Andrew Malcolm uses phony numbers to shill for Sarah Palin

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Los Angeles Times blogger/former Bush flack/de facto Sarah Palin press secretary Andrew Malcolm hypes the success of Palin's primary endorsements:

Such an identification with voters, especially Republicans, independents and women, may help explain Palin's success endorsing primary candidates this year; about three out of four of her picks have won their race, including most recently Christine O'Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller of Alaska.

Like much of what Malcolm writes, that just isn't true.

According to the Washington Post's "Palin Endorsements Tracker," 25 Palin-endorsed candidates have won their primaries, and 11 have lost:

That would mean about two of three Palin picks have won, not "three out of four." So how does Malcolm get to 75 percent? Presumably by adding the seven endorsees who didn't have primaries, which would bring the numbers to 32 wins and 11 losses, or "about three out of four." Of course, doing so would be spectacularly dishonest, but I wouldn't dare put that past Malcolm.

But that's not the whole story. See, the Post's endorsement tracker already overstates Palin's success. It counts among her 25 wins seven candidates who she endorsed after they had already won their primaries: Tim Scott, Renee Ellmers, Martha Roby, Jackie Walorski, Adam Kinzinger, Vicky Hartzler, and Sharron Angle.

Now, obviously, candidates who had already won their primaries by the time Palin endorsed can hardly be used as evidence of her "success endorsing primary candidates." Unless, of course, you want to give Sarah Palin credit for not accidentally endorsing candidates who have already lost their primaries.

So, if you look at the win-loss record of candidates who Palin endorsed prior to their primaries, you find 18 wins and 11 losses, not the "three out of four" Malcolm claims. Now, 18-11 is reasonably impressive -- it's a 62 percent success rate. So it seems rather illuminating that Malcolm would tell such a convoluted lie (counting both candidates who have not had primaries and candidates who had already won their primaries) when the truth would have worked nearly as well.

The lesson, as always: Don't trust Andrew Malcolm when it comes to Sarah Palin. Or, really, ever.

(It should also be noted that it's absolutely insane that the Washington Post includes the seven candidates Palin endorsed post-primary in its tally. There's just no justification for it.)

The Washington Post
Andrew Malcolm, Sarah Palin
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