Democratic pollster Alan Secrest is closing the doors of his firm due to financial concerns, he confirmed to C&E. The longtime pollster informed his current roster of clients that the firm was shutting its doors in an email, offering an apology for "any hardship it represents for the campaign and for you."
"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 wrote in an email to clients. "All remaining funds have gone to taxes, salaries, bills and there are simply no assets available with which to continue to operate. Certainly this is not the path we would have chosen, but that is the most straightforward assessment of our circumstance."
Secrest Strategic Services, formerly known as Cooper & Secrest Associates, served a wide range of Democratic state and federal candidates. The firm’s client list over the years has included a long roster of Democratic House members, including Reps. David Price, John Lewis, Norm Dicks, and former Reps. Joe Donnelly and Bart Gordon.
In the late 1980s, Secrest had a notoriously antagonistic relationship with Rahm Emanuel, who was at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the time. Shortly after Emanuel famously sent Secrest a rotting fish, the pollster penned a scathing letter to Emanuel accusing him of favoring certain pollsters over others -- an incident recounted in the June 1990 issue of C&E.
"The survey research marketplace has undergone many changes in the past 10 years, some for the better, some for the worse," Secrest wrote in an email to C&E on Friday. As for whether those market factors contributed to the demise of Secrest Strategic Services, the Democrat declined to elaborate, calling it "a discussion for another day."
Throughout his firm's nearly 30 years, Secrest added, the company "never strayed from our commitment to thorough, accurate, in depth, go where the numbers lead, actionable analysis."
Dave Nycziper contributed.