AP Calls Minnesota Senate Race for Coleman

Posted November 5, 2008 at 7:17am

Updated: 10:12 a.m.

The Associated Press has called the Minnesota Senate race for Sen. Norm Coleman (R). Coleman defeated comedian Al Franken (D) by less than 1 percent of the vote.

But because Minnesota law calls for an automatic recount in cases where the margin of victory is less than 1 percent, this contest is not officially decided. The law allows the loser to waive the recount, but given the hard-fought nature of this contest, Franken is unlikely to allow the results of the contest to stand without one.

As of Wednesday morning, Coleman was leading Franken 42 percent to 41.96 percent, with Independent Dean Barkley garnering 15.16 percent. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, Coleman leads Franken by 1,123 votes.

In a statement, Franken said he was eager for the recount to begin. “The process, dictated by our laws, will be orderly, fair, and will take place within a matter of days,” he said. “We won’t know for a little while who won this race, but at the end of the day, we will know that the voice of the electorate was clearly heard.”