Franken Race Too Close to Call

Recount looms as Minnesota Senate contest goes down to the wire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2008 3:31 AM CST
Democratic Senate candidate Al Franken, and his wife, Franni, vote in Minneapolis yesterday.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – Minnesotans may have to wait days to learn the winner of their state's close-fought Senate race, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken are locked in a dead heat, and the winning margin will almost certainly be slender enough to trigger an automatic recount.

Exit polls showed Franken had benefited from a surge in Democratic support, but some ticket-splitters went for Coleman. Independence Party candidate Dean Barkley pulled off enough Democrats and independents to potentially cost Franken the race. The losing candidate has the right to waive a recount under Minnesota law, but observers say that would be incredibly unlikely after one of the most bitterly contested Senate races in memory.