Who We Are
Bellwether works with a small number of political, public affairs, and corporate clients to provide high quality, innovative research with the personal attention often lacking at larger firms.
Bellwether continues to be among the most accurate polling firms. Bellwether’s clients have counted on our internal numbers to be right – and they are. In his analysis of 2012 pollsters on the New York Times FiveThirtyEight blog, Nate Silver ranks our 2012 Howey-DePauw University poll at the top in terms of accuracy (4 of 90).
Our research methods are constantly adapting to the changing environment and the increased difficulty of reaching voters by telephone. We include cell phones, we conduct social media research to augment our traditional polling, we conduct research online. We don’t approach a political environment with a preconceived notion of who likely voters will be, as did many GOP pollsters in the 2012 election cycle.
Nearly half of all Americans aren’t accessible by landline telephone. We stay on top of the latest developments in technology and lifestyle so that our methods include the smartest and most effective ways to conduct research.
We take on few clients so that each gets our full attention. We become invested in our clients’ success and don’t consider our role to be finished when we share the survey results.
We don’t cut corners with our methodology – calling cell phones with live interviewers costs 2 to 3 times more than landlines. We believe to reach 18-34 year olds, you have to call cell phones. You can’t weight up the 18-34 year olds you find through landlines to compensate – they are a different bunch. We have strict protocols and we do research right.
Bellwether President Christine Matthews has more than 20 years experience in the survey research business serving as a Partner and Vice President at other leading public opinion research firms before starting Bellwether in 2001. Chris has conducted polls in every state and a few other countries, getting her start in political campaign research at every level. Increasingly, corporate and public affairs clients interested in a range of issues from education to energy to the environment have called on Bellwether to help inform their strategy and messaging.
Chris has a B.A. from Indiana University and a M.A. from Georgetown University and is a member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Previously, she has served as a political commentator for Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and NPR and was a 2004 election night analyst for the BBC.