Raleigh, N.C. — They may be going head to head for the first time Wednesday night, but Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis – as well as the groups that support them – have been busy lobbing criticisms back and forth all year.
That's given political reporters some time to fact-check many of these claims, which are likely to show up again in Wednesday's hour-long debate moderated by CBS This Morning's Norah O'Donnell.
Search our collection of fact-checks, pulled from @NCCapitol and other publications, by topic and verdict below and fact-check the candidates along with our news team.
You can also use Twitter to follow our political team's live updates starting with the debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday and watch live coverage on television, online and through the WRAL mobile app.
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis formerly worked as a "partner" for IBM||green light||The title may raise questions and be confusing for voters, but it appears to be one to which Tillis can legitimately lay claim.||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis won't support a bill to let students refinance their college loans||yellow light||Tillis opposed the bill at the time it passed and reiterated that opposition. But the ad overstates Tillis' influence over this bill when it says his opposition means "you're going to pay more."||WRAL|
|As N.C. House speaker, Thom Tillis cut nearly $500 million from education||yellow light||The claim showed up in both an Emily's List ad and a Senate Majority PAC ad this summer and in a new Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ad that rolled out just before Labor Day. It also has been used by Democratic campaigns in their critiques of Tillis.||WRAL|
|N.C. Republicans passed a 7 percent pay raise for North Carolina teachers in 2014||yellow light||A claim like Tillis' that teachers got a 7 percent raise is correct, but only if you say that it is an average raise. Some teachers got more; many received less.||WRAL|
|Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis fought for and won one of the largest teacher pay raises in state history||yellow light||We're giving North Carolina Rising a separate yellow light for its ad. Since the group doesn't really define what it means by "one of the largest" teacher pay raises in state history, we won't put out the red light.||WRAL|
|N.C. Republicans passed the largest teacher pay raise in state history||red light||The news releases that said this budget had "the largest teacher pay raise in state history," and any political advertising that parrots this line, is stretching the numbers to the breaking point.||WRAL|
|Senate Kay Hagan votes with President Barack Obama 95 percent of the time||green light||As far as it goes, the 95 percent claim gets a green light on our fact-checking scale, but voters would be well served to gather some more context before deciding whether the measure is meaningful.||WRAL|
|Sen. Kay Hagan is the country's most moderate senator||green light||It's accurate that the National Journal ranked Hagan as the most moderate senator in 2013, but voters would be well served to gather some more context before deciding whether the measure is meaningful.||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis gave tax breaks to owners of boats and planes||red light||Where this claim falls on WRAL's fact-checking scale depends whether you take the view that failing to act against a loophole counts as endorsing that particular action, or whether the suggestion that Tillis "GAVE" a tax break misleads voters who might not know the particulars behind this tax.||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis changed his position on the federal government's shutdown, an action he once supported||u-turn||Freed from the shackles of a primary showdown, in which many voters would have favored the government shutdown, Tillis is much more circumspect of the government shutdown idea.||WRAL|
|Sen. Kay Hagan's campaign claims she opposes a carbon tax, but she's on record supporting it and worked to make it a priority||red light||Hagan certainly seems to have been sympathetic towards arguments for a cap-and-trade system during her 2008 campaign. However, a cap-and-trade arrangement isn't exactly the same thing as a "carbon tax," although it is certainly in the ballpark.||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis gave tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations and raised taxes on 80 percent of North Carolinians||red light||Senate Majority PAC is trying to make the point that the benefits of the 2013 tax reform bill accrued more to the wealthy. Republicans don't shy away from that claim and argue that, because corporations and wealthy individuals pay the most in taxes, they will, of course, see the greater share of any broad-based tax reform.||WRAL|
|The 401(k) or pension fund investments of average investors will lose value as a result of Hagan-backed bills to take over the mortgage industry||red light||This ad is clearly built to give viewers the impression that their retirement savings may be at risk as a result of this bill. Our experts say that assertion is at best an overstatement and at worst "fear mongering."||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis supports measures to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, raise rates for women needing mammograms, end Medicare as we know it and force seniors to spend up to $1,700 more for prescriptions||yellow light||Tillis has yet to fully articulate his position on health care, however, Patriot Majority has some wiggle room to make its case that the Republican's stated goal of repealing the Affordable Care Act would do away with the patient protections in that bill. Still, he has never articulated a policy goal of allowing insurers to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.||WRAL|
|Millions of people have lost their health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act||misleading||The claim is true, "millions" is a nationwide number, not a figure for North Carolina, and the vast majority, if not all, of those people will be able to find replacement insurance.||WRAL|
|Millions of people can't see their own doctors as a result of the Affordable Care Act||misleading||The claim is overstated. There will be some group of people who will find it more complicated, or at least more expensive, to stick with their existing health care providers. But to imply that people would be prohibited from seeing their existing doctors goes a step beyond reality.||WRAL|
|Millions of people are paying more for health care and getting less as a result of the Affordable Care Act||misleading||Certainly, some people will pay more for health insurance, but for the large percentage of those people, if they see a rate increase, it will be because their new plans cover more services.||WRAL|
|Instead of listening to North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan continues to push for Obamacare||true||It is certainly true that Hagan has continued to push for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As to whether that constitutes not listening to North Carolina depends on how you read the polls. However, public opinion surveys do suggest that Hagan's votes may run counter to public sentiment toward the health care law.||WRAL|
|Sen. Kay Hagan supports waivers for friends of Obama and special treatment for Congress and their staffs||false||Neither claim has been substantiated by prior fact checks.||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis "wants it both ways" on the Affordable Care Act||false||The ad uses a recent radio clip of Tillis saying of the ACA, "It's a great idea." The full quote was, "It's a great idea that can't be paid for," and Tillis has been consistent in saying that he would vote to replace the law.||WRAL|
|Instead of firing two staffers in his office who had affairs with lobbyists, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis arranged for golden parachutes, paid for by taxpayers, worth over $19,000||true||This is not the first time the 2-year-old scandal has been used in the campaign. Dr. Greg Brannon of Cary, who along with Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte and Wilkesboro nurse Heather Grant are the Republicans closest to Tillis in the primary polls, referenced the resignations in a January fundraising letter.||WRAL|
|President Barack Obama misled the public by repeatedly telling Americans that, if they like their current insurance, they would be able to keep it.||true||Those who have gotten those notices of canceled policies say they feel misled by the president, and it would be hard to argue in any realistic way that the president has been able to keep his pledge.||WRAL|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis refuses to say what he would do to combat ISIS||mostly true||Politifact: "We reviewed Tillis’ public statements on the issue and found that he has provided few specifics."||Politifact|
|Sen. Kay Hagan didn't attend half the Armed Services Committee hearings this year||mostly true||Politifact: "In 2014, Hagan attended nine of the 22 open hearings, which is not only below half but which also ranked near the bottom among committee members."||Politifact|
|N.C. GOP Senate hopeful Thom Tillis supports a plan that would 'end Medicare as we know it'||mostly false||Politifact: "Tillis has acknowledged supporting aspects of Paul Ryan’s budget plan, but he hasn’t specifically said whether or not he supports the original Medicare provision that would have made significant and mandatory changes to the program."||Politifact|
|Sen. Kay Hagan says GOP rival Thom Tillis called Obamacare 'a great idea'||mostly false||Politifact: "Hagan’s ad says Tillis 'called Obamacare "a great idea."' That’s a severely edited quote. What Tillis actually said was that Obamacare is 'a great idea that can’t be paid for.' Pulling out that tiny sound bite gives a highly misleading view of what Tillis said in the interview."||Politifact|
|N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis says a pro-Democratic ad is "false" for saying that he allowed two disgraced staffers in 2012 to "resign."||mostly false||Politifact: "The news coverage at the time painted a different picture -- he accepted their resignations. This generally supports the Democratic ad’s description, so we rate Tillis’ claim Mostly False."||Politifact|
|473,724 North Carolinians received insurance cancellations as a result of Obamacare||2 Pinnochios||The Washington Post: "Unlike wine, tired talking points don’t age well. None of these claims are outlandish, but they miss important context and details."||The Washington Post|
|Obamacare cut Medicare by $700 billion||2 Pinnochios||The Washington Post: "Unlike wine, tired talking points don’t age well. None of these claims are outlandish, but they miss important context and details."||The Washington Post|