00:00:00 | 3:02:50




"A letter in a plain white envelope could swing the presidential election..." It's the little noticed statistical detective work that is driving many of campaigns decisions and will be the key factor in actually convincing people to vote. Guest host Mike Pesca dons the white lab coat of the political laboratory and talks about the overlooked wizards of winning elections. Also, Myanmar's opposition leader visits the White House, and the life and legacy of Steve Sabol, whose NFL films defined and glamorized the game of football.

Banner image: San Francisco phone bank, 2008 election. Photo by Sara B Brooks/flickr

The Victory Lab

Sasha Issenberg

Making News Myanmar's Opposition Leader Visits the White House 7 MIN, 31 SEC

Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and now a member of the Myanmar parliament, has received the Congressional Gold Medal that she was awarded while under house arrest in 2008. Suu Kyi also spoke at an event co-sponsored by the Asia Society, where Suzanne DiMaggio is Vice President of Global Policy Programs.

Suzanne DiMaggio, Asia Society (@suzannedimaggio)

Main Topic Campaign Strategy and Science 28 MIN, 2 SEC

The Presidential election is close. Mitt Romney makes a speech; Barack Obama appears on a talk show, a super PAC saturates the airwaves with an ad... For the most part President Obama's advantage in swing states is within the pollsters' margins of errors. Conventional wisdom would have the candidates blanketing those states with ads, perhaps swinging by Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio for speeches and local media interviews. But there is work done quietly and away from the cameras, strategy having to do with statistics, and surveys and mailings that are often overlooked, but perhaps even more vital than the splashy mass-broadcast electioneering. Micro targeting number crunchers are experimenting with elections in fascinating ways. It’s this little noticed statistical detective work that is driving many of campaigns decisions and will be the key factor in actually convincing people to vote.

Gary Langer, Langer Research Associates and ABC News (@garylanger)
Sasha Issenberg, Bloomberg / Slate (@sissenberg)
Matthew Dowd, ABC News (@matthewjdowd)
Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball. He’s author of “The Kennedy Half Century; The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy.” (@larrysabato)

Reporter's Notebook NFL Films and the Passing of Steve Sabol 8 MIN, 57 SEC

There's a good argument that the NFL is the most culturally ascendant product in America today. At a time of economic weakness the league will make $9.5 billion this year, and probably $10 billion next. On the short list of the people who deserve credit for this is former commissioner Pete Rozell, some of the original owners who structured the league with foresight, and filmmaker and mythmaker Steve Sabol. Former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski, now a football analyst for ESPN, has this remembrance.

Ron Jaworski, ESPN (@jawsespn)

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