Politico.com is all over the Norm Coleman beat, with a story published Saturday saying that “election law experts agree: Norm Coleman doesn’t have a prayer.”
And today, the political journalism organization has a story noting speculation that Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s decision not to seek a third term might lead Coleman to abandon his court fight with Al Franken and run for the governor’s office instead.
He won’t, the story concludes, noting: “Republicans and analysts say that Coleman wouldn’t be the automatic front-runner for the Republicans’ gubernatorial nomination — and sources close to Coleman say he isn’t even thinking about it. Instead, they say, he’s still seriously considering the idea of pursuing his legal challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court if the Minnesota Supreme Court rules against him.”
The Saturday story quotes experts who don’t give Coleman much hope in the Supreme Court case, because the facts aren’t on his side.
Peter Knapp, a professor at William Mitchell College of Law said: “Each of the five justices asked some questions that seemed to hone in on the absence of evidence. And when each of the five are asking those questions, that’s significant.”
He cautioned that “it’s really easy to over-read the judges’ questions as a sign of the way they’re leaning,” but added: “That being said, if I had to put money on the outcome – my money would be on Franken.”
Said Edward B. Foley, an election law expert at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University: “Based on the questioning, I’d be surprised if Coleman got a remand back to the trial court.”
Today’s Politico story asks: Does Pawlenty’s exit from the 2010 race give Coleman incentive to quit if he loses this round?
“Not at all,” said a Republican source familiar with the campaign’s thinking, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “He ran for U.S. senator, wants to continue being a U.S. senator. … What the governor has done or not done has never been a factor in his decision making.”