Paying for Pollsters: The Democrats

Pollster.com's Mark Blumenthal has crunched the numbers on what each Democratic campaign spent on polling this quarter, and finds that:

Not surprisingly, the two biggest fundraisers during the second quarter - Clinton and Obama -- also spent (or accounted for) the most polling. The Clinton campaign shows $729,021 in payment or debt to its pollsters** compared to the $655,526 listed for the four pollsters engaged by the Obama campaign.

Setting aside the amounts, the most striking thing about these reports is contrast between the Clinton and Obama campaigns in the way they are dividing up the work and the implied generational shift in the pollsters working for Obama.

Mark Penn, who has been polling for political clients since the 1970s, is handling virtually all of the Clinton survey research. Bendixen & Associates, the firm of pollster Sergio Bendixen, specializes in "multilingual" research and and "Hispanic marketing." The $30,000 debt to that firm is most likely for a survey of Hispanic voters.

On the other hand, the Obama campaign is dividing its polling dollars among four lesser known consultants who collectively represent a new generation of rising stars that have emerged from more established firms. The four are Paul Harstad, the pollster for Obama's 2004 Senate campaign with roots at Garin-Hart Research; Cornell Belcher who served as an internal pollster at the DNC in recent years but previously worked for Diane Feldman; Joel Benenson, who served as internal manager of the Clinton-Gore polling in 1996 for Penn & Schoen and whose firm polled for several hotly contested Senate races in 2006; and a new addition, San Francisco pollster David Binder.


Read the whole thing.

A post on Republicans is coming.