Norm Coleman has defeated Al Franken in one of Minnesota's tightest Senate elections ever, declares the AP. The GOP incumbent led by 762 votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast. Coleman had 42.03%, Franken 42%, and third-party candidate Dean Barley 15%. But the former comedian has not conceded and is demanding a recount, which will be triggered automatically by Minnesota state law.
"This has been a long campaign, but it is going to be a little longer before we have a winner," Franken said at a rally. Exit polls showed that Franken held a big lead in Minneapolis and St. Paul, while Coleman ran stronger in Twin Cities suburbs and western Minnesota. The Senate race was one of the ugliest of the campaign, with the rivals trading accusations of corruption and immorality.