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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!

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    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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