WASHINGTON — With Election Day now just a week and a day away, Democrats continue to seek the message that will get discouraged left-leaning voters to turn out this year as they did in 2008 (or at the very least, as they did in 2006).
Enter Al Franken, who has become a leading voice driving the Democratic turnout message by reminding supporters that even a few votes — in his case, 312 of them — can make a big difference.
“I think most of you know me. I’m the poster boy for close elections,” Franken wrote this morning in a message on the liberal blog Daily Kos. “As you may remember, I won my 2008 Senate campaign after a long recount by just 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast. That’s a margin of about 1/100th of one percent.”
“So I can tell you from personal experience that every vote counts.”
That message followed one Franken sent Friday to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee supporters, telling them to “take it from a guy who won his race by 312 votes” that their contributions could tip the balance in close races.
And boy are there a lot of those close races. The Cook Political Report lists 100 House races that as of this writing are either toss-ups (47), lean Republican (22) or lean Democrat (31). Included in the “Lean Democrat” category is Tim Walz’s 1st District seat in southern Minnesota and Jim Oberstar’s northeastern 8th District seat. Republicans need to win 39 seats to take the House
Franken’s e-mail on behalf of the DSCC lists 15 states as “in play,” though Cook lists 17 (with North Dakota a foregone conclusion that the GOP will take it over). Eight races are listed as toss-ups, and could make the difference between Democrats holding the Senate with 55 seats or a Republican takeover.