It seems to me that Saxby Chambliss’ win in Georgia eliminates Al Franken’s ‘Senate Option’. The only logic behind Harry Reid seating Al Franken was if he made the Senate filibuster-proof. There’s no logic behind seating Franken to be the 59th Senate Democrat.

Franken’s campaign got a legitimate but small boost Tuesday and a small PR victory but Sen. Coleman is still heading back to Washington for a second term:

The day’s other news, which Franken’s campaign quickly described as a “breakthrough”, came when Ritchie’s office asked local election officials to examine an estimated 12,000 rejected absentee ballots and determine whether their rejection fell under one of four reasons for rejection defined in state law. The Secretary of State’s office asked that ballots that were rejected for something other than the four legal reasons be placed into a so-called “fifth category.”

The fifth category, Ritchie’s office said, could also include absentee ballots rejected for reasons that were “not based on factual information.” Ritchie’s office, while stressing that the ballots be examined but not counted, asked that the task be completed by Dec. 18.

The move appeared to give at least some new life to the Franken campaign’s longstanding effort to add to the recount what it estimates are as many as 1,000 improperly rejected absentee ballots.

Franken saying that there might be as many as 1,000 improperly rejected ballots is pure spin. It’s also an insult to the election judges because Franken is essentially saying that the election judges aren’t competent. As I said here, I’ll be surprised if there’s 500 absentee ballots that wind up in the infamous fifth pile. According to the Strib’s website, Franken still trails by 300 votes.

It’s worth remembering that Scott and Wright counties start their recounts this morning. I won’t be surprised if Sen. Coleman gains votes in those counties because they’re both heavily red counties.

Franken’s campaign heralded the news as a significant development, and said it came on a day when the campaign’s own internal recount showed that Coleman’s lead had dwindled to 50 votes. “[This] process is not complete until every vote is counted. And today’s directive is an important step,” said Andy Barr, Franken’s communications director.

What choice did Franken’s campaign have other than to trumpet this development as a monumental victory? Their campaign is on life support. Anything other than more bad news from the actual recount had to be good news for Franken’s campaign.

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5 Responses to “Chambliss’ Victory Ends Franken’s ‘Senate Option’”

  • Eugene says:

    In case you missed it, Franken now leads Coleman by more than 11,000 votes, pending challenges on 6200 some votes (more than half of the said challenges are originating on Coleman’s side.

    Franken, it appears was selected on November 4, not Coleman.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eugene, Don’t be stupid. That isn’t accurate. Even Al Franken isn’t suggesting that. in fact, his spokesman said yesterday that he led by 73 votes. Franken’s spokesman didn’t say that Franken led by 7,300 votes. He didn’t say he led by 730 votes.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eugene, I just spoke with the SecState’s office. The numbers on the link you provided reflect only the votes that’ve been recounted. It doesn’t reflect all the votes cast statewide.

    The total votes cast will be substantially different because Wright & Scott counties, 2 of the reddest counties in the state aren’t included in the vote totals.

    Your statement that “Franken, it appears was selected on November 4, not Coleman” is ignorant of the facts. A more accurate statement would be that “Franken, it appears was selected on November 4, not Coleman IF you exclude 2 solidly Republican counties.”

  • lawhite says:

    The latest from Dec 6:
    “The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Coleman is leading Franken by 192 votes, but roughly 6,000 ballots that have been challenged by the campaigns remain to be counted by a state canvassing board. The board, comprised of the secretary of state and four judges, will meet on December 16 to begin issuing final calls on challenged ballots.
    The Franken camp contends that among these 6,000 challenged ballots, Franken edges out Coleman by 196 votes, giving the Democrat a 4 vote lead. But Franken is leading by 4 votes only if his camp’s internal tally is correct and 133 ballots missing from one Democratic precinct are included in the final count.
    If these 133 ballots–which were not found after an extensive search–are not counted, Franken would be dealt a net loss of 46 votes and thus, by his own campaign’s estimation, trail Coleman. However, it’s possible that even if these ballots aren’t found the canvassing board could choose to accept the election night results in that precinct and include the ballots. The Coleman campaign’s lead lawyer says he’s looking into the legality of counting ballots that cannot physically be produced.”

    Good grief! There’s so much election fraud here, why don’t they just have another run-off and do it right and legal next time? All these “lost” votes are incredible!

  • Gary Gross says:

    Lawhite, Perhaps you can identify which laws were broken?

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