If a person enjoys pouring over data and numbers, becoming an election and political analyst may be a good career choice. These are the people who closely monitor voting during elections, sharing their predictions of election outcomes through various forms of media. Non-partisan analysts often report election and political analyses to the public, while others hired by politicians, report to campaign managers who need to stay current on voting patterns during an election in order to craft a winning election strategy.
An election and political analyst specializes in predicting, and directing outcomes of elections. As such, many analysts find positions with political parties during federal election years. Work can take place from an office building, or on the road as an analyst works closely with a politician holding cross-country town hall meetings.
Election analysis doesn’t just take place during national elections, however. There are other important elections at state and local levels too. Analysts are also hired by organizations such as unions and colleges. Some analysts will focus on international elections finding work with organizations interested in foreign elections and outcomes, while others find work with media outlets such as news stations and newspapers.
The role of an election and political analyst includes looking at all voter data, and behaviors during a campaign in order to determine the politician’s election strategy. They help develop measurable steps that drive the direction of an election campaign. The political election analyst is often part of a team of professionals. This team takes the analysts information, and creates a campaign strategy that includes media advertising, public appearances, and written communication to constituents. Every step is calculated in order to ensure the greatest odds of winning an election.
The responsibilities of an analyst begin with an historical understanding of what it takes to win an election. An analyst is aware of past problems, mistakes, and best practices. They are adept with data interpretation, and voter behavior. They are responsible for disseminating their findings to their team. They also monitor events as a campaign unfolds, advising their team on changes that take place in order to adjust campaign strategies.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that students with a master’s or Ph.D. degree in political science, who also have quantitative and qualitative skills, will often find the best positions. If a student in a political science program desires to become an elections and political analyst, it is recommended to meet with a counselor who can direct a student’s degree program to include supportive coursework. Courses may include:
Programs in political science are available in many state and private colleges. Some universities offer online courses, and distance learning. Most programs will expect the student to complete internships, or practicums. Students will also benefit by working in their field of study in order to gain real-world experience during their time at school.
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Indeed.com reports an Elections and Political Analyst can expect a starting salary of $40,000 a year. While most of the jobs available tend to be in the $40,000 to $60,000 range, it isn’t uncommon for an analyst’s salary to reach over $120,000 a year.
As more Federal Government employees retire, some job seekers will find work at Federal Government institutions or party headquarters. Other employers are found in state and local governments as well as private institutions. News outlets often hire election analysts to keep their viewing public informed. The CIA and other organizations with interest in foreign politics are also possible places to apply.