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Smart Politics
 


Track Record

Smart Politics is one of the most regularly cited academic 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 four 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 2012 election cycle, Smart Politics correctly projected every Upper Midwestern U.S. House contest as well as every gubernatorial race in the country - more accurate than any of the go-to national prognosticators. Smart Politics' 2012 U.S. Senate projections were also more accurate and precise than those offered by Nate Silver, Larry Sabato, Roll Call, Rothenberg Political Report, Cook Political Report, and Real Clear Politics.

In 2010, Smart Politics' U.S. House race projections were more accurate and precise than any of the aforementioned 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).

Smart Politics began making projections in 2006 as 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 released since October of that year showed Pawlenty with a lead.

As the 2014 election season heats up, Smart Politics is your home for sharp, reliable non-partisan analysis of U.S. Senate, U.S. House, gubernatorial, and state legislative contests across the Upper Midwest and the nation.


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

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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