POLITICS

Franken Gets Even Closer To Coleman In Recount

12/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:

The U.S. Senate recount continued Thursday without major glitches across Minnesota, as tabulators and the volunteers watching them settled into an increasingly familiar routine of thumbing, counting and sorting.

With about 46 percent of the 2.9 million ballots counted by Thursday evening, the gap between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and DFL challenger Al Franken continued to close. Coleman was leading by only 136 votes, a drop from his unofficial lead of 215 that was confirmed Tuesday by the state Canvassing Board.

Franken's campaign said on Thursday that they're doing even better than early recount results suggest:

Speaking to reporters in person and on phone, Marc Elias, the Franken campaign's chief counsel, said that the early recount results (which decreased the margin separating the Democratic challenger and Coleman by 43 votes) actually underestimated the ground gained.

"We do in fact feel very good about how the first day of the recount went... We believe that through last night, 26.5 percent of the ballots were hand counted. And that represents slightly three percent more of the Coleman vote or Republican vote than was true during the election. And nevertheless we picked up a significant chunk of votes," said Elias. "In other words, the ballots counted yesterday were more Republican than the total ballot pool will end up being. It was a slightly redder pile versus what it will finally be. And not withstanding that slightly redder view, we picked up votes yesterday. In fact, we believe that number is higher than the 43 votes reflected on the Secretary of State's official margin."

Read more about the recount here.

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