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  • Writer's pictureVote Smart Research Team

Vote Smart Wins in 2018 Election

Below is a brief review of the record numbers set by Vote Smart staff and interns in 2018. Please note this was all accomplished without any national news stories, advertising or major foundation support.

  • Over 600,000 Vote Smart web site users on Election Day alone, with millions more on our site and using our facts on Bing, Google and Yahoo throughout the election.

  • 15,405 Key Vote bills have been selected, analyzed, summarized and indexed by subject in our database. 1,518 were added in the 2018 cycle.

  • 2,026,991 politicians' key votes documented and described in layman's terms. 182,862 were added in the 2018 cycle.

  • 1,964,029 special interest group ratings on politicians have been gathered, checked and released. 349,440 were added in the 2018 cycle.

  • 1,238,617 politicians' speeches and statements have been researched and made key-word searchable. 149,334 were added in the 2018 cycle.

  • 18,407 candidates running for elections in 2018 were researched in 2018.

The Courage Test Set Record High Pass Rates Since 2008:


  • Overall Pass Rate: 27%

  • Major Party Pass Rate: 20%

  • Independent / 3rd Party Pass Rate: 43.2%

  • Incumbent Pass Rate: 10.8%

  • Challenger Pass Rate: 34.2%

  • Republican Incumbent Pass Rate: 6.5%

  • Democrat Incumbent Pass Rate: 14.8%

  • 1,200 candidates refused to answer Courage Test questions. Vote Smart staff carefully analyzed the public records of each failing candidate and answered on their behalf. All 1,200 candidates reviewed those answers and zero found errors.


  • Overall Pass Rate: 24%

  • Major Party Pass Rate: 7%

  • Independent Pass Rate: 36.5%

  • Incumbent Pass Rate: 0%

  • Challenger Pass Rate: 26.7%

State Legislative:

  • Overall Pass Rate: 10%

  • Major Party Pass Rate: 9%

  • Independent Pass Rate: 21.9%

  • Incumbent Pass Rate: 4.3%

  • Challenger Pass Rate: 14.5%

Sample of What Candidates Said to Our Interns on the Test

  • “Your members have gotten to me, I’ll take the damn thing!”

  • “The Test is too liberal leaning.”

  • “It’s a hidden conservative test. You probably get a lot of Democrats to cut their throat on that one.”

  • “You know what, F _ _ K YOU! Publish whatever the f _ _ k you want about me. You’re unbelievable dicks. What a bunch of self-important assholes. See if you have courage enough to print that word for word.”

Sample from Hundreds of User Remarks

  • “The idea behind Vote Smart is urgently needed.”

  • “Vote Smart is a vital service not available anywhere else.”

  • “Your site is what I need.”

  • “You are the Angie’s List of voting, if only more people knew.”



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