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Franken's camp says he is ahead in recount, Coleman makes stuff up

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For the first time in the Minnesota U.S. Senate recount, Al Franken's campaign says he is ahead of Norm Coleman. The campaign says Franken is ahead by 22 votes, according to Talking Points Memo. The campaign also announced it is withdrawing 633 challenges.

Leave it to Coleman's camp to lighten to mood on a drawn-out recount by pulling out a joke. Thank you Coleman!

After Franken's announcement, Coleman's camp responded with a pretty good poke.

From the Pioneer Press:

Fine, said Coleman campaign attorney Fritz Knaak -- We're ahead by 2,200 votes.

"I have no evidence for this," he said at a news conference. But no matter, "I like the sound of it so here it is."

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Franken's numbers differ from the official Secretary of State data because they use information before it is posted on the Web site. They are also taking into account the opinions of the table judges as evidence of how the Canvassing Board will rule when they review contested ballots.

Franken's campaign said it plans to withdraw more of their challenges as the recount continues through Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

Attorney Marc Elias says the campaign will probably withdraw many more challenges after it finishes reviewing them. Republican incumbent Norm Coleman has said he's willing to withdraw some challenges, too, but attorney Fritz Knaak says that probably will wait until after Friday. That's when the recount is supposed to be finished.