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Publisher Description


The book Politico calls “Moneyball for politics” shows how cutting-edge social science and analytics are reshaping the modern political campaign.

Renegade thinkers are crashing the gates of a venerable American institution, shoving aside its so-called wise men and replacing them with a radical new data-driven order. We’ve seen it in sports, and now in The Victory Lab, journalist Sasha Issenberg tells the hidden story of the analytical revolution upending the way political campaigns are run in the 21st century.
     The Victory Lab follows the academics and maverick operatives rocking the war room and re-engineering a high-stakes industry previously run on little more than gut instinct and outdated assumptions. Armed with research from behavioural psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do.  Issenberg tracks these fascinating techniques—which include cutting edge persuasion experiments, innovative ways to mobilize voters, heavily researched electioneering methods—and shows how our most important figures, such as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, are putting them to use with surprising skill and alacrity.
     Provocative, clear-eyed and energetically reported, The Victory Lab offers iconoclastic insights into political marketing, human decision-making, and the increasing power of analytics.

Politics & Current Events
September 11
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

kateatyrownrisk ,

A narrative of the history of campaign strategy

Better than a campaign handbook that tells you the best practices for campaigning, the Victory Lab takes you on a narrative journey of market testing and behavioral studies to inform campaign strategy, ultimately multi-channel micro-targeting.

I love learning the narrative of how and why different campaign strategies emerged, and the stories of the wins and losses. While the level of detail is rich and interesting, I was still taken aback in Chapter 3 when we started our third new course of history being told--this time on the scientific method-- in as many chapters.

There are great morsels for the campaign/nonprofit marketer to grab immediately for their personal toolkit, from efficacy of various marketing channels to using data to inspire volunteers.

It was inspiring, too--about data, the value of micro-targeting our marketing messages, how what we know about human behavior can incite action, and that the good old grassroots strategies of yesteryear still matter.

I highly recommend The Victory Lab to those working in political science and nonprofit marketing.

BrianSTL ,


This book is absolutely fascinating no other way to say. If you are interested in politics and voter turn-out this is the book.

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