Bellwether Research is an insight-driven company. We work with leading policy, advocacy, corporate and political clients to provide strategic public opinion research.

We conduct surveys by telephone (majority cell phone) and online. In our qualitative work – which we conduct in focus groups, short term and long term online discussions, in-depth interviews and in communities – we don’t just run through a discussion guide script, we actively listen and guide conversations to learn values, fears, hopes and dreams.  As a result, we are able to deliver to clients a valuable road-map to understanding their target audiences.


 Christine Matthews – President

Christine has over 25 years experience in the survey research business. She is known for perceptive and innovative qualitative research conducted in-person and online. She was a founding partner at Burning Glass Consulting where she and two female partners specialized in the attitudes of women voters. Chris conducted all the firm’s survey research from 2013 – 2016.  She served as one of the expert contributors to the Center for American Women in Politics (CAWP) & Barbara Lee Family Foundation’s Gender Watch 2018 project which analyzed gender dynamics in the 2018 election cycle.

She has conducted political polling at every level and nationally. Her interest now centers on policy and issue advocacy, including recent work on topics such as: women and the workplace, education, health, infrastructure, energy and the environment.  She recently founded the advocacy group, 1Planet, whose mission is to organize and activate women on climate change and the environment.

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).  In 2014, Campaigns & Elections magazine named her as one of their top 50 influencers shaping campaigns and the future of the industry. Her firm, Burning Glass Consulting, was named by the Washington Post as one of the “top firms to watch.”

 Karen McManis – Senior Research Executive

An experienced strategist and communicator, Karen helps leaders of local, national, and global organizations gain new insight into the values, beliefs, and perceptions of their key stakeholders.

With more than 20 years of qualitative research experience, Karen has interviewed hundreds of people — from C-suite executives to consumers. Her findings have have been used to support brand-building and re-branding campaigns, marketing content development, public relations campaigns, executive speeches and presentations, policy platforms, and grant writing and development.

Her past experience includes senior management roles at KSK Communications, a Virginia-based advertising agency, and APICS, a 45,000-member professional association. She has also served as project manager and events coordinator for a grassroots lobbying and communications firm.

Karen holds a BA in Journalism, with Honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a James M. Johnston Scholar. She earned her MBA, with a concentration in Marketing, from Johns Hopkins University.