The real winner of the US election? The social sciences, according to Slate magazine. Voter preferences are often obvious: Alaskans and church-goers tend to vote Republican; African Americans and Harvard grads are likely Democrat. But others seem to be sitting ‘on the fence’, and are therefore assumed to be undecided. The Democrats realised that this is only because there is no data on them; they’re not members of the local yacht club, for example. But they may well be diehard Republicans – in which case, there is no point bombarding them with anti-Romney campaign material. Obama’s “competitive advantage”, apparently, came from sophisticated voter analytics and statistical algorithms to target true fence-sitters more effectively. Meanwhile, the Romney campaign stuck to posting campaign materials to people on church lists, who were likely on their side already. So there you have it: science wins the day.