AP Does Its Best to Ignore Data Showing GOP Lead in Arizona


A reader of Wednesday's Associated Press story by Nicolas Riccardi about the tight U.S. Senate race in Arizona between Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema could be forgiven for channeling his inner Jerry Maguire. Why? Because in a long story filed at 6:04 A.M. (with later update) about that race, there were no numbers provided. 

You can search all you want but you won't find that very obvious information in the first, second, third, or any paragraph of "Key Arizona Senate race too close to call late Tuesday." Instead it goes through the motions of providing a lot of information while avoiding the most important thing their readers need to know.

So let us sample some of the AP story that very noticeably avoids the oh so obvious:

Arizona's costly and contentious Senate race remained a nail-biter late Tuesday night as the contest between Republican Rep. Martha McSally and Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema was too close to call.

Hundreds of thousands of ballots were still uncounted as the two congresswomen were separated by only a few thousand votes. Election officials in Maricopa County, the state's largest, have warned that many votes may not start to be counted until Thursday.

SHOW ME THE NUMBERS!!! Sorry, but just generalizing with "thousand of ballots were still uncounted" is just annoying when hard numbers are available.

Sinema, 42, is a former Green Party activist who became a Democratic centrist with her first election to the House of Representatives in 2012.

She's one of the congressional Democrats most likely to vote to back Trump's agenda but has spent the race hammering McSally for casting a vote for the health bill backed by the president. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which didn't become law, would have weakened protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

SHOW ME THE NUMBERS!!! Not Sinema campaign hype.

The candidates and their allies spent more than $90 million in a race that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. Also at stake is Arizona's role in national elections. Republicans have won every statewide race since 2006. But Democrats have repeatedly hoped the state's growing Latino population and influx of more educated professionals would make it competitive.

The Senate race will test that theory and may help determine whether Democrats target Arizona in the 2020 presidential election.

Yawn. Thank you for that information which has no real bearing on what the story is supposed to be about. An alert reader might be suspicious as to why AP so ridiculously avoided providing actual vote returns. That suspicion could be confirmed by a visit to the New York Times Arizona Election Results page which reveals that with 1478 of 1489 precincts reporting, McSally leads Sinema by almost 16,000 votes: 850,043 to 834,135.

See, that wasn't so hard to do, AP. One wonders if you would have also declined to provide those numbers if the positions of the candidates were reversed.

2018 Congressional Associated Press

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