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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Let's Have the Recount Without Assumptions Please!

Category: Al Franken
Posted: 11/05/08 11:46, Edited: 11/05/08 16:26

by Dave Mindeman

Here is my pet peeve about recounts.

Al Franken is behind by 726 votes. Recounts don't usually change a lot, but with nearly 3 million votes involved, it would not take much. A number transposed....a report that is missed.... a machine that was set wrong. It happens.

Yet, take a look at David Brauer's Daily Glean at Minnpost;

Which begs the question: most votes ever switched by a recount? Fox9 incorrectly notes this will be the first statewide recount since the 1962 governor's race; there was one after this September's judicial primary. According to Minnesota Lawyer, that race involved 400,000 votes; just seven switched. Here, 2.7 million must be re-checked. In other words, Coleman is most certainly re-elected.

How about if we don't beg the question? How about if we report that the possibilities are not great but let's try not to make bold stroke statements like:

Coleman is most certainly re-elected.

That was the very problem in the Florida 2000 election. The race was called before the recount even began...(hear that AP?)

And listen up DFL. You can bet your bottom dollar that Norm Coleman will be issuing daily (if not hourly) statements forcing the press to regurgitate his side of the story. The DFL leadership could at least put up a fight. You weren't there for Al when he really needed you, at least try to help now.

More on all that later.

UPDATE: Another example: Original Star Tribune headline:
Complete returns: Coleman wins, recount coming
later changed to:
Senate race 100% counted: Coleman up; recount coming
The difference is important.


UPDATE: Late Wednesday afternoon...lead for Coleman is now in the 400's. And Coleman wants Franken to forego a recount. Yeah, right!!!
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This is His Time -- This is Our Moment

Category: Barack Obama
Posted: 11/05/08 00:04, Edited: 11/05/08 00:05

by Dave Mindeman

History. It is not often that we are privileged to witness a landmark historic moment. This is truly it. Barack Obama, an African American man from a diverse background and with a truly American story, has become President of the United States. I am overwhelmed.

My 11 year old son latched onto Barack Obama shortly after he announced his quest for the Presidency. It was a surprise to me because he had never particularly liked the constant political activity of his parents, but without any encouragement from us, he was mesmerized by Barack Obama.

My wife and I were Hillary supporters...she still holds a strong place in our hearts. But I learned something from my 11 year old. I could see how a heart felt message of changing the status quo can reach out beyond all barriers. My son would argue with me about how it was important to be against the war from the beginning. How Obama would change things for the better. I watched my son grow and mature right along with the ascendance of the Obama candidacy. It is something I will never forget.

We have a lot of problems to deal with in this country. But we have had serious and seemingly insurmountable problems before. Somehow, some way, a leader always emerges. Someone with the skills and temperament to deal with them. Now is such a time. Obama is such a man.

This country can now come together and move beyond its differences. The future will be a difficult one...but the Obama message of hope truly resonates in these troubled times. I feel good about America's future. We, as a country, have taken a giant leap forward by embracing our diversity. It has taken us a lot of time and pain to get to this moment, but let's all cherish it. History is ours, so let's reset ourselves and turn the page. This is his time....this is our moment.
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Sampling of Apple Valley Precincts at 1pm

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 11/04/08 15:10

by Dave Mindeman

I went out at 1pm and checked in at 3 different Apple Valley precincts. I talked to some of the election workers in precincts 14, 16, and 4. These are generally good Democratic precincts in this fairly red area.

AV-16: I wanted to check on this one especially because the polling location has been moved since the last election. And just to add a little extra kicker, it was moved to the church where the husband of the local legislative candidate is the assistant pastor. The entrance to this polling area was terrible. In order to get there you have to drive all the way around it to the back following a bunch of hand made signs to find it. Needless to say, I was concerned. The parking lot was not very full, so I was prepared for the worst. However, when I talked to the poll worker, he said that voting had been brisk. He said they had 800 voters by 1pm, with a steady stream of new registrations. The total number of actual registrations in the precinct was 1600. So it sounded pretty good.

In 2004, this precinct had 1688 total voters. In 2006, they had only 816. So, good news here.

AV-14: Again, the parking lot was not crowded and the number of stations being used didn't seem particularly high. However, the poll worker seemed to be happy with the turnout. He indicated that he estimated they were at about 1,000 voters at 1pm, again with a large number of new registrants. Now, that would be outstanding. In 2004, this precinct had 1241 total voters and in 2006, it had 816. If new registrations really are particularly high, this precinct could be a very good one.

AV-4: This precinct also was steady but quiet. However, the poll worker said that this was the quietest it had been all morning. She noted that when they opened up the polling area they had a line that stretched all the way through the building. After catching up with the early birds, they remained steady but under control since. Also indicated a large number of new registrations. She estimated a solid 1,000 voters by 1pm. This precinct had 1904 total votes in 2004 and 1388 in 2006.

So far, so good.
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