Franken Victory Gives Senate Dems Super Majority

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WASHINGTON -- Democrats now have 60 seats in the United States Senate.

Al Franken's victory officially gives them a "super majority" to overcome any filibuster by the GOP.

But in Washington, politics numbers don't necessarily mean the same as votes.

Minnesotans finally have a second Senator to represent them in Washington -- 238 days after Election Day.

"I'm so excited to finally get to work for the people of Minnesota," Senator-Elect Al Franken said.

Click play for comments from conservative commentator Matt Lewis, following John Jessup's report.

Franken's victory makes him the Senate's first professional comedian, but the political saga of the last seven months has been no laughing matter.

Out of nearly 3 million people who voted, the final verdict came down to 312 votes, ending a bitter marathon court challenge.

"The Supreme Court of Minnesota has spoken, and I respect its decision and will abide by the results," former Sen. Norm Coleman said.

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty says it's time for Minnesotans to have proper representation in the Senate.

"They've addressed the issues that it's time for Minnesota to have two senators. It's past time," he said.

Franken's victory over Republican Norm Coleman also gives Democrats a 60 seat super majority -- the number needed to defeat a Republican filibuster -- a tool used to block legislation or debate.

With control of the Oval Office, the House and Senate, conservatives fear Democrats will be able to ram their agenda through Congress, virtually unstoppable.

But 60 in number doesn't necessarily mean Democrats have a solid lock on 60 votes.

The caucus is diverse and split on some issues from energy to health care.

Franken declared his first priority will be to Minnesota.

"The way I see it, I'm not going to Washington to be the sixtieth Democratic Senator, I'm going to Washington to  be the second Senator from the state of Minnesota and that's how I'm going to do this job," Franken said.

Franken has taken some steps to make his transition a quick one, appointing a staff-in-waiting including a chief of staff, a state director and communications staffers.

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John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.