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The latest poll of Wisconsin voters indicates a near-dead heat in the Russ Feingold (left) and Ron Johnson U.S. Senate race, which is a rematch from 2010. The latest poll of Wisconsin voters indicates a near-dead heat in the Russ Feingold (left) and Ron Johnson U.S. Senate race, which is a rematch from 2010.

The latest poll of Wisconsin voters indicates a near-dead heat in the Russ Feingold (left) and Ron Johnson U.S. Senate race, which is a rematch from 2010.

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher November 7, 2016

Attacks, more attacks. He said, she said. What’s true, what’s false?

Election Day, at last, is upon us.

Before we call it a wrap, let’s take a look at a last batch of fact checks on claims made in the Wisconsin U.S. Senate rematch and in the presidential race.

From Social Security to Obamacare and beyond, there’s still a lot to sort out.

Before we jump in, a reminder that you can skip directly to our files on Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; his Democratic challenger, former senator Russ Feingold; Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton; and GOP nominee Donald Trump.  

There’s also our recent summary of 20 attacks in the Senate race.

Deep breath and .... go.

Ron Johnson vs Russ Feingold

Johnson "calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme and wants to privatize the program."

Half True: Johnson calls Social Security a legal Ponzi scheme to emphasize that it uses taxes on today’s wage earners to fund the retirement checks of millions of Americans. He’s expressed support for some form of privatization, but it’s not clear to what extent.

Feingold said that with Obamacare, "we could keep our doctors and our plans, it was rated as the Lie of the Year."

True: Feingold did make that statement about keeping doctors and insurance plans during his 2010 Senate campaign. And that was PolitiFact National’s 2013 Lie of the Year.

"Prior to Obamacare here in Wisconsin, 95 percent of Wisconsinites were covered by insurance. After Obamacare, 95 percent of Wisconsinites were covered by insurance. It hasn’t had an impact."

False: Johnson misstated the statistic and he references a 2014 survey when more recent data is available. Moreover, he uses the numbers to claim Obamacare hasn’t had an impact on the number of uninsured in Wisconsin, which isn’t the case.

Johnson "is benefiting from several super PACs" and Feingold is not.

False: Such spending for Johnson has been higher, but Feingold has received significant super PAC support.

Feingold "formed his own political group to pay himself and his staff millions."

Half True: The payroll did indeed top $2 million between Feingold’s Progressives United PAC and a related nonprofit, but there’s no smoking gun to show the group was formed specifically for the purpose of paying and warehousing staff until the next campaign.

Feingold "voted to raise taxes on Social Security benefits for seniors, he even tried to give Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants."

Mostly False: On a proposal that would have removed a tax increase on Social Security benefits from the 1994 federal budget, Feingold voted no, though the tax increase wasn’t imposed on all Social Security recipients, only those with higher incomes. He did not vote to give Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants.

Trump and Johnson "oppose a woman's right to choose and Johnson voted against the Violence Against Women Act."

Mostly True: Trump and Johnson are anti-abortion, though Trump in particular has said he supports exceptions to allow abortion in certain cases. Johnson did vote no on reauthorizing the violence law, but it’s not as though he opposed protections for women; in fact, he voted for alternative measures that did not pass.

Feingold "got paid $8,000 a lecture at Stanford University."

Mostly False: The math may be about right, but the claim implies that the number of lectures is somehow tied to pay grade and ignores the other work required outside of class.


Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump

Under Trump's tax plan, "51 percent of single parents would see their taxes go up."

True: His proposal to eliminate the head of household filing status and personal exemptions would raise federal income taxes for many single parents.

Trump "doesn't believe in equal pay."

Half True: His campaign says he supports "equal pay for equal work." Trump has also said men and women doing the same job should get the same pay, but it’s hard to determine what’s "the same job," and that if everybody gets equal pay, "you get away from capitalism in a sense."

Trump says he has "tremendous support from women."

False: On average in polls, he lags behind Clinton by 11 percentage points among women.

The media "never show crowds."

False: Trump’s campaign crowds have been documented through stories, social media, photos and videos.

President Barack Obama "spent so much time screaming at a protester, and frankly it was a disgrace."

Pants on Fire: Trump’s claim got it all wrong. Obama defended the protester's right to speak out, and didn’t scream at him. In fact, Obama’s remarks were directed at Clinton supporters, not the protester.

Trump "says organized crime runs wild on reservations."

Half True: Trump did say that at least twice, but there’s no indication he said that publicly in the past 16 years.

Trump "wants to undo marriage equality."

True: Trump has said repeatedly that he supported "traditional marriage." He also has said he would consider appointing Supreme Court justices that would reverse the 2015 ruling allowing same-sex marriage.

"Thousands of Americans have been killed by illegal immigrants."

Half True: There is no solid data for homicides committed by people here illegally to back Trump's claim. Research shows immigrants are less likely to engage in criminal behavior than the native-born population. However, like the legal U.S. population, some of the country's more than 11 million undocumented immigrants have committed murders.


More from PolitiFact National

Donald Trump's top 10 most misleading claims

Hillary Clinton’s top 10 most misleading claims








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PolitiFact Wisconsin and PolitiFact National items as noted

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Last call: A final fact-check wrap-up