Franken Senate Victory Projected
A mere 40 minutes ago, the Minneapolis Star Tribune projected that Franken would finish the recount process with a lead of 89 votes, positioning him to become the 59th senator caucusing with Democrats in the upcoming Congress:
According to local paper tallies, Franken currently trails Sen. Norm Coleman by a mere five votes, down from the 358-vote margin that the Republican held just last night. The Associated Press has the count even closer, with Coleman ahead by two votes. An aide to Franken told the Huffington Post that, according to the campaign's internal count, Franken has already taken a small lead.
The gains came as the canvassing board sifted through hundreds of ballots that Coleman had contested during the recount process. It became clear early on that the Senator had challenged many ballots simply because they favored Franken and had a minor (non-disqualifying) clerical error.