Hard Numbers

Election edition
November 1, 2012

Percent of Americans who knew that General Motors’ decision to close its plant in Janesville, WI, happened before Barack Obama was president, not on his watch, as Romney supporters have charged

Percent who knew the claim by Obama supporters that Mitt Romney asked the government for a taxpayer-funded bailout for one of Bain Capital’s companies while he worked at Bain, is false

Percent who knew that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’s statement, in response to Obama’s convention speech, that half of all adults under 30 are currently unemployed, is false

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Percent who knew that more jobs were created in Obama’s first term than in George W. Bush’s last term

Percent who answered “Muslim” when asked what Obama’s religion is. He is a Christian.

Percent who knew that Romney is Mormon

46 million
Number of people living in poverty in the United States

Percent of campaign coverage in major news outlets that dealt substantively with poverty during the first six months of 2012

Number of substantive campaign stories on poverty aired or published in that period by ABC World News, NBC Nightly News, NPR’s All Things Considered, and Newsweek

Percent of campaign stories during that period that dealt with the national debt

Highest unemployment rate when a sitting president has been re-elected since World War II. Unemployment is currently 7.8 percent.

Sources: Annenberg Public Policy Center, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bureau of Labor Statistics, FAIR

Hazel Sheffield is a journalist and filmmaker based in London. She is a former CJR fellow and business editor of the Independent.