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Democratic pollster Alan Secrest shuts down firm, citing money problems

at 02:45 PM ET, 06/22/2012

Democratic pollster Alan Secrest announced Friday that his polling firm will shut down after nearly three decades due to money problems.

“It is my sad task to advise you that after 28 years of service to the full spectrum of Democratic candidates, as well as a wide variety of non-political clients, our financial circumstances have left us no choice but to discontinue this work and close our business,” Secrest said in an e-mail to clients. “It has been our pleasure to serve you, and I wish we could continue. But we cannot.”

Secrest’s exit comes just five months before an election and leaves his clients in a tough spot, having to find a new pollster so late in the campaign. Secrest apologized but said it was not feasible for him to continue.

“I am very sorry for the hardship it represents for the campaign and for you,” he wrote.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Secrest was the pollster of choice for many moderate and conservative Democrats. His firm, Secrest Strategic Services (and formerly Cooper and Secrest), has polled for members of Congress from all over the country, won statewide races in Washington state, Kansas and Georgia, and helped elect the first black mayors of three American cities — Baltimore, St. Louis and Seattle.

He also has the distinction of reportedly being on the receiving end of a dead fish from then-Democratic staffer Rahm Emanuel after the 1988 campaign.

Secrest said all of the firm’s money has been used on operational expenses, leaving it no capital to continue operating.

In an e-mail to The Fix, he said he remains proud of what the firm has accomplished.

“I’m very proud of the guidance this firm has provided to a full range of Democratic candidates (as well as non-candidate clients) in the past 28 years,” he wrote. “We’ve been a part of many notable Democratic victories, as well as many ‘smaller,’ less well-known victories, all of which have contributed to the betterment of government at the local, state and federal levels.”

 
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