According to a new study from the nonpartisan Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, Republicans are significantly more likely to lie than Democrats — and the gap is widening as President Barack Obama spends more time in office.
The study examined how Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-check site PolitiFact.com rated 100 statements involving factual claims from the first four months of President Obama’s second term — 46 of the claims were made by Democrats, and 54 were made by Republicans.
CMPA found that PolitiFact rated 32 percent of the Republican claims as “false” or “pants on fire,” compared to just 11 percent of the Democratic claims. Along the same lines, PolitiFact rated just 11 percent of the Republican statements as “entirely true,” compared to 22 percent of the Democratic statements.
Just 18 percent of the Republican claims were rated as “mostly” or entirely true, compared to 54 percent of the Democratic claims. Conversely, 52 percent of the Republican statements were rated as mostly or entirely false, while just 24 percent of Democratic statements received the same designation.
In other words, as CMPA President Dr. Robert Lichter put it: “While Republicans see a credibility gap in the Obama administration, PolitiFact rates Republicans as the less credible party.”
Notably, the credibility gap seems to be growing with time. In May, as Republicans have obsessively tried to tie the president to a series of scandals, their percentage of false claims has risen to 60 percent.
PolitiFact editor Bill Adair responded to the study in an email to Politico’s Dylan Byers:
PolitiFact rates the factual accuracy of specific claims; we do not seek to measure which party tells more falsehoods.
The authors of this press release seem to have counted up a small number of our Truth-O-Meter ratings over a few months, and then drew their own conclusions.
We’ve rated more than 7,000 statements since we started in 2007. We are journalists, not social scientists. We select statements to fact-check based on our news judgment — whether a statement is timely, provocative, whether it’s been repeated and whether readers would wonder if it is true.
You can read the full results of the CMPA study here.