The Most Honest Candidate! You must be kidding, right?

And the winner of the Most Honest Candidate Award for the Presidential Campaign of 2008 iiiissss…a drum roll please!…

…depressing.

After looking at the numbers offered on Politifact.com (Which has become one of my favorite websites)I must admit that it does not look good for Americans who love the truth.  Yeah, there are Republican apologists who insist that everything McCain says is true, and Democratic apologists who insist the same for Obama, but the truth is that the “truth” isn’t a focus of either campaign.

Yeah, after looking at the numbers, it looks like Obama has the edge as most honest candidate.  So what.  Take a close look at his numbers:

Truth Graph Despite the edge in the Obama campaign, there’s plenty of “not so true” comments to give lend doubt to the credibility of the candidate.  Let’s sort the numbers in a slightly different way.  Below I eliminate the subcategories of truth.  Let’s face it, we teach our children that the truth is the truth.  Shouldn’t we hold candidates for the most powerful position in the world up to the same standards as children? So I grouped Half True and Barely true in the same category as False and Pants on Fire.  I did give the benefit of the doubt for Mostly True and lumped it in with True. After all, being on the spot all the time, a statement that is mostly true may constitute a slip of the tongue or a mis-statement of fact.  I then calculated the percentage of true comments over all comments.  Finally I calculated the ratio between true and false comments.

Truth Graph 2As you can see, the edge remains with Obama, but it is pretty sad to think that we can only count  on the most honest candidate to be honest only half the time.

Then I recalculated the same numbers, only this time I did not give the benefit of the doubt. If the statement wasn’t entirely true, then it wasn’t true. Period.  I see this standard most on conservative sites (applied only to liberals, of course).  Of course, the stats look much worse.

Truth Graph 3Admitted, I did not run the levels of significance and stuff like that, like a “real” sociologist.  Really, who has time for that.  The percentages in this case speek volumes.  What is the state of politics in this nation based on these numbers?

47 thoughts on “The Most Honest Candidate! You must be kidding, right?

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  1. I almost did it. I stopped myself, but I almost did it. I almost succumbed to the temptation to run a p-test to determine which candidate is significantly more honest than the other. I was just about to do it, when I realized, I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO RUN A P-TEST TO MAKE THAT DETERMINATION. It should not be about who is “more” honest. It should be about being honest period!

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