Apples and Oranges: Election Nailbiters

The Comparison
Reacting to GOP Sen. Norm Coleman's dwindling hopes in the Minnesota Senate race against Al Franken, Texas Sen. John Cornyn groused about the "blatant hypocrisy" of Democrats who insisted on exhausting all legal options in the 2000 presidential race's Florida recount—but are now pushing for a swift end to the Minnesota mess. Fair point?

Why It Works
Shades of 2000: the AP and Fox News called the race for Coleman on election night; hours later, they uncalled it. Razor-thin margins and ballot-counting disputes: out of nearly 3 million votes, Franken is now up 312; Bush took Florida by just 537. And Coleman's recount lawyer is Ben Ginsberg—the same attorney who argued for Bush in 2000.

Why It Doesn't
The size of the prize: big difference. Bush v. Gore was settled in about a month; the Senate battle has dragged on for more than five, with no end in sight. While the presidency was never vacant (Clinton was still in office), Minnesota has had just one senator since November. Also, don't expect the Supreme Court to step in this time.

Join the Discussion