Institute of Politics

Matthew Dowd

ABC News Political Analyst & former Chief Strategist for George W. Bush’s 2004 Presidential Campaign

  • Fall 2015 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminar Series: "Campaign 2016: WTF?"

During the past thirty years, Matthew Dowd has helped shape strategies and campaigns for CEOs, corporations, foundations, governments, candidates, and presidents. He most recently founded Paradox Capital, a social impact venture fund focused on for-profit social good companies. His experience in business and politics will help bridge the paradox between capitalism and social consciousness. For 25 years, Dowd has been an active entrepreneur in Austin, Texas founding three companies which have been highly successful including Vianovo and Public Strategies, all of which he sold his interests in to pursue other endeavors.

Dowd has worked both sides of the aisle, but now considers himself a diehard Independent. Dowd’s political work includes serving as the chief strategist on two winning re-election efforts - for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 and for President George W. Bush in 2004. His innovative approach on the 2004 campaign led the bi-partisan American Association of Political Consultants to name him Strategist of the Year. In the 1980s and 1990s, he advised a wide variety of political clients including helping former Democrat Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock win election and re-election. He has also worked as a member of Democrat U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen's staff, and has worked on the staffs of two Democratic Congressmen.

Dowd currently serves as a special correspondent and analyst for ABC News where he appears on This Week, Good Morning America, and Nightline, and writes a regular column for various publications. Dowd covers not only politics but cultural, economic, and spiritual trends as well. He has served on the boards of various non-profit entities including Seton Family of Hospitals, a Catholic nonprofit health system in Texas. He was adviser to Bono at the One Campaign, and to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has taught seminars at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs. He is co-author of the New York Times bestseller Applebee’s America: How Successful Political, Business and Religious Leaders Connect with the New American Community.


"Campaign 2016: WTF?"

The 2016 presidential primary season promises to be the most expensive and hotly contested one in U.S. history. With more than 20 candidates combined, the campaigns are battling it out on air, online and on the ground. So, what’s driving the 2016 race on the Republican and Democratic sides? How are the candidates trying to frame the issues, themselves and their opponents? What impact will the debates and media coverage have on voter perceptions? And what new tactics and trends are emerging behind the scenes? Join IOP Fall Fellow and former Bush advisor Matthew Dowd and IOP Director and former Obama advisor David Axelrod as they team up to lead an in-depth series of seminars on the 2016 presidential race. They’ll analyze the campaign as it unfolds, providing timely analysis and insights. Between them, Dowd and Axelrod played pivotal roles in the last four victorious presidential campaigns, so this is a seminar series you won’t want to miss.

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