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Publisher's Summary

The book Politico calls “Moneyball for politics” shows how cutting-edge social science and analytics are reshaping the modern political campaign.

Renegade thinkers are crashing the gates of a venerable American institution, shoving aside its so-called wise men and replacing them with a radical new data-driven order. We’ve seen it in sports, and now in The Victory Lab, journalist Sasha Issenberg tells the hidden story of the analytical revolution upending the way political campaigns are run in the 21st century.

The Victory Lab follows the academics and maverick operatives rocking the war room and re-engineering a high-stakes industry previously run on little more than gut instinct and outdated assumptions. Armed with research from behavioural psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do. Issenberg tracks these fascinating techniques—which include cutting-edge persuasion experiments, innovative ways to mobilize voters, heavily researched electioneering methods—and shows how our most important figures, such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are putting them to use with surprising skill and alacrity.

Provocative, clear-eyed and energetically reported, The Victory Lab offers iconoclastic insights into political marketing, human decision-making, and the increasing power of analytics.

©2012 Sasha Issenberg (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A magnificently reported and wonderfully written book, full of eye-opening revelations and a colorful cast of characters whose groundbreaking strategies and tactics have injected 21st-century science into politics and changed it forever in the process. The Victory Lab is essential for anyone who wants to understand what really goes on along the campaign trail—and a delight for those who simply enjoy a terrific read." (John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, authors of Game Change)

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  • Betsy
  • Winooski, VT, US
  • 11-27-17

Wonky but interesting and accessible

A fascinating look at the nuts and bolts of how data is used in political campaigns. It’s great for the politics-obsessed and for anyone who loves a data-driven systems-think

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Impressed and surprised by Campaign Science

The story of how marketing, statistics, and cognitive science has/is remaking campaigns is astounding. I think participanting in a campaign in a meaningful way might make my bucket list...

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Several unsubstantiated claims

This book was disappointing as I was hoping for an objective statistical analysis of successful political strategies. Instead I received a clearly subjective commentary that was filled with bias toward one party and anecdotal strategies. Toward the end, there were several assumptions about racial bias that should move this book to the commentary genre.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting

It was a great book with very interesting information. I enjoyed the history of data and the experiments campaigns have used over the last 100 years. I would highly recommend this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful