Nicole McCleskey


Nicole McCleskey is a Partner with Public Opinion Strategies.  Nicole has been with POS since 1998, starting as a project director and working her way up to partner.

In the 2018 election cycle, Nicole polled in five gubernatorial races, helping to win four in a challenging election year for Republicans.  The successes included working as part of the campaign team to elect Iowa’s first female governor, Kim Reynolds, and other GOP wins in Arizona, and New Hampshire.  Nicole conducted polling on behalf of the RGA in Alaska, which was the only Republican gubernatorial flip in 2018.

In the 2015-2016 Republican presidential primary election cycle, Nicole served as lead pollster for Jeb Bush for President.  In the 2014 cycle, Nicole served as pollster and senior advisor to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s re-election campaign.  Governor Martinez won re-election by the largest margin ever for a Republican statewide candidate in this heavily Democrat state.

Nicole’s political work has also included several successful Congressional races, state legislative polling, local campaigns and winning initiative campaigns. In the last two cycles, Nicole has polled on behalf of four winning statewide initiatives.

Nicole is at the forefront of research into the views of women voters, specifically focusing on women in suburban areas, voters in the Western U.S. and Hispanic voters.  This work includes partnering with The Women’s Initiative and Winning for Women probing the attitudes and opinions of swing women voters across the country.  This two-year collaborative effort has led to a very extensive longitudinal analysis of swing women voters, their opinions about a range of issues, responses to advertising, lessons about language and general candidate approaches to campaigning.

Her political experience is complemented by an extensive public affairs research resume that includes crisis management, strategic planning, corporate image development, and media testing. Through this body of work, Nicole has built a strong public policy background with focus areas that include health care, energy, education, and a range of other complex topics.

A California native, Nicole now resides with her family in Albuquerque, NM.  Nicole is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College, with master’s degrees from USC and George Washington University.

Public Opinion Strategies