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Top 10 most fact-checked people on the Truth-O-Meter

By Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.

We suspected that President Barack Obama was the most fact-checked person on the Truth-O-Meter, but we confirmed it when we compiled data to mark the 500th time we’ve fact-checked him.

Curious about who else has been fact-checked most often? We were, too. So we created a list of the Top 10 most fact-checked people on the Truth-O-Meter, which includes our state affiliates. Numbers are accurate as of Jan. 22, 2014.

As you might suspect, we fact-check presidential candidates the most frequently. Since our 2007 launch, we’ve fact-checked Obama the most, followed by 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and 2008 nominee John McCain.

Readers often ask us to fact-check chain emails, which took the No. 4 position. (Technically, chain emails don’t represent one individual, but we’re including them on this list due to their enduring and distinctive presence in our inboxes.) Chain emails earned the highest percentage of Pants on Fire ratings in the top 10, with a whopping 57 percent of statements getting the flames.

We also fact-check governors quite a bit, especially in places where we have PolitiFact state sites. PolitiFact Texas, PolitiFact Florida, PolitiFact New Jersey and PolitiFact Wisconsin have fact-checked their respective governors enough times so that Rick Perry (No. 5), Rick Scott (No. 6), Chris Christie (No. 7) and Scott Walker (No. 9) all appear on the list.

Of the elected officials on the top 10 list, Perry had the highest percentage of Pants on Fire ratings, with 10 percent of his statements getting the flame.

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made the list, and will no doubt move up from her No. 8 ranking if she runs for president in 2016.

PolitiFact Florida frequently fact-checks Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, widely considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He rounds out the list at No. 10.

The complete list:

1. Barack Obama 500

2. Mitt Romney  204

3. John McCain 171

4. Chain emails 147

5. Rick Perry 142

6. Rick Scott 96

7. Chris Christie 91

8. Hillary Clinton 87

9. Scott Walker 85

10. Marco Rubio 70

About this article:


See individual fact-checks for sources

Researchers: Becky Bowers, Angie Drobnic Holan

Names in this article: Chain email, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barack Obama, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Scott Walker

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