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Downballot: Looking ahead to Tues.

MINNESOTA: "The Minnesota Senate race has been undecided for so long that 'it's sort of like the Iraq war,' says Bruce Carlson of Brooklyn Park, Minn. 'People almost forget that it's still going on,'" USA Today writes. "A sharp reminder will come Tuesday when a three-judge state panel counts the last big batch of contested ballots in a case that has tested the state's reputation for efficient government and underscored the stoic Scandinavian stereotype familiar to listeners of A Prairie Home Companion."

"As recount and legal proceedings enter their sixth month, most Minnesotans have displayed a 'good-natured Lutheran farmer attitude,' says Lawrence Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. He adds that could be replaced by the state's equally trademark 'pitchfork populism' if people decide one side or the other is dragging things out beyond reason. And when would that be? It depends on whether you're a Coleman voter or a Franken voter."

Meanwhile… "At least one constituency was thrilled by recent reports suggesting that the seemingly endless Minnesota Senate race could drag out even longer, perhaps for years—Washington fundraisers," Politico says. "For the epic Senate recount battle between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken is turning out to be an incomparable gravy train, lining the pockets not just of the lawyers who are making a small fortune off the case but also of groups ranging from Republican Jewish Coalition to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee."

By the way, this is the 154th day of the Minnesota recount, and for those wondering how this measures up in comparison the longest Senate recounts, we checked and that honor is held by the open 1974 New Hampshire Senate race between Republican Louis Wyman against Democrat John Durkin. The Republican Wyman, struggling in an election year following the Nixon Watergate scandal, led by 355 votes after the votes were first tallied. But Durkin took the unusual step of challenging the election and eventually won by 27,000 votes 316 days later when the state ultimately decided to hold a special election. The race is remembered with angst in New Hampshire in the context of this Minnesota recount.