Coulter claimed a reportedly "fairly typical" vote shift proves MN Senate election is being "openly stolen"

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Ann Coulter asserted that "the inestimable economist" John Lott Jr. has said the "500 corrections" made to unofficial Senate election returns prior to the beginning of the recount is a "statistical impossibility." In fact, Lott -- a discredited research scholar -- wrote in a FoxNews.com column that the "sizes of the errors" in some Minnesota precincts which led to the 504-vote correction were "surprisingly large," but did not claim they were statistically impossible. Further, an election analysis by Minnesota Public Radio has shown that changes in vote totals of up to 1,000 votes after polls close are "fairly typical in Minnesota."

Claiming the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota is "being openly stolen in front of our faces," author and syndicated columnist Ann Coulter asserted on the January 6 edition of Fox & Friends that "the inestimable economist" John Lott Jr. has said the "500 corrections" made to unofficial Senate election returns prior to the beginning of the recount is a "statistical impossibility." In fact, in a November 10 column on FoxNews.com, Lott -- a discredited senior research scholar at the University of Maryland -- wrote that the "sizes of the errors" in some Minnesota precincts that led to the 504-vote correction were "surprisingly large," but did not claim they were statistically impossible. Further, an election analysis by Minnesota Public Radio has shown that changes in vote totals of up to 1,000 votes after polls close are "fairly typical in Minnesota."

During the broadcast, Coulter stated, "The morning after the election, Coleman was ahead by 725 votes. And suddenly, two counties in Democratic areas 'discover' more corrections benefiting Al Franken than for any other election in the state." After co-host Gretchen Carlson said, "Well, I'm not so sure that [incumbent Republican Norm] Coleman didn't do anything about that, and [Minnesota Gov. Tim] Pawlenty's in a tough position because if he doesn't say that his state is run well, he is in fact the governor, so--," Coulter added, "Well, when 500 corrections, which John Lott, the inestimable economist, has said is a statistical impossibility -- I mean, for every other election -- ."

Contrary to Coulter's suggestion that the correction of 504 votes made after Election Day was evidence the election had been "stolen," Minnesota Public Radio reported on November 13, "A look at elections in the last 10 years shows that the vote totals typically change by about 1,500 votes in statewide elections in the days after the polls close":

Even the 1,200-vote lead Norm Coleman had at one point in this election might seem comfortable by now. Since the day after the Nov. 4 election, the first-term senator's margin of victory over his DFL rival Al Franken has fallen to just 206 votes.

But an analysis of election returns by Minnesota Public Radio shows a change of 1,000 votes is fairly typical in Minnesota. A look at elections in the last 10 years shows that the vote totals typically change by about 1,500 votes in statewide elections in the days after the polls close.

That average post-election change falls to just over a thousand if you don't count the 2002 U.S. Senate race. That election happened on separate, hand counted ballots that were handed out after the death of incumbent Paul Wellstone.

Coulter previously called the corrections "statistically impossible" in a December 5 column, in which she similarly cited "the inestimable economist John Lott":

In all, Franken picked up 459 votes and Coleman lost 60 votes from these alleged "corrections."

As the inestimable economist John Lott pointed out, the "corrections" in the Senate race generated more new votes for Franken than all the votes added by corrections in every race in the entire state -- presidential, congressional, state house, sanitation commissioner and dogcatcher -- combined.

And yet the left-wing, George Soros-backed secretary of state, Mark Ritchie, stoutly defended the statistically impossible "corrected" votes. There's something fishy going on in Minnesota besides the annual bigmouth bass tournament.

However, Lott's November 10 assertion that "the 504 total new votes for Franken from all the precincts is greater than adding together all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, and state house races combined," which was cited in a November 12 Wall Street Journal editorial, have been disputed by Star Tribune editor for computer-assisted reporting Glenn Howatt, who wrote: "Based on my analysis, this is wrong. I compared the precinct results for the presidential and the senate races. There are more corrections in the Obama race and the net result is bigger."

Media Matters for America previously noted that on the same day the Minnesota Canvassing Board certified the results of the November 4 election, both nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News contributor Dick Morris baselessly claimed Franken stole the election.

From the January 6 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): Ann, let's talk about what you did talk about, right in Gretchen's home -- former home --

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): State.

KILMEADE: -- of Minnesota. Al Franken's about to win. He's got a 225-vote advantage. He was once trailing by 700 votes. What happened there?

COULTER: Right. What always happens. Unless a Republican wins an election by at least 1,000 votes, by an astounding majority, Democrats will cheat and steal, and this is exactly what happened in the gubernatorial election in Washington state -- I think it was in 2004. I've been writing about this over and over again. Bits and pieces here and there -- 100 votes here, 200 votes there, 46 votes. And each one is a theft, and the Republicans just sit back and watch it happen.

KILMEADE: Governor Pawlenty has not said a word --

COULTER: Oh yeah. Well, at the beginning when I was hysterically writing about this -- "they're stealing it, they're stealing it, they're stealing it" -- Pawlenty was on TV saying "No, everything is under control." Well, OK, it's been stolen. Congratulations, Republicans.

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Well, now Coleman's going to fight this in the courts, so what are his chances there?

COULTER: Well, it should have been fought all along. It should have been fought -- the morning after the election, Coleman was ahead by 725 votes. And suddenly, two counties in Democratic areas "discover" more corrections benefiting Al Franken than for any other election in the state.

DOOCY: Mm-hmm. Coincidence.

CARLSON: Well, I'm not so sure that Coleman didn't do anything about that, and Pawlenty's in a tough position because if he doesn't say that his state is run well, he is in fact the governor, so --

COULTER: Well, when 500 corrections, which John Lott, the inestimable economist, has said is a statistical impossibility -- I mean, for every other election --

CARLSON: Right, but who are the people in charge of the canvassing board and that sort of thing? If they're Democrats, then you would expect it to go towards Al Franken.

COULTER: Well, OK, but you shouldn't have Republicans saying, "Oh, yes, everything's fine," when it's being openly stolen in front of our faces.

CARLSON: Right.

DOOCY: Crazy.

COULTER: But that's the problem as I describe in the book with conservatives. They don't fight back, they believe -- I mean, the way the liberal victimization always works is it's such a lovely country. Americans are so charitable, shockingly charitable, that they're -- you know, when they see the crocodile tears of the left, they just collapse and, "Oh, OK, you're a victim, whatever you want, here."

DOOCY: Here's the brand new book, it is called Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Ann Coulter
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
Al Franken, 2008 Elections
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