Al Franken Holds An Interesting Lead

The graph below shows the number of challenges by each candidate relative to how they are performing in a given precinct. The dots represent challenges; a dot to the north of the x-axis represents a precinct that the candidate is currently winning. A dot to the south shows the number of challenges in a precinct that each candidate is currently losing. There are no negative challenges.

MN Senate Recount Regression

The next graph shows each candidate's challenge regression on the same graph:

MN Senate Recount Regression

If you add up the number of challenges in each precinct, using the same positive/negative association used above, you get the results below:

            Franken:  +619
            Coleman:  +63

            Net Franken: 556

While Franken is certainly not challenging more total ballots, it does appear as though 60% of Franken's challenges occur in precincts he is currently winning, only 50.8% of Coleman's challenges come from precincts Coleman is winning.

If the current data is extrapolated into the remaining precincts the margin for Franken increases:

            Franken:  +637 (+/- 76)
            Coleman:  +57  (+/- 65)

            Net Franken: 580

We'll find out later tonight after the official SOS result if these numbers mean anything. Franken is releasing 633 of his challenges, and Coleman is doing about the same. If The 580 vote margin holds up it may suggest two things:

(1) Franken is challenging more ballots for himself.

(2) Franken is challenging a ton of ballots in precincts where the race is relatively close, and the challenges by Franken, are actually inducing a Franken lead.

We'll find out more later tonight.

Update [8:15 PM CT]: Well its later tonight and the new numbers have been posted by the MN SOS. First a recap of today's official result:

            Recount         Original
Coleman:   1,193,307   -   1,195,885  =  -2,578
Franken:   1,197,965   -   1,200,533  =  -2,568

Franken Net Today:   91 (-13 Yesterday, 41 day before, -29)
Total Franken Net:  -10
Franken Deficit:    225

The challenge numbers have also been updated and are shown below using the postive/negative convention already established:

            Franken:  +765
            Coleman:  -41

            Net Franken: 806

Unfortunately the new challenge numbers do not factor in the withdrawn ballots by both campaigns; there is a disclaimer on the results page explicitly stating that "these totals do not include results for 633 challenged ballots that were withdrawn by the Al Franken campaign." Each candidate increased their challenge count, Coleman by 70 and Franken 112. If we compare today's challenges with yesterday's, it is safe to assume that Coleman's frivolous challenges are also included in today's count; unless of course, Franken challenged 745 ballots today.

It now appears as though 62% of Franken's challenges occur in precincts he is currently winning. Coleman's percentage slipped from 50.8% to 49.4% with the inclusion of the newly posted data.

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