In the first installment of a new Slate column that will “explore the secret science driving political campaigns,” Sasha Issenberg breaks down the tough math for Mitt Romney in Iowa. In order to win the state this time around, he will have to add 8,000 voters to the number he won in 2008. With voting only a month away, the campaign will need to work efficiently and target the persuadable—and “to do that, they will need to figure out whom to avoid.” That means identifying and ignoring anti-Mormon caucus voters, who will never vote for Romney because of his faith. But finding them won't be easy: voters are good at hiding personal prejudice.
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