Mark S. Mellman, President & CEO
Mark Mellman is one of the nation’s leading public opinion researchers and communication strategists. CEO of The Mellman Group, a polling and consulting firm whose clients include leading political figures, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the nation's most important public interest groups. Mellman, who counts among his clients Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Whip Steny Hoyer, has helped guide the campaigns of twenty-six U.S. Senators, ten Governors, over two dozen Members of Congress, and numerous state and local officials.
In addition to Leader Reid, Senate clients include Dan Akaka, Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Heidi Heitkamp, Mary Landrieu and Carl Levin. Gubernatorial clients include Jennifer Granholm, Jim Doyle and Pat Quinn. Mayors Dave Bing (Detroit), Jim Gray (Lexington) and Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans) are also clients, as are Members of Congress John Barrow, Tulsi Gabbard, Dan Kildee, Anne Kuster, Jim Langevin and Sander Levin.
Internationally, Mellman was chief strategist and pollster for Yair Lapid’s stunning rise from zero seats in the Israeli parliament to the country’s second largest party, in just one year. Earlier he helped Cesar Gavira become President of Columbia and Luli Basha defeat the international Mayor of the Year in Albania. Twice he has been honored for running the Best Campaign outside the U.S.
The Mellman Group’s string of upset victories and unparalleled accuracy recently brought the firm the prestigious “Pollster of the Year” award from the American Association of Political Consultants, the third time the Association has bestowed this coveted award on the firm. The New York Times’ Nate Silver also cited The Mellman group as the most accurate campaign pollster in the country.
The Mellman Group also won series of Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections magazine including two for “Campaign Comeback of the Year” (for victories by Leader Reid and Senator Heitkamp); “Best Use of New Technology” (for our innovative internet-based ad testing); “Best International Campaign” and several “Best Public Affairs Campaign.”
As a consultant to the Democratic Leadership, Mellman plays a central role in developing strategies on a variety of issues. Newsweek credits his work on the environment with helping “turn Bill Clinton green.” The Economist recognized him as the “brains behind the Democrats’ successful ‘Mediscare’ strategy” and Politico described the firm’s role in developing Democrats’ economic messages, noting that Mellman’s manufacturing presentation “electrified Democratic leaders.”
The firm’s string of upset victories led the Boston Globe to call The Mellman Group Washington’s “hottest” political consulting firm, and the New Republic describes Mellman as “a leading Democratic technologist.” Capitol Hill’s newspaper, Roll Call, named Mellman one of the most influential people in Washington when it comes to electing candidates to Congress. The Mellman Group was also the only Democratic firm to handle two of the Washington Post’s ten best incumbent campaigns and helped win two of the three Democratic victories among RealClear Politics’ Biggest Upsets of 2010. In two of the three years it has awarded the title, National Journal named Mellman its “Top Insider” for providing the most accurate predictions of those election cycles. And this year Doonesbury labeled Mellman the “Prince of Polling.”
The firm has scored successes in numerous initiative campaigns, helping to defeat both California Proposition 226 (the anti-labor initiative) and Proposition 38, the California School Voucher initiative and Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposals as well as to pass tobacco control, stem cell research, tax and bond measures in 15 states.
Respected entities also turn to Mellman for his objective, unvarnished analysis of public opinion. The U.S. Departments of Justice (under President Bush), State and Labor have all turned to The Mellman Group for critical studies, as has the World Bank. In addition, Mellman works with some of the nation’s most important public interest organizations ranging from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the AFL-CIO, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, National Environmental Trust, and the League of Women Voters.
Mellman’s corporate clients include Coca Cola, MGM Resorts, Intuit (the makers of Quicken), and United Airlines. His groundbreaking research has helped define how nonprofits and businesses can use the Internet for online communications, selling, organizing, and fundraising.
Mellman received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and graduate degrees from Yale, where he taught in the Political Science department. He served as a consultant to CBS News, and as a presidential debate analyst for PBS and The Wall Street Journal. Mellman’s op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal among others, and he writes an influential weekly column for The Hill, a newspaper “for and about Congress.”
“Hawaii’s ethnic diversity makes it an extraordinarily difficult state in which to poll. The Mellman Group helped us develop our winning message and strategy, and their numbers were dead on when other pollsters were wildly off.”
Andy Winer, Campaign Manager for Senator Dan Akaka (D-HI)