Here’s a Startling Breakdown of How Often the Top Presidential Candidates Lie Through Their Teeth

trump-2016Trying to follow politics can be overwhelming at times, especially during presidential elections when there’s almost no “break” from the moment the first candidate announces they’re running for president to election day itself. Then when you factor in the sheer number of presidential candidates we have this election cycle (especially on the Republican side), at times it does seem more like a sad circus than a presidential election.


With all of this information floating out there, sometimes it’s hard to really put things into perspective. So I figured I’d gather some numbers from the non-partisan fact-checking site Politifact to highlight how often some of these candidates actually tell the truth.

The reason I like to use Politifact is that they’re highly respected, non-partisan and their investigations are almost always thorough. The site uses six metrics to determine the honesty of a statement: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire. For this article I’m going to considered True/Mostly True statements to be “honest,” Mostly False/False/Pants on Fire are “dishonest,” and I’ll ignore Half True because those are often highly subjective and can go either way.

For the sake of time I’ve decided to stick to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, as they’re the candidates who seem to top most polls. I would have included Ben Carson, but he’s only had five comments fact-checked, which just wasn’t enough of a sample to include him in this article.

So, let’s get started. You can check out any candidate’s full file by clicking on their name as well, if you’d like.

Hillary ClintonHonest: 51%  Dishonest: 28%

Bernie Sanders: Honest: 52%  Dishonest: 28%

Donald Trump: Honest: 5%  Dishonest: 79%

Jeb Bush: Honest: 51%  Dishonest: 30%

Ted Cruz: Honest: 18%  Dishonest: 68%

Scott Walker: Honest: 34%  Dishonest: 48%

So, what are my takeaways?


First, for as much as many try to paint Clinton as this unethical liar who can’t be trusted, the numbers show that she’s just about as honest with her comments as Sanders – the candidate many liberals seem to think never says anything untrue.

I was also quite surprised that Bush did so well, but that doesn’t change the fact that almost every time he opens his mouth he makes himself look like a complete fool.

As for the rest, the numbers are about what I expected. Walker is a candidate whose campaign is essentially on life support at this point. To this day I’ve still never understood how he was considered a leading candidate to win the nomination. It seems the more national exposure he gets, the further down the polls he falls.

As for Trump and Cruz, they’re two individuals who’ve proven time and time again that they couldn’t care less about whether or not the gibberish that spews from their mouths is actually true – just as long as it’s what they think conservative voters want to hear.

But it does say something about the Republican party, and conservative voters in general, that their leading presidential candidate has basically skyrocketed to the top of the polls – despite the fact that nearly everything out of his mouth has been a flat-out lie.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • JamesKelso

    I followed the link to Bernie’s statements. It said Bernie’s statement, “We have the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on Earth. ” was false, while citing Israel and Mexico.

    According to a new report from the Office of Research at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the U.S. has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the developed world. Of the 35 wealthy countries studied by UNICEF, only Romania has a child poverty rate higher than the 23 percent rate in the U.S.:

    Romania is hardly a major country.

    The article also says he is wrong about healthcare spending per capita. Healthcare expenditures by country shows USA at the top of the list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_total_health_expenditure_(PPP)_per_capita

  • Kyle McHattie

    I have to say that some of your stats are as skewed as you claim the politicians are being.

  • Calculon 3.0

    You might want to specify that the honest/dishonesty percentages are based only on comments assessed by politifact.com – which include “lies” that are mostly mistakes or statements based on bad information. By your own criteria, this article is only partially honest.

  • steward

    The most accurate portion of your analysis was at the bottom of the page where you describe yourself as “an unapologetic Hillary Clinton supporter”