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Running a Victory Lab

Shimmy Blum

They’re tracking your habits. They’re reading your links. They’re watching your moves. The Democratic and Republican campaign centers know everything about you. Where you shop, what you buy, the news sites you visit and your voting patterns. They’ve mined your data and now they’re primed to bombard you for your vote.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Political campaign operatives may not know exactly how you will vote in the next election, but they’ve probably compiled enough information about you — facts you thought were confidential — to have a pretty good idea. Welcome to the new world of politics. Gone are the days of guesswork and generalities. These days, party analysts can key into the individual profile of every voter in the country, informed by thousands of individual data points that not only tell the campaigns who you’ll vote for (before you might know yourself), but also how you might be manipulated to join them and recruit your friends too. Data mining, once the exclusive tool of large corporations looking to sway your purchase of everything from soap to automobiles, has entered politics full force. The traditional tools of political campaigns may look the same — a knock on the door, a phone call at dinnertime, a media ad, a mailer — but behind them lurks a vast digital network with a single purpose: to get you to support their candidate. “When someone from a campaign calls you during dinner, they usually already know your age, party affiliation, and more,” Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, shares with Mishpacha. “Very little in political communication today happens by accident.”

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