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U of I Study Shows Most Candidates Truthful on Campaign Trail

Monday, October 27, 2008  
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Posted: Oct 27, 2008 09:22 PM
By Inggrid Yonata
ROCKFORD - A University of Illinois study shows most political candidates actually mean what they say on the campaign trail. The study is the first to compare lawmakers' voting records to what their campaign ads had said.
"You tend to think that most politicians are liars." James Dunn is skeptical. "I tend to be a little surprised that all the debate and ads on TV are more or less telling the complete truth."
But Rockford College professor Bob Evans says he should have faith in what candidates say. "We'd like to think politicians as untrustworthy, it's almost like a perverse satisfaction that we get."
But a new study that compares campaign ads and legislative records shows otherwise. "Politicians are pretty consistent with the promises they make. Again, they have to be, because people will catch them, supporters will hold them to task, and donors won't give money," Evans says.
Although the study targets congressmen and senators, at least there's some comfort as you cast your votes, to know that presidential candidates are usually pretty truthful too. "Now they can't always guarantee that the thing they support will pass because if I'm in the minority party then I might be outvoted, but they do try to keep their promises and if they say they're for something they're for it, if they say they're against something they're against it."
Evans says politicians may have a change of heart, usually after they learn more details that go against their principles.
This story appeared at on October 27, 2008.


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