A week after the polls closed, there’s no end in sight for the election fight between Norm Coleman and Al Franken for Minnesota’s Jewish Senate seat.
As Politico reports, Coleman’s lead now stands at a meager 206 votes out of more than 2.4 million ballots cast. That’s a difference of 41.99 percent of the vote to 41.98, according to the state’s secretary of state
A mandatory recount is required because the margin is less than 0.5 percent.
The post-election fight has been full of charges of ballot box stuffing, votes seemingly discovered in the middle of the night, and in one case noted by Politico, “an election official from solidly Democratic Hennepin County left 32 absentee ballots in his car, netting Franken an additional 11 votes.”
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg has built “a solid reputation delivering federal funds to New Jersey for mass transit, beach replenishment and road projects” over four decades in the Senate, but the Philadelphia Inquirer calls former Congressman Dick Zimmer “a viable alternative.”
The Inky threw its support and endorsement in the New Jersey Senate election behind Zimmer, who the paper notes has a reputation as a fiscal conservative, who bucks his party and would fight earmarks, but also has a reputation being being a moderate.
The most recent polls show Lautenberg with a 13 to 22 point advantage.
The New Jersey race is one of two this year that features two Jewish candidates. The other is the close fight in Minnesota between incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken.
Minnesota Senate hopeful Al Franken is the luckiest kid in the world because:
A. He outraised Republican incumbent Norm Coleman during the second quarter of 2007.
B. He’s got a ton of grassroots supporters sending him in small donations from around the country – donors he can go back to again and again.
C. He’s got a oodles of deep-pocked Hollywood pals. In no particular order, here are some of the entertainment types who have chipped in thus far:
Jason Alexander ($4,600)
Kevin Bacon ($1,000)
Andrea Bernstein ($1,000)
Stephen Bing ($4,600)
David Geffen ($2,300)
David Kohan ($1,000)
Norman Lear ($2,300)
Barry Levinson ($4,600)
Harvey Weinstein ($4,600)
Edward Zwick ($2,300)
Bill Maher ($1,000)
Donna Akroyd ($2,300)
Jane Curtin ($4,600)
Lorne Michaels ($2,300)
Larry David ($4,600, plus (ex)wife maxed out)
Ariel Emanuel ($4,600)
Nora Ephron ($2,300)
Kevin Kline ($4,500)
Leonard Nimoy ($4,000)
Peter Faralley ($4,600)
Larry Hagman ($500)
Tom Hanks ($4,600)
Marlo Thomas ($4,600)
Plus, Bonus Peeps:
Adam Hochschild (($1,000)
Craig Newmark ($500)
Dean Ornish ($1,000)
Linda Ronstadt ($1,500)
Garry Trudeau ($1,000)
Check out this open letter to Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman from rival Al Franken …
Al Franken — or whoever becomes the eventual Democratic nominee for Senate in Minnesota — will likely want a helping hand from freshman Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who just won a coveted leadership spot in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Meanwhile, that Democratic field just gained one more candidate — tax lawyer Bob Olsen.