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Do editorial boards hate Al Franken — again?

I’ve temporarily changed the name of this running feature to reflect that — for the first time since counting began — a plurality of the state’s dailies favor Norm Coleman taking his case to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The West Central Tribune’s rather unenthusiastic verdict (“Coleman appeal to top court is okay”) gives Norm nine state dailies compared to eight who explicitly tell Coleman to quit now.

To be fair, there’s a credible case that one of my “stay the course” dailies, the Crookston Daily Times, is actually telling Coleman to quit now, but this court prefers a tight reading of the law.

Given the balmy news for Coleman, it’s worth looking at how many of his print “supporters” have pre-emptively rejected a possible federal appeal.

Of the nine, I count three that have already nixed going to the feds: Rochester, Mankato, West Central. I’d also count the Pioneer Press, which played it cute (“we think there is a legitimate question for the Supreme Court — the Minnesota Supreme Court — to wrestle with”). You have to read between the lines to see similar distaste in the Duluth and Mesabi, and it’s unlikely clever Crookston would back the move.

So should the Minnesota Supremes rule against Coleman, that leaves him with only the Strib and New Ulm as possible supporters, and a long shot at a paper or two that’s remained on the sidelines.

I’m skeptical that Norm would be swayed by mere print types, but overwhelming condemnation of a federal appeal awaits.

Here’s the updated tote board:

Quit now, Norm (8)
St. Cloud Times
Worthington Daily Globe
Albert Lea Tribune
Winona Daily News
Faribault Daily News
Owatonna People’s Press
Bemidji Pioneer
Minnesota Daily

Stay the course for now, Norm (9)
Star Tribune
Pioneer Press
Duluth News-Tribune
Rochester Post-Bulletin (second item)
Mankato Free Press
West Central Tribune
Crookston Daily Times (with plenty of snark)
New Ulm Journal
Mesabi Daily News (Virginia, Mn.)

Lamely wishy-washy (2)
Fargo-Moorhead Forum
Grand Forks Herald

Unheard-from or unfound (9)
♦ Fairmont Sentinel
♦ Marshall Independent
♦ Red Wing Republican-Eagle
♦ Morris Sun-Tribune
♦ International Falls Daily Journal
♦ Austin Daily Herald
♦ Brainerd Daily Dispatch
♦ Fergus Falls Daily Journal
♦ Hibbing Daily Tribune

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