In his New York Times column today, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tried to find reasons for conservatives to be optimistic about 2008 elections, despite the claims of some Republicans that “the Republican brand is in the trash can.” To support his argument, Kristol pointed to Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) 41-point loss in the West Virginia primary:
On Tuesday night, while the G.O.P. Congressional candidate was losing in a Mississippi district George Bush carried in 2004 by 25 points, Barack Obama was being trounced in the West Virginia Democratic primary — by 41 points. I can’t find a single recent instance of a candidate who ultimately became his party’s nominee losing a primary by this kind of margin.
Apparently Kristol didn’t look hard enough. Writing at Room Eight, New York political consultant Jerry Skurnik says it took him “all of 2 minutes to find what Kristol couldn’t find.” On Feb. 5, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney beat presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by 85 points in the Utah primary:
In fact, on the same day, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee beat McCain by the same margin Kristol touted as unprecedented — 41 points — in the Arkansas primary. As did Mitt Romney in the Colorado caucus.
This is at least the third time that Kristol has gotten the facts wrong in his Times column. In his debut column, Kristol misattributed a quote by Michael Medved to Michelle Malkin. Later, Kristol falsely claimed Obama was in church on a day that he was not.
Glenn Greenwald has more on the “sloppy, error-plagued and incomparably hackish columns” Kristol has written for the Times.