Moneyball Politics

Seth Masket wonders why campaigns waste so much money:

Why did a sophisticated, data-driven, academically informed campaign like Obama-Biden ’12 do things that didn’t matter? Why did it, for example, spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertisements during the summer of 2012 when any meager effect those ads might have had was almost assuredly gone within a few days?

Among his answers:

[I]t’s hard to imagine a campaign manager who is completely convinced by academic studies that a given campaign tactic is completely useless and is willing to bet his or her income and reputation on it. We’ll probably be seeing a lot of heavy investments in ineffective campaign methods for some time to come.