This lowers the bar nicely for the Coleman campaign …
Taking the state Canvass Board’s Friday lecture to heart, Franken’s campaign says they will submit no more than 500 challenges Tuesday. From their Sunday afternoon press release:
Two days after members of the state canvassing board issued an urgent plea for campaigns to withdraw additional challenges in order to allow them to finish their work in a timely fashion, the Franken campaign today announced that it would have fewer than 500 challenges remaining for the board to consider on a ballot-by-ballot basis when it meets on Tuesday.
Communications Director Andy Barr:
“In making this pledge, we are taking to heart the good advice of the canvassing board and the best interests of Minnesotans who want to see this process move forward efficiently. We have the greatest respect for this process and for the men and women involved in carrying it out, and so we will work overtime between now and Tuesday to do our part. When the board meets on Tuesday, it will have fewer than 500 challenges from our campaign to individually review.”
The Franken campaign has already withdrawn over 1,800 challenges and today’s announcement was made in light of the canvassing board’s goal of completing all of challenge reviews by December 19th.
With Franken trailing by 192, lowering the challenge pool this dramatically is no idle gesture. Assuming Coleman matches the 500 number, Franken would have to win roughly 60 percent of 1,000 challenges remaining to overcome his deficit.
Of course, if most of those challenges were crap anyway, this isn’t much of a risk to earn the Canvass Board’s appreciation. And with things going Al’s way lately on the absentee ballots, the challenge pool isn’t quite as critical as it was.