American Political Consulting

From its Inception to Today

Authored by: Dennis W. Johnson

Routledge Handbook of Political Management

Print publication date:  August  2008
Online publication date:  March  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415962254
eBook ISBN: 9780203892138
Adobe ISBN: 9781135897499

10.4324/9780203892138.ch1

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Abstract

Today in the United States, political consulting is a vibrant, mature business that plays a key role in shaping and managing political campaigns. Political consultants measure public opinion, design television and web advertisements, target and identify likely voters, raise campaign funds, write blogs and maintain websites, and research the records of candidates and opponents. They use their skills and experience to develop sound messages and overarching campaign themes, to formulate and carry out campaign strategy, and above all, to help their candidate achieve victory. A very select few political consultants are household names; but the vast majority work behind the scenes, unseen and unknown to the general public. Some consultants are generalists, responsible for the overall running of a successful campaign; but the large majority of consultants are specialists who focus on a particular aspect of a campaign.

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