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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

    Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

    Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

    Political Crumbs

    Haugh to Reach New Heights

    The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


    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).


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