Eitan Hersh’s new book, Hacking the Electorate: How Campaigns Perceive Voters, has been published and is now available.
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.
Eitan Hersh is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University and a Resident Fellow of Yale’s Institute for for Social and Policy Studies.