Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category



The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Project Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Candidates Flunk 20-Year Study of Political Courage

2012 October 29

PROJECT VOTE SMART HEADQUARTERS (October 30, 2012) – A  20-year study of over 15,000 congressional candidates and their willingness to answer questions on the major issues facing the nation finds some states' candidates consistently performing worse than others, no matter when, how, or by whom they were asked.

Beginning in 1992, and as part of a collaboration with 200 news organizations and prominent leaders of both major parties, Vote Smart's Political Courage Test has pressed each candidate to answer a series of issue questions known to be at the top of the public's mind and most likely to come up in the next legislative session (view the 2012 Political Courage Test, Congressional Edition).

The study is based on the number of U.S. House and Senate candidates willing to state their positions through the Political Courage Test over the course of 11 election cycles (1992-2012); see below for the best and worst performing states:

Top 5

% of Candidates Showing Political Courage, '92 - '12

Bottom 5

% of Candidates Showing Political Courage, '92 - '12

1. Montana


50. Wisconsin


2. Maine


49. New York


3. Idaho


48. Georgia


4. Wyoming


47. Virginia


5. Alaska


46. Florida


View all Political Courage Test results for both the 1992-2012 study and for the 2012 election season.

This election year marks a record low for candidate return rates as only twenty-three percent (23%) of Congressional candidates nationwide were willing to tell citizens where they stand on ...

Read More

More Posts

Intern Spotlight: Colleen Roache

2012 October 24

Find out more about what a Project Vote Smart internship involves...

Vote Perfect with VoteEasy

2012 October 22

VoteEasy is now available for voters in all 50 states.

Do your candidates have political courage?

2012 September 28

Find out if your state-level candidates have shown courage in their 2012 campaigns. 

August E-Newsletter

2012 August 30

Skip to top
Back to top