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What They Do

Insider Info

Political strategists are also known as political consultants, campaign managers and pollsters. They work in many levels of government. They advise politicians during a campaign and sometimes keep working during their term in office. They judge what the people want from their leaders and how they might react to new policies.

To help direct campaigns, these strategists put polls together, write direct-mail letters, create TV and radio advertisements and put up political web pages.

The job of political strategist really developed in the last half of the 20th century because of technology such as TV, radio and the Internet. Through the media, politicians were able to get their message across to the public quickly.

Using the media to direct campaigns and get exposure for candidates is a key job for political strategists. Sometimes, they also use the media to spread negative information about their opponents.

Political campaigns are run for many positions at the local, state and federal levels. Examples of candidates who may use political strategists are mayors, governors and senators.

When a campaign is up and running, political strategists work long, grueling hours. It's their job to keep ahead of the competition, to produce new strategies for each day and to manage the campaign. Work in the evenings and on weekends is essential.

Running a campaign is stressful work. It may require a great deal of travel. Political strategists need to be energetic and ready to work on the go.

At a Glance

Run the campaign

  • You might put polls together, create TV and radio ads and set up web pages
  • During a campaign, political strategists work very long hours
  • A university education in political science, public relations and government policies is helpful