Articles from October, 2010

This campaign season's Pants on Fire guide

We know these are your favorites. Here's some of ours.

Truth: Rare in Election 2010, but not entirely absent

Occasionally candidates and other political groups told the truth this campaign season. Here are a few examples.

The Voter Guide: Seven key distortions of the campaign

After examining hundreds of claims in the 2010 campaign, we've seen some patterns in how candidates -- and outside groups -- have twisted the facts.

We rate the 2010 campaign Barely True

PolitiFact's analysis of our 2010 fact-checking finds campaigns often begin with a kernel of truth. But then they stretch it, twist it and blow it up.

What makes a vote 'the deciding vote'?

When politicians want to tie their opponents to a controversial bill, there are few tactics as powerful as labeling their vote for the bill as "the deciding vote." But determining a deciding vote is harder than it looks.

Announcing PolitiFact Virginia!

Our 8th state site, a partnership with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, brings the Truth-O-Meter to the Old Dominion.

Candidates in Florida's three-way U.S. Senate race stay on the attack

Independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek went on the offensive against Republican U.S. Senate frontrunner Marco Rubio during a live CNN/St. Petersburg Times debate on Oct. 24, 2010. Who scored points with the Truth-O-Meter?

California mudslide

We put ads from the Golden State races to the test on our Truth-O-Meter.

Does a national sales tax amount to double taxation?

Democrats keep battering Republicans over the "Fair Tax," a national sales tax proposal. But does an ad run by a labor group against a GOP candidate go too far in labeling the plan double taxation?

The art of going negative in Illinois

In the race for President Obama's old Senate seat in Illinois, voters have seen a steady stream of negative ads. We checked in on the latest from Democrat Alexi Giannoulias and Republican Mark Kirk.

Cookie-cutter ads from coast to coast

We've noticed a distinct lack of originality in this year's campaign ads. Candidates across the country are using identical lines.

Fact-checking the Colorado Senate race

We fact-check a campaign ad from the closely contested race between Michael Bennet and Ken Buck.  

Democrats tell half the story on 23 percent sales tax

A number of Democratic candidates in tight races have attacked Republican opponents who have voiced support for a proposal to replace federal income taxes with a tax on retail sales, the so-called "Fair Tax." But too often, the ads only mention half the equation -- the part about the sales tax.

'Super PACs' and other groups have poor record for accuracy

We tally our Truth-O-Meter rulings on ads from outside groups and find they are filled with exaggerations and falsehoods.

Christine O'Donnell's spooky new "TaxMan" ad

Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat from Delaware, pivoted from dispelling notions that she's a witch to taking on Democrat Chris Coons over taxes. But how accurate are her attacks?

Strong claims about euthanizing dogs in Illinois

In the Illinois governor's race, a dramatic ad from incumbent Pat Quinn attacks Republican Bill Brady for introducing a bill that would make it easier to euthanize dogs. We check the facts.

The facts on foreign money in the 2010 campaign

President Barack Obama finds a target for his speculation about foreign money being used for attack ads against Democrats: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But George Will counters that it's no different than AFL-CIO. We check the facts.  

Republican exaggerations about cutting Medicare

Last month, we looked at Democratic exaggerations claiming Republicans wanted to "privatize Social Security." Now we look at the GOP's attempt to alarm seniors, alleging that Democrats want to cut Medicare.

Did Harry Reid support Viagra for sex offenders?

We check the latest attack ads on claims that Rand Paul supports a $2,000 deductible for Medicare and that Harry Reid wants sex offenders to get Viagra.

Fact-checking Florida's U.S. Senate debate

No-party Gov. Charlie Crist, Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek and Republican Marco Rubio tossed out numbers galore in the Senate debate. Fortunately, we've been checking the facts.

'Taliban Dan': The kinder, gentler sequel

Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, made waves (and enemies) when he ran an ad that called his opponent "Taliban Dan." Now he he's airing a new ad that tones back the rhetoric a bit. We check the facts.

Competing claims about Islam on ABC's 'This Week'

The Rev. Franklin Graham said Muslim countries won't allow the construction of churches and synagogues. We checked the facts. 

Is ad blowing smoke about Blunt's help for Phillip Morris?

An attack ad in Missouri accuses Rep. Roy Blunt of inserting language into a national security bill to benefit tobacco giant Philip Morris while he was dating a Philip Morris lobbyist and cashing campaign checks from Philip Morris executives. We check it out.

Crossroads GPS ad targets Barbara Boxer

Yes, California seniors should be worried -- about misleading campaign commercials.


It's the biennial ritual of autumn: an avalanche of attack ads. You know what that means: It's a great time to be a fact-checker!