The two candidates in the expected Minnesota gubernatorial recount, Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton and Republican state Rep. Tom Emmer, have each been assembling the kinds of high-powered legal teams that we should expect for a potential stiff legal fight. And there is quite a bit of history linking them all to the previous statewide recount from just two years ago, in the super-close and controversial Senate race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman.
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Dayton currently leads by by slightly less than 9,000 votes, or 0.42%, within the 0.5% threshold that would trigger an automatic recount under state law. However, many observers -- including Fritz Knaak, a former lawyer for Norm Coleman -- have said that it would be very difficult for Emmer to pull outÂ the win. By contrast, the 2008 Senate recount resulted in a net margin shift of only about 500 votes, which was enough to change the winner in a race that was even closer than this one.
But a lot is at stake here. The midterm election also produced a Republican-led legislature, overturning previous Dem majorities, and which governor takes office will have a vast difference on the policies the state adopts. And furthermore, if this were to last into early January then it would result in neither taking office immediately. Instead, Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty would remain in office for the interim.
So let's take a quick look at the current state of the legal teams that have been put together.