State of our Constitutional Republic

About The Webinar

Two of the most renowned figures in political analysis take the virtual stage in the Society of Presidential Pollsters Endowed Lecture: State of the Constitutional Republic. Dr. Christopher Arterton and Mark Penn break down the latest polling on the presidential election and discuss the state of our nation's politics. They will take the pulse of the American voter and make sense out of what promises to be a presidential race unlike any other.

  • Dr. F. Christopher Arterton is a Professor Emeritus of Political Management and the founding Dean of the George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM). Before joining GSPM as its founding Dean in 1987, Dr. Arterton was a professor at Yale University for ten years, teaching in both the Political Science Department and the School of Organization and Management. From 1975 to 1988, Arterton also played an active role at The Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government serving on five faculty study groups during that period. Dr. Arterton is a graduate of Trinity College, he holds an M.A. in International Relations from the American University, and he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from M.I.T. in 1974.

    Dr. Arterton's research, his 20 years of teaching, and his considerable experience as a consultant on American public opinion make him an expert on the strategic environment of American political leaders -- an area which encompasses the news media and communications technology generally, political strategy and tactics, public opinion, and ethics and leadership in politics. Dr. Arterton has written four books on these topics; his two most recent are The Electronic Commonwealth (co-authored with Jeffrey Abramson and Gary Orren) published by Basic Books and Teledemocracy: Can Technology Protect Democracy? published by Sage Publications.

    Chris Arterton is a well known commentator and moderates a series of panel discussions on political issues which are frequently televised by the C-SPAN cable network. From 1979 to 1990, he was a consultant to Newsweek magazine on polling and campaign coverage, and in 1986 and 1987 he consulted the Gallup Organization on opinion surveys. He is currently researching a book blending political leadership and political strategy.

    Arterton's work at GSPM also has an international component: he has assisted academics in a number of other nations to develop their own curriculum in democratic politics by drawing upon GSPM's experience.

    Dr. Arterton has been active in Democratic party politics for over 20 years. He has served as a polling consultant to many local and statewide political campaigns. He has written several articles on party rules and conventions and has served on three national commissions on party rules for the National Democratic Convention.

  • Mark Penn’s career spans 40 years in market-research, advertising, public relations, polling and consulting, and he has advised top world leaders, led companies, and written a bestselling book. Currently, Penn is the President and Managing Partner of The Stagwell Group, a private equity fund that invests in marketing services companies and reinvents the traditional holding company model.

    Before founding The Stagwell Group, he served in senior executive positions at Microsoft, where as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, he was responsible for working on core strategic issues across the company, blending data-analytics with creativity to help set the company on a new course.

    Penn’s experience in growing, building, and managing agencies is well documented. As the co-founder and CEO of Penn Schoen Berland, a market research firm that he built and sold to communications behemoth WPP, he demonstrated value-creation in a crowded industry, serving clients with innovative techniques from being first with overnight polling to unique ad testing methods used by presidents and major corporations. At WPP, he also became CEO of Burson Marsteller, and managed the two companies to record profit growth during that period.

    A globally recognized strategist, Mark has advised corporate and political leaders, both in the United States and internationally. For six years, he served as White House Pollster to President Bill Clinton and was a key adviser in his 1996 re-election, identifying “Soccer Moms” as the key swing vote needed for victory. The Washington Post remarked that no other pollster had ever become “So thoroughly integrated into the policymaking operation” of a presidential administration.

    Penn later served as chief strategist to Hillary Clinton in her Senate campaigns and 2008 Presidential campaign, devising her successful NY “upstate strategy” and creating the “3 AM” ad in the 2008 primaries. Internationally, he helped elect more than 25 leaders in the Asia, Latin America, and Europe, including Tony Blair and Menachem Begin.

    Penn is also an internationally known thought leader. He authored the 2007 bestselling book “Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes,” and was a columnist for the Wall Street Journal,, POLITICO, and the Huffington Post. In a cover story, Time Magazine called him “Master of the Message.”

    Penn earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and attended Columbia Law School. He is a visiting lecturer at Harvard College and a Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University, where he teaches courses on Public Opinion.

  • Christopher Arterton

    Professor Emeritus of Political Management and Founding Dean, GSPM

  • Mark Penn

    President and Managing Partner, The Stagwell Group

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