The Truth-O-Meter arrives in Iowa

Aerial looking west over the Iowa Capitol. (Des Moines Register file)
Aerial looking west over the Iowa Capitol. (Des Moines Register file)

The Des Moines Register and PolitiFact have joined forces to fact-check statements made by candidates this election cycle, aiming to bring readers the truth in politics.

PolitFact Iowa brings together Iowa's largest political reporting team and PolitiFact, an independent journalism fact-checking website that is a division of the Tampa Bay Times.

The partnership begins this week, in advance of the Democratic national debate scheduled to take place in Des Moines on Saturday. Fact-checkers from the Register and PolitiFact will be watching the debate closely, looking for candidate statements to verify or refute.

"We're excited about this partnership with PolitiFact, which has been effective at helping the public understand whether candidate statements are truthful or not," Register executive editor Amalie Nash said. "The Register added a Reality Check reporting position last fall, and Jason Noble has been conducting fact checks in that role. This partnership brings our resources together with theirs to offer a richer and more comprehensive catalog of fact checks."

PolitiFact's reporters and editors fact-check statements from the White House, Congress, candidates, advocacy groups and more, rating claims for accuracy on a Truth-O-Meter. The meter, which reflects the relative accuracy of a statement, has six ratings: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire. 

"We couldn't be happier that PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter has landed in Iowa and is in the ever-capable hands of journalists at The Des Moines Register," said PolitiFact executive director Aaron Sharockman. "The Register is a tenacious political watchdog and the perfect PolitiFact partner."

Every fact check includes analysis of the claim, an explanation of the reasoning and a list of links to sources. PolitiFact currently has fact-checking sites in seven states and is expanding to others later this year.

In addition to fact-checking during the presidential cycle, the Register will fact-check statements made by candidates in state and local races and by elected officials, government employees and advocates.

Iowa fact checks will be published on DesMoinesRegister.com/iowa-caucuses and PolitiFact.com/Iowa.