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Remember this if the Twins finish one game behind the Tigers

A single-vote margin is as good as a tie to Strib headline writers.
By David Brauer

As our own Cynthia Dizikes notes, Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished a close third at this weekend’s Values Voters Summit well behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but just one vote back of ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

So why did a Star Tribune headline say TPaw finished tied for second?

Not to take anything away from Pawlenty’s good showing, but this is simply inaccurate. I’m OK with rounding, but the Wall Street Journal showed how to do it right, noting there was “nearly a four-way for second” between Romney (74 of 597 votes), Pawlenty (73), Palin (72) and Indiana Congressman Mike Pence (71).

By the way, good story in the Strib today on the peripatetic Pawlenty’s refusal to go the extra mile and disclose his full travel schedule. Two things in Mike Kaszuba’s and Pat Doyle’s story jumped out at me: the state’s chief executive taunting reporters to use Google or Bing to see where he’s headed, and the resulting information gap making it harder to check how much of the travel tab state taxpayers are picking up.

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Having written many soggy headlines on deadline, I still think the Strib’s hed — “Often in the public eye, but off the radar” — lacked the story’s punch.

With a nod to space constraints all headline writers must work under, I’d prefer “Pawlenty to press: Go suck on a search engine” or the shorter “TPaw: Catch me if you can.”