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  • Why Don’t Candidates Pay Political Consultants on Performance?

    Posted by Jonathan on July 2nd, 2013 (All posts by )

    Listening to Rush today. He complained about Republican political consultants who lose elections for their employers and suffer no longer-term career consequences. Someone hires them for the next big election.

    All good points. My question is why political candidates don’t routinely offer consultants performance-based deals. Sure, a marginal candidate might have to pay outright. But might not a Romney or McCain get better results by offering a base salary of, say, 50% of the current going rate, plus a 200% bonus if the candidate wins? The current system seems to offer little financial incentive for a consultant to deliver results.

    Or perhaps this incentive already exists, since the winning candidate is likely to hire his consultant in a steady role after the election. Yet there always seem to be prominent political consultants who get hired despite failure in multiple elections. Perhaps consultants wouldn’t accept performance-based deals because they often know, going in, that their candidate’s odds are poor.

    What am I missing here?


    9 Responses to “Why Don’t Candidates Pay Political Consultants on Performance?”

    1. VXXC Says:

      You missed that elections don’t matter anymore, and that we have Administrative government since the New Deal, and it’s now openly anti-majority.

      Millions of former voters – didn’t miss it.

      Don’t give up, but don’t vote. Make another plan.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Elections matter to candidates.

    3. Bill Brandt Says:

      Thje other half of the equation is that the politicians are dumb enough to hire them. Of course I am sure they have a boat load of excuses.

    4. Jim Miller Says:

      Well, they do — but they pay the consultants for previous performances. A consultant who is in a winning campaign gets more business, and, I suspect, may raise his rates.

      (There are exceptions, of course. There’s a Democratic consultant, whose name I can’t remember just now, who has had a string of losing elections.)

      And it is often hard to judge just how much a consultant’s advice is worth. Suppose, for instance, you hire a guy, don’t take some of his advice, and lose. Is the loss his fault?

      Maybe, maybe not.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      (There are exceptions, of course. There’s a Democratic consultant, whose name I can’t remember just now, who has had a string of losing elections.)

      Bob Shrum? He’s the conspicuous example. Rush mentioned him.

    6. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Yer pays yer money and takes yer chances …

    7. ErisGuy Says:

      Since when have politicians allocated money based on results?

    8. Bill Brandt Says:

      The other side of this coin is when the consultants tell the candidate to do something – and the candidate ignores the advice.

    9. grey eagle Says:

      EVERY ONE ASSUMES that the political spectrum is housed under a bell shaped curve. They assume that whoever holds the fifty yard line and then steals a few yards into enemy territory wins the election.

      In reality the political spectrum is at least bimodal – with conservatives grouped at the 20 yard line on the right and progressives grouped at the 20 yard line on the left. Other groups are scattered in clusters all over the field.

      Siezing the middle seldom gains very much because the almost all the voters are somewher else. Conservatives or liberals who sieze the middle alienate more people in their base than exist in the middle.

      Candidates who stand in the middle of the road usually get run over.

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