Pollster Who Says Voters Want a GOP Senate Is Profiting From the Re-Election of Perdue and Loeffler

News outlets covering Mark Penn's finding that voters want at least one of Loeffler or Perdue to be re-elected failed to mention that his digital firm is being paid millions to produce pro-Loeffler and pro-Perdue campaign materials.

Pollster Who Says Voters Want a GOP Senate Is Profiting From the Re-Election of Perdue and Loeffler
Mark Penn, chief strategist and pollster for Hillary Clinton, speaks to reporters after the Democratic debate at Saint Anselm College January 5, 2008 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Pollster and pundit Mark Penn inspired headlines last week with a surprising finding suggesting that a substantial number of Joe Biden voters do not want his party to control the Senate. 

“A majority of voters say they want Republicans to remain in control of the Senate in the new year after the Georgia runoff races,” The Hill reported on Nov. 23, citing results from The Harris Poll, a firm owned by Penn’s private equity fund Stagwell Group. Other outlets including Newsweek and Washington Examiner followed with coverage of Penn’s poll and how voters want a split Congress. 

The poll’s respondents were divided nearly evenly between self-identified Democrats and Republicans and included 25% who identified as Independents, and a majority told the pollsters that they voted for Biden. But 56% of those polled said they want at least one of the Republican candidates to win in the Jan. 5 Georgia Senate runoffs so that Republicans can maintain control of the Senate. 

“This is a strong headwind for Democrats in the special election,” Penn told The Hill, despite the poll having surveyed voters nationwide, rather than just Georgia voters. 

Penn, however, is not a disinterested observer of the Georgia races. As he promotes poll findings to the media and pontificates as a pundit, he is simultaneously profiting from efforts to re-elect Perdue and Loeffler and keep the Senate in GOP hands.

Stagwell Group is a minority stakeholder in Targeted Victory LLC, a digital firm that has been paid more than $4.1 million since Nov. 3 by National Victory Action Fund, a hybrid PAC, for digital ad, email, and text message campaigns supporting the re-elections of Perdue and Leoffler, according to Federal Election Commission records.