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By Sean Gorman September 1, 2014
Nancy  Madsen
By Nancy Madsen September 1, 2014

Kaine gets B+ on his own geography quiz

Sen. Tim Kaine tweeted out a geography quiz on a recent visit to Southwestern Virginia.

"When I stood at Pinnacle Overlook above the Cumberland Gap today, I was closer to 8 other state capitals than to Richmond," Kaine wrote on Aug. 20. "Can you name them?"

The Pinnacle Overlook is part of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park in the Southwest corner of Virginia. Sitting 2,440 feet high, it offers scenic views of three states: Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Jon Baliles, the first district city councilman in Richmond, took up Kaine’s challenge and on Twitter rattled off a list of state capitals that are closer to the overlook than Richmond: Frankfort, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Columbus, Ohio; Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; Indianapolis; Raleigh, N.C.; and Charleston, W.V.

Kaine sent a congratulatory tweet to Baliles.

"Well done! You got them all," Kaine wrote.

We took the quiz, too, and got a different answer.

There were actually nine state capitals that were closer to where Kaine was standing than Richmond. The senator and the councilman omitted Montgomery, Ala.

We checked the driving distance between various state capitals and the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, measuring by the most direct route recommended by Google Maps:

Frankfort, Ky. -- 162 miles

Nashville, Tenn. -- 226 miles

Charleston, W.V. -- 228 miles

Atlanta -- 272 miles

Columbia, SC -- 289 miles

Indianapolis -- 315 miles

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Columbus, Ohio -- 318 miles

Raleigh, NC -- 342 miles

Montgomery, Ala. -- 387 miles

Richmond, Va. -- 417 miles

We also used an "as the crow flies" straight line measurement between the Pinnacle Overlook and various state capitals, using daftlogic.com. Although the distances changed, the number of closer state capitals did not.

Frankfort -- 129 miles

Charleston -- 164 miles

Nashville -- 176 miles

Atlanta -- 202 miles

Columbia  -- 234 miles

Columbus -- 235 miles

Indianapolis -- 257 miles

Raleigh -- 287 miles

Montgomery  -- 329 miles

Richmond  -- 350 miles

Our ruling

Kaine says Pinnacle Overlook in far Southwestern Virginia is closer to eight state capitals than Richmond. Actually, it’s nine.

So Kaine gets a "B+" on his own quiz. On PolitiFact’s grading scale, that translates to Mostly True.

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Kaine gets B+ on his own geography quiz

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