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Truth-O-Meter checks claims about Sandy's wrath on Atlantic City, role of Latino vote in presidential election

By Caryn Shinske
Published on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.

The effects of Hurricane Sandy on the Atlantic City boardwalk and the impact of the Latino vote on electing a president were the focus of claims checked this weekend on the Truth-O-Meter.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter on Sunday handed down a Mostly False to Sen. Frank Lautenberg for his claim about Hurricane Sandy’s wrath on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. On Monday, Sen. Bob Menendez received a Mostly True for his claim that the Latino vote propelled Barack Obama to a second term in the White House.

Lautenberg claim

New Jersey’s senior senator discussed Sandy’s devastation during a Nov. 13 speech on the Senate floor. Lautenberg, a Democrat, said much of the Atlantic City boardwalk no longer exists, and showed a photo of damage to a section of the boardwalk.

The trouble with Lautenberg’s claim is that much of the section of boardwalk washed away by Sandy runs along the Absecon Inlet and had been scheduled for demolition. The stretch of boardwalk fronting casinos -- the area many people associate with Atlantic City -- was fine after the storm.

Menendez claim

Menendez claimed about a week after the Nov. 6 election that the presidential race was historic because it marked the first time the Latino vote was the decisive force behind a popular vote victory. Menendez made his claim at a Nov. 14 event hosted by the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund.

PolitiFact New Jersey found that part of this claim was accurate, but other parts weren’t. Menendez, a Democrat, is correct that Latino voters this year helped President Obama win the popular vote, but that also happened in the 2000 election between Al Gore and George W. Bush. What’s historic is this past election marks the first time Latinos helped elect the overall winner.

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Researchers: Caryn Shinske

Names in this article: George W. Bush, Al Gore, Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez, Barack Obama

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