Sudden movement in the Franken-Coleman Senate Race Recount

The judicial panel that has been off somewhere deciding what to do about the Coleman election challenge has ordered 400 additional ballots opened and counted on April 7th.

If (and we do not know this for a fact) these are THE remaining ballots to count, them Coleman would have to get a statistically unlikely majority to overtake Franken’s lead of 225 votes. I suppose this is possible. So I suppose we’ll be sitting on the edges of our respective seats for the next week.

There does not seem to be any systematic meaningful bias in which candidate is likely to come out ahead in this group. The mix of 400 ballots includes both Coleman-supported and Franken supported absentee ballots.

I understand that there is a news conference being held right now, and I’m checking on that … will report back if anything new developes.

UPDATE: From the Franken Lawyer’s news conference: It turns out that the court intends to look at a subset of the ballots and THEN determine which will be opened. We do now know what percentage of the ballots make up this subset, or what their characteristics might be.

This is important: There are at least two other issues that have not addressed by the court and that the court may still chose to address. So this may be complicated.

What do these 400 votes have to look like for Coleman to win? If we assume that they represent a random subset of votes, we can guess that 60 are Barkely votes (the third party candidate). This leaves 340 votes.

Then, Coleman has to get 225 votes, which is about 66 percent. Coleman would have to win this tiny mini election by a landslide.

So, if he does win it by a landslide, that would pretty much mean that he cheated.

We’ll see how this goes…

sources: MN progressive, Strib

1. #1 Stephanie Z
March 31, 2009

Actually, he’d have to get 226 plus half the remaining votes, or 283 votes, or 83%.

2. #2 Greg Laden
March 31, 2009

Doh…. Right. 283 votes = 83 percent, or 71 percent of the total (again, with the third party getting 60 votes).

So, even more so.

3. #3 The Science Pundit
March 31, 2009

The rethugs will start World War III to prevent the passage of health care reform. I can’t wait for the day that Franken takes his rightful seat in the US Senate.

4. #4 Mystyk
March 31, 2009

Well, you’re right about it being 226 (instead of 225 – need that +1), but the remaining votes are up for grabs. We can statistically model the chances for the remaining votes by all candidates, but we can’t be certain.

- If all 400 votes were for either Coleman or Franken, Coleman would need 50% of that remainder (87 of 174) for a total of 313 votes (78.25%).

- If all 174 others were for a third-party candidate, he’d need only the 226 votes (56.5%).

- If the third party guess of 60 votes is correct, 50% of the remainder (57 of 114) gives a total of 283 (70.75%).