I Don't Think That Word Means What You Think It Does, Jo

(UPDATED 10/12/07, 7:56am) -- Kudos to Jo Mannies for changing subsequent versions of the story to remove the word "narrowly," thereby vitiating the criticism below.

From the tail end of Jo Mannies' just-posted news story on Catherine Hanaway's announcement that she'll not seek the GOP nomination for Attorney General comes this definitional oddity (emphasis mine):

She [Hanaway] narrowly lost a bid for Missouri secretary of state in 2004 to Democrat Robin Carnahan.

Hanaway lost by about 125,000 votes to Carnahan, taking 46.4% of the vote compared with her opponent's 51.1%.

The vote tally of other races on the 2004 statewide ballot that was most similar to the Hanaway-Carnahan matchup was the battle for State Treasurer between Sarah Steelman and Mark Powell.  Steelman defeated Powell by a touch over 128,000 votes, winning with a 51% to 46.1% split of the vote.  Was Mark Powell "narrowly" defeated by Sarah Steelman, Jo?

It's worth noting that the "narrow" 125,000 vote margin by which Carnahan defeated Hanaway in 2004 represents a greater number of votes than:

...the 81,000 votes by which Matt Blunt beat Claire McCaskill in 2004;

...the 60,000 votes by which the 2006 Tobacco Tax increase was rejected;

...and the 78,000 votes by which Dubya beat Al Gore in Missouri in 2000.

Maybe Jo meant to write "decisively" but accidentally wrote "narrowly" instead? 

It's one thing to write a puff piece about Catherine Hanaway as she steps out the Attorney General race.  It's quite another to rewrite history. 

 

 

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