claim there are these unseen "mystery" votes that will appear. Could it be that if Republicans don't watch them every step of the way these votes always do "appear".
    You know if Franken was 200 votes ahead they would have sworn him in already.

    November 10, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  8. Charlie

    Typical Democrats...constant complaining. If things don't go in their favor, it's a conspiracy. But if things go against the Republicans, it's their own doing. That's all it is with Democrats, is all finger-pointing and placing blame and taking zero accountability on themselves. Sad.

    November 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  9. Sparko

    Tues night Norm told Al to concede, insinuating that allowing a recount was tantamount to questioning the MN election workers who in his veiw then, were beyond reproach. Now that some corrections have been made, which happens in every race in every election, he has changed his tune. What is it Norm? Do you trust the MN system or not? Does he forget that even though he has the most votes, the majority of Minnesotans did not vote for him thanks to a strong 3rd party candidate? Shouldn't his first concern be that every vote counts? Isn't that what freedom and liberty is all about? I expect he will come out the winner in the end but wouldn't it be sweet if Al pulled this elelction off now that Norm has twice declared himself the winner and disparaged the election and counting process in a state known for its fairness. Just shut up Norm and let the law of the state you say you care so much about play out and live with whatever the results are. Take a lesson from McCain and act like an adult.

    November 10, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  10. AJ

    Are all you people serious? You actually WANT to elect a raving lunatic like Al Franken to the United States Senate? Just because he's NOT the Republican candidate? Jeez, I had thought that the US had made history when they elected Obama, but now I'm beginning to feel that if Mickey Mouse was on the ballot against a republican he would have won...

    November 10, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  11. Milhouse van Houten

    "Lies and the lying liars who tell them",go little boy Al,you just keep going.This will work out in your favour.

    November 10, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  12. MiMi

    This coming from Coleman, who is about to be indicted for bribery to the tune of $75,000 for his wife, undisclosed vacations and clothing from lobbyists, and abuse of power. He has frequently been cited as one of the top ten most corrupt national leaders. What is wrong with the people of Minnesota? How did Bachmann win? How is this guy even close? Anyone else starting to suspect there was a little Coleman-issued foul play with Wellstone in 2002? Wellstone was clobbering Coleman until tragic events occurred, and Coleman walks into office in the waning days of the election before Wellstone's campaign had a chance to name a replacement. Something stinks with this guy. He's changed political parties like 3 times. Does he stand for ANYTHING?

    November 10, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  13. The Blessed One

    Those Republicans sure know how to steal elections.

    November 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  14. PL

    Just like a republican if they can't win it fair they steal it.

    November 10, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. Kathy in Minnesota

    I too will be happy once the recount has been done. Mark Ritchie is a good Secretary of State. Al got my vote.

    November 10, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  16. Preston

    I honestly think they should consider re-doing the election without any third parties.

    But in all honesty, I think after a recount Frank will prevail.

    November 10, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. Joel Graham

    Norm you need to take some time to find a new place to live. Hint it will not be in the house of a sugardaddy in Washington DC. It will be somewhere in Minnesota. BTW Coleman you suck!

    November 10, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  18. Del

    Coleman, you need to give up. The fix is in. I guarantee you two things. CNN will not post this and you will lose. If they can’t fix it during the recount for you to lose, they will take care of it in the courts or the Senate. When will you learn, you can’t play by the rules.

    November 10, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  19. Riley In Nebraska

    I'm pullin for Franken!!!

    November 10, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  20. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    The Coleman camp are talking out of their behinds again. Their opportunistic candidate hooked up with the Bush crowd when the going looked good there, and now that it doesn't, the slimy little chameleon has tried to portay himself as an independent moderate. Within a year of occupying the late great Paul Wellstone's seat, he even had the guts and horribly poor taste to proclaim himself a 99% better Senator than Wellstone was. Just another heartless Republican. Bye, bye, Norm-we don't want you anymore. Go spend your retirement on Bush's ranch where you belong!

    November 10, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  21. RGG

    Coleman, go back to sleep.

    November 10, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  22. FrederickMichael

    Why restrict ourselves to just one recount? Florida's recount in 2000 was just the beginning.

    November 11, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  23. Kompira

    It's not that the people from Minnesota are stupid good sir, it's that we have no better candidate to replace Norm with, need to go with the lesser of two evils.

    But thank you for immediately jumping to the conclusion that because we vote for someone, automatically makes us dumb.

    November 11, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  24. Mtsnowtiger

    Has anyone noticed when the race is close the Dems miraculously find additional ballots in the recount and keep recounting until the winner is a Dem? Case in point..Look at the Washington state gov race in 04. Dems sued for a recount and after the 3rd try finally got the victory when previously uncounted ballots magically appeared and gave the victory to the Dem. All the legal challenges in the 2000 presidential race requiring 3 recounts that didn't get the result the Dems wanted. Recounts by 2 newspapers (I believe 1 was the Miami paper) long after the race proved Bush in fact did win. If votes are being missed in the counting then criminal charges need to be filed for fixing a race. I'm all for a recount if the race is close, but 1 recount is all that should be required. Anymore than 1 and it looks suspicious especially when 1 party is forcing recounts and court battles. Just an observation.

    November 11, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  25. Will in Carson City

    Please tell me that they at least won't be trying to ascertain the will of the voters with dimpled and hanging chads.....

    November 11, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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