Politics, The Science Behind Campaigns And Social Media This Week At USU

Jan 22, 2014

Elections are still a ways off, but things are getting political at Utah State University. A brand new series titled “Foxley Forums”, named after USU alumn and political advisor, Douglas Foxley, kicked off Wednesday with author Sasha Issenberg.

Issenberg spoke about his new book "Victory Lab" on Wednesday.
Credit USU

Issenberg spoke about his book, "The Victory Lab — The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns."

“The story I tell in the book is largely about how research findings from two spheres outside of the world of political campaigns have sort of moved into the tool box of people running for office,” Issenberg said. “One of them is the academic social sciences and the use of experiments. The other is the corporate world.”

Issenberg explained that campaigns started using corporate data collection techniques in the 1990s. He says this corporate know-how paired with a better understanding of what influences people to vote may be behind a recent increase in voter turnout.

“All the things that we are seeing that are, I think, proving influential in increasing turnout are small ways in which campaigns are making voting a social experience again,” Issenberg said.

On Thursday Utah’s new Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox will be visiting the campus. He’ll be giving a presentation on politics and social media, and speaking to students at an open forum. The event is open to public.