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The One Senate Race Hanging By A Thread: Coleman vs. Franken vs. Barkley

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All of the United States Senate races have already been decided as of 01:00 (CST) 5 November 2008. Only one race remains to be decided: Minnesota.

Incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman won his seat in 2002 when he defeated the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) candidate, Walter Mondale, for that office. The then incumbent and man who was running against him, Paul Wellstone, had died in an airplane crash in northern Minnesota during the campaign. Mondale was chosen by the DFL to run in Wellstone's place. Governor Jesse Ventura appointed fellow independent Dean Barkley to serve out Senator Wellstone's term until January 2003 when Coleman took office.

Fast forward to 2008. Al Franken, who made his name as a comedian on Saturday Night Live during the early 1980s and who had basically made his career outside of his native Minnesota since then, decided to run for the Senate as a candidate of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. He succeeded in defeating other Democratic hopefuls for the candidacy, and ran against the incumbent, Norm Coleman, attempting to link him to George Bush and his less than stellar record at every opportunity. Senator Coleman has run on his experience, both as Senator in the last six years and his previous experience as mayor of the city of Saint Paul in the 1990s.

This race has been made a lot more interesting by Dean Barkley, who has run as a candidate of the Independence Party, one of the few viable third parties in the United States. He had been polling in the high teens during the campaign and is now sitting with approximately 15% of the vote. At 1:15 in the morning, with 92% of the precincts reporting, Coleman appears to be leading in the race by approximately 1,800 votes out of 2,000,000 cast (according to WCCO, the CBS affiliate in the Twin Cities). Looking at the Star Tribune coverage, with 93% of the precincts reporting, both major candidates have 42% with Barkley trailing with 15%. Franken trails Coleman by 5,000 votes.

The votes still missing from the tally come from the city of Duluth, a DFL stronghold, suburban areas of Hennepin County, a Republican stronghold, and the city of Eveleth, the home of the late Governor Rudy Perpich, and also a DFL stronghold. According to updated results at 01:30 at the Star Tribune, there are less than 500 votes separating the major candidates.

There is more to this story than a mere close race. Senator Coleman appears to be in some kind of hot water over a scandal involving his wife, and there has been some speculation at WCCO that other problems may force Senator Coleman to resign his seat if he wins.

In addition, there is the issue of the control of the United States Senate. A Franken victory will possibly give the Democratic Party filibuster-proof control of the upper house in the United States Congress.

At 1:50 in the morning (CST) the race is still undetermined, but acording to WCCO, people at the Coleman campaign claim that the incumbent has a 3,500 vote cushion with the city of Duluth (a pro-DFL area) accounted for.

So, now we'll see.

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About Ruvy

Hi!! Thanks for coming to my article! I was raised in Brooklyn, was graduated from the City University of New York in 1978 with a BA in political science and public administration there. I lived in Minnesota for a number of years. There I managed restaurants and wrote stories. We moved with our children family to Israel where we now reside. My work can be found at Ruvy's Roost, Jewish Indy,, and on Facebook under my full name, Reuven Kossover
  • Ruvy


    Update:
    The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that as of this morning in Minnesota, Senator Coleman declared that he had won the rqce, and Al Franken stated that the race was “too close to call”.

    In Minnesota, when an electoral race is as close as this, with a mere 1,000 votes separating the contenders, a recount is triggered automatically under the electoral law.

    It appears that unless the results are very clear in a recount, this race may take longer than a day or two to settle.

  • Cindy D

    I was reading that it will likely take until December to sort out the winner.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com Dave Nalle

    The good news is that it looks like we’ll be spared Franken’s sanctimonious mug in the Senate. The bad news is that he’s launching a sour graped lawsuit to get a recount. His ego knows no limits.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Dave, is he launching his law-suit in addition to the automatic re-count under Minnesota, law or did the numbers change in the vote count since I left you all to work?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I saw part of a press conference with Norm Coleman and he said Franken was planning a suit. That’s all I know.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I looked at the link to the Star Tribune and it showed Coleman and Franken with a difference of 236 votes. This is out of nearly 2,900,000 votes cast.

    This is enough to trigger a recount.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Bing,

    Lisa is right. After two decades of experience I can tell you that Minnesota elections are very clean. This election will be hotly contested. But whatever its result, it wll not have the cloud of scandal over it that the election of George Bush had over it in 2000. Even if Franken gets good and mad and acts like a sore loser, Minnesotans will not be impressed. At worse, he can go back to writing skits for SNL.

    Gore was a bore, but we would have been better off with him in 2001 when the Arabs hit the World Trade Center. Gore didn’t have as many corporate friends to reward as Bush did.

    What really pisses me off about Iraq (how’s that for a change of topic?) is that after hearing the big old chimp in Washington beat his chest about beating up on Saddam Hussein, old uncle Saddam had the sense to ship his weapons to Syria, where they now sit in the Beka’a, aimed at guess who?

    But those who have whined like sick sheep about this tragic and misplaced war in Iraq have stuffed their fingers in their ears like little girls screaming that their ice cream cone just fell in the lake or something.

    There were no WMDs found in Iraq because they were moved out of the country! But nobody gives a damn if we die here, least of all the scum at “J Street”. They just want to get their cheap lies across to make the monkey in the White House look like more of a monkey than he is.

    We’ll see how the “progressives”, as Lisa likes to style them, defend the NEW monkey coming to the White House – if he ever gets there…. Or if they wll not waste time defending them at all – they just hire old Black Panthers to go after them with baseball bats and chains.

    America gets the government it deserves.

    shavua tov have a good week….

  • Franco

    #11 — Ruvy

    “Saddam had the sense to ship his weapons to Syria, where they now sit in the Beka’a, aimed at guess who? There were no WMDs found in Iraq because they were moved out of the country!”

    Ruvy,

    I have studied this assertion for several years now. In fact you and I exchanged posts on this very issue almost 2 years ago. I have researched and found several credible reports that support this assertion and in fact they do sound highly credible, but there is no smoking gun.

    Surly, if it happened, which I am not saying it did not, then someone somewhere knows it, and has the proof. Given the extent of the Israeli, the US, and the European secret intelligence services, someone knows. So why was it not front and center long ago?

    There would have to be reasons for that silence.

    Now, it was reported by the MSM before the innovation of Iraq that satellite ground imagery evidenced that there was high concentrations in Iraq of trucks being loaded at suspected sites and they were being transported to other remote location and crossing over into Syria. However, these MSM reports were not extensive, and once the war started these reports stopped completely.

    That being the case, how can you say that this “mums the word” on this issue is based only on your assertion that……..nobody gives a damn if we die here, least of all the scum at “J Street”. They just want to get their cheap lies across to make the monkey in the White House look like more of a monkey than he is.

    If it was “mum” back at the start in 2003 it was not for the reason you say it is “mum” now. And if there are Saddam WMD (or the raw materials and means ot make them) buried in the Beka’a, surly the Mossad and the IDF know it, Would you agree?

    And if Mossad knows about it, so doses the CIA. That being the case, whey the “mum” why back at the start of the war?

    Was it to wait on the invation until the WMD were removed from the impeneding battle field to anothe location of a more inimpending battle field thus lesseing the death tolls on both US forces and the Iraqi people, and then after the war find an approrate moment to expose the WMD in the Beka’a. Because surly exposing this will bring to head another potencial war with Syira or Iran or both.

    So if Mossad and CIA know about it, they surly have it already studied and continue to study their safe exposer and liqudation.

    I mean, you would at least have to agree that it is a delicate situation even at best. No?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Franco,

    If I’m the Red Queen, and I accuse the Knave of having stolen the spoons – only to discover that the King hid them under his mistress’ bed – can I afford to open my mouth? Très embarrasment! That means that the Red Queen knows about the mistress and can’t scream “off with her head”, can she?

    The Mossad did open its mouth. Its back door publicity agency, Debkafiles, made a big stink about the Iraqis shipping weapons to Syria in the dead of night. Nobody wanted to pay attention – least of all the Bush administration. If the WMD’s were in Syria, they had no smoking gun to point at Saddam Hussein. And no excuse to go to war.

    They needed to go to war – SOMEBODY had to pay for destroying the World Trade Center, and Bush could not afford to pee on his Saudi bosses. It just would not have looked good to blame the Jews – even thogh a good case could have been made to do so with enough media hype and spin.

    So….?

    They went after the Iraqis and sunk all your money in the Prat and Hidekkel Rivers (go look up the references, Franco – any HEBREW Bible will have them).

    And here we are six years later, and your country is broke from chasing a phantom.

    Mazel Tov!

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Arch Conservative is having a compulsory holiday until 5 December, so his comments – and any responses to them – have been deleted.

  • Franco

    It would appear you are stretching the facts a bit to fit your theory.

    You say……

    “The Mossad did open its mouth. Its back door publicity agency, Debkafiles, made a big stink about the Iraqis shipping weapons to Syria in the dead of night. Nobody wanted to pay attention – least of all the Bush administration. If the WMD’s were in Syria, they had no smoking gun to point at Saddam Hussein. And no excuse to go to war.

    They needed to go to war – SOMEBODY had to pay for destroying the World Trade Center,”

    But they had already gone to war specifically over that in Afghanistan two years before. Iraq was not a direct action taken in regards to that, Iraq was an action taken under the war on terror and those states who supported such terror.

    In 1981 Israeli warplanes struck the Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility near Baghdad and you know way. In 1991 Saddam had proved to be such a terrorist state by attacking Israel with guided missiles. Up to that point, no county before Saddam used such guided missiles against Israel. The rules of the game had changed at that point.

    Now WMD are made to fit on such missals and he proved also he would use WMD against his own people when he had them. I don’t think we really need to go over all this.

    Here is an interesting report on Israeli, US, and Iraqi ongoing and escalating of tension in 1998 over all this. This is from 7 years after the 1991 attack on Israel and 5 years before the 2003 US attack and invasion of Iraq. It is interesting to see this lead up.

    Will Iraq attack Israel?

    I only point out that your assertion over looks these basic facts to fit its theory with Prat and Hidekkel Rivers. I’m not saying your wrong about that, I am saying you are stretching things to make it fit.

    More importantly thought, now with both Mossad and the CIA fully knowing about the Beka’a, what do you think is their plan and or play together, and if not together, what is your thoughts on why not together and if it is ever going to be delft with by anyone.

    That’s the million dollar question Ruvy.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Franco,

    There will be no working together between the CIA and the Mossad on the Syrian missiles in the Beka’a. The missiles will wind up being used to attack us.

    That is nearly as sure as the sun rising in the east. It is in the American interest to weaken Israel. This is why NO ISRAELIS ARE BEING ALLOWED ON THE AMERICAN ANTI-MISSILE BASE IN THE NEGEV. There is no cooperation between Israel and America; there is only Israeli leaders begging like dogs – and the American government dropping crumbs to the salivating beggars.

    That today is reality. I like it less than you do.

  • Franco

    #12 — Ruvy

    That is nearly as sure as the sun rising in the east. It is in the American interest to weaken Israel.

    How does Rahm Emanuel fit into that weakening of Israel and why is it in his, and our interest to do so?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    The Israeli press is hyping Emanuel as the son of Etze”l patriots who fought for independence. But they keep quiet about Emanuel’s directing the Rabin Arafat handshake that “cemented” the Oslo Accords. Just because Emanuel’s parents were once patriots doesn’t mean that Emanuel is one. In fact, the Oslo Accords have been the beginning of what the banned Marthe Raymond called the “decontrification” of Israel.

    Put simply, the American government has been consistently working at weakening Israel for decades in spite of the histrionic denials of some on this list.

    Since it is the American government doing the weakening, I lay the blame at America’s door – which some of you find disconcerting.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    UPDATING THE VOTE COUNT IN MINNESOTA:

    From the Saint Paul Pioneer Press: Coleman’s lead at 206 — and now the recount.

    According to the Coleman campaign, Franken tried to “stuff the ballot box” asking that 461 votes from Hennepin County (where Minneapolis and immediate suburbs are located) be readded to the total. But the attempt did not succeed.

    The recount begins on 19 November after all the proper documentation certifying this count is completed by the Minesota secretary of state’s office.

  • Ms. Know

    Glad to know the GOP secured one more seat. They will need to be in attendance more than ever with Congress full of liberal illuminati.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Ms. Know,

    The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings – and she hasn’t sung yet. When the recount is over, if Franken doesn’t try to tie up the whole thing in the courts – then, and only then will we know that one of these two (Franken or Coleman) has become United States Senator from the great State of Minnesota.

    Liberal Illuminati?

    Please, madame, don’t litter this comment thread with nonsense. Illuminati are neither conservative nor liberal. That is not on their radar.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I’ve been hearing some remarkable stories of possible democratic fraud from this race. Apparently someone found a bunch of ballots in the trunk of a car – something which has been used as an excuse before – and conveniently they all turned out to be Franken ballots. And they’re going through the ‘undercounts’ and deciding that people who didn’t vote for Senate at all meant to vote for Franken if they voted for Obama as president, even if they clearly left the Senate section blank.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Good point, Dave. The recount is starting in just a couple of days. The Republican governor Tim Pawlenty, told FOX News that there had been no irregularities in the balloting. On the other hand, the Coleman campaign is casting aspersions at the secrtary of state, Mark Ritchie.

    My own experience with Coleman, as mayor of St. Paul, was that he was a schmuck who favored the rich over the poor. I know nothing about Franken except one skit that I remember very well from SNL many years ago – about the ME decade. In his skit, it was all about “ME, AL FRANKEN”. I have the feeling that this skit might have been more self-revelatory than he ever meant it to be. It’s just a gut feeling, not something I can prove.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Apparently someone found a bunch of ballots in the trunk of a car”

    That story was debunked days ago.

  • Clavos

    That story was debunked days ago.

    Citation? (With link?)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Here you go, Clav.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Sorry to steal your thunder, El B, but debunking stuff is such great fun!

  • Clavos

    Thank you.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    No problem, Doc. Although since Dave offered no citation, I saw no need to offer one of my own.

  • Clavos

    Although since Dave offered no citation, I saw no need to offer one of my own.

    Interesting. So you prefer to let others set your standards for you…

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    that assumes I have standards.

    actually, I prefer others seek out the information on their own rather than trust me. teach them how to fish rather than just give them one.

  • Clavos

    that assumes I have standards.

    Point taken. My bad.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    The recount news from Minnesota is starting to get interesting.

    Norm Coleman, the incumbent, is holding on to a very slim lead, 115 votes, with 60% of the precincts in the state re-counted.

    In the meantime, there may be some dramatic events unfolding. In politics, even a few hours is a long time, and the news there is a developing phenomenon. I’ll keep an eye on the situation, not merely for my own interest but also because I took the trouble to write this article in the first place.

    If I have the time, there will be further reports tomorrow, if events warrant it….

  • Cindy D

    Ruvy,

    The first link is bad. Interesting 2nd link.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Cindy,

    The first link is bad.

    I tend to prefer the St. Paul Pioneer Press over the Star Tribune for my news from St. Paul….

    Go here and look in the upper left hand corner for a quick summary, and from there you can go to articles on the recount. Have a pleasant Sunday.

    Blessings from the mountains of Liberated Samaria,
    Ruvy

  • Cindy D

    Ruvy,

    Thank you, that works. Coleman now leads by 167 votes.

  • Cindy D