Career Development

What Does a Political Campaign Manager Do?

Find out what a political campaign manager does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a political campaign manager.

Political campaign managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of political campaigns. They work closely with candidates to develop and implement strategies for winning elections, including creating and executing media plans, managing staff, developing fundraising strategies, etc.

Political campaign managers must be able to juggle multiple tasks at once while maintaining a clear focus on their candidate’s ultimate goal.

Political Campaign Manager Job Duties

A political campaign manager typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Tracking voter turnout and identifying potential supporters who have not yet cast their ballots
  • Conducting research on political candidates and issues to help develop campaign strategies and tactics
  • Developing a campaign platform or agenda that supports the candidate’s stance on key issues
  • Coordinating advertising efforts such as mailings and television commercials
  • Coordinating campaign events such as rallies, fundraisers, and debates
  • Preparing speeches for the candidate—including writing drafts and helping with delivery
  • Managing the campaign staff, including hiring new team members and training them on campaign policies and procedures
  • Preparing for any unexpected situations that may arise during the campaign
  • Setting up campaign events and coordinating with other groups to ensure a successful outcome

Political Campaign Manager Salary & Outlook

Political campaign managers’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the size of the political campaign they are managing, and the geographic location of the job.

  • Median Annual Salary: $60,500 ($29.09/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $85,000 ($40.87/hour)

The employment of political campaign managers is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

As political campaigns become more sophisticated, they will require more managers to organize and direct their efforts. However, the increasing use of social media in political campaigns may offset some of this growth. Social media platforms allow candidates to communicate with voters directly, reducing the need for traditional advertising and other types of outreach.

Related: Political Campaign Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Political Campaign Manager Job Requirements

A successful political campaign manager typically possesses the following qualifications:

Education: Most political campaign managers need at least a bachelor’s degree. Some of the most common majors for political campaign managers are political science, communications and public relations.

Training & Experience: Political campaign managers typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an internship or entry-level position in a political campaign. These positions provide valuable experience in the day-to-day operations of a political campaign.

Certifications & Licenses: A political campaign manager may pursue additional certifications to bolster their qualifications and deepen their knowledge of the political landscape.

Political Campaign Manager Skills

Political campaign managers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Public speaking: Public speaking skills can be an important asset for a political campaign manager. They may need to present to a group of potential donors, volunteers or other campaign staff members. Campaign managers can practice their public speaking skills by joining a local Toastmasters group or taking a public speaking course.

Organization: Organization is another skill that can be very helpful for political campaign managers to have. This is because they often have many tasks to manage at once, including multiple projects, budgets and deadlines. Having strong organizational skills can help them keep track of all the details of their campaigns and ensure that their teams are working efficiently.

Communication: Communication is another crucial skill for political campaign managers. You must be able to communicate with your team members, the campaign’s candidate and other stakeholders. You may also need to communicate with the media, so it’s important to be able to convey your message clearly and concisely.

Time management: Time management is another skill that political campaign managers use to ensure they complete all of their tasks on time. They often have many responsibilities, such as managing staff, organizing events and maintaining contact with donors. Having good time management skills allows them to complete all of their tasks and ensure the campaign runs smoothly.

Strategic thinking: A political campaign manager is responsible for planning and implementing strategies to achieve the campaign’s goals. This requires a great deal of strategic thinking, as you need to be able to identify the best ways to reach voters, persuade them to vote for your candidate and encourage them to donate to the campaign.

Political Campaign Manager Work Environment

Political campaign managers work long hours, often more than 60 per week, and they are usually on call 24 hours a day during the campaign season. They work in a fast-paced and stressful environment, and they must be able to make quick decisions and solve problems quickly. They also travel frequently, often to different parts of the country, and they may have to work in different time zones. During the campaign season, they may have to work on several different campaigns at the same time, which can be very demanding.

Political Campaign Manager Trends

Here are three trends influencing how political campaign managers work. Political campaign managers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Data Science in Political Campaigns

The use of data science in political campaigns is becoming increasingly common as campaigns become more sophisticated. This trend is being driven by the need for campaigns to be more data-driven and to make better use of the data they have access to.

As data science becomes more important, political campaign managers will need to learn how to use data to their advantage. This includes understanding how to collect and analyze data, as well as using it to make better decisions about where to focus resources.

More Focus on Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is quickly becoming a staple of political campaigns, as it allows candidates to reach a wider audience at a lower cost. As digital marketing becomes more important, political campaign managers will need to develop skills in areas such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing.

In addition, political campaigns are beginning to utilize data analytics to better understand the preferences of voters. This trend will continue to grow in the future, as political campaigns look for new ways to connect with voters.

A Greater Emphasis on Branding

Branding has always been an important part of political campaigns, but in recent years it has become even more important. In order to be successful, political campaigns now need to put a greater emphasis on branding and marketing in order to get their message out to voters.

Political campaign managers can capitalize on this trend by developing strong branding strategies that resonate with voters. They can also work with designers and other professionals to create effective advertisements and other materials that will help to promote the candidate.

How to Become a Political Campaign Manager

A political campaign manager career can be a great way to get your foot in the door of politics. It’s a competitive field, but if you have the right skills and experience, there are plenty of opportunities for growth.

To become a successful political campaign manager, you need to be able to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, stay organized under pressure, and work well with people from all walks of life. You should also be familiar with the issues facing your community and state so that you can effectively communicate them to voters.

If you want to become a political campaign manager, start by volunteering on campaigns or working for non-profit organizations. This will give you valuable experience and help you build relationships with important people in the political world.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for political campaign managers are good. With experience, campaign managers can move up to managing larger campaigns for statewide or national office. In addition, some campaign managers may move into political consulting, working for multiple candidates or causes.

Political Campaign Manager Job Description Example

The successful candidate will be a highly organized and motivated individual with a proven track record of running winning political campaigns. He or she will be responsible for managing all aspects of the campaign, from developing strategy and messaging to fundraising and field operations. The campaign manager will also be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, including elected officials, community leaders, and the media.

The ideal candidate will have at least 5 years of experience managing political campaigns, as well as a deep understanding of the political landscape in the state. He or she will be a strong communicator with excellent writing and public speaking skills. Finally, the candidate will be able to work long hours and manage a large team of staff and volunteers.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute campaign strategy, including message development, target voter identification, field operations, fundraising, communications, and digital outreach
  • Serve as the day-to-day manager of the campaign, supervising staff, managing budgets and expenditures, and overseeing compliance with election laws
  • Plan and direct all aspects of the campaign, from research to advertising to get-out-the-vote efforts
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the district or state, its voters, and the issues that are important to them
  • Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including elected officials, community leaders, and party activists
  • Raise awareness of the candidate and his or her positions on the issues through earned media, paid advertising, and digital and social media
  • Mobilize volunteers and coordinate their activities to maximize their impact on the campaign
  • Organize and oversee fundraising efforts, including donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship
  • Prepare the candidate for debates, interviews, and other public appearances
  • Analyze polling data and make recommendations on where to allocate resources to maximize the chances of victory
  • Keep abreast of developments in campaign technology and utilize new tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operation
  • Manage the campaign’s finances, ensuring that all expenditures are made in accordance with the law and within the confines of the budget

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, communications, marketing, or related field
  • 5+ years professional experience in political campaigns or public relations
  • Proven track record of success in managing and executing political campaigns
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and social media platforms

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in political science, communications, marketing, or related field
  • 7+ years professional experience in political campaigns or public relations
  • Experience working on local, state, and/or national level campaigns
  • Familiarity with campaign finance laws and regulations
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish)


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