Wednesday :: Oct 13, 2004

Political Trivia Test


by Marie

That’s what WaPo called this question today.

Which state had the narrowest margin of victory in the 2000 presidential race?
Florida
New Mexico
Wisconsin
Iowa

And the correct answer is?

New Mexico! Before you say wtf, look at WaPo’s explanation:

Former vice president Al Gore beat President Bush by 366 votes in New Mexico, which was even closer than the 537-vote margin in Florida. Gore's razor thin victory in New Mexico is one reason Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry has spent several days there this week while preparing for the final presidential debate tonight in Arizona. In Iowa, Gore won by 4,144 votes; in Wisconsin, Gore won by 5,708 votes.

Guess they thought the question was: which state was won by the smallest number of votes. Or maybe they don’t know the meaning of the word “margin.” (Sheesh, no wonder they have so much trouble with polls.) Nothing like crafting a "trick question" that demonstrates not your cleverness but your stupidity.

The correct answer is: Florida! The margin there was 0.02% (rounded to hundredths). NM was 0.17%. WI – 0.24% and IO – 0.39%.

I’m just not sure which is the worst WaPo transgression: calling critical election results trivia or providing the wrong answer. At WaPo the clowning never ends.

Marie :: 12:58 PM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!