President-elect Obama’s refusal to rule out tax hikes in this fragile economic environment means that the GOP’s victories in Minnesota and Georgia are crucial to retaining any kind of a breakwall in the Congress.
Norm Coleman has a 180 vote lead with 68% of the vote recounted a second time. As a hand review of 2/3rds of the ballots cost Norm a net of 35 votes, it is hard to imagine that the last third will swing so drastically against him, so it will then be up to the State Canvassing Board to review the two to three thousand “challenged” ballots. Powerline’s Scott Johnson relays one nightmare scenario, but it may underestimate the power of the combination of the State Canvassing Board, which includes two Minnesota Supreme Court Justices, making a court reversal of its ruling on absentees much more unlikely in my mind. Nor is there the sort of ad hoc, county-by-county shifting standards that led to Bush v.Gore. LetFreedomRing explains why Minnesota ’08 isn’t Florida 2000.
The run-off in Georgia is next Tuesday, and the campaigning never let up for a day. If you have $25 or $50 left to keep the U.S. Senate as a bulwark against really bad ideas, send it to Saxby Chambliss today.