Shame-Based Campaigning - Sasha Issenberg

  • Aired:  11/05/12
  •  | Views: 34,748

Journalist Sasha Issenberg explains how campaigns exploit thousands of data points to guilt-trip people to the polls. (5:11)

(APPLAUSE) FOLKS, OF COURSE BARACK OBAMA IS THE LEADER IN SHAME-BASED CAMPAIGNING.

MITT HAS A HANDICAP BECAUSE GIVEN HOW MANY TIMES HE'S FLIPPED POSITIONS, HE MAY

NOT UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT OF SHAME.

THE POINT IS-- (APPLAUSE) BOTH CAMPAIGNS WILL-- A HAND FOR MITT, GIVE IT UP FOR MITT.

POINT IS-- BOTH CAMPAIGNS MAY KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU THAN YOU DO.

SO PLEASE WELCOME A JOURNALIST WHO MAY KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT THEY KNOW THAN THEY MAY KNOW HE KNOWS.

COLUMNIST AND AUTHOR OF THE BOOK THE VICTORY SLADE SASHA EISENBERG.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

(APPLAUSE) NOW SASHA I GOT THE BOOK HERE.

IT IS CALLED THE VICTORY LAB AND THE SUBTITLE IS THE SECRET SCIENCE OF WINNING CAMPAIGNS.

WHAT IS THE SECRET SCIENCE OF WINNING CAMPAIGNS?

BECAUSE IN SOME RED STATES ALL SCIENCE IS SECRET.

SO WHAT DOES THIS DO?

>> WHAT CAMPAIGNS WANT TO DO IS COLLECT A LOT OF DATA BUT AND RUN ALGORITHMS AND

FIGURE OUT HOW LIKELY ARE YOU TO VOTE FOR THEIR CANDIDATE.

>> Stephen: DO THEY TURN ME INTO A COMPUTER PROGRAM.

>> THEY OBAMA HAS CAME-- CAMPAIGN HAS A IDEA THEY THINK THERE IS A 09 PERCENT CHANCE WILL YOU

SUPPORT OBAMA AS OF TODAY.

>> Stephen: THEIR MODELS ARE WAY OFF, WHY, WHY, WHAT IS IT ABOUT ME, WHAT DO THEY

KNOW ABOUT ME.

>> THEY HAVE A THOUSAND DIFFERENT DATA POINTS ABOUT YOU.

THEY KNOW FROM YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION RECORD, WHAT PARTY, HOW YOUR PRECINCT VORKTS YOUR SENSE OF TRACK,

YOUR SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS THEY THINK OR RACE OR ETHNICITY AND COLLECT INFORMATION FROM PRIVATE

SECTOR DATA WAREHOUSES THAT HAS INFORMATION ON THE THINGS YOU BUY OR INFORMATION YOU HAVE GIVEN

OUT WHEN YOU FILL OUT A WARRANTY FORM.

>> Stephen: IF THEY HAVE INFORMATION WHAT WOULD THEY GLEAN FROM THIS, I LOVE

LEMONADE, I SUBSCRIBE TO "GOLF" MAGAZINE.

I LIKE DEEP PILE SHAG CARPET AND BELIEVE POOR PEOPLE SHOULD BE EUTHANIZED.

WHAT WOULD YOU GET FROM THAT, WHERE AM I LEANING THERE.

>> THE LAST ONE THEY HAVE PREDICTIVE POWER BUT THE OTHER ONES ARE THINGS THE

CAMPAIGNS HAVE ACCESS TO BUT DON'T USE TO MAKE A POLITICAL PREDICTION.

THE STUFF THAT HELPS IS OFTEN THE MOST BORING.

>> Stephen: WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THIS INFORMATION ABOUT ME.

>> A LOT OF THE COMMERCIAL INFORMATION IS COMING WHEN YOU FILL OUT A WARRANTY FORM

OR ENTER A SWEEPSTAKE AND CHECK YOUR HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS BETWEEN 50 AND $75,000 OR

THEY HAVE A COLLEGE EDUCATION OR THAT YOU TAKE SIX VACATIONS A YEAR THAT INFORMATION GETS COLLECTED

BY THE PEOPLE THAT DEVELOP CREDIT RATING SCORES AND CAMPAIGNS WANT TO DOT SAME AS CREDIT RATINGS FOR POLITICS.

>> Stephen: LIKE A VOTING RATING SCORE.

>> THEY WANT TO MAKE A PREDICTION.

HOW LIKELY TO VOTE FOR THEIR CANDIDATE, TO VOTE AT ALL, OR TO CHOICE.

>> Stephen: WITH LEVEL ARE WE TALKING ABOUT, ARE THEY MEASURING MY BLOC OR ARE

THEY MEASURING ME.

>> YOU.

>> Stephen: NO LONGER STALKER MOM T IS LIKE DEB RA, AND BRENDA AND DAPHNE.

>> AND IT IS NOT COUNTIES AND PRECINCTS EITHER.

>> Stephen: IT IS INDIVIDUALS.

>> INDIVIDUAL LEVEL PREDICTION FOR ALL 170 MILLION AMERICAN ADULTS WHO ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE.

AND THEY WILL-- .

>> Stephen: SHOULD I BE AS TERRIFIED AS I FEEL RIGHT NOW?

>> WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID THEY MIGHT KNOW ABOUT YOU.

SO-- .

>> Stephen: THINGS THAT I WON'T TELL YOU.

>> THEY COLLECT THIS INFORMATION BECAUSE THEY WANT TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL

RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU.

THEY WANT TO HAVE AN-- THE SAME WAY THAT MAYBE YOU PUT A PROBE INTO A MONKEY'S BRAIN TO HAVE A MEANINGFUL

RELATIONSHIP WITH IT.

>> RIGHT.

SO I THINK THEY ARE COMING OUT WITH A MORE PSYCHOLOGICALLY MEANINGFUL IDEA OF WHAT MOTIVATES

PEOPLE TO GO OUT AND VOTE.

>> Stephen: HOW DOES THIS SHAME WORK.

LIKE THEY SAY WE'RE GOING TO TELL PEOPLE YOU LIKE GOING TO WEB SITES THAT SHOW ANIMALS DRESSED UP AS OTHER ANIMALS.

>> IN THE 2006 STUDY YOU MENTIONED WAS IN MICHIGAN.

VOTERS WERE RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO RECEIVE SEVERAL DIFFERENT LETTERS ONE SAID SOMETHING LIKE DEAR STEPH

EN, YOUR HISTORY AS A VOTER IS A PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DOCUMENT WITH THE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTION.

HERE IS YOUR HISTORY, YOU VOTED IN THE STATE, IN THE CITY, HERE IS YOUR NEIGHBOR'S VOTE HISTORY AND

OTHER PEOPLE ON YOUR BLOCK AND WHETHER THEY VOTED IN THOSE SAME ELECTIONS AND THEN THERE WAS A THREAT.

THERE IS ANOTHER ELECTION COMING UP AND WE WILL SEND EVERYBODY AN UPDATED SET.

>> Stephen: LITERALLY THREATENING TO TELL YOUR NEIGHBOR WLOOS YOU VOTED.

>> RIGHT.

THAT WHERE YOU GET THAT INCREASE OF 8% THAT PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE FELT THAT BEING EXPOSED IN FRONT OF THEIR

NEIGHBORS AS A BAD CITIZEN MATTERS.

>> Stephen: BUT LISS FEBRUARY A GUY SENDS ME AN E-MAIL WITH A THREAT IN IT,

WHY WOULDN'T I JUST SAY

[BLEEP] YOU I'M VOTING FOR THE OTHER GUY THAT IS KIND OF TERRIBLE.

>> THESE ARE OFTEN NONPARTISAN (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS GOING

TO PEOPLE THEY KNOW WOULD VOTE FOR THEIR CANDIDATE OR SIDE AND TRYING TO TURN THEM

FROM NONVOTERS INTO VARIETIES -- NOT ABOUT CHANGING THEIR MIND BUT MODIFYING THEIR BEHAVIOR.

>> Stephen: THESE ARE PEOPLE YOU KNOW HOW THEY WILL VOTE.

ARE YOU TRYING TO GET THEM OUT OF THE HOUSE.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT SETTING THEIR HOUSE ON FIRE FOR ELECTION DAY SO THEY

HAVE NO PLACE TO GO.

>> SO YOU KNOW THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT TECHNIQUES.

>> Stephen: THAT IS TOO CUTTING EDGE FOR YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: SASHA EISENBERG.

THE BOOK IS THE VICTORY LAB, THE FUTURE, FOLKS.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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