FiveThirtyEight.com math whiz Nate Silver is now fully engaged in Franken-Coleman; his third post on the race in two days forecasts … a dead heat.
Here’s the latest boildown: Armed with better numbers from Minnesota’s 2006 precinct audits, Silver foresees fewer “machine” errors (ballot misreading); using Florida’s 2000 recount stats, he predicts twice as many “voter” errors (filling out the ballot wrong).
The newest result? Writes Silver:
It is very, very close. Using the Daily Kos estimate that 52.5% of recounted ballots will go to Franken (after dropping votes for third parties), we estimate a net gain of 206 votes for him, which is almost exactly the margin by which he presently trails Norm Coleman. (The margin is in fact exactly 206 votes as of this writing).
In other words, get ready for the coin flip. I think we don’t need Silver to calculate the odds of that.