Franken Thiiis Close, Down 204 in Minn. Vote Count

Unofficial tally has Senate race just about neck and neck
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2008 1:33 PM CST
Al Franken, addresses a question and answer session at the Minnesota state Democratic convention in Rochester, Minn in this June 7, 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
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(Newser) – Al Franken’s razor-thin margin of defeat in Minnesota’s Senate race is even thinner today, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The latest count has Franken trailing incumbent Norm Coleman by 204 votes, down from 221 over the weekend. Coleman appeared to have won by 725 votes last Wednesday, but Franken has gained ground with every successive estimate, leading the Coleman campaign to question the changes’ legitimacy.

The secretary of state says the adjustments are typical and above-board. With less than 0.5% separating the candidates, the race is headed for a recount in any case, which Mark Ritchie says he hopes will be completed by mid-December. In all, roughly 2.9 million ballots will have to be counted by hand.