Political Consultants in the USA: Why the leading market continues to grow

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV Media network.

Further differentiation of the US political consulting market points to the future direction of election campaign markets in democracies worldwide. This article in Politik & Kommunikation (in German) analyses the main developments and aspects of political consulting in the USA.

Although there is no general ‘Americanisation’ trend in election campaigns, practices in established democracies worldwide are increasingly mixed with US trends. The election campaign market in the US continues to grow mainly due to two main trends: 1. decreasing voter turnouts at elections 2. increasingly competitive elections and a state of ‘permanent election campaign’.

Therefore, expenditure for political consulting continues to be on the rise and political consultants are becoming increasingly specialised. The group can be divided into three sub-groups:

1. The ‘strategist’ who develops the central campaign messages 

2. The ‘specialist’ who works in a number of different fields: opposition and candidate research, telemarketing firms and phone banks, fund-raising firms, media-buying firms or speech writing 

3. The ‘vendor’ who supports a campaign with products and services.

Although political systems in Europe differ in a number of ways from the US system, political trends such as increasing ‘medialisation’ and ‘individualisation’ result in similar trends in Europe and open new perspectives for international consulting and, particularly, for US consultants in Europe. At the same, further differentiation of the US market also opens new opportunities for non-American political consultants. 

To read the full analysis, click here.

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