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August 22, 2011


Rick Perry and the Science of Campaigning

The New York Times interviews Sasha Issenberg about his new e-book out tomorrow, Rick Perry and his Eggheads: Inside the Brainiest Political Operation in America.

Over the course of Perry's 2006 gubernatorial race, Issenberg says "the eggheads, as they were known within the campaign, ran experiments testing the effectiveness of all the things that political consultants do reflexively and we take for granted: candidate appearances, TV ads, robocalls, direct mail. These were basically the political world's version of randomized drug trials, which had been used by academics but never from within a large-scale partisan campaign."

The bottom line: "No candidate has ever presided over a political operation so skeptical about the effectiveness of basic campaign tools and so committed to using social-science methods to rigorously test them."












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