Author(s): Eitan D. Hersh
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. His research has been published in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Journal of Politics, as well as featured in news outlets such as PBS NewsHour, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post. Hersh has served as an expert consultant in several election-related court cases.
1. Introduction, 2. The perceived voter model; 3. The policy roots of elite perceptions; 4. Campaign perceptions quantified; 5. The perceived partisan; 6. The public code of racialized electioneering; 7. Persuadable voters in the eyes of the persuaders; 8. Voters perceived in social networks and consumer files; 9. Conclusion; 10. Appendices.