Democrat Al Franken now trails Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by a mere 239 votes -- about one one-hundredth of a percent -- in the Minnesota Senate race. (Independent contender Dean Barkley trails both front-runners by 27%.) Coleman's lead had crept up near 600 votes, but further results and discoveries of human error whittled Coleman's advantage as local election districts double-checked their numbers.
Minnesota state law mandates a recount if the margin of victory is less than .5%, and this result certainly fits into that category. Coleman has called for Franken to concede and waive the recount. But with the numbers continuing to tighten, that appears unlikely. Franken said yesterday that "this election will be decided by the voters, not by the candidates."