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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

Kevin McCarthy Becomes Least Tenured Floor Leader in US House History

At less than four terms, McCarthy has served 423 fewer days in the chamber than any floor leader in U.S. House history and almost 10 years less than the average leader.

Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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