MN-Sen: Coleman’s lead expands to 282; challenges explode to 5625

After a week of recounting, with 88% of the votes recounted:…

Coleman has added to his lead, partly by challenging more ballots (2885 to 2738), but also

because there aren’t many Democratic areas to recount.  St. Louis County is complete, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties are 87% and 81% complete, respectively.  Of the eight counties not yet started, seven of them went to Coleman.

So is it over for Al?  Without challenges, he’s only picked up 80 votes.  And with the strong possibility that the missing absentee ballots might not be counted, it’s getting grimmer for Franken.

MN-Sen: Recount Day 5–Coleman up 210 now

The latest from the Star-Tribune with 77% of the votes recounted:…

Coleman is now up 210 votes, and Coleman is challenging 124 more ballots than Franken 1625 to 1501.

Ramsey County is 55% complete with a Franken gain of 40.  Even with all of the questionable Coleman challenges, I doubt Franken can overtake

Coleman in the December review.  There’s to just too much of a gap for Nate Silver’s projection to come through.

And most of the counties that haven’t reported anything yet are smaller and mostly rural–and Coleman won most of them.

So is it over for Al?

MN-Sen: Coleman leads by 195; Coleman challenges more ballots

The latest:…

With 13% of precincts reporting, and 8% of the vote recounted, Norm Coleman is now ahead by 195 votes–a net gain of 20 for Al Franken.  Norm Coleman’s camp is challenging more ballots: 105 vs. 89 from Franken’s camp.

Note that challenged ballots are set aside and not included in the recount totals.

Somewhat encouraging, don’t you think?

MN-Sen, AK-Sen: Franken, Begich favorites on Intrade

At Intrade right now, Al Franken is at 57.5 and Mark Begich is at 66.8.

While the trading volumes aren’t that high, it appears the bettors think they have a really good chance win when the counting is finally completed.  Nate Silver rates a Franken a “slight favorite” to win the recount (Franken is 206 votes behind).

So can we net another Senate seat?

WA-Gov: Gregoire back at 50%, Rossi stuck at 48%

SUSA released another poll on this fascinating governor’s race:

9/23 (682 LVs +/-3.8%) 9/8 in parentheses:

Gregoire 50 (47)

Rossi    48 (48)

So it’s back to where it was just before the primary.  Rossi is still up 53-43 among independents, and the gender gap is small.  They are tied at 48 among men and Gregoire is up 51-47 among women.  I’m starting to think Rossi may have a big barrier at the 48% level that he needs to cross.  Maybe we can be a bit more optimistic on this race.

Bonus result:  Obama leads McCain in the state 54-43.


AK-Sen, AK-AL: How does Palin influence these?

Democrats were sitting pretty in these two races (esp. if Young hangs on in the primary) until McCain picked Gov. Palin.

My short take:

Stevens is done unless he is acquitted.  The outcome of the trial may be important.  I just don’t think there are many coattails in this race.  The House race may be a different story as Palin could pull Young through.

Any thoughts?

WA-Gov: Gregoire at 50%, Rossi gains

Survey USA (8/11-12, 718 LVs, July in parentheses):

Gregiore:  50% (49)

Rossi:     48% (46)

One week before the “beauty contest,” Rossi has closed the gap a bit further.  This is going to be very close, and I think who finishes first on the 19th will win in November.  Gregoire just can’t put the race away.  No surprises in the internals this time (shock!) but Rossi leads 50-44 among independents and leads 51-47 among the 42% who think the economy is the most important issue.

Also of note:

Obama’s lead in the state is down to 51-44, a nine point drop from last month.  

OR-Sen: Merkley down 12 according to SUSA

It’s 49-37 Smith in SUSA’s first poll of the Oregon Senate race.  

Gordon Smith leads among women 48-39, peels off 28% of Democrats, and wins 18-34 year-olds, 53-29%.  Sample is 100% white, and breaks down 41D-37R-21R.  Smith even leads in the Portland region.

This was taken just before Smith’s latest attack ads, and there are serious questions about Merkely’s financial ability to fight back.  So is this another screwy SUSA poll, or can this one be written off?

Some troubling polls–will Democrats gain less than expected? (with my Senate rankings)

The UNH poll (not one of our favorites) shows a major tightening in the NH Senate race.  Even with a more GOP-friendly sample, Sununu has gained among independents.  And Carol Shea-Porter

still trails Jeb Bradley; Paul Hodes is under 50%.  And the batch of internal polls in House races isn’t all that great news either, even most of them would fill several salt shakers.

And Udall is in a tight race in Colorado, unable to pull away.  The Rasmussen Congressional tracker has tightened from 48-34 Dem to just 45-36 in four weeks.

Has the energy issue given the GOP new life?  I’m just wondering if the next Congress has fewer Democrats in it, not more.

Anyway, here are my top ten Senate rankings for late July, rated from most likely to flip to least likely:

1a.  Virginia

1b.  New Mexico

3.  Alaska–Stevens in big trouble–will the GOP

find a replacement?

4.  Colorado–As Obama goes, so goes this race.

5.  New Hampshire–It’s not a four point race, but it’s getting there–Shaheen just may not have “it.”

6.  Louisiana–Very close and may depend on black turnout.

7.  Oregon–Merkley gaining, but so uncharismatic.

8.  Mississippi B–Again, this could come down

to turnout.

9.  Minnesota–Who’s right, Rasmussen or SUSA?

10. North Carolina–Dole a stiff, but Hagen really close both the money gap and the poll gap?