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Franken Has Big Edge in County Distribution of Absentee Ballots

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Al Franken's 49-vote lead is expected by nearly all analysts to increase after the tabulation of wrongly excluded absentee ballots by the Canvassing Board this weekend. The final, hard data is now in to confirm these suspicions.

Of the 953 ballots sent by the state's 87 counties to the Board, 513, or 54 percent, come from counties won by Al Franken, with just 440, or 46 percent, from counties carried by Norm Coleman. And that is the good news for the Coleman campaign.

Smart Politics examined the margin of victory by Coleman or Franken in each county from which each outstanding absentee ballot was cast. The results show that the vast majority of ballots coming from Coleman counties (329, or 75 percent) were counties the Senator won by just 10 points or less.

On the flip side, only 13 percent of ballots coming from Franken counties were counties the DFL nominee won by 10 points or less (69 ballots).

Over half of the ballots coming from Franken counties (267, 52 percent) were in counties Franken won by between 11 to 15 points, compared to just 43 ballots in such Coleman counties (10 percent).

Franken also has nearly three times as many ballots waiting to be counted from counties he won by 16 or more points (177) as Coleman does from counties he won by such a margin (67).

Number of Outstanding Absentee Ballots in Coleman and Franken Counties by Countywide Margin of Victory

Countywide Victory Margin
Ballots from Coleman Counties
Ballots from Franken Counties
0 to 5 points
45
39
6 to 10 points
284
30
11 to 15 points
43
267
16 to 20 points
32
76
21 to 25 points
33
101
25+ points
3
0



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Next post: Franken's (Apparent) Victory Is 4th Weakest U.S. Senate Performance in DFL History

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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