iOS app Android app

Matthew Dowd
During the past twenty-five years, Matthew Dowd has helped shape strategies and campaigns for CEOs, corporations, foundations, governments, candidates, and presidents. He is a founding partner of ViaNovo, an international brand positioning firm.

Matthew’s recent political work includes serving as the Chief Strategist on two winning reelection efforts – for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 and for President George W. Bush in 2004. His innovative approach on the 2004 and 2000 campaigns led the bi-partisan American Association of Political Consultants to name him Strategist of the Year.

In the 1990s, Matthew was President and founding partner of Public Strategies, Inc, an international public affairs firm. While at PSI, Matthew advised a wide variety of corporate clients and helped former Democrat Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock win election and re-election. He began his career as a member of Democrat U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen's staff.

A contributor to many news outlets, Matthew teaches at 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.

Entries by Matthew Dowd

Do Dems Have Much More to Lose in This Election Than the GOP?

(101) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 11:07 AM

The storyline by many in the media goes as follows: The GOP is in dire straits, they are in midst of tearing themselves apart by a civil war, they have a disorganized field of candidates, they are about to lose badly for president and are on the verge of disintegrating...

Read Post

Why 2016 Candidates Better Off Spending on the Homeless Than TV Ads

(5) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 2:26 PM

There is a marketing slogan that says "nothing kills a bad product faster than lots of advertising." Let's apply that to the GOP presidential primary campaign.

I have asserted many times that advertising in a presidential campaign is at best minimally effective. In fact, more money is wasted on...

Read Post

Campaign 2016 Just Getting Started: 5 Myths Already

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 9:14 AM

Over the years many myths have developed in politics, and I have written in the past how they get repeated and promulgated as if they are the unvarnished truth. These aren't the deep myths that Joseph Campbell has written and talked about that signal some universal truth about humanity. These...

Read Post

2016: We Need More Healing, Not More Division

(12) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 8:33 PM

There is an old Cherokee Native American legend about the two wolves that feels once again apropos for today's conversation in our country (I have cited this before in a previous column), and the emergence of the Summer of Trump. The parable is that a young boy comes...

Read Post

Donald Trump: The Floyd Mayweather of Politics

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 6:16 PM

After having spent the whole weekend in Iowa in and around the State Fair, as well as talking to folks in Texas, where I live, and with voters in Detroit area, where I was born, I have come to at least one insight about Donald Trump. Donald Trump is the...

Read Post

Canary in Coal Mine: Trouble Ahead for Poll Leaders Trump and Clinton

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 3:11 PM

The two presidential candidates rated as least favorable, most untrustworthy, and least likely to care about the needs and problems of regular folks are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and they are leading their respective party primaries.

This is just one...

Read Post

Uses for Anger in Making a Better World

(21) Comments | Posted July 26, 2015 | 7:37 PM

Is anger a bad thing? What should we do if a person is angry or a large group of voters is angry and frustrated? Call that person names, tell them they shouldn't be angry, ignore it?

Observing the last few weeks, especially the rise of Donald Trump, and to some...

Read Post

The Ultimate Job Interview: Who Is Doing the Hiring

(10) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 9:37 AM

In the 2016 Presidential general election which voters will ultimately determine victory?

So often in life we have to communicate to a group of folks by giving a speech or talk or we need to interview with someone we have never met before for a job we are seeking....

Read Post

Fundamental Question for Presidents and Ourselves

(2) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 5:10 PM

Does good conquer evil? This is a fundamental question all of us -- individually and as a society -- struggle with and ultimately must answer. Does good win? Not just as an existential deliberation or concept or something to be achieved in the afterlife, but here and now on Earth....

Read Post

Our Founding Fathers: The Original Entrepreneurs

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 2:28 PM

As we approach the celebration of the Fourth of July, I have been thinking a lot about the history of the United States and where we are today and what might help us move forward.

Our country is struggling -- in many different ways...

Read Post

Microwaves Aren't Always Best in Life and Politics

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 2:26 PM

Vinnie Johnson, a crucial sixth man player on the Detroit Pistons' championship teams of 1989 and 1990, was known for his ability to "heat up" in a hurry off the bench and quickly score. Because of this Johnson, a graduate of

Read Post

5 Father's Day Lessons: Pop and Politics

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 1:20 PM

As we approach Father's Day, I can't help but think of the presence (or lack of presence) dad's play in the formation of men and women in the world. As with mother's, it is profound and effects just regular folks to athletes to presidents and potential presidents. Understanding the dynamic...

Read Post

Don't Let the Past Block You From Seeing the Future

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2015 | 11:46 AM

So often in life we neglect to look backward to put our present in context and our future in sight. Much of the stories that get repeated, whether in our own mind or by others, arise from myths believed long ago, or a truth forgotten because of either fear or...

Read Post

From Evolution to Revolution: A New Campaign

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2015 | 9:43 PM

The 2016 presidential campaign has already begun in earnest, and I have been thinking there are three strategic approaches that the campaigns have a choice in making. And while each one has its benefits and risks, only one has the chance of really moving us forward as a country to...

Read Post

An All New Moral Majority

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 5:42 PM

In the late 1970's Jerry Falwell, an evangelical pastor, founded the Moral Majority as a voice for conservative Christians in politics and public policy. Their platform represented the Christian right and their message was that they represented the "majority" of the country on morals and policy. Their success waned after...

Read Post

Honor the Troops, Question the War

(37) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 11:25 AM

In the fall of 2004, as I was in the intensity of the re-election campaign of President Bush as chief strategist, I had to take a drive that was one of the hardest drives I have ever taken. About a week before Election Day, my oldest son jumped in the...

Read Post

Accountability: Learning From the Links

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2015 | 8:13 PM

Observing the expanse of current events and politics today, it is sometimes confusing as to what it is that we are supposed to understand or learn from it all. In this great age of communications and media with access to so much activity, we have a plethora of information and...

Read Post

A First for a President: Putting Politics Second

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 4:03 PM

For more than fifty years, we have noted history making Presidential elections surrounding the "first" of certain demographic categories.

In 1960, America elected the first Catholic President in John F. Kennedy; in 1980 we elected the first divorced (as well as the oldest) President in

Read Post

Be Careful of the Hillary Clinton Label 'Most Qualified'

(33) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 2:24 PM

Over the course of the past year, I have heard many folks describe Hillary Clinton as the "most qualified" person running for president, and because of that Americans should support and elect her. For now, let's not argue the point of her being the most qualified...

Read Post

Leading Our Leaders: Finding a New Way in Politics

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 4:53 PM

As we look at the landscape of America and ponder what leader might emerge, let's set the table of where the country stands today.

  • Sixty-seven percent of the country is dissatisfied with where we are or believes we are off on the wrong track, according to Gallup.
  • A majority of...
Read Post