Campaign Strategy and Science

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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.

Credits

Guests:
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

Host:
Mike Pesca

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg, Anna Scott, Christian Bordal