Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Politics'

Political Behaviour as a Pro-Social Activity – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Democracy, Politics, Psychology, Social Psychology

Rogers and Grebner were coming from a different set of questions but arriving at a similar understanding of what drove political activity. No one decided to vote in a vacuum, and interpersonal interactions mattered. In fact, their psychologically minded tests and feints were moving toward something that felt very familiar to Gerber. Rogers’s project to […]

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The Importance of Voter Contact – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Politics

When the results of the experiment came in, the phone calls showed no influence in getting people to vote. The direct-mail program increased turnout a modest but appreciable 0.6 percentage points for each postcard sent. (The experiment sent up to three pieces per household.) But the real revelation was in the group of voters successfully […]

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Political Advice and Story Telling – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Data, Narrative, Politics

“A lot of what gets done on campaigns gets done on the basis of anecdotal evidence, which often comes down to who is a better storyteller. Who tells a better story about what works and what doesn’t work?” says Christopher Mann, a former executive director of the New Mexico Democratic Party. .. The people who […]

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Ask Them About Their Neighbours – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Electoralism, Multi-culturalism, Psychology

One night Binder asked, “Do you think your neighbors would be willing to vote for an African-American for president?” Some of the voters answered no, and Strasma watched them closely. Something in that response—perhaps a feeling of being liberated to publicly share an unpopular opinion—convinced him that the people who acknowledged their neighbors’ racism might […]

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‘Baked In’ Voter Perceptions – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 3rd, 2012 · No Comments · Economics, Electoralism, Policy, Political Communication, Politics, Power

When a pollster asked if someone would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate in favor of shipping jobs overseas—a typical way of auditioning what was then a promising line of attack against Bush—they would often hear from voters across the board that it made them “less likely.” But when the AFL […]

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The Deep Seated Paranoia and Insecurity of Political Parties – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

December 1st, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Politics, Progressive Politics

The best way to get anyone to do anything on the Democratic side—and I’m sure it’s the reverse on the Republican side—is to tell people that the Republicans are doing it. It doesn’t matter: the Republicans could be doing something completely stupid, but if you tell the Democrats they get scared and think they should […]

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Exclamation Marks Mean Accessibility – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

November 30th, 2012 · No Comments · Elitism, Politics

The publication of Get Out the Vote! was part of a conscious effort by Gerber and Green to step out of the academy and ensure that lessons from these studies reached a nonscholarly audience. The authors believed they had made this populist mission apparent through the inclusion of an exclamation mark in the book’s title. […]

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The Short Half-Life of Political TV Ads – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

November 30th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Political Communication, Politics

The ads may have delivered sizable effects on the weeks in which they ran, the eggheads concluded, but they decayed rapidly. Much of Weeks’s folklore was right: if your goal was to move public opinion, it made sense to wait to go on TV until you would be able to sustain the buy.

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The Accuracy of Climate Models – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction” – Nate Silver

November 24th, 2012 · No Comments · Environmental Policy, Policy, Politics, Prediction, Statistics

Emanuel’s concerns are actually quite common among the scientific community: climate scientists are in much broader agreement about some parts of the debate than others. A survey of climate scientists conducted in 2008 found that almost all (94 percent) were agreed that climate change is occurring now, and 84 percent were persuaded that it was […]

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The Limited Accuracy of Polls in Primary Contests – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 18th, 2012 · No Comments · Electoralism, Politics

During the 2008 Democratic primaries, the average poll missed by about eight points, far more than implied by its margin of error. The problems in polls of the Republican primaries of 2012 may have been even worse. In many of the major states, in fact—including Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Washington, Colorado, Ohio, Alabama, and […]

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