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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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