Truth Quotient

Non-partisan Pulitzer Prize-winning website,, rates political statements "True", "Mostly True", "Half True", "Mostly False", "False", or "Pants-on-Fire." Using ratings we calculate Truth Quotients for politicians and political organizations based on the ratio (2T+MT)/(MF+2F+3PoF) and rank them accordingly. A TQ above one indicates mostly truthful. Below one, not so much. Sadly most TQs are less than one, often much less.

Like most statistics, TQs are subject to various sources of error. First, if the number of ratings for an individual are too limited they may not be representative. When this is the case, the TQ for that person is not included in ranking tables. Second, the original ratings are the opinions of PolitiFact staff. Fortunately, they provide sources for their facts and a rationale for each rating. Panderbear finds PolitiFact ratings reasonably sound. Much harder to judge is sampling bias. The method by which PolitiFact selects statements to rate is opaque and could be politically skewed. Panderbear has not detected any skewing, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. The reader should keep all of these sources of error in mind when drawing conclusions from the TQ ranking tables. As with all information found on the web, TV, radio, and elsewhere, caveat emptor.

To find all of the posts with TQ ranking tables or plots look down the right-hand column of the blog to the "Search this Blog" box. Do a search on "Truth Quotient" and all such posts will be listed (along with some others). You will probably want to concentrate on the more recent ones, but TQ's for Republican nomination dropouts Bachmann, Perry, and Cain only appear in the older tables and charts.


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