Franken vs. Coleman: Numbers Don’t Lie

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(UPDATE: Republican Norm Coleman has now officially conceded in the hotly contested and litigious battle for Minnesota’s Senate seat.)

As an ex-mathematician, I like digits, numbers.

While statistics can be made to lie, I don’t believe pure numbers do, except when manipulated by Rush Limbaugh, as in the recent Supreme Court decision involving Sotomayor.

Numbers haven’t lied in the case of the Franken-Coleman election battle. (UPDATE: Norm Coleman has now conceded.)

On a 5-0 vote (that is unanimous), the Minnesota Supreme Court today declared Democrat Al Franken the winner in that state’s bitterly contested senatorial election.

In “Court Rules Franken Has Won Senate Seat,” the New York Times has these other interesting, indisputable numbers—”factoids”:

- $51.1 million has been raised between Coleman and Franken for the entire campaign

– $50.3 million has been spent between the two candidates

– $11 million (at least) has been spent on the recount

– 2,424,946 votes were cast

– 312 votes separate the candidates (Franken leads)

– 239 days since Election Day 2008

– 34 weeks since Election Day 2008

– 7 months, 27 days since Election Day 2008

– 4 seasons seen since Election Day 2008 election.

And did I mention it was an unanimous 5-0 decision?

And the sweetest number of them all—if the decision holds–the number 60. Care to guess why?

UPDATE: Norm Coleman has just conceded. Congratulations, U.S. Senator Al Franken!

It’s now 60!

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist