The Practical Politicking Report (PPR) is an election rating system designed and developed by Tom Dougherty, our Editor-In-Chief. Unlike many other ratings it is primarily mathematical without significant regard to influences like early-cycle polling. As primary or general election days get closer, limited amounts of subjective analysis of outside influences and select polls (based on solid methodologies) are introduced into the calculations, but the ratings remains primarily mathematical by nature.
While the algorithms are proprietary, the PPR takes into account numerous variables including district and state demographics; party affiliation variants relative to national averages; party affiliation voting patterns from the last four elections; current presidential approval rating and generic congressional ballot; total money raised and cash-on-hand that is weighted in value depending on the analysis date relative to where it lies within the current election cycle; and current voter registrations from each district and state.
For the last two congressional election cycles (2010 and 2012) the PPR was more than 95% accurate; and past election testing against the 2006 and 2008 cycles was also 95% plus accurate; however past performance does not guarantee future accuracy.
The PPR is updated regularly but the larger rating changes will generally occur in the early parts of February, May, August and November; and in the last several weeks prior to a primary or general election day.
PPR ratings use a seven-option system similar to The Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball and The Rothenberg Political Report with SAFE_D, LIKELY_D, LEANS_D, TOSS_UP, LEANS_R, LIKELY_R and SAFE_R values.
Please email questions to Tom Dougherty for more information.