Monday, April 20, 2009

Minnesota to Norm Coleman: Concede

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by John Nichols

A new poll of Minnesota voters reveals that, by a 2-1 margin, they want former Senator Norm Coleman to quit contesting last fall's election.

Coleman lost the election by more than 300 votes, according to the count after a three-judge panel reviewed the ballots and the recount.

The panel ruled that Franken had won a fair, essentially well-run election.

But the Republican continues to challenge the result.

Minnesotans were asked by the Public Policy Polling group:

Do you think Norm Coleman should appeal the decision and continue to fight in court or should Coleman concede the race?

The response:

Coleman should concede: 63 percent

Coleman should continue contesting the result: 37 percent

(The survey of 805 registered voted was conducted on April 14 and 15 and has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.)

Those sentiments are being echoed by Minnesota newspapers.

"This newspaper endorsed Republican Norm Coleman for senator, but now it is time for him to step out of the race and let Minnesota have two senators again," argued the Albert Lea Tribune this month. "(A) good politician knows when he is looking bad and making his state look bad. Throw in the towel."

The Worthington Daily Globe says: "It's becoming increasingly clearer that Coleman and fellow Republicans -- desperate to keep the Democrats from strengthening their power -- are pressing onward primarily for political reasons. Meanwhile, Minnesota continues to only have one U.S. senator, despite a prolonged process that has shown Franken to be the winner on two occasions. We, like the Albert Lea Tribune, endorsed Norm Coleman over Franken. We also share the same opinion that Coleman, for the benefit of the state and its citizens, should concede. Norm Coleman and his attorneys claim they want to ensure no Minnesota voter gets left behind. Instead, they're trying their best to leave Minnesota behind."

And Lori Sturdevant, the highly-regarded columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune (a newspaper that endorsed Coleman) concluded, "The season of tolerance for the arduous process of determining who won the U.S. Senate election last Nov. 4 is coming to an end…Al Franken's lead over Norm Coleman had grown to 312 votes, increasingly impatient voters across this state must have muttered: ‘Enough.'"

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