Minnesota Update: Not Looking Good for Al Franken?

Norm Coleman now leads Al Franken by 231 votes according to the Star Tribune which is 16 more than he started with prior to the recounting. Of course the "real" margin has been almost entirely obscured by the more than 3,600 challenges lodged by the two campaigns. Nevertheless, I am not optimistic because county-by-county results show a clear pattern: the candidate who challenges the most ballots in a county is the candidate who has gained votes in the county. Here are some examples:

County Who Gained & How Much? Who Challenged More Ballots?
Aitkin Coleman by 3 Coleman by 2
Anoka Franken by 23 Franken by 30
Becker Coleman by 39 Coleman by 37
Brown Franken by 4 Franken by 3
Carlton Coleman by 23 Coleman by 27
Carver Franken by 8 Franken by 11
Dakota Franken by 13 Franken by 10
Hennepin Coleman by 27 Coleman by 34
Meeker Franken by 43 Franken by 44
Stearns Franken by 19 Franken by 15
Washington Coleman by 12 Coleman by 8

There are exceptions to this pattern, mostly counties with a small number of challenges and very small gains or losses. Two other exceptions are Ramsey County where Franken has one more challenge but has gained 34 votes and St. Louis County where Coleman has issued a 100 more challenges but has gained only 57 votes. And Coleman has issued 80 more challenges overall compared to Franken but with 82% of the recount completed that difference alone won't net Franken enough votes.

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