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New York vs. the Beltway: Has the Big Apple Become a Political Consulting Hub?

By Dr. Doug Usher, Partner, Forbes Tate Partners

From finance to theater to art, New York City has been at the center of the universe for generations. Now you can add politics and advocacy to that list.

Political firms—with a heavy dose of analytics—are cropping up in New York and exporting political strategy nationwide. And Columbia’s new M.S. in Political Analytics puts you right in the middle of the action.  

Some examples: 

Evan Roth Smith founded Brooklyn’s Slingshot Strategies, a “start-up political consulting firm focused on candidates who stand up for their communities” to bring cutting-edge political measurement to more diverse and younger voices in politics. For him, New York was a natural fit.

Brendan Klein launched North Shore Strategies, which “provides marketing and consulting services to a wide array of campaigns and causes,” with a similar belief: New York is a fantastic place to find the kind of talent that will build the innovative approaches to politics that help clients win.

These two firms and some longer-standing New York political operations, including such mainstays as Global Strategy Group and SKDK, taken together, have started to threaten Washington’s dominance in the field.

Indeed, for many of these political strategists, being outside the Beltway is a feature, not a bug. “Too many firms in Washington get caught up in cookie-cutter thinking,” says Matthew Rey of Brooklyn’s Red Horse Strategies. “Getting outside of the company town helps keep our ideas and approaches fresh.”

Washington will never go away when it comes to politics, but it’s clear that New York is right there with it—and political analytics is right at the center. Come experience it for yourself.

About the Author

Dr. Doug Usher is a partner at Forbes Tate Partners. He has spent the past two decades building insights that have helped change the strategic trajectory of major corporations, industry associations, and political campaigns, combining deep expertise in opinion research, data analysis, and analytics with years of experience navigating the intersection between business goals and the political, policy, and regulatory spheres. He holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in government and research methodology.

About the Program

The M.S. in Political Analytics program is designed to fill an important role in the rapidly developing field of data analytics as it is applied to politics and public policy, allowing students who are interested in new approaches to data analytics—such as machine learning—to integrate those interests with a politics or policy focus. Furthermore, it will provide a clearer professional trajectory by helping students acquire necessary skills and suitable employment after graduation.

The final application deadline is June 15, 2023. The 36-credit program is available part-time and full-time. Apply now.