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

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

Review

• Provides readers with an understanding of how a variety of data can be used to predict whether and how voters will vote, and how technology can have a multiplier effect in the political process

• Reveals how some of the leading practitioners in political technology seek to provide a means to influence the electoral process



"[T]here is a plethora of knowledge here that will be useful for strategists, politicians, and academics who want to understand how technology was used in the past, how it is being used in the present, and how it should be used in the future."

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Presidential Studies Quarterly

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.

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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: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.8 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: #1,499,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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