Silver Predicts 27-Vote Recount Victory for Franken

If you believe the statistics, Minnesota's getting a Democratic senator
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2008 11:17 AM CST
Cindy Reichert, Minneapolis elections director, leans on a stack of Minneapolis ballots as she gives some instructions to election judges during the recount in the U.S. Senate race.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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(Newser) – If you believe in the math, get ready to welcome the new Democratic senator from Minnesota: Statistics guru Nate Silver, on, predicts a 27-vote Al Franken victory. The numbers get a bit tricky, but it all hinges on a strong trend toward Franken picking up votes from Norm Coleman in precincts with few ballot challenges.

That means Coleman's net gain in highly contested precincts may be falsely high, as most of the challenged ballots are ones originally counted for Franken. Sticking those in a TBD pile removes votes from the Democrat, but a review will likely give some of those back. Silver warns, however, that his error bars are high, and the count could easily swing either way.