Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Advancing Research • Shaping Policy • Developing Leaders

Q&A With Eitan Hersh: How Campaigns Use Data to Target Voters

Authored By 
admin
Publication date 
August 14, 2015

YaleNews sat down with Eitan Hersh, ISPS Resident Faculty Fellow and Assistant Professor of Political Science, to talk about his new book, Hacking the Electorate. The book, published by Cambridge in June, examines how political campaigns use data to target voters.

Public policy about data is a mechanism for voter engagement, says Hersh. The availability and nature of public voting records plays a large role in determining a campaign’s outreach stratgy.

“If we like a kind of politics in which campaigns interact more with the other side and are more focused on persuasion than just drumming up the base, then less data is better. If we prefer a kind of politics in which campaigns can build stronger coalitions by reinforcing their message to their base, then more data might be better. What I hope to show in the book is how public policy about data is a mechanism for voter engagement.”

Read the interview in its entirety here.