Dean Debnam, current President and CEO of PPP, has over 30 years’ experience in creating and growing businesses as well as an active interest in politics and public policy. In 2001, he realized campaigns and advocacy organizations often allocated huge sums to survey research that could be better spent directly communicating with voters, and that the price of survey research kept smaller organizations from enjoying the benefits of measuring public opinion. In response to those inefficiencies in public policy surveys, Public Policy Polling was formed to measure and track public opinion in an affordable way.
Most PPP surveys are conducted through a combination of reaching voters by telephone and reaching them by text message in order to contact respondents in the way they would prefer to answer the poll. Online surveys and live calls to cell phones are also options for conducting surveys when clients prefer that. These options allow us to poll quickly, cost-effectively, and accurately on a wide range of issues. Since 2001 we have conducted surveys for politicians & political organizations, unions, consultants, and businesses.
“PPP helped us navigate a very tricky path as we needed to win nearly all of our competitive races in districts where Senator McConnell and other national Republicans enjoyed substantial leads throughout the campaign. PPP was not only extremely accurate , their affordability allowed us to initially test 25 districts, strike those from our program that were not competitive and focus the bulk of our resources on those races where we knew we could make a difference. In the end, with PPP's research guiding us on targeting and messaging, our candidates won 11 of our 15 top districts.”
Kentucky Family Values
“PPP’s affordability and speed made it possible for us to greatly increase the number of tracking polls we did the last two cycles. Their spot-on polling in contests like the New Hampshire Senate race in 2014 and the Presidential race in Colorado in 2012 helped us push back against inaccurate surveys showing our candidates in worse shape than they actually were.”
League of Conservation Voters
“PPP provided us with a cost effective way to gain insight into the political environment. Their reliable information enabled NC House Democrats to weather the storm and become the only legislative chamber in the Southeast where Democrats gained seats.”
Representative Grier Martin
North Carolina House Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee
“We came to PPP after a public poll in the San Jose Mayoral race showed our opponent ahead by 8 points. They found our candidate (Sam Liccardo) ahead by 3 points and that allowed us to be able to push back with the press against the perception that our opponent was now a strong favorite in the race. Sam ended up winning by 2 points and is now the next Mayor of San Jose. PPP worked very fast and had a very accurate read on the electorate when we needed them”
Storefront Political Media
“We were in a "safe" district, but in a "bad" year, and our opponent started receiving independent expenditures. We needed a read on whether the opponent was gaining traction. For a week, our non-solution was to lose sleep. Then, we asked PPP to do a poll. In less than 24 hours, and for a reasonable price, we were able to get the peace of mind that we didn't need to ratchet up our direct mail. In the end, the PPP poll gave us a result that allowed us to save money on additional mail. And to get some sleep.”
Campaign Chair for State Representative Laura Fine (IL)
“PPP conducted three tracking polls on our school funding measure in Marion County, Florida. One had it passing with 53% of the vote, one had it passing with 55%, and one had it passing with 56%. Our bond ended up getting 54%, right in line with what they’d been telling us. Their polls were a cost effective way of letting us know that we were on the right track throughout the campaign, and now more than 42,000 students in Marion County will benefit from this additional community investment in our public schools.”
Yes for Marion (FL) Schools
Issue Polling Specialist
Jim Williams is a longtime Triangle resident. He holds a BA from UNC Chapel Hill in political science and sociology. He has a rich research background, including work on several presidential and statewide political campaigns as well as time working in NC state government. At PPP, he helps drive poll creation and analysis, media communications, and client recruitment and relations.
Russ is focused on helping candidates and causes work with PPP to get access to more data and research for less cost. He has been actively involved in campaign and issue politics throughout his career and has managed campaigns for North Carolina non-profits and candidates at the local, state and federal level. Previous work includes serving as the Director of a North Carolina donor alliance, Chief of Staff to Congressman Bob Etheridge, and working for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Russ is a graduate of NC State University, a Raleigh resident and an Eastern North Carolina enthusiast, where you will most often find him with his family.
Katherine is a North Carolina native who holds a B.S. in Political Science from Appalachian State University and a M.S. in Comparative Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh. Katherine has volunteered with presidential and North Carolina legislative campaigns and was a leader in College Democrats. She previously worked in communications for an international reproductive health non-profit before coming to PPP.
Melissa is a Raleigh native who holds a B.A. in Psychology and International Studies from the University of South Carolina and a M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University. Before coming to PPP, Melissa spent several years working for youth and education-focused organizations. She also has previous experience with public health research.
Public Policy Polling welcomes part-time interns looking to learn more about polling, public opinion, and political marketing to apply for a summer or semester internship. Interns will work directly with our Client Strategist and will be responsible for building our clientele base. In addition, there will be opportunities to explore political research and poll analysis.
All current college students are eligible to apply. Since the internship is located in Raleigh, NC, you must be able to commute to our office. Interns will work part-time and earn a stipend at the end of the internship.
For more information or to submit a resume, send us an email!
Survey research is exempt from the federal Do Not Call List. However, PPP maintains its own internal Do Not Call List for people who wish not to be contacted again. Please send your phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be happy to place it on our list.