In any event, more people seem to like Al Franken than who voted for him … if we compare the 42% of the vote he got with the 49% approval rating he now has. (details)
This is partly a function of increased favorablity following the nasty recount process, but is also reminds us of something else: There was a third candidate in this race. If Dean Barkley was not in this race, would the outcome have been so close? And, who would have won?
The common knowledge on the street at the time of the election is that about two thirds of Barkley’s votes would have been for Franken had Barkley not been in the race. In addition, Franken was advancing on Coleman for the last several weeks. In other words, if the election was held three weeks later, OR if Barkley was not in the race, Franken would have had a decisive if not overwhelming victory. If both were true, Franken would have taken Coleman out by a landslide.
This is why I’ve been so frequently annoyed at calls to “just do it over” or statements that “no one really won” and so on. Franke was behind. Franken came from behind and passed colement.
In addition, consider this: If Franken was moving in on the vote count, then what about absentee votes cast days or weeks before the election? Wouldn’t more of those have been Franken votes had they been cast on election day?