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The Business of Politics Show

Author: Startup Caucus

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The Business of Politics Show brings you into conversation with the entrepreneurs who build best-in-class political businesses, the funders who provide the capital, and the operatives who put it all together to win campaigns. Hosted by Eric Wilson, Managing Partner of Startup Caucus, an investment fund and incubator for Republican campaign technology. 

107 Episodes
Our guest today is Robert Moran. He’s a futurist, a management consultant, and a pollster. He began his career in political consulting and polling. He recently wrote a fascinating article at Campaigns & Elections about a thought experiment where an AI runs for office. In our conversation, we dive deeper into his vision of an AI politician, what it would mean for our politics, and more near-term impacts of AI in campaigns.
**Support the Business of Politics Show by becoming a member for just $10 per month (click here)**Today we’re speaking with Ryan Lyk, CEO of WinRed, the official secure payments technology designed to help Republican candidates and committees raise more money and win. Since launching in 2019, WinRed has processed more than three billion dollars. Ryan has been with WinRed from day one and became CEO in March of this year. Before that he worked on the agency side helping candidates with their digital campaigns. During our conversation we learn about WinRed’s latest features, what campaigns can do to take advantage of them, and what Ryan sees on the horizon for online fundraising.
Sylvie Légère is a civic leader, social entrepreneur, and advocate for women in Leadership. She’s the founder of Candidate Pathways, a software platform to help political organizations with candidate recruitment by building, tracking, and developing a pipeline of candidates to run for office.In our conversation we discuss the challenges of candidate recruitment, how software can help political organizations tackle the problem, and what Sylvie’s learned about the business of politics with Candidate Pathways. 
We’re joined today by Caitlin Huxley, a campaign strategist, certified project manager, and history buff with a passion for empowering new candidates to overcome challenges and achieve success in their campaigns. She’s also an author, and her new book is Ancient Wisdom for Modern Campaigns: Lessons from Sun Tzu’s Art of War. In our show today, we dig into why this text is still relevant thousands of years after being written, what campaigners can take away from Sun Tzu’s most famous sayings, and where strategy and tactics meet on the trail.
We’re diving into the current state of affairs for political programmatic advertising. Where do major tech platforms stand in terms of their policies on campaign ads, what alternatives exist, and what can campaigners do to prepare for further disruptions?Joining us to discuss this and more is Matt Hedberg, the COO of – our sponsor for this episode. Republican Ads is the only self-service voter targeted digital advertising platform built for conservatives by conservatives. We interviewed co-founder Andy Yates during an earlier episode of the podcast – listen here.
**RSVP for Business of Politics Show LIVE**Bubba Atkinson is Co-founder of Monarch Media Ventures, a digital media consulting and video production firm. He was employee number 10 at Axios where he led audience growth and video strategy. Prior to that, he was editor in chief of IJ Review, the viral political news website. In our conversation, we discuss the state of news media, audience building, and what you need to know to succeed in today’s content landscape.Click here to learn more about One Dollar News.
This episode was recorded during a live, in-person event on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Click here to RSVP for our next in-person event on Tuesday, October 3 in Washington, DC. In this episode we discuss the Iowa Caucuses – the first nominating contest in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. We’ll dig into what they are, how they work, and what candidates need to do to win.We’re joined by two Iowa natives and experts: David Kochel and Nicole Schlinger.David is the owner of Redwave Communications, a Des Moines-based, political and public affairs firm. He’s who you want to have on your team if you want to win in Iowa – that’s included six presidential campaigns!Nicole is the President of Campaign HQ, a Brooklyn, Iowa -based phone call and texting firm that has a client roster as long as your arm from across the country. She’s been a part of four Iowa Presidential campaigns and is one of the few Iowa operatives with both an Iowa Straw Poll and Iowa Caucus win under her belt.
Our guest today is Paul Allen, founder of Citizen Portal, an AI-powered platform that helps citizens, elected leaders and other stakeholders be informed and engaged in our representative democracy.  He’s also the co-founder and former CEO of He’s also served as the chief evangelist for Gallup’s Strengths finder. In our show today, we learn more about Citizen Portal and what's drawn Paul to the political space for his next company. Visit to become a supporter of the show.
Today we’re talking with Michael Duncan, a founding partner at Cavalry, an issue management firm that works with Fortune 500 companies, trade association, political and non-profit clients. He’s had an extensive career in digital campaigning, but he’s also the host of the Ruthless Podcast, which has taken the GOP political world by storm over the last 3 years. They were just tapped to provide the pre-game coverage for the first Republican presidential debate this year. In our conversation, we talk about the growth of the podcast, what lessons he’s learned as a content creator, and how he thinks more campaigns can embrace the power of audience building. Support the Business of Politics Show by becoming a member of the Startup Caucus Network. Click here to join now.
*** NEW: Visit to become a supporter of the show. ***This episode is all about programmatic digital advertising in the political space. You’ll learn more about how it works, the risks and benefits, and what new technology is doing to make it more efficient – especially for political campaigns.To guide us on this discussion, we’re joined by a pair of industry experts from Powers Interactive, a programmatic media company. Jordan Lieberman is the CEO and he boasts a long career in the political advertising industry as does Kate Holliday, VP for Political and Public Affairs.
We’re talking with Hunter Schwarz, a journalist whose Yello website chronicles everything related to politics and design.  He’s been a reporter at CNN, the Washington Post, IJ Review, and Buzzfeed. In this episode, we discuss the role of branding in modern politics, what he thinks about the 2024 Republican logos, and the design trends he hopes cross over into politics. 
We’re joined today by Josh Klemons a Digital Storyteller/Strategist and the founder of Reverbal Communications, helping progressive campaigns, organizations and brands of all shapes and sizes find, hone and tell their stories online.Our conversation today is about the state of email marketing in the 2024 Republican primary and Josh has an interesting outsider’s perspective as a Democrat and he wrote a blog post where he assessed all of the 2024 Republican contenders’ email campaigns. We dig into what he’s looking for, what trends he’s spotted, and what he thinks down ballot campaigns should take or leave from presidential campaign email strategy.
This episode is all about how campaigns can create media for their ad campaigns on a low budget. Despite an increase in political spending – especially when it comes to media – the need for campaigns to create content is growing every day. So campaigns of all sizes need to think about how they balance output and costs. Our focus today is going to be on video creative since it’s the most in demand and the most costly.To help us understand, we’re joined by Danny Laub, a partner at Poolhouse, who serves as a key political advisor and media consultant for Republican campaigns across the country."Common Cents" – Glenn Youngkin for GovernorMeet Glenn Youngkin's Ad Man - Will Ritter (POOLHOUSE)
Mike Nellis is the founder & CEO of Authentic, a digital-first fundraising and advertising agency with an impressive list of Democratic clients, including President Joe Biden. Mike was an advisor to then Senator Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign in 2020 and he’s a serial entrepreneur. His latest company is Quiller, an AI copilot that helps Democratic campaigns and allied organizations draft and deploy high quality, effective fundraising content. In our conversation we learn about Mike’s journey launching Quiller, some strategic decisions he made along the way, and his advice for other entrepreneurs building with AI.
Our guest today is Adam Belmar, founder of Advocacy Content Kitchen, a media production studio catering to organizations with important stories to tell. Adam has a background in journalism – he was a Senior Producer on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He went on to serve President George W Bush as Deputy Director of the Office of White House Communications. After the White House, Adam has been working with a lengthy roster of corporations, non profits, and trade associations advising them on their content and communications strategies. He's also the producer of the Business of Politics Show.In our conversation we dig into how podcasts are becoming an important medium for the public affairs industry, how to get into podcasting, and what makes a podcast effective.
In this episode of the Business of Politics Show, host Eric Wilson is joined by Caleb Smith, the Digital Communications Director for the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. Caleb discusses the critical role technology plays in political communication, emphasizing the importance of audience engagement and adaptability in messaging. He talks about the challenges of staying up-to-date with emerging social platforms and expresses enthusiasm for the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) in political storytelling. The conversation also delves into the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) in content creation, with a focus on both the efficiencies it can bring and the concerns around deep fakes. Caleb shares how AI is currently being used in the Speaker's office for tasks such as transcription and embedding captions in videos. The episode concludes with Caleb recounting personal anecdotes, including his marriage proposal on the balcony of the Capitol. Throughout the discussion, Caleb’s insights reflect his commitment to effectively communicating the Speaker's messages to the American public by leveraging technology.
Fire up your dial up modems because we’re going old school today – our guest first started working in digital politics back in the 1990s. Colin Delany is the founder of, an award-winning website covering the field of digital politics and online advocacy. He’s also a digital strategist and consultant for campaigns and non profits. Colin is out with the 2023 edition of his book – How to Use The Internet to Change the World and Win Elections
In this episode of the Business of Politics Show, host Eric Wilson engages in a conversation with Brian Athey, Chief Creative Officer at Push Digital, a renowned digital agency in Republican politics. The discussion revolves around the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creative realm of politics. Brian shares concrete examples of how AI is currently being employed for various campaign creative tasks, and explores the potential of AI in scaling ideas and accelerating productivity. The episode delves into the limitations of AI in graphic design tasks and emphasizes the importance of human creativity and authenticity in political campaigns.Episode Highlights:AI as a Tool for Task Performance: Brian explains that AI should be viewed as a tool to delegate repetitive tasks, aiming to expedite processes and enhance ideation. By conditioning AI with specific instructions and formulaic patterns, it can generate a multitude of variations quickly and efficiently.Scaling Ideas with AI: Eric and Brian discuss the role of AI in scaling creative ideas. They highlight how AI, such as chat GPT, can assist in generating content, questions, and solutions, thereby accelerating the creative process and offering new perspectives.The Limitations of Visual AI Outputs: While AI can assist in generating logos, brand concepts, and marketing copy, Brian emphasizes that AI-generated outputs may lack authenticity and quality. Human creativity and intuition remain essential in refining and executing ideas effectively.The Gray Area of Ethics in AI: The conversation delves into the ethical considerations surrounding AI in campaign creativity. Brian acknowledges the gray area in determining ethical boundaries and the potential for AI-generated media to mislead the public. Eric emphasizes the importance of disclosure when using AI-generated content to maintain transparency.Tools for AI-driven Creativity: Brian mentions several tools, including Adobe Express, Adobe Firefly, and Motion, that leverage AI to streamline creative processes. These tools offer features such as photo editing, video editing, transcribing, and automating marketing cycles.The Future of AI in Politics: Eric and Brian discuss the future implications of AI in politics. They raise concerns about content saturation, loss of authenticity, and the need to engage voters meaningfully. Balancing the efficiency of AI with ethical considerations remains a challenge in the industry.Conclusion:The episode concludes with insights into the intersection of AI and political campaign creativity. Brian emphasizes the potential of AI as a powerful tool to expedite tasks, scale ideas, and automate processes. However, he also highlights the importance of human creativity, intuition, and authenticity in delivering impactful campaigns. The conversation raises ethical questions about the responsible use of AI in political campaigns and the need for transparency in AI-generated content.Additional Resources:Push DigitalAdobe ExpressAdobe FireflyMotionCasey NeistatMake.comDon't miss an episode! Subscribe to the Business of Politics Show on your favorite podcast platform. Stay updated by signing up for email notifications at
Adam Schaeffer is founder and chief behavioral scientist of Evolving Strategies, a behavioral science and data analytics firm using experiments and AI to modify voter behavior. He has a PhD from the University of Virginia and has done stints at AEI and Cato. In our conversation we learn more about what the Left is doing with behavioral science, what Republicans can do to catch up, and how new tech can help make political advertising more effective. 
We’re joined today by Jason Belich, a coder, systems architect, and technologist based in San Francisco with over 25 years of experience developing mission-critical architectures and systems. He recently wrote about the need for a Republican Tech Manhattan Project to win in 2024 and beyond.  In our conversation we dig into the Left’s advantage in Big Tech, what the Right is missing, and how we can fix it. 
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