Friday, October 31st, 2014

A new Obameter category: 'Not yet rated'

We're creating a new category for the Obameter: Not Yet Rated
We're creating a new category for the Obameter: Not Yet Rated

When we launched the Obameter in mid January, all 505 campaign promises in our database began with a rating of No Action. We figured that as the Obama administration made progress — or failed to make progress — we'd update the ratings.

But now, 10 months later, we're a little behind. We haven't been able to keep up with the huge number of promises (it now totals 515 because we've discovered 10 more), and we've decided that we need to rename the No Action rating to make it more accurate.

We realized this a few weeks ago after a news report referred to our Obameter tally. It said something to the effect that Obama still has not acted on more than 300 promises. We cringed because we knew that wasn't accurate.

Indeed, there are 304 promises still rated No Action. And we're sure there's been progress on many of them that would warrant moving them to In the Works. Others probably deserve a Stalled or a Promise Kept or Promise Broken. But we haven't had a chance to research them yet.

That's a function of how busy the PolitiFact staff has been checking claims in the health care debate. We had expected to catch up on the Obameter items during August and early September, but the ferocious health care debate kept us — and the Truth-O-Meter — busy.

So starting today, we're changing the No Action rating to Not Yet Rated. That's a more accurate description of where those promises stand.

We're also launching an initiative to enlist your help in updating the promises. If you see a promise that you believe deserves to be updated — maybe you think it deserves an In the Works or even a Promise Broken — please let us know. We'll verify the information and then, when warranted, update the rating. Send your suggestions to obameter@politifact.com.

As always, we appreciate your help. We get some of our most interesting Truth-O-Meter items from you, and we looking forward to hearing from you about promises we should update.