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

Will your candidates show political courage?

2012 May 23

Spring is here, and with it comes Political Courage Test season...

Every election year, Project Vote Smart uses the Political Courage Test (PCT) to measure the willingness of candidates to provide their positions on key issues. The questions are simple, straightforward, and address a number of issue areas known to be at the top of the mind of voters and most likely to come up in the next legislative session. Most importantly, there are no right or wrong answers: if candidates decide to fill out the Test, they “pass,” and get a chance to show their constituents that they have some Political Courage. Of course, you, as a voter, benefit by receiving valuable information directly from the candidates, minus the campaign fluff.

Unfortunately, not everyone takes the Test. Over the past 20 years, more and more candidates on both sides of the aisle are being advised not to take the PCT. It's not because we ask “gotcha” questions, and it's not because the test is slanted – rather, the Test is overseen by hundreds of journalists, political scientists and advisers from across the political spectrum to ensure impartiality. The fact is candidates are just increasingly unwilling to tell voters where they stand on the issues, ALL the issues. Doing so opens them up to “opposition research” and it's a whole lot easier to attack your opponent than it is to have a civil discourse on the facts.


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May Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 May 17

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Who is Keith Russell Judd?

2012 May 10

As media outlets and bloggers scrambled to find the back story on Democratic Presidential Primary Candidate Keith Judd, who won a surprising 41% of the vote in a West Virginia primary, against his more well-known and better-funded opponent, President Barack Obama, it began to emerge that only one (very) reputable source had bothered to reach out to this possible nominee – us. 

A Volunteer Experience like No Other

2012 May 01

Summer is almost here and as always, we could sure use help from those Vote Smart members who are looking to pair a vacation with good works. Whether you have watched our introduction video or visited us in the past, you should know that our research headquarters are uniquely nestled in the high peaks, lakes and streams of the Continental Divide, at the Great Divide Ranch in southwestern Montana. You have to see it to believe it! 

MTV and Project Vote Smart to launch "Fantasy Election '12"

2012 April 24

Project Vote Smart is teaming up with MTV to launch a desktop and mobile game where points will be earned through information provided by PVS and other organizations, and candidates will be rewarded if they choose to participate in our "Political Courage Test"

April Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 April 24

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Three Quick Tips: Navigating the Project Vote Smart website

2012 April 17

At PVS, interns and staff contribute to a comprehensive research library of information on local and national politics, which can be easily utilized on the PVS website.

"Are you willing to tell citizens where you stand on the issues?"

2012 April 06

It's that time again! We're trying  to coax the truth out of politicians across the country with the Political Courage Test. Find out if your candidates are being tested now. 

March Common Ground E-Newsletter

2012 March 15

Sign-up now to receive a copy of this monthly publication. 

Going for broke: could GOP convention elect nominee?

2012 March 05

What if, following Super Tuesday, all four GOP candidates are still in the game and no clear frontrunner has emerged? 

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