Joel Benenson

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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.[1] 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.[2] The team Benenson was on won eight of 10 races, including three in which incumbents were defeated.[3]

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.[4] He was previously a Vice President at the New York ad agency FCB.[5]

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.[6] He was the lead strategic researcher for Procter & Gamble’s launch of Olestra, the fat substitute;[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]

Born in New York City. He grew up in southeast Queens and Manhattan with his family. Benenson is a Queens College graduate.[10]


  1. ^ C-SPAN Video Polling in the 2012 Election, 9/4/12
  2. ^ Goodspeed, Peter. "Pollster fine-tunes President's message." National Post, 19 June 2009
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  6. ^ Issenberg, Sasha (1 September 2012). "Why Campaign Reporters Are Behind the Curve". The New York Times. 
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  10. ^ 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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