Trust Index: Presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Florida has highest cost of living in the country. Is it true?

Presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis sparred on several topics during a GOP debate in Iowa Wednesday night, and News4JAX is running two of the statements made through the Trust Index.

The wide-ranging debate included foreign policy, abortion, and aid to Ukraine, but it was the topics of immigration, and the cost of living in Florida that raised some eyebrows.

“He can call me whatever name he wants, and be demeaning, but Ron’s lying because Ron’s losing,” former South Carolina Governor Haley said.

“She’s got this problem with ballistic podiatry, shooting herself in the foot saying things that she doesn’t now take questions from people,” DeSantis said in response to Haley.

Two statements caught the Trust Index team’s attention. The first one is a claim from Florida Gov. DeSantis about immigration and the Biden administration.

“Biden has let in 8 million people in just in four years, they all have to go back, we have to enforce the rule of law in this country,” DeSantis said.

He said 8 million people have entered the United States illegally since Biden took office in January 2021.

It is a statement that does not coincide with data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which said there have been 8 million “encounters” at U.S. borders, including the U.S.-Canada boundary.

An encounter is a term used by border patrol encompassing two distinct kinds of events.

One is an apprehension, in which a migrant is taken into custody, sometimes temporarily.

An expulsion is when migrants are immediately expelled to their home or last country.

Data released by the Department of Homeland Security shows more than 2.3 million migrants have been released into the US at the southern border since Biden took office. More than 6 million migrants were taken into custody in the same period. Both figures are below the 8 million dollar claim.

So, to the claim that 8 million people have entered the US since Biden took office, the News4JAX Trust Index team gives that statement the rating of “Not True”.

“Florida is the inflation hotspot, it’s the highest cost of living of any state in the country, seniors are having to leave because they can’t afford it, it’s documented at,” Haley said.

That statement made by Haley has also come under the microscope because it doesn’t jive with data released by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Centers data series.

Their statisticians found that Hawaii, Washington D.C., and Massachusetts had the highest cost of living index, including things like housing, food, healthcare, and taxes.

Cost of living is defined as the level of prices relating to a range of everyday items. The Missouri Economic Research Information Center rates Florida as the 22nd most expensive state to live in.

The News4JAX Trust Index team gives Haley’s statement that Florida is the most expensive state, a rating of “Not True”. Rankings don’t show that the Sunshine State is pricier than the other 49 states.

Both candidates are hoping their performance at Wednesday’s debate will help them become the clear second choice of Republicans.

Donald Trump currently leads in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination.

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