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Franken wins – 239 days after election

Senate incumbent Coleman bows out after Minnesota's Supreme Court rules for the Democratic challenger. Democrats gain crucial 60th Senate seat.

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Al Franken now knows that he’s good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

That, of course, is a famous line from his days on "Saturday Night Live," when he mocked the self-help movement as the character Stuart Smalley. But in his most recent incarnation, he is now a Democratic US senator from Minnesota.

Two-hundred-thirty-nine days after the 2008 election, Mr. Franken won his race for the US Senate. After a protracted court battle, which culminated Tuesday with a unanimous Minnesota Supreme Court ruling in Franken’s favor, incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman (R) conceded the race.

Democrats get, in theory, a supermajority

The victory gives the Democrats their 60th seat in the US Senate – a supermajority that, in theory, makes the body filibuster-proof. But even if getting all Senate Democrats to vote together – including two who have been absent due to illness – is tough, at the very least having Franken on board gives the party one more critical vote as it heads toward contentious votes on energy legislation and healthcare.

In remarks to supporters in St. Paul, Mr. Coleman congratulated Franken and explained why he opted not to take his case into federal court.


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