The latest polling returns from the Minnesota Secretary of State show Norm Coleman winning over Al Franken by 462 votes out of 2.42 million votes. It's certainly too close to declare victory by either side in light of a recount next month. (Hopefully, it won't be a rerun of Florida 2000 controversy.)
But looking at the voting numbers, the race shouldn't have been close if another candidate had been in the race for the DFL. Franken had over 360,000 fewer votes than Obama and nearly 400,000 fewer votes than all eight DFL congressional candidates. In other words, a lot of people ticket split between Obama and Franken. Hundreds of thousands couldn't bring themselves to vote for him no doubt because of his work as a SNL satirist and some of his writings on rape and women and mockery of Christians beliefs. While he certainly brought a lot of money to the table, a candidate with a Minnesota "nice" personality and not the baggage would no doubt have done better.