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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lively, engaging and informative account of the emerging science behind elections
In The Victory Lab, Issenberg charts the use of scientific methods in the practice of electioneering in US politics. What's fascinating about his account is that up until very recently there was very little science behind how elections were conducted, and there's been a noticeable disconnect between political science and the electioneers. The strategy was simply one of...
Published 20 months ago by Rob Kitchin

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3.0 out of 5 stars More a history of winning campaigns
Interesting book, but I expected more practical insights. It focuses a lot on history, which is OK. It gives a deeper dimension to political campaigning.
Published 8 months ago by Stijn Vercamer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lively, engaging and informative account of the emerging science behind elections, 25 Nov 2012
By 
Rob Kitchin - See all my reviews
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In The Victory Lab, Issenberg charts the use of scientific methods in the practice of electioneering in US politics. What's fascinating about his account is that up until very recently there was very little science behind how elections were conducted, and there's been a noticeable disconnect between political science and the electioneers. The strategy was simply one of blanket advertising across different media, mail shots, debates, mudslinging and rallies. There was little attempt to scientifically measure and evaluate the effectiveness of different approaches, or to segment and target populations. Drawing on his own experience of a journalist covering elections and interviews with a number of key players, Issenberg provides an account of the rise of data and statistically-driven campaigning in the US, culminating in Obama's election in 2008. Because the chapters are arranged by chronology and by particular groups/campaigns, the structure tends to move to-and-fro a little. That said, the narrative it easy enough to follow, and the text is lively, engaging and informative. Somewhat oddly, there seems to have been no attempt to learn anything from elections outside of the US, and Issenberg's narrative barely strays beyond US shores. Overall, what the book demonstrates is the US elections are now being run like lab-experiments, underpinned by big data and statistical algorithms, and they're set to follow this approach for the foreseeable future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inside Look Behind the Art and Science of Current American Political Campaigning, 10 Nov 2012
By 
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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Published mere months before the American presidential and congressional elections of 2012, "The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns" is an insightful exploration of the recent history behind the application of behavioral psychology and statistical analysis in influencing the current state of American political campaigns, especially with regards to shaping campaign themes and messages and in enticing voter turnout. Sasha Issenberg's book is a very reasonable account of current American political campaigning and one which promises to be viewed by many as a journalistic landmark that will be read not only by a general audience but also by those interested in shaping further the future course of political campaigning here in the United States. Issenberg emphasizes the important research of Yale University political scientists Don Green and Alan Gerber in emphasizing the importance of direct, personal appeals, by campaign workers to potential voters. Applying insights derived from behavioral psychology, the research done by Green, Gerber and their students would have important impact on the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. Issenberg describes how the use of statistical techniques derived from market research as well as from theoretical statistics would have important, dramatic impacts in data mining of potential voters which the Obama campaign used brilliantly in its 2008 campaign, as well as what may be occurring now within Romney's campaign. Without question, "The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns" is an important addition towards public understanding of modern political campaigns and one worthy of a wide readership.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read, 26 May 2014
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This is exactly the product I wanted at a very reasonable price. Highly recommended and would use again. My thanks, Ian

Well worth the read and great insight.
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3.0 out of 5 stars More a history of winning campaigns, 12 Nov 2013
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Stijn Vercamer (Gent, Belgium) - See all my reviews
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Interesting book, but I expected more practical insights. It focuses a lot on history, which is OK. It gives a deeper dimension to political campaigning.
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