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Welcome to Smart Politics

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While this news site may occasionally make attempts at injecting wit and wryness into our discussion of politics, the name, Smart Politics, is not intended to be playful or an oxymoron. Smart Politics is a news site that reveals a zeal for politics, devoid of cynicism and rants, and replete with provocative non-partisan analysis of important trends in policy and how they impact candidacies in the new election cycle.

Smart Politics is keenly aware of the glut of political blogs, but we are able to offer something unique: as a wing of the Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, Smart Politics is armed with the largest on-line collection of Upper Midwestern polling and historical election data from which our analyses of pressing policy concerns and intriguing campaign matchups will be drawn.

Smart Politics is guided by the following principals:

  1. Smart Politics is non-partisan. No rants. No spin. The only horse Smart Politics has in the race are the facts.
  2. Smart Politics is non-elitist. Smart Politics' endgame is to engage our audience in a policy discussion. Smart Politics is therefore open to you and seeks not only your commentary, but also your feedback and suggested topics for analysis. Please e-mail Smart Politics to tell us what policy issues or political races in the Upper Midwest are of particular interest to you, and why.
  3. Smart Politics is timely. This site will be regularly updated, so please come back to keep up to date on our latest findings on Upper Midwestern politics.

    Thank you for visiting Smart Politics, and we look forward to hearing from you.


Next post: Battle for the Statehouse: Minnesota's State Senate Races

1 Comment


  • I like the idea of your blog, and I see you have been successful with this for a while. I just started up one of my own, but it's not as extensive as your site. Keep up the good work!

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

    Political Crumbs

    Final Four Has Presidential Approval

    By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


    Three for the Road

    A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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