March 24, 2018

Politics' Hired Guns

Today, Florida's professional political consultants know more about voters than the voters might like. But for all the tools at their disposal, it's still tough -- and more expensive -- to get a message out.

Amy Keller | 3/1/2008


Dave Beattie
Hamilton Campaigns
President/Fernandina Beach

Dave Beattie
Adam Goodman [Photo: Kelly LaDuke]
Political leaning: Democrat

Education: Master’s degree in political science from the University of Florida; bachelor’s degree in political communications from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

The firm: Named after veteran Democratic pollster Bill Hamilton, who founded the firm in 1964. Beattie became president when Hamilton died in 2000 at age 61.

Political prodigy: Beattie was elected to the school board in Vestal in upstate New York while a high school junior. He says he considered himself a Republican back then.

Revenue: $2.5 million to $3 million in even-numbered years when campaigns are in high swing.

National scope: The research and strategy firm, which has done work in 36 states since 2000, conducts about one-third of its work in Florida.

2006 wins: U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney; Florida CFO Alex Sink; U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson; state Sen. Jeremy Ring; state Sen. Ted Deutch; Delaware Sen. Tom Carper; Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter; Texas state Rep. Donna Howard; Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel.

Key to Florida: Whoever wins the Tampa Bay media market will win the presidency, predicts Beattie, who says the swing market is “very reflective” of the nation as a whole because of its diversity and political leanings. “With 25% of the electorate, it’s the biggest media market in the state — bigger than Miami. The state of Colorado is about the same size as the Tampa media market.”

Tags: Around Florida

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