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57 (update)
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, November 06, 2008

That is the unofficial Senate count for the Dems as they appear to have picked up one more seat. The possibility of 58, although slim, resides in the Coleman/Franken race in MN. Coleman holds a 449 vote lead prior to an automatic recount of the 2.8 million votes cast.

The 57th seat involves the apparent defeat of Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in OR. His opponent, Jeff Merkley, holds a 2,000 vote lead with a sizeable amount of the vote still to be counted. Unfortunately for Smith, those votes are from heavily Democratic counties (why they've not been counted to date is not clear).

The remaining two involve Saxby Chambliss in GA and Ted Stevens, the convicted felon, in AK. Stevens will most likely end up winning the election but have to resign because of his felony convictions. As the Weekly Standard blog reports, it is unclear, by Alaska law, whether a special election must be held or the Governor, Palin, can appoint someone to fill the term. I would guess that's because it wouldn't be a partial term, but instead a full term.

There's been some speculation that if she could make an appointment she'd appoint herself (or her husband). I think she has better political instincts than to do that.

As for Chambliss, I find his case to be an interesting one. He ended up with 49.9% of the vote in GA (.1% short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff). The Libertarian candidate for the Senate picked up 3.4% of the vote. But Bob Barr, the Libertarian candidate for president, only picked up 1%. That tells me that 2.4% of the vote for the Libertarian candidate may have been voters sending a message to Chambliss who just could not pull the lever for a Democrat.

I think given the gains by Democrats in the Senate and the election of Obama, Chambliss will comfortably win the runoff. It remains to be seen if he's received the message however.

UPDATE: Smith has conceded the race in OR.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

With Collins, Snowe and Spectre they have all they need.
Written By: retired military
URL: http://
Small clarification,
The count is automatic but not necessary mandatory. Per a quote I picked up on Minnesota Democrats Exposed [Secretary of State Mark Ritchie specifically said that Al Franken could formally request that no recount occur in the U.S. Senate race. Ritchie said multiple times today that if such a request were communicated, no recount would be conducted.]

The count being so close I don’t know why anyone would not want a recount at state expence. And its my understanding that every one of the millions of the state wide votes are to be counted by hand.

I am sure MDE will be following every twist and turn.

To be clear I read MDE and am not affiliated.
Written By: Jim
URL: http://
Thanks Jim, good point. Edited to reflect "automatic".
Written By: McQ
Funny. Isn’t that the same number of states Obama says we have?
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
Al Franken can surely find a couple thousand lost ballots cast by dead Minneapolis residents? It worked for the Washington governor recently. Democrats know where all the dead ballots are buried.
Written By: Nancy Roder
URL: http://
I’m a bit pessimistic about Coleman/Smalley as well. Between Al Gore and Christine Gregoire, has any Democrat picked up fewer than 236 net votes on a recount?
Written By: Xrlq
That tells me that 2.4% of the vote for the Libertarian candidate may have been voters sending a message to Chambliss who just could not pull the lever for a Democrat.
I’m one of them. I spoke with his office a couple of times during the bailout issue and was disappointed with their responses. So when I went in to vote, I pushed the button for McCain over Barr (felt like GA was in play and couldn’t vote my conscience) but pushed the button for the Libertarian vs. Chambliss.

The sad reality is that I’ll have to go down for the run off and vote for Chambliss as I truly believe Martin is a swine.
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The count is automatic but not necessary mandatory.
Yes, Coleman could concede and end this state expenditure. We all know how it’s going to turn out, so why would he waste state money like this?

Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Where are you counting Lieberman?
Harry Reid is starting to mess with Lieberman, will he continue to vote with his former party after they throw him out?

Lieberman has a real problem, he’s a hard-core Dem who’s, unfortunately, on the side of America in the War on (Some) Terror.
Written By: Veeshir
URL: http://
Yes, Coleman could concede and end this state expenditure.
Sure, Franken is exactly your kind of dirtbag.
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Sure, Franken is exactly your kind of dirtbag.
Yep, I like my dirtbags smart and funny (granted, Franken was way funnier as a writer than a performer).

Your insults bore me, if you can’t take the time to make it entertaining and clever, why bother at all? I appreciate a good insult, I know you can do it.

Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
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