How Much Is Senate Fight Worth to Coleman?
Numbers don't add up in improbable challenge: Silver
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 14, 2009 12:00 PM CDT
Former Sen. Norm Coleman listens during proceedings in the Minnesota Senate recount trial in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, March 11, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pool, Jean Pieri)
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(Newser) – Norm Coleman’s chances of victory are so thin they’ve entered “Calista Flockhart territory,” yet he shows no sign of winding down his expensive legal battle, writes Nate Silver, the stat guru behind FiveThirtyEight.com. Just how expensive? Silver estimates that Coleman’s spending about $20,740 a day to pay his lawyers and keep his campaign running. And Silver doesn’t think he’s getting his money’s worth.

Here's how he calculates it: Coleman spent more than $21 million to win a 6-year Senate seat, as did Franken, making that seat worth, roughly, $9,957 per day. Just keeping Franken out of the seat is roughly as valuable for Republicans as Coleman occupying it, so he should be willing to spend that per diem to keep dragging things out. But the remaining ten grand a day is only worth it if he has a 2.2% chance to win—and Silver’s pretty sure he doesn’t. Why not save it for a future race?