In the continuing drama of the Minnesota US Senate race, it looks like Al Franken (DFL) is going to prevail, at least until the courts get involved. A final count has basically reversed the 250ish vote lead that Norm Coleman had into a 250ish vote lead for Franken.
Coleman and possibly some voter groups plan to sue on the grounds that the recount was flawed, that votes were improperly counted and/or double counted and that decisions on how to count disputed votes were overly biased to Franken.
For the moment, it looks like Senate Democrats will not attempt to force a seating until the courts have a chance to review things (meaning they will be at 55 plus 2 Independents versus 41 GOP).
As someone looking in from the outside, I am going to more or less leave those issues to the courts in Minnesota. I’m not in a position to determine if things were done properly or not. But I will admit it does seem a little odd that we had a 500-vote swing (or a 1,000-vote swing, if you base it on the initial count) in this race. From what I have read of past recounts in states with machines like Minnesota, the swing is usually 100 or so, at the most.
In addition I will admit it seems odd when you have a series of disputed ballots submitted by two sides and, when they are reviewed, almost all of the disputes go in favor of one candidate. You would think simple statistics would allow for a more even distribution of the decisions.
However what I find most interesting is the voter reaction I’ve been able to glean from the media. Most voters do not seem particularly thrilled with the outcome, it seems most who voted for Coleman or Franken or even Barkley did so less because they liked their choice than because he was the least objectionable.
I can’t comment as to the problems people had with Coleman or Barkley but I can see why people would have issues with Franken. This is not because of his politics, though they are certainly pretty far to the Left. It is because of his personality and attitudes towards those who disagree with him. I’ve seen nothing in this campaign to show he has the slightest respect for any dissenting views to his own.
Indeed the only people who seem excited about things are those who share that kind of an attitude. I didn’t like it when members of the GOP (like Jesse Helms) adopted such attitudes and I don’t like it now.