Joel Benenson (born July 24, 1952) is an American pollster and consultant most widely known for his leading role as a senior strategist for Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. He is the CEO of Benenson Strategy Group, a strategic consulting firm, and serves as a senior communications and polling advisor to the White House. He has also been a strategist for U.S. senators, governors and mayors from around the country, as well as Fortune 500 companies. He played an integral role as a pollster for the DCCC in 2006, when the Democrats won back the majority in the House of Representatives. Democratic National Committee. The team Benenson was on won eight of 10 races, including three in which incumbents were defeated.
Benenson offers clients a unique combination of communication expertise and an aggressive analytical approach to produce messaging strategies that work in the most difficult situations. His extensive experience, prior to his becoming a pollster in 1995, includes working as a Political Journalist for the Daily News in New York and serving as Communications Director for Gov. Mario Cuomo’s 1994 campaign. He was previously a Vice President at the New York ad agency FCB.
During his career, Benenson has served as a consultant to some of America's most prominent companies and CEOs, including Procter & Gamble’s A.G. Lafley, General Electric’s Jack Welch and AOL’s Bob Pittman. He has also helped guide corporate clients through some of the most notable communication challenges in the past decade. He was the lead strategic researcher for Procter & Gamble’s launch of Olestra, the fat substitute; he was instrumental in helping AOL manage its capacity crisis in the late ’90s; and he helped a New York City coalition block Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans for an Olympic stadium in Manhattan.
Benenson is also the Co-Founder of iModerate Research Technologies, an innovative research company that uses highly trained moderators to conduct real-time surveys among online respondents. These one-on-one sessions provide deep analysis within quantitative surveys.
Born in New York City. He grew up in southeast Queens and Manhattan with his family. Benenson is a Queens College graduate.
- C-SPAN Video Polling in the 2012 Election, 9/4/12
- Goodspeed, Peter. "Pollster fine-tunes President's message." National Post, 19 June 2009
- Issenberg, Sasha (1 September 2012). "Why Campaign Reporters Are Behind the Curve". The New York Times.
- CAPUZZO, JILL (3 February 2008). "Obama Seldom Asks His Pollster to Play the Role of an Oracle". New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
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