"Through other tests, Malchow had found that many political messages were most effective when delivered in understated white typed envelopes, as opposed to multicolor glossy mailers, and so he packaged the Colorado social-pressure letters in a way he hoped would resemble an urgent notice from the taxman. “People want information, they don’t want advertising,” Malchow said. “When they see our fingerprints on this stuff, they believe it less.”"

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"Cialdini had found repeatedly that what he described as injunctive norms (“you should not litter”) were far less effective at changing behavior than descriptive norms (“few people litter”)."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"Rogers argued that campaigns needed to treat being a voter not as a temporary condition that switched on or off each election day, but as a form of identity crucial to individual self-consciousness. “Changing how people see themselves can change behavior,” Rogers said, citing an experiment in which people who had been informed by a survey taker that they were an “above-average citizen” turned out at a higher rate than those told they had an “average likelihood of voting and participating in politics.” He summarized the experiment that Grebner had run in Michigan, which preyed on a similar vulnerability in voters: their desire to conform to what they thought were their peers’ expectations for good citizenship."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"Finally an industry that had been chronically unreflective about its failures was obsessed with learning from Obama’s success. Naturally this swung all too quickly to its own thoughtless excess: any operative with the most fleeting connection to the Chicago operation was reborn as a political celebrity, and any tactic that could be marketed as “Obama-style” found immediate global demand."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"He was testing a psychological concept he referred to as the “plan-making effect,” which suggests people are more likely to perform an action if they have already visualized themselves doing it. There was a rich history of testing these “implementation intentions,” as Rogers described them, in areas other than politics."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"THOSE DEFENDING THE UNPOPULAR VIEW that there is actually not enough money in politics frequently take refuge in the fact that Procter & Gamble each year spends more money advertising soap than Americans do on the quadrennial marketing pageants that choose their presidents."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"When the results of the experiment came in, the phone calls showed no influence in getting people to vote. The direct-mail program increased turnout a modest but appreciable 0.6 percentage points for each postcard sent. (The experiment sent up to three pieces per household.) But the real revelation was in the group of voters successfully visited by one of the student teams: they turned out at a rate 8.7 percentage points higher than the control sample, an impact larger than the margin in most competitive elections."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"

“A lot of what gets done on campaigns gets done on the basis of anecdotal evidence, which often comes down to who is a better storyteller. Who tells a better story about what works and what doesn’t work?” says Christopher Mann, a former executive director of the New Mexico Democratic Party.
..

The people who explain politics for a living—the politicians themselves, their advisers, the media who cover them—love to reach tidy conclusions like this one. Elections are decided by charismatic personalities, strategic maneuvers, the power of rhetoric, the zeitgeist of the political moment. The explainers cloak themselves in loose-fitting theories because they offer a narrative comfort, unlike the more honest acknowledgment that elections hinge on the motivations of millions of individual human beings and their messy, illogical, often unknowable psychologies.

"

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg 

"The best way to get anyone to do anything on the Democratic side—and I’m sure it’s the reverse on the Republican side—is to tell people that the Republicans are doing it. It doesn’t matter: the Republicans could be doing something completely stupid, but if you tell the Democrats they get scared and think they should do it. They all think the Republicans are smarter than they are."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"The ads may have delivered sizable effects on the weeks in which they ran, the eggheads concluded, but they decayed rapidly. Much of Weeks’s folklore was right: if your goal was to move public opinion, it made sense to wait to go on TV until you would be able to sustain the buy."

— “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

"People came to this country for either money or freedom. If you don’t have money, you cling to your freedoms all the more angrily. Even if smoking kills you, even if you can’t afford to feed your kids, even if your kids are getting shot down by maniacs with assault rifles. You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to. That’s what Bill Clinton figured out—that we can’t win elections by running against personal liberties. Especially not against guns, actually."

—  “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen

"For its art, the National Party – fighting its first state election under a new name – approached the election with patriotic fervour. So much so that in the campaign the party put “freedom bonds” up for sale at $10 to $100, making them, intentionally, like war bonds. The party justified this by saying the ALP posed as great a threat to Australia’s freedom as the Japanese had in World War II. “The difference is that the ALP is making an invasion from within,” a spokesman said."

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"Joh set such a campaign pace in 1974 that he made it difficult for his ALP opponent Tucker to keep up. Tucker’s chartered plane got lost in a storm while flying to Quilpie in the West. The plane was half an hour overdue when Tucker himself used a road map to help the pilot establish where they were. Then, in Thargomindah, feelings were running so high against Labor that when Tucker introduced the local Labor candidate at a barbecue the candidate was rugby tackled by an irate local as he took the microphone."

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"The big surprise (in 1974) was the defeat of Brisbane’s popular Lord Mayor, Alderman Clem Jones – or was it such a surprise, considering the advertising campaign mounted by his Liberal opponent, Don Cameron. He ran a series of television commercials in which he moved around in front of a big pile of roofing tiles warning people of inflation: “The ALP will cut your pay packet in half…” he shouted and jumped forward, smashing through the centre of the tiles with a mighty karate chop. The fact that he hurt his hand should be recorded."

—  “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"(Long) would scrawl a circular out on several sheets of tablet paper and hand it to a secretary to be typed. He told one secretary his concept of effective political language. “Always write everything so a six-year-old child can understand it,” he said."

— “Huey Long”, T. Harry Williams