American politics is adrift in a sea of polls. This year, that sea is deeper than ever before—and darker. Data science is upending the public opinion industry. But to what end? In a brief, illustrated history of the field, Jill Lepore demonstrates how pollsters rose to prominence by claiming that measuring public opinion is good for democracy and asks, “But what if it’s bad?”
Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at the New Yorker. Her books include the New York Times best-seller The Secret History of Wonder Woman; Book of Ages, a finalist for the National Book Award; and, most recently, Joe Gould’s Teeth. Jill lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Explore how data science helps drive everything in politics—from overall strategy and messaging to individual voter contacts. This report includes first-hand accounts from Democrats, Republicans, and the media on the evolution of data analysis in politics, prevailing over political instinct and experience.
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