Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chances in Minnesota and Alaska Looking Up

In the Begich (D)/Stevens (R) Alaska Senate race, they started counting absentee and questioned (Alaska's version of provisional) ballots today. This morning, Stevens led by 3,257 votes. After counting about half of the total number of uncounted ballots, his lead is down to 971. And reports are that the remaining ballots are disproportionately from pro-Begich areas.

The Franken (D)/Coleman (R) race in Minnesota is similarly closing. Right after Election Day, Franken trailed by 725. As precincts have updated/corrected their counts and started counting absentee ballots, it's down to 206. Soon they will begin visually inspecting the tens of thousands of ballots which did not register a vote for anyone in the Senate race. Due to the overlap between people likely to vote Democrat and the people likely to screw up filling out their ballot (e.g., writing X's in ovals instead of coloring them in), it's more likely than not that Franken will also emerge victorious when all the votes are counted.

So that leaves Georgia. Unfortunately, it looks like Chambliss will hold on, leaving the Senate 59-41. But, if Obama were willing to use a tiny portion of the massive amount of popularity and political capital he has at his disposal to help Martin, the Dem candidate, 60 is most definitely in reach, as long as they don't do anything stupid like boot Lieberman.

Update: Right after I posted this, I clicked over to MSNBC for Countdown. As counting has continued, Begich is now UP by three votes. Whoo!

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