Spin, Mandates, & Reading Data

From American Progress… Something to keep in mind while CNN blares:

ELECTION – NOT SUCH A MANDATE: Following President Bush’s victory over Sen. John Kerry on Tuesday, conservative media followed Vice President Cheney’s lead in declaring the election “a decisive mandate for Bush’s agenda, and mainstream media outlets have followed their lead.” In fact, the president’s popular vote margin was the smallest since 1976 (with the exception of 2000) and, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Albert Hunt, the president’s victory represented “the narrowest win for a sitting president since Woodrow Wilson in 1916.” Percentage-wise, Bush’s victory was the narrowest for any wartime president in American history. And while President Bush did win more votes than any presidential candidate in U.S. history, “Kerry’s vote total – 55.7 million – was still greater than any U.S. presidential candidate in history prior to 2004. That means more Americans cast their vote against Bush than against any other presidential candidate in U.S. history.”

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