The Week on Politwoops: Deleted poll celebration, delayed sarcasm detection, a shared donation check and more

A deleted photo from a tweet of Sen. Mark Pryor that was caught by the Sunlight Foundation's Politwoops project and celebrates a rare poll showing him leading in the Arkansas senate race against Rep. Tom Cotton.
Deleted image via Politwoops.

In this week’s extra-packed roundup of deletions archived by Politwoops, we examine politicians who revoked proclamations about new polling, deleted quiz results, backed down on a call for support from a national party organization and withdrew a demand to know where basketball jerseys are. It’s always a surprise what folks will contribute to our project!

We start with a deletion from the campaign account of Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., who is battling Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., in a Senate race where five of the six top tracked polls by RealClearPolitics rate in Cotton’s favor. That final poll showing Pryor two points ahead was the subject of an ebullient tweet saying, “Great news #TeamPryor! Help us keep up the momentum” with the image to the right saying, “Breaking: Poll Shows Pryor Ahead!” After a day the tweet was taken down with no other mention of that poll. The campaign team ignored multiple requests for comment.

The campaign account for Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., bravely shared the perfect results of a quiz about his own Senate race created by the Oregonian. After just 25 seconds, this was deemed too brave, or perhaps too showy, and deleted, sending it to the Politwoops archive. The author of the quiz responded to the deletion saying, “Strange … not sure what to make of it.”

A deleted tweet from Glo Smith, a Republican candidate in Florida's 5th district, with a donation check and restaurant receipt image attached.
Deletion via Politwoops.

Another deleted tweet that’s difficult to make sense of is one from Glo Smith, a Republican candidate in Florida’s 5th District, that included an image (rotated to the left) of a $500 donation check and restaurant receipt. Amazingly, this is not the first time that a politician’s account has tweeted sensitive financial information to all their followers, the campaign for Senate candidate David Perdue, R-Ga., gets that honor.

Unfortunately, this time the Smith campaign compromised the financial information of a private citizen so we took the unprecedented step of adding black bars to the image before sharing the deletion on Politwoops. To Smith’s credit, she did respond to my request for comment and said, “it was an error from my phone. Please disregard and do not retweet.”

After a full five days, the campaign account for Annette Teijeiro, a Republican congressional candidate in Nevada’s 1st District, deleted a retweet of local political reporter, Jon Ralston, who shared her campaign ad with the sarcastic message, “Now THIS is a high-quality ad, tweeps, maybe the best ad of the year, or ever, in the race for Congress in #nv01.” Her account refused to respond to my request for comment, though Ralston responded, “Maybe she finally realized I was mocking the ad?

Another unusual deleted retweet came from the campaign account of Larry Hogan, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Maryland, who echoed a tweet at the press secretary of the Republican Governors Association saying, “how about some public show of support from @The_RGA for @Hogan4Governor on a national level. He has a real chance I’m MD.” The retweet was removed after nine minutes and continues to live on in Politwoops unexplained.

Finally this week, Democratic D.C. mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser deleted a nonsensical tweet that said, “Wwsqss#sss s s SMS. # Ss a ssss r” and Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., deleted a tweet to Jock’s Nitch, a college apparel and merchandise store that asked, “Where’s the jersey that goes to those blue shorts? o.O” Jock’s Nitch responded, “Should be here any day! Thanks!” It is unclear why Yoder removed his question.

I hope you enjoyed this week on Politwoops as much as I did, and as always please let me know by email if we’re missing any accounts!