The numbers are now settling in for the Coleman-Franken Senate race recount for Minnesota. With 74.2% of the votes counted, it is now possible to make a reasonably good prediction of the outcome of the current recount, not counting challenged ballots or other changes. The following graph shows the change across time for each day of the recount in the number of votes for each of these two candidates.
What you see here is a random scatter of points. The regression line has become meaningless. What this tells us is that the number of votes from the recount process will be about 45 less for Coleman than at the start. In other words, the distance between Coleman and Franken at the end of this first phase will be about 170.
In the mean time, each side has challenged almost exactly 1,400 ballots. Hidden away in these 1,400 ballots. I estimate that about 1000 ballots in each camp belong to the candidate who did not challenge the ballot. The remaining ballots … between 300 and 400 … are ballots that were in the “other” pile but are now being considered as votes for one candidate or another. It is those ballots that will determine who wins this race.
Wednesday will be a big day. On Wednesday, the State Canvassing Board may decide on inclusion (or no) of a number of absentee ballots that were excluded from the original election. The Franken camp is asking that ballots wrongfully excluded be included. The canvassing board will also look into asking the parties involved to reduce the number of challenges that have been made, which mirrors a suggestion made earlier by Franken. This, however, is not too important. If it is easy for the two campaigns to pull challenges pre-review, then it will be easy for the canvassing board to put those challenges aside when it comes time for them to start the review.
So we wait. And count. And wait.
Meanwhile, here we are (in with some other stuff) on Rachel Maddow:
Nate’s wrong. As usual. It will be one vote. Which would be funny. And, I get the beer.