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Democracy for Hire – A History of American Political Consulting - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Democracy for Hire: A History of American Political Consulting

Dennis W. Johnson


This is a comprehensive history of the role of American political consultants in presidential elections, state and local campaigns, ballot issues and advocacy campaigns, and international elections. It begins with an overview of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century campaigns and the increasing use of new advertising and communication techniques. The first modern political consultants, Whitaker and Baxter, are profiled, together with approximately fifty other pioneer consultants in the specialties of media, polling, targeting and data analysis, and research, as well as general co ... More

Keywords: political consulting, presidential campaigns, pioneer consultants, super PACS, big data, media consultants, polling, online communications, Whitaker and Baxter

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780190272692
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190272692.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dennis W. Johnson, author
Professor Emeritus of Political Management, George Washington University

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Part I The Early Business of Political Consulting, 1930s–1960s

PART 2 The Expansion and Growth of Consulting, 1970s–1980s

PART III The Transformation of Consulting and Challenges Ahead, 1990–Present