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The "facts" came fast in Tuesday's presidential debate, and the checkers found many that didn't quite check out.

Here are some of the early words from the news outlets and independent organizations that were watching closely what President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said.

From PolitiFact.com's tweets:

WSDOT

If you stand at the edge of Elliott Bay on Pier 59 where the Seattle Aquarium sits, you can peer straight down to see a water-stained, barnacle-pocked concrete slab. It's part of the seawall which extends under Alaskan Way, the major surface street along the waterfront. Much of it is deteriorating, especially the old growth timbers that are hidden behind the concrete where the wall has been patched.

In a town hall-style debate that saw the candidates constantly challenge each other on issues ranging from the economy to the handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney got up close and personal at times Tuesday night.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The airwaves in Washington are chock-a-block with campaign ads. But one group’s missing from the fray despite its reputation for not pulling any punches. We’re talking about Washington home builders.

In June of 2008, a political action committee funded by the Building Industry Association of Washington hit the airwaves with this attack ad.

BIAW Ad: “Governor Gregoire signed the largest gas tax increase in state history.”

The “It’s Time for a Change” PAC would go on to spend more than $7 million in 2008. Even so, Gregoire won a second term.

It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.

Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.

However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.

Tonight's presidential debate in New York is shaping up like an episode of the old game show To Tell the Truth: Will the real Barack Obama/Mitt Romney please stand up?

There are a lot of questions about what personas and strategies the two candidates will choose to adopt. Partisans on both sides argue that their man's opponent is a shape-shifter.

Democrats are convinced that part of the reason Romney won their first debate earlier this month is that he shamelessly lied about his own positions in tacking to the center.

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.

The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey's respondents. Obama's support is now down to 37 percent among rural battleground voters, a plunge of 10 points from the actual rural vote in those states four years ago.

Ted S. Warren / AP

A new basketball arena appears to have the green light. Both the Seattle City Council and King County Council voted Monday in favor of an agreement with investor Chris Hansen.

However, more studies – and votes – lie ahead.

Feds silent so far on marijuana ballot measures

Oct 15, 2012
Virginia Alvino / N3

Two years ago, US Attorney General Eric Holder opposed a California initiative to legalize marijuana. But this year, the Justice Department has been silent on similar measures before voters in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. Monday, a group of former federal drug officials urged the Obama administration to weigh in.

Former Drug Enforcement Administration chief Peter Bensinger says if voters approve the marijuana legalization measures, they’ll put their residents at odds with federal drug laws.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Ballots are about to go out in Washington. In the race for governor, both candidates are pledging to veto tax hikes. But Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee also leave themselves some wiggle room.

NEW YORK — Paul Ryan debating Joe Biden wasn't quite the same television draw as Sarah Palin versus Biden four years ago.

Oregon's Battleground House Districts Draw Big Bucks

Oct 12, 2012

SALEM, Ore. - Democrats and Republicans have raised more than $12 million combined this year to try to break a deadlock in the Oregon House. Each party holds 30 seats, and the outcome of next month's election will determine who gets to hold the Speaker’s gavel. Most of the big money is pouring into a handful of battleground districts.

In 2010, six Republicans won seats in the Oregon House that were previously held by Democrats. That pulled the GOP into a 30-30 tie and led to an unprecedented power-sharing deal.

Neither candidate let his opponent get away with much of anything during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

The tabletop discussion between Vice President Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin showcased their clear differences over policy. The two disagreed about nearly every issue that came up, whether it was military posture, tax policy or abortion.

Many of these differences were expressed in negative, sometimes surprisingly personal terms.

"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Vice President Biden said during Thursday's debate as he challenged Rep. Paul Ryan's assertion that U.S. foreign policy has unraveled under President Obama.

A little later in the debate, Biden said Ryan's criticisms were "a bunch of stuff" — and when moderator Martha Raddatz asked "what does that mean?" he said, "we Irish call it malarkey."

Biden's use of the word has many asking: Where does it come from?

A milder debate as Wash. governor candidates meet again

Oct 12, 2012

As Election Day nears, the candidates for Washington governor appear to be getting mellower, not feistier. Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Jay Inslee met Thursday night in their fourth formal debate.

Perhaps the candidates are tired of each other or tired of hearing themselves speak -- or just plain tired. Whatever the case, it was a mellower Inslee and McKenna than at past debates. They re-plowed their positions on many hot topics like the budget, education, taxes and Medicaid expansion.

If you're looking for something else to do while watching or listening to tonight's 90-minute vice presidential debate, there's always debate bingo.

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The group fighting to overturn Washington's gay marriage law has started running its first TV ads in the state.

A new study looks at how many people have been arrested for marijuana possession in Washington state over the past 25 years, and it's a big number: 240,000.

Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan are set for a one-on-one, 90-minute debate in Danville, Ky. It's the one and only VP candidate debate of the campaign and after what has been conclusively deemed a bad performance by President Obama during the first presidential debate, all eyes are on Biden.

PBS' Jim Lehrer came in for widespread criticism last week for failing to control the first presidential debate. Now, moderator Martha Raddatz is confronting partisan criticism in the lead-up to Thursday night's vice presidential debate, the first and only direct confrontation between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden.

No more Mr. Nice Guy. That was essentially what President Obama told Tom Joyner, the black-radio megahost, to expect at upcoming presidential debates.

On Wednesday, the president explained that his main mistake at last week's debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney was an excess of gentility.

Obama's self-critique, such as it was, came in response to a Joyner question:

Washington's candidates for governor are preparing to meet in their highest-profile debate.

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna will discuss the issues Thursday night in Seattle. The event will begin at 9 p.m., shortly after the conclusion of the vice presidential debate.

The latest meeting of the candidates will air live on five Seattle-area television stations, along with several other stations in the region. A final debate will be held on October 16.

The job of Washington State Auditor is to root out waste, fraud and abuse in government. But the Democratic candidate for that position, State Representative Troy Kelley, has come under scrutiny for his private business dealings. This includes wiring millions of dollars around to an account that was eventually linked to a bank in Belize. That was key evidence in a lawsuit against Kelley.

The campaign to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales for those over 21 in Washington is launching a new television ad campaign Thursday featuring former federal law enforcement officials.

With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.

Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.

The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.

The reviews are in and, agree with them or not, most people thought Mitt Romney bested Barack Obama in Wednesday's presidential debate. The two don't meet again until Oct. 16, but in the meantime, there will be the vice-presidential face-off this Thursday.

How much pressure is riding on Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan?

As part of Solve This, NPR's series on major issues facing the country, we're examining the presidential candidate's approach to boosting employment. After looking at President Obama's strategy, it's time to examine the plan of GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

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