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Finding Consensual Fact in Political Debate



Consensual fact is needed to ground engaged argument. One advances an argument from agreed-upon ground that serves as the foundation for the case being made. Among those disposed to contest inconvenient data, engaged debate is made possible, in part, by the existence of institutional sources that each side considers methodologically sophisticated as well as expert in the subject of the debate. Here we examine the role two types of nonpartisan organizations, the Congressional Budget Office and three internet-based fact-checking entities, play in identifying consensual fact and show the functions these organizations play in creating common ground.