How the Truth-O-Meter works
The heart of PolitiFact Wisconsin is the Truth-O-Meter, which we use to rate the candidates’ claims and attacks.
The Truth-O-Meter is based on the concept that – especially in politics – truth is not black and white. Depending on how much information a candidate provides, a statement can be half true or barely true without being false.
PolitiFact Wisconsin writers and editors spend considerable time deliberating on our rulings. We always try to get the original statement in its full context rather than an edited form that appeared in news stories. When possible, we go to original sources to verify the claims. We look for original government reports rather than news stories. We interview impartial experts.
We then decide which of our six rulings should apply:
TRUE – The statement is accurate and there’s nothing significant missing.
MOSTLY TRUE – The statement is accurate but needs clarification or additional information.
HALF TRUE – The statement is accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context.
MOSTLY FALSE – The statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.
FALSE – The statement is not accurate.
PANTS ON FIRE – The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.
We want to hear your suggestions and comments. For tips or comments on our campaign promise database, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the promise number. For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.