With a total of 2,885,555 ballots having been recorded in the initial Minnesota U.S. Senate race, fivethirtyeight.com‘s Nate Silver has posted a mathematical analysis-projection report that “works out to a projected gain of 242 votes for Al Franken statewide over Norm Coleman. Since Coleman led by 215 votes in the initial count, this suggests that Franken will win by 27 votes once the recount process is complete (including specifically the adjudication of all challenged ballots).

“The error bars on this regression analysis are fairly high,” Silver cautions, “and so even if you buy my analysis, you should not regard Franken as more than a very slight favorite. Nevertheless, there is good reason to believe that the high rate of ballot challenges is in fact hurting Franken disproportionately, and that once such challenges are resolved, Franken stands to gain ground, perhaps enough to let him overtake Coleman.”