Partner- Public Opinion Strategies
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.
Nicole has built a successful practice in polling and advising gubernatorial races around the country. In the 2022 election cycle Nicole was the pollster for the re-election campaigns of Governors Greg Abbott (TX) and Kim Reynolds (IA), in addition to polling in 11 additional gubernatorial elections for the RGA and other independent expenditure efforts. With her polling expertise in the Southwest, Nicole also polled for one of the big GOP congressional take-aways of the cycle with the Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) victory in the southern Arizona border district. Nicole polled on behalf of the NRCC IE effort and Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) in other congressional districts.
In the 2020 election cycle, Nicole polled for two of the biggest congressional wins of the cycle – Ashley Hinson (IA-01) in a take-away from Democrats and Tony Gonzales (TX-23) to keep this majority-Hispanic district in the Republican column. In addition, Nicole conducted research for multiple statewide gubernatorial, Senate, and successful initiative efforts.
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.
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. Nicole has been a commentator on “Meet the Press,” CNN, and multiple news outlets to discuss her work in these areas.
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.