Hacking the Electorate: How Campaigns Perceive Voters

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 9, 2015 - Political Science - 261 pages
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Hacking the Electorate is the most comprehensive study to date about the consequences of campaigns using microtargeting databases to mobilize voters in elections. Eitan Hersh follows the trail from data to strategy to outcomes. Hersh argues that most of what campaigns know about voters comes from a core set of public records. States vary in the kinds of records they collect from voters - and these variations in data across the country mean that campaigns perceive voters differently in different areas. Consequently, the strategies of campaigns and the coalitions of voters who are mobilized fluctuate across the country because of the different ways campaigns perceive the electorate. Data policies influence campaigns, voters, and increasingly, public officials.
 

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Contents

The Perceived Voter Model
24
The Policy Roots of Elite Perceptions
45
Campaign Perceptions Quantified
66
The Perceived Partisan
88
The Public Code of Racialized Electioneering
123
Persuadable Voters in the Eyes of the Persuaders
141
Voters Perceived in Social Networks
168
Conclusion
196
Appendices
221
Notes
233
Bibliography
241
Index
253
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About the author (2015)

Eitan Hersh is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. His research has been published in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Politics, as well as featured in news outlets such as PBS NewsHour, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post. Hersh has served as an expert consultant in several election-related court cases.

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