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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

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

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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