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Al Franken's victory dance

Minnesota's Senate recount trial widened Franken's lead over Republican Norm Coleman

Al Franken's camp is claiming victory in Minnesota's disputed Senate election, said Eric Kleefeld in Talking Points Memo. The court examined 351 previously rejected ballots in the recount trial, and the Democratic comic-turned-politician's lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman only grew—from 225 votes to 312.

The judicial panel will probably declare Franken the winner, said Scott W. Johnson in National Review. Coleman's campaign was "outhustled and outsmarted" by Al Franken's, which demanded that all votes be counted—before arguing the opposite once Franken had reversed Coleman's election-night lead. Al Franken didn't steal the election, but he didn't exactly win it "fair and square."

The drama isn't over yet, said Mark Guarino in The Christian Science Monitor. The panel's count gives Al Franken a tighter grip on the Senate seat, but Coleman can and almost certainly will appeal to Minnesota's Supreme Court. And, given how absentee ballots were handled differently from district to district, Coleman's lawyers may have a case.

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