An Axios report using Orwellian language to describe a failed Democratic candidate prompted mockery on Tuesday.
Wisconsin’s former Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes ran in the state’s Senate race last November, losing to incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, R by about 26,000 votes.
But reporter Alexi McCammond’s description of the race raised eyebrows on Tuesday.
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“2022 Senate almost-winner Mandela Barnes is launching a PAC to help candidates who are written off by institutional supporters, Axios has learned,” McCammond wrote.
Responses to the curious turn-of-phrase poured into Twitter.
Science fiction author J.A. Sutherland pointed out the obvious. “There is no almost-winner. There’s the winner, the loser, and everyone who wasn’t as good as the loser,” he tweeted at the outlet.
Others mocked the phrasing as Orwellian.
“What the h— is an almost-winner?” Public relations strategist Drew Nirenberg asked.
Some thought the tweet was a joke.
“Is this like being almost pregnant?”Alberto de la Cruz, president of Spanglish media company teased.
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Another user asked, “So I can say I am an ‘almost winner’ of the Miss Universe pageant? Nice.”
“Had to verify this tweet was real. Well, it’s real. Almost-winner,” Jeremy Redfern, Deputy Press Secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis admitted with a clown face emoji.
Abigail Marone was also in disbelief.
“‘Almost winner’ ?????????????” the Campaign Manager for Josh Hawley tweeted. “The word you are looking for is loser,” she tweeted with more clown emojis. Republican strategist Caleb Hull added, “So a loser?”
Other users mocked the “sad headline,” and called Axios an “almost-news organization.”
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This isn’t the first time left-leaning media outlets have loaded rhetoric to describe the Wisconsin candidates.
Leading up to the state’s Senate race debate, The New York Times labeled Sen. Ron Johnson a “leading peddler of misinformation” and his Democratic opponent, a “rising star.”