Mark Mellman inducted into the Political Consultants Hall of Fame!

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Mark Mellman headshot

Mark S. Mellman

Michael J. Bloomfield headshot

Michael J. Bloomfield

April J nickens Headshot

April J. Nickens

Dave Tollaksen

Georgia Callahan

Noa Immerman

Edward Wu

Mark Mellman headshot

Mark S. Mellman .

Mark Mellman, one of the nation’s leading public opinion researchers and communication strategists, is past President of the American Association of Political Consultants, a political consultant Hall of Famer, and CEO of The Mellman Group, a polling and consulting firm whose clients include leading political figures and some of the nation’s most important public interest groups.

Mellman has helped guide the campaigns of thirty U.S. Senators, a dozen Governors, over three dozen Members of Congress, and numerous state and local officials. His clients have included Senators Harry Reid, Maria Cantwell, and Brian Schatz; Governors Tony Evers, Jennifer Granholm, Jim Doyle, and Christine Gregoire; and Members of Congress Jared Golden, Steny Hoyer, Annie Kuster, Jake Auchincloss, and Seth Moulton.

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 more often than any other firm.

Nate Silver cited The Mellman Group as the most accurate campaign pollster in the country as the firm won a series of Reed Awards from Campaigns & Elections Magazine including two for “Campaign Comeback of the Year,” “Best Use of New Technology” (for our innovative internet-based ad testing), and several for “Best Public Affairs Campaign.”

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 him one of the most influential people in Washington when it comes to electing candidates to Congress. Even Doonesbury has gotten into the act, labeling Mellman a “Prince of Polling.”

Respected entities also turn to Mellman for his objective, unvarnished analysis of public opinion. The U.S. Departments of Justice, 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 NEA, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the League of Conservation Voters, and the League of Women Voters.

Mellman received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and graduate degrees from Yale, where he teaches in the Political Science department.

He served as a consultant to CBS News for over two decades, 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.”

Michael J. Bloomfield headshot

Michael J. Bloomfield .

Michael Bloomfield is the Executive V.P. and Managing Director of The Mellman Group, which has provided analysis and strategic advice to political leaders, interest groups, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies for over thirty years.  The Mellman Group is the only three-time winner of “Pollster of the Year” honors from the American Association of Political Consultant.

Michael has established a reputation for helping Democrats win in so-called “red states”. He helped Brian Schweitzer get elected, as the first Democratic Governor in Montana in two decades – and then worked with the DGA on independent expenditures to elect and re-elect his successor, Steve Bullock. He has been the pollster for the North Carolina House for nearly 20 years –helping them pick up seats even during the toughest election cycles.

Michael has helped win elections with award winning campaigns across the county.  These include John Barrow for Congress in Georgia which was recognized by The Washington Post and The Rothenberg Report as one of the best campaigns in the country; Mike Duggan for Mayor of Detroit which won a Reed Award from Campaigns and Elections as “Best Bare Knuckled Street Fight”; and the Garden State Forward Independent Expenditure in New Jersey recognized by Campaigns and Elections as one of the top victories in the country for protecting a Democratic legislative majority in spite of a 20 point landslide for the Republican Governor.

He helped pass Prop 22 in California, to protect app-based drivers, which was the costliest initiative battle in the nation’s history.  Then came back the next cycle to help defeat the gaming initiative in California, despite even higher spending, setting a new national record.

He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, the BBC and Fox with his analysis of elections and political trends, and has been published in the New York Times and the Jerusalem Post.

Before joining The Mellman Group, he served as Political Director of AIPAC, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee. During his tenure, Capitol Hill’s newspaper, Roll Call, selected him as one of the fifty most influential people working behind the scenes in Washington, and AIPAC was twice ranked as the second most effective lobbying organization by Fortune Magazine. He managed a local campaign in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio and later worked on Capitol Hill for Senators Don Riegle, Howard Metzenbaum, and Edward Kennedy. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and children. He qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon, which was his fifth, and possibly last marathon (but still runs a 10-K now and then).

April J nickens Headshot

April J. Nickens .

April Nickens is the Director of Operations and senior moderator for The Mellman Group. She has been a member of the firm since 2000.

All business and personal affairs for Mr. Mellman are handled through April. She also aides in the handling of all client relationships and marketing for The Mellman Group. Overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of The Mellman Group, April is responsible for the firm’s financial operations as well as serving as the firm’s Benefits Administrator. April led the project to redesign and develop The Mellman Group’s new website which launched in 2011.

April is also a seasoned qualitative researcher with over a decade of experience. A skilled and trained focus group moderator, April specializes in African-American and female focus groups. She has conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews on a wide array of topics such as health care, education, civil and human rights, energy, the environment, sex trafficking, women’s issues and politics. She has the ability to connect and gain insight with all types of voters and consumers on a wide range of issues.

April has extensive experience in customer service and public affairs. Prior to joining The Mellman Group, April served as Director of Training for Kiplinger Computer and Mailing Services, a direct marketing service provider specializing in data processing, mailing, and fulfillment operations. She is credited with designing and implementing their intensive training program and authoring the manual for all customer service representatives in the Kiplinger customer service call center.

In addition to her extensive professional experience, April is educated in Marketing and Business Administration. She received rigorous instruction in focus group moderation and in-depth qualitative interviewing at the RIVA Training Institute, in Bethesda, MD. She is currently based in Washington D.C.

Dave Tollaksen .

Dave has worked for over 15 years to help Democratic campaigns and progressive causes succeed at the ballot box.  In 2022, Dave helped Seth Magaziner (RI-2) win election to Congress in one of the first major upsets of the night and helped Jared Golden (ME-2) win re-election in one of the most pro-Trump districts in the country.

A native of Wisconsin, he is particularly proud of being a part of Tony Evers’ team to defeat Governor Scott Walker in what The Washington Post called “potentially the greatest victory in the midterms.”

Dave has also helped the California Teachers Association and its allies turn back a $60 million effort by anti-education forces to elect its pro-education candidates for governor and superintendent of public instruction, worked with the DSCC IE re-elect Senator Jon Tester in a state Trump won by over 20 points, helped Dan Kildee win re-election in MI-8, and assisted Senator Maria Cantwell’s re-election effort.

Dave has also helped win some of the toughest initiative campaigns in the country, including helping California’s Native American Tribes defend their tribal sovereignty and defeat California Proposition 27, helped pass Question 7 in the most expensive campaign ever waged in Maryland, the first tax increase in California in over 30 years, and helped pass background checks in Nevada.

Dave has conducted hundreds of groups on topics from politics to homelessness, poverty, health care, clean energy, the environment, the economy, civil rights, nutrition, and education, among others, in the United States as well as in Colombia, Romania, Israel, and South Africa.

Dave graduated from The University of Notre Dame with a degree in economics and political science with a focus on applied quantitative methodology. He uses any excuse he can find to make it back to the Midwest to play golf or watch the Brew Crew or Fighting Irish.

Georgia Callahan .

Georgia is the Field Director for The Mellman Group. She helps coordinate and manage all research projects including focus groups, surveys, and all other qualitative and quantitative work.

She works with all facets of the research process including sampling, fielding, survey administration, translation, and online research.   She helps keep The Mellman Group on the cutting edge of methodological and technological innovation.

Prior to her time at The Mellman Group, Georgia worked at The Borgen Project, a non-profit advocating for Congressional economic aid to developing countries.  She also worked at the Institute for Youth In Policy helping to mobilize and engage students in the public policy.

Georgia studied Political Science at Clemson University. A North Carolina native, she now lives in Washington, DC.  She is happiest when she can get outdoors, whether hiking, swimming or just exploring the city.

Noa Immerman .

Noa works as an analyst, where she worked on the team that helped pass the nation’s first statewide abortion rights constitutional amendment in Michigan and helped Seth Magaziner come from behind to win a Rhode Island congressional seat recognized as one of the best “Best Bare-Knuckled Street Fights” by Campaigns and Elections.

Before coming to The Mellman Group, Noa worked at the Jewish Federation of North America in their Washington Public Affairs office.  She worked to urge national leaders to combat antisemitism and hate crimes, increase funding for Jewish communal security, and expedited resettlement of Ukrainian refugees.

Noa is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she studied Sociology and Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. Noa lives in Washington D.C. and is an active member of the Jewish community and enjoys hosting friends for Shabbat dinners.

Edward Wu .

Edward is an analyst at The Mellman Group. Edward has applied his experiences to all aspects of The Mellman Group’s services, from writing messaging in our polling to analyzing data and campaign strategy.

Before joining The Mellman Group, Edward worked at digital and fundraising firms and in the field, helping elect Democrats and progressives at the local and state level. Throughout his college years, Edward interned at Middle Seat Digital and Authentic Campaigns, learning from some of the best and helping build grassroots digital fundraising campaigns for Democrats and progressive organizations across the country.

During the 2020 election cycle, Edward worked as an organizer for the Missouri Democratic Party in Missouri’s Second Congressional District, helping build a grassroots field program during an unprecedented pandemic. After the November 2020 election, Edward went to Athens, Georgia to organize for the Democratic Party of Georgia’s state-wide distributed campaign in the runoff election, contributing to the victories of Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Edward currently lives in Washington D.C. In his free time, Edward enjoys rooting for his Georgetown Hoyas and spending his time outdoors hiking or rock climbing.