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Debate preview: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Wisconsin

As many as 100 million viewers are expected to tune in to the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images) As many as 100 million viewers are expected to tune in to the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images)

As many as 100 million viewers are expected to tune in to the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Getty Images)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher September 26, 2016

If it were pay-per-view, you wonder how much money a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump debate could generate.

As many as 100 million viewers are expected to watch the first of three debates between the presidential nominees, which is set for Sept. 26, 2016. The 90-minute, no-commercials encounter, hosted by NBC’s Lester Holt, will be staged at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.

PolitiFact National, which has been fact-checking presidential debates since 2008, is offering advice to the debate moderators. One of the tips: Get ideas for questions from people outside the media, Washington or politics.

Our advice, for a more satisfying viewing experience, is to bone up on the candidates ahead of time. That way you’ll know whether what you hear is closer to True or Pants on Fire.

So, here are the seven latest fact checks from PolitiFact Wisconsin that involve Trump and Clinton. They were published over the past two months.

1. Clinton says she "would bring 186,740 new jobs to Wisconsin" and Trump "would cost Wisconsin 61,050 jobs."

Our rating: Half True.

The numbers were derived from analyses of Clinton and Trump policy proposals done by a respected economist from Moody Analytics who has supported both Democrats and Republicans.

But the numbers were estimates, not certainties. Moreover, estimates done by the Tax Foundation using a different methodology project job gains under Trump but job losses under Clinton.

2. Sean Duffy says Clinton aide Huma Abedin has "ties to the Muslim Brotherhood."

Our rating: False.

The Republican Wisconsin congressman made the claim in the context of stories in the presidential campaign that get relatively little media coverage.

But Duffy cited no evidence to back his statement, and we couldn’t find any.

3. Trump says Clinton is "proposing to print instant work permits for millions of illegal immigrants to come in and take everybody's jobs, including low-income African-Americans."

Our rating: False.

Campaigning in West Bend, near Milwaukee, Trump said Clinton would "staple" green cards to the diplomas of foreign students in the United States who complete master’s or doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering or math -- extending their stay so that they could work in the United States, particularly in high-tech jobs, after graduation rather than returning home.

The green cards would be available to students who are already legally in the United States. And given their level of education and expertise, they would not be taking jobs of low-income Americans. Nor is the program aimed at millions of students.

4. Tammy Baldwin says Trump "has a long history of exporting jobs overseas."

Our rating: Half True.

The claim by the Wisconsin Democratic senator was partially accurate.

For more than a decade, Trump-brand products, such as his clothing, have been made overseas. But those jobs were always overseas  -- not U.S. jobs that were moved.

5. Trump says Clinton once "wanted a wall" on the Mexican border.

Our rating: Half True.

Trump made the claim while campaigning in Green Bay.

Clinton did vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized building a fence along about 700 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico. For our purposes, the differences between a wall and a fence in this claim were not significant -- both block people.

But the fence Clinton backed is not nearly as expansive as the wall Trump is promoting. And in his phrasing, Trump seemed to equate the two.

6. Reince Priebus says Clinton's Iran nuclear deal "lined the pockets of the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism with your money."

Our rating: Mostly False.

The United States labels Iran as the top state sponsor of terrorism, but the rest of the claim by Priebus, a Wisconsinite who is chairman of the Republican National Committee, had problems.

The deal was struck more than two years after Clinton left the Obama administration. And the vast majority of the tens of billions of dollars that Iran gets is not American money, but its own assets, which were frozen by the U.S. and other countries that imposed sanctions on Iran.

7. Duffy says Barack Obama and Clinton "have left us with $19 trillion in debt."

Our rating: Mostly False.

The total federal debt is at $19 trillion.

But most of it was amassed before Obama took office. And many factors -- Congress, the economy and Obama himself, but to almost no extent Clinton -- played a role in the debt increases during Obama’s tenure.

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Debate preview: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Wisconsin