Who We Are

The Mellman Group, named “Pollster of the Year” three times by the American Association of Political Consultants, has provided sophisticated opinion research and strategic advice to political leaders, public interest organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies for over thirty years.

In 2012, we continued winning some of the toughest races in the nation. We were honored for working with two campaigns recognized by the Washington Post and The Rothenberg Report as the best of the year: Heidi Heitkamp for Senate in North Dakota and the Campaign to Re-elect Congressman John Barrow in Georgia, as well as for Senator Maria Cantwell. The firm also worked in the independent efforts to reelect Senators Sherrod Brown, Mazzie Hirono, Tim Kaine, Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester and to elect Governors Steve Bullock and Jay Inslee. In addition, The New York Times’ Nate Silver rated The Mellman Group the most accurate campaign pollster in the country.

In 2010 the firm provided research and strategy for Leader Harry Reid’s stunning victory in what was hailed as one of the best campaigns ever, and, as several publications explained, The Mellman Group was the only pollster whose data correctly projected the outcome. The firm also provided research-based strategy to Senator Barbara Boxer’s victorious campaign, labeled the best in California by the state’s authoritative political newsletter; to Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois, in another of RealClear Politics’ “5 Biggest Upsets”; and to the independent effort to elect Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia.

On the local level, the firm helped Dave Bing defeat an incumbent to become Mayor of Detroit; assisted Mitch Landrieu in becoming Mayor of New Orleans without a runoff, in a race he had lost four years before; and provided research based strategy for Jim Gray’s successful effort to oust an incumbent and become the first openly gay Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky.

The firm also boasts an impressive string of victories in ballot measures including changing California’s budget process, passing tax increases, defeating Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiatives, banning second hand smoke, allowing a new casino in Maryland, legalizing stem cell research in Michigan, and passing the largest bond measures in history—among many others. This year the firm was honored for The Best Initiative in the country by the AAPC for its work passing Maryland’s Question 7.

The Mellman Group is pleased to have been honored with a series of awards from the American Association of Political Consultants and Campaigns & Elections Magazine. In addition to “Pollster of the Year,” these include special awards for “Best Use of New Technology” recognizing our innovative ad testing regimen; two “Best Campaign Comebacks,” honoring our work for Senators Reid and Heitkamp; Best International Campaign; and several awards for Best Public Affairs Campaign for our work to build support for a manufacturing agenda in Congress and the Administration. As described by Politico, these efforts led directly to the new manufacturing agenda in Congress, and, even more gratifying, became the centerpiece of the President’s 2011 State of the Union.

All told The Mellman group had helped elect twenty-six U.S. Senators, over two dozen House members, ten Governors and half a dozen Mayors.

We are particularly proud of two firm records: We have never lost an incumbent race for Governor or U.S. Senate and we have picked up a Republican seat every election cycle since 1982.

Over the years, we helped elect effective public servants including Governors Jennifer Granholm and Jim Doyle; Senators Dan Akaka, Carl Levin, Mary Landrieu, Al Franken; Whip Steny Hoyer and Members of Congress John Barrow, Tulsi Gabbard, Dale Kildee, Annie Kuster, Jim Langevin and Sander Levin.

Many of the nation’s most important public interest organizations, including the SAFE: Securing America’s Future Energy, the Alliance for American Manufacturing, America’s Natural Gas Alliance, the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Cancer Society, the Sierra Club, the AFL-CIO, the National Education Association, the California Teachers Association, Emily’s List, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the World Wildlife Fund, Independent Sector, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the League of Women Voters have turned to The Mellman Group for research-based strategy. In the foundation community we have been honored to work for Pew Charitable Trusts, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Packard Foundation and the Ford Foundation among others.

Corporate clients including such diverse businesses such as Coca-Cola, MGM Resorts, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Intuit (the makers of Quicken), the Washington Wizards, Fortune magazine, Janus Mutual Funds, Madison Square Garden, Dr. Pepper/7-up, Massmutual Life Insurance, and United Airlines have turned to The Mellman Group for consumer research, brand repositioning, crisis communications messaging, and public policy analysis. We count numerous government agencies among our clients, such as the World Bank, the U.S. Departments of State and Labor, and the Health Care Financing Administration. President Bush’s Department of Justice called upon The Mellman Group to conduct public opinion research for its Supreme Court defense of the McCain Feingold campaign finance laws, making us the only research firm to be cited in a Supreme Court opinion.

Internationally, we have helped numerous campaigns, corporations, NGOs, and the World Bank in Albania, Israel, Russia, the Republic of Georgia, Romania, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Germany, Indonesia, Norway, France, Egypt, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Honduras, the U.K., Philippines and Japan. Some of these projects involved elections, and the firm has twice been honored for running the Best Campaign outside the U.S., while other efforts focused on global issues.

At The Mellman Group, we are experts in the decision-making process of consumers and voters. We maintain our competitive advantage by continually consulting with other experts, including a handful of leading academic researchers and tens of thousands of individual decision-makers who determine our clients’ fortunes – average consumers and voters. By maintaining close links with leading academic innovators, we are able to stay on top of the latest developments in survey sampling and design, data analysis, and qualitative research, including Internet surveys and online focus groups.

Combining the academic and the practical has enabled us to build an unparalleled reputation for accuracy and quality. We offer our clients sophisticated qualitative and quantitative techniques that deliver winning strategies, while saving them time and money. Our advanced sample modeling techniques are setting the industry standard for accuracy in quantitative research. Our micro-targeting models anticipate both turnout and support at an individual basis, instead of making blanket assumptions about behavior of precincts as a whole. Split sample simulations allow us to create experimental designs in our surveys, so we can observe the differential impact of various themes and strategic approaches on public support. Trade-off questions force respondents to assess the relative priority of conflicting goals. Multivariate techniques reveal underlying commonalities in the data that help us analyze how attitudes and perceptions cohere. Combined with Logit analysis, these techniques allow us to lay bare the structure of the decision-making process.

These techniques help us separate what works best from what merely works well. Whether it’s a campaign for political office, selling a product, or changing beliefs on an issue, we know how to find the messages that lead people to vote for our client, choose our client’s product, or hold our client’s opinion.

Whether winning for you means getting more votes than your opponent, selling more product, changing public policy, raising more money or generating more activism, The Mellman Group transforms data into winning strategies.