Coleman declares victory over Franken in Minnesota

Fewer than 800 votes separate the candidates in a tough Senate race, and a recount looms.

Published November 5, 2008 2:10PM (EST)

In Minnesota, Republican incumbent Norman Coleman has a slim lead over Democrat Al Franken in the race for Senate, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Coleman has declared victory, while Franken is refusing to concede, saying that the race is too close to call, according to the Pioneer Press

Coleman maintains an unofficial margin of 800 votes out of nearly 2.9 million cast with 99 percent of 4,130 precincts reporting, according to the Star Tribune. But in Minnesota, a recount is required in races where the margin of victory is less than half of 1 percent, so it's likely to be days before there is an official result in this race. 

Exit polls suggested that Franken's candidacy was helped by Barack Obama supporters, including many first-time voters. Yet, while Coleman and Franken each got 42 percent of the vote, Dean Barkley, an Independent Party candidate, took 15 percent, which hurt Franken. 

Senate races in Alaska, Georgia and Oregon still remain too close to call.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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2008 Elections Al Franken D-minn. U.s. Senate