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With the midterm elections ending, aside from a Dec. 6 runoff for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, we’re moving into the holiday season. And as Thanksgiving approaches, we want to thank our readers for their continued support and feedback.
Here is a look at some of the responses we’ve received on our coverage over the past few months. The responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Readers can email us fact-check ideas and feedback at [email protected]
PolitiFact celebrated its 15th birthday in August. A couple of readers congratulated us.
One reader said, "Just want to say happy birthday and thank you all for everything you do everyday to help us navigate the swamp of disinformation overwhelming our sources of info across the spectrum of ‘news’ and social media feeds."
"Hello, congratulations to all the PolitiFact staff past and present for the important work you do. I appreciate your fun and lively writing style," another reader said. "I have to admit I don’t read many Facebook fact-checks, maybe because they seem anonymous or I’m just not on Facebook. P.S. The deep-dive articles are helpful and very much appreciated."
In September, we held our second annual United Facts of America: A festival of fact-checking. One reader thanked Managing Editor Katie Sanders and Senior Correspondent Jon Greenberg, who hosted the event, "for an enlightening three days with folks doing ‘on the ground’ work to bolster the guardrails of democracy. I feel like I know you both at this point and I’m so appreciative of your efforts. Great lineup. Compelling, thoughtful conversations."
We covered key battleground states this midterm election, fact-checking ads, rallies and debates. One reader thanked us for our coverage of the Florida Senate debate between Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio and his Democratic opponent, Rep. Val Demings.
"Your spotlight on the facts is wonderful. I get so confused listening to candidates. ‘That can’t be true!,’ I say to myself, but I wonder. Keep up the good work!," the reader said.
"I noticed your three different statements revealing what Kari Lake has said regarding her views on abortion!! I sincerely appreciate your work regarding this question!!! I am a cradle Catholic and the only thing that matters to me for the Lord is whether or not politicians believe in abortion!! She is so here, there and everywhere with her responses!!" the reader said. "You have noted carefully everything she says perfectly!!! You are a very good journalist because most cannot pick up the proper clues on that issue the way you have!! Anyway, I sincerely do appreciate your work!!!"
Some readers gave us pointed critiques on fact-checks about democracy, homeownership and other topics.
We fact-checked President Joe Biden’s September speech on democracy during which he called out Republicans who deny the 2020 presidential election’s outcome.
"Your fact-checking avoided Biden's most egregious claims: that (absent MAGA Republicans) we otherwise would have a democracy and free and fair elections," one reader said. "A country that relies on the Electoral College to elect its chief executive can not realistically claim to be a democracy, especially when the backup to the Electoral College, when no candidate wins a majority, is a one-vote-per-state process in the House of Representatives."
Another reader found our Half True rating of Hilary Rodham Clinton’s claim that she had "zero emails that were classified" to be "too punitive toward her comment."
"Hillary was right. (then-FBI Director James) Comey was wrong. Was HRC perfect? Nope. That fact doesn’t magically make her 100% statement only half true, despite how your ratings system works," the reader said. "I still appreciate everything you do, every day in every way!!"
One reader had concerns about our story on obstacles to Black homeownership.
"While the history lesson in racism is accurate, after finishing the article I was frankly astonished that not a single variable other than race was even mentioned in the discussion of a big, complex, economic issue like home homeownership," the reader said, citing an Urban Institute study. "Arguably the biggest socioeconomic factors in home ownership are marital status and the number of adult income earners per household, where the white-black disparities are almost 2-to-1. There was absolutely no mention of these relevant statistics in your article. Editorializing is fine, but any honest discussion of population statistics like these have to include variables other than race."
In the Ohio Senate race, we rated Mostly False Republican candidate J.D. Vance’s claim that his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan "called police the new Jim Crow."
"To give his statement a ‘Mostly False’ rating is splitting hairs to the nth degree. While it's true that the police are not the only aspect of the criminal justice system, they're a huge part of it and the first one that anyone suspected of a crime actually encounters," a reader said. "It's like saying the labor market isn't technically the same as the economy, when it's a gigantic and central component of it."
See links in fact-checks.