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Margin of Victory: How Technologists Help Politicians Win Elections (New Trends and Ideas in American Politics) Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1440802577 ISBN-10: 1440802572

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Product Details

  • Series: New Trends and Ideas in American Politics
  • Hardcover: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440802572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440802577
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,229,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

While advances in information technology have already drastically changed the way political campaigns are conducted, ongoing innovations in the use of new media, software tools, and data acquisition hold even more power for "getting out the vote." Deciding how to leverage the analytics, integrate huge amounts of data, and incorporate distributed campaigning into customary methods of fundraising, persuasion, and mobilization is a puzzle still being solved.

About the Author

Nathaniel G. Pearlman is the founder of NGP VAN, Inc., a large political technology firm that specializes in fundraising, compliance, organizing tools, and new media for Democrats and their allies. He has more than two decades of experience in political technology. In 2008, Pearlman was chief technology officer for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. He has been a speaker and participant in numerous panels and conferences on political technology. He received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Yale College, New Haven, CT, and passed his qualifying doctoral exams in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, where he studied American politics and political statistics.

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Format: Hardcover
Nathaniel Pearlman, the founder of NGP Software (which now, in the merged guise of NGPVAN is the main electoral database supplier to the UK's Liberal Democrats), has assembled an impressive cast of American contributors for Margin of Victory: How Technologists Help Politicians Win Elections.

The large number of short chapters from experts in many different aspects of using technology to help win elections is both the book's strength and weakness. The strength is that the range of chapters provides a very comprehensive overview of the issues anyone interested in the topic should be aware of. The weakness is that each chapter gives little in the way of detail about what astute campaigners should actually do. It is great as a list of areas to think about; it doesn't provide a list of things to then go and do.

Many of the chapters also pay a lot of attention to the personal careers of their authors, painting a good picture of how the political consultancy profession works in the US, though not leaving much in the way of lessons about how to go and win. (Of course for more of that, I can point you in the direction of the book I co-wrote, 101 Ways To Win An Election.)

An important and consistent theme through the book is how technology, especially of the digital kind, is really still in its infancy in its applications to elections - and therefore simply trying to copy what someone else did a few years ago means you are bound to end up off the pace.
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