Jonathan Chait’s “Minnesota Recount Update” in yesterday’s edition of TNR‘s The Plank takes an optimistic view of Al Franken’s prospects. Chait’s analysis concludes “All in all, Franken seems like a pretty strong bet to win.” Chait can get some encouragement from Pat Doyle’s article in today’s Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, which reports,
The Star Tribune has performed its own analysis of the challenged ballots by relying on a virtual “canvassing board” of more than 26,000 readers who examined at least some of them. There appeared to be widespread consensus that Franken won slightly more disputes than Coleman, enough to theoretically erase the incumbent’s narrow lead by late Monday….According to the analysis, if all of the ballots on which challenges have been withdrawn were awarded to candidates as Ballot Challenge readers awarded them, Franken would hold a 246-vote lead heading into today’s Canvassing Board meeting. The Board will begin resolving some 2,260 remaining challenges at noon, with Franken’s challenges outnumbering Coleman’s by 224. The conclusion is consistent with an analysis done by the Associated Press, which showed that Franken netted enough votes from several thousand easily resolved disputes to erase Coleman’s lead.
It’s still a roller-coaster of a recount, but a little optimism seems justified going into the final phase.