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Zen Political Research is a new public opinion, marketing research and communications strategy consulting firm based in Washington DC, founded by Allan Rivlin and Sheri Rivlin in 2015.  In addition to serving as a Senior Advisor to HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala in the first Clinton Administration, Allan Rivlin has spent more than 30 years in Democratic politics, fundraising, advocacy, and polling, including 17 years with Peter D. Hart Research Associates where he was a Partner.  At Hart Research, Rivlin’s major corporate clients included American Airlines, IBM, and Chrysler. Non-profit clients included the American Cancer Society, Environmental Defense, Habitat for Humanity and his political clients included the Democratic National Committee, DSCC and DCCC, as well as many candidates for local, statewide, and national offices. 


Considered an expert in both qualitative and quantitative research, including advanced statistical analysis of survey data, for 5 years Rivlin wrote the Poll Position column for The National Journal and  Allan and Sheri Rivlin are Huffington Post bloggers and co-edit  Allan Rivlin has been a guest political analyst on CNBC, MSNBC. Fox News, CSPAN, ABCNewsNow, NPR, BBC Radio, and France 24. 


Our Clients

As a young company, Zen Political Research is proud of our current clients, which include the National Institutes of Health, the International Franchise Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, Digitree and Lennar Homes. 

"Rivlin notes that the specific policies Democrats advocate, such as a higher minimum wage, equal pay for women, or infrastructure investments, test very well in polls. But they don’t tell a broad, encompassing story about the entire economy. 'We don’t have this overarching answer to the question: What’s your diagnosis of the problem, and what’s your solution?' "

Paul Waldman

Plum Line:Blog, The Washington Post

"For years, Democratic pollsters Allan and Sheri Rivlin have been arguing that the reason their party has been losing power is that Democrats lack a clear, compelling economic message.After last year’s populist revolt installed Donald Trump in the White House, the Rivlins found a fresh audience for their research. They’ve been meeting with Democrats around town to share a PowerPoint presentation that diagnoses the problem, and outlines a solution."

Eliza Newlin Carney & Matt Leistra

The American Prospect

"Pollster Allan Rivlin has been offering a compelling presentation to Democrats, arguing that they lack a clear, comprehensible and convincing economic message. He’s right. It’s time they got one."

E. J. Dionne

The Washington Post

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