Jacobson

Louis Jacobson is the senior correspondent for PolitiFact and a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times. He has served as deputy editor of Roll Call and as founding editor of its legislative wire service, CongressNow. Earlier, he spent more than a decade covering politics, policy and lobbying for National Journal magazine. Since 2002, he has handicapped political races, including state legislatures, governors, congressional seats, state attorneys general and the electoral college, currently for Governing. He is senior author of The Almanac of American Politics 2016 and The Almanac of American Politics 2018 and also contributed to the 2000 and 2004 editions. In 2004, Jacobson originated the “Out There” column on politics in the states, which ran in Roll Call and later in Stateline.org and which won five annual awards from Capitolbeat, the association of state capitol reporters and editors. He received the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014, and in 2017, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers gave him a Best in Business award for his economics coverage.

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Recent stories from Louis Jacobson

Everything you need to know about a government shutdown

A government shutdown appears closer to reality now than at any time since 2013. President Donald Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate and House and the congressional Democratic minority are fighting over how to extend spending for federal operations after the current authority expires on Jan. 19. The key roadblocks are not so much differences on spending levels, but rather on separate issues, notably a renewal of legal status for "Dreamers," people who had been brought illegally to the United States as children. Here’s what happens when government funding expires.

Fact-checking Donald Trump's 'results' from his fake news awards

As part of his much-hyped "fake news awards," President Donald Trump offered 10 pieces of news he said the media was ignoring. "While the media spent 90 percent of the time focused on negative coverage or fake news, the President has been getting results," he wrote. We took a closer look at the 10 items Trump mentioned.

Fact-checking Donald Trump's fake news awards

President Donald Trump called out some of the biggest U.S. news organizations in his promised "fake news awards" Jan. 18, 2018. 

Fact-checking Donald Trump’s economic speech in Nashville

President Donald Trump likes talking about how great the economy is, a theme he expounded on when he flew to Nashville on Jan. 8 to address the American Farm Bureau Federation. He addressed many topics we have previously fact-checked and others we haven’t, with a mix of accuracy. Here’s an assessment of factual claims from his speech.

How Donald Trump, Barack Obama compare on the stock market

President Trump likes to tout the stock market’s growth on his watch. How does he compare to his predecessors?

How trustworthy are the polls, more than a year after the 2016 election?

In many people’s minds, the polls were flat wrong in 2016. Actually, it’s more complicated than that.

How closely did the tax bill resemble Trump's campaign promises?

The tax bill that President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, was a large and consequential piece of legislation. It was also the culmination of no fewer than nine of Trump’s campaign promises. So how did he do?

Mailbag: ‘Please clean up your act’

It’s the holiday season, and our email inbox in recent weeks has been full of lumps of coal -- as well as the occasional treat. Here’s a rundown of recent reader critiques, edited for length and clarity.

The 10 most popular Florida fact-checks of 2017

Fueling our most-clicked fact-checks was an unfounded claim about massive voter fraud in 2008 and a misleading statement from Trump that pre-existing conditions were included in the GOP health care bill. But it wasn’t all politics this year. In September, Florida was menaced by Hurricane Irma and our story debunking myths about hurricane preparedness also made the list.

The top 10 most viewed fact-checks of 2017

During President Donald Trump’s first year in office, nothing drew eyeballs to our site quite like the president’s words.