inFocus on winning elections by running on popular issues with David Shor

Episode 2 April 12, 2021 00:37:09
inFocus on winning elections by running on popular issues with David Shor
inFocus with David Coletto
inFocus on winning elections by running on popular issues with David Shor

Show Notes

Welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of inFocus with David Coletto.

Former PM Kim Campbell is notorious for saying that an election is no time to discuss serious issues. That might be true, but it turns out the best way to win an election campaign may be to run on issues that voters care about and want action on. Donald Trump did it. Boris Johnson did it. And Justin Trudeau did it.

That's what I learned from my chat with David Shor, an American data scientist who worked on the 2012 Obama campaign, the 2015 Canadian Liberal campaign, and currently is the head of data science at Open Labs, a progressive non-profit.

On the 2012 Obama campaign, Shor worked on the team that developed a polling model that projected Obama’s vote share within 1 percentage point in eight of the nine battleground states. Prior to working on the Obama campaign, David also worked alongside Nate Silver.

A recent New York Magazine article by Eric Levitz that got a lot of attention describes David as “a self-avowed socialist who insists that big-dollar donors pull the Democratic Party left. An adherent of Leninist vanguardism and the median voter theorem. And someone who can answer any question about US politics by referencing at least three peer-reviewed studies.

He’s recently appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and HBO’s the Bill Maher show. So the obvious next booking was inFocus with David Coletto, right?

I’m thrilled he agreed to chat. We talked about his thoughts on polling, campaigns, and the simple but important lesson that running election campaigns on issues people care about works.

Episode Transcript

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