What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Election Notes: The Battle for Michigan

February 23, 2012, 2:58 PM

The latest Quinnipiac poll has Rick Santorum ahead of Mitt Romney 35-26 among Republicans and voters who lean Republican. National polls are not by themselves be good indicators of who will win the nomination. Futures traders at Intrade still give Romney a 75% chance of being the Republican nominee. But, as I wrote last week, if Romney loses his childhood home state of Michigan—the state where his father was governor—it will raise serious doubts about his ability either to win the nomination or to beat Barack Obama in the fall. And right now FiveThirtyEight’s polling model has Rick Santorum as a slight favorite to win the state. “Romney doesn’t seem to have a cause,” political scientist John J. Pitney, Jr. recently told the Washington Times. “There’s no Romney faction in the Republican Party.”

With Obama’s approval rating on the rise, that’s a concern for Republicans. ABC’s Jonathan Karl reported last week that an anonymous Republican senator said he would he would publicly call for the party to find someone new if Romney couldn’t beat Santorum in Michigan. The senator worried that if Santorum were the nominee he’d lose 35 states. “If Romney cannot win Michigan,” the senator said, “we need a new candidate.”

Michael Tomasky says that while a new candidate might still be able to enter the race and win the nomination, it wouldn't make a difference. The proposed late entries—like New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush—would have the same hard time pleasing the Republican party’s conservative base that the other plausible contenders have had. Tomasky argues that in the end “there is no one who can satisfy the base of the GOP—a cohort so drunk on ideology that they cheer electrocutions and boo a soldier—and be elected president of the United States.”

Political Futures Markets

Chance President Obama will win reelection: 60.3% (Intrade)

Chance Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination: 78.7% (Intrade)

Chance that Republicans will win control of the Senate: 74.0% (Intrade)

Chance that Republicans will maintain control of the House: 66.0% (Intrade)


President Obama’s approval rating: 47.6% (Pollster)

Mitt Romney’s favorable rating: 31.2% (Pollster)

Democratic advantage on a generic congressional ballot: 0.2% (Real Clear Politics)


“It’s not a new candidate the right needs. It’s a new electorate.”—Michael Tomasky

UP NEXT: the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday, February 28

Mitt Romney image from Gage Skidmore


Election Notes: The Battle ...

Newsletter: Share: