Washington Program Meets with Campaign Professionals

On March 21, students in the Program in Washington traveled to Alexandria, Va., to meet with Alicia Davis Downs ’97 and Michael Dubke ’92 to discuss technology, media and the 2012 election.

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As part of the Hamilton Program in Washington, students work in a variety of internships including all three branches of government, think tanks, NGOs, non-profits, and lobbying and consulting firms.  The students receive four credits based on two substantive classes from a Government Department Professor who is resident director of the Program, and independent project and the internship.

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Davis is a principal at TargetPoint Consulting, a market research firm that pioneered the use of “microtargeting” in campaigns. She is a veteran political operative who has developed strategy, built and managed political operations and designed and implemented grassroots and direct voter contact programs on behalf of national legislative initiatives and for candidates at all levels, across the country.  Downs was recently named one of the top 10 politicos to watch by Politico.

Dubke is a founding partner of Crossroads Media, a media services firm specializing in advertising strategy and placement for political candidates, issue advocacy organizations and trade associations. Dubke is an expert in local, state and federal politics, as well as issue and public policy advocacy.  Formerly the executive director of the Ripon Society and president of Americans for Job Security, Dubke is also a founding partner of the Black Rock Group, a strategic communications and public affairs firm.

TargetPoint, Crossroads Media, and the Black Rock Group were recently featured in a New York Times story about the 2012 election.

The meeting was a perfect fit with the program’s academic seminar on campaigns and elections. Downs and Dubke described how campaigns target messages and allocate budgets and gave students their assessments of the GOP primary race and the 2012 general election.

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