Political spin is now a sophisticated art form, one that is really unhelpful to voters. The intentional half truths, radical distortions, and even outright lies that candidates use in attacks on each other significantly burden the work of becoming an informed voter. Fortunately, over the last 10 years or so, many news organizations have kept focus on checking the facts.
One of the fact checkers that I really like is Politifact, provides extensive evaluations of candidate’s claims. However, although evaluations for each candidate are provided, Politifact doesn’t give a side-by-side comparison. So I’ve compiled one from their data for Obama vs McCain, using what was available today on their website. The comparison is shown in the graph below.
See the table below for the data. You can see that well over one hundred statements by each candidate have been evaluated. Obama’s have been 73% Mostly True, while McCain’s were only 55% Mostly True.
Notes on the Graph
- The “Pants on Fire” designation means the statement “is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.”
- Politifact evaluates the claims of candidates and categorizes the claim as True, Mostly True, Half True, Barely True, False, and Pants on Fire. I grouped the categories True, Mostly True, and Half True into one category, Mostly True.