Senate candidate Mandela Barnes, who lost, called ‘almost-winner’ in mocked Axios report: ‘So, a loser?’

An Axios report using Orwellian language to describe a failed Democratic candidate prompted mockery Tuesday.

Former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes ran for state Senate last November, losing to incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson, R, by nearly 26,000 votes.

But reporter Alexi McCammond’s description of the race raised eyebrows Tuesday.

Wisconsin Lt. Gov. and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Mandela Barnes addresses supporters at a rally outside the Wisconsin State Capitol building on Saturday, July 23, 2022. ((Photo by Sarah Stiths for The Washington Post))

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“2022 Senate presumptive winner Mandela Barnes is launching a PAC to help candidates who have been rejected by establishment backers, Axios has learned,” McCammond wrote.

Responses to the curious twist of phrase poured in on Twitter.

Science fiction writer JA Sutherland pointed out clearly. “There’s almost no winner. There’s a winner, a loser, and everyone who wasn’t as good as the loser,” he tweeted to the outlet.

Others derided the phrase as Orwellian.

“H— what’s an almost winner?” asked public relations strategist Drew Nirenberg.

Some thought the tweet was a joke.

“Is it almost like being pregnant?” Spanglish Media Company President Alberto De La Cruz teased.

Sen.  Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes side by side.

Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes side by side. (AP Photo/Maury Gish)

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one more asked the user“So I can say I’m the ‘almost winner’ of the Miss Universe pageant? Nice.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ deputy press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, admitted with a clown face emoji that “had to verify the tweet was real.

Abigail Marvin was also in disbelief.

“‘Almost Winner’ ????????????” Josh Hawley’s campaign manager tweeted. “The word you’re looking for is loser,” he tweeted, along with more joker emojis. Republican strategist Caleb Hill added, “So the loser?”

Other users mocked the “sad headline” and called Axios “almost a news organization.”

This isn’t the first time left-leaning media outlets have used rhetoric to describe Wisconsin candidates.

Leading up to the state Senate race debate, The New York Times labeled Sen. Ron Johnson A “chief peddler of misinformation” and his Democratic opponent, a “rising star”.

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