Commentary Magazine

Article Preview


- Abstract

The Victory Lab: 
The Secret Science 
of Winning Campaigns
By Sasha Issenberg
Crown, 368 pages

Matthew Dowd was in Austin when he had a revelation. It was the winter of 2001. Dowd, an adviser to George W. Bush, was studying the 2000 election. Most pro-Bush “independents,” Dowd noticed, had voted for every Republican on their ballots. Ticket-splitters made up only 7 percent of the 2000 electorate. If Bush wanted to win reelection, Dowd realized, he could no longer rely on television advertising to appeal to swing voters. The swing vote was minuscule. He needed to focus instead on identifying his partisans and bringing them to the polls.

About the Author

Matthew Continetti is editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon.