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Smart Politics is one of the most regularly cited academic-based non-partisan political news sites in the country - frequently referenced and featured by national and local news outlets as well as educators that yearn for an unbiased, data-based approach to the analysis of politics and policy.

Drawing from its extensive data archives, Smart Politics is known for infusing a deep historical perspective into the hundreds of original reports it publishes each year.

Over the last three general election cycles, Smart Politics has also offered detailed election profiles and some of the most accurate race projections in the digital media for Upper Midwestern and national contests.

For example, in the 2010 election cycle, Smart Politics' U.S. House race projections were more accurate and precise than any of the go-to national prognosticators, predicting a net GOP pick-up of 62 seats - just one shy of their final tally and more accurate than Larry Sabato (55 seats), Nate Silver (54 seats), Rasmussen Reports (55 seats), Charlie Cook (50-60 seats), and Stuart Rothenberg (55-65 seats).

In Upper Midwestern state legislative races, over the past three election cycles Smart Politics correctly projected Democratic takeovers of the Iowa House (2006), Minnesota House (2006), Wisconsin Senate (2006), Wisconsin Assembly (2008), and Republican takeovers of the Iowa House (2010), Wisconsin Senate (2010), and Wisconsin Assembly (2010).

In 2006, Smart Politics was also one of the few political news sites to correctly predict Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty would successfully defend his re-election bid, even while none of the 10 public opinion polls published since October of that year showed Pawlenty with a lead.

As the 2012 election season heats up, Smart Politics is your home for sharp, reliable non-partisan analysis of the race for the White House as well as U.S. Senate, U.S. House, gubernatorial, and state legislative contests across the Upper Midwest and the nation.

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Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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