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J. Ann Selzer      

President, Selzer & Company and Pollster To The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics

Ann Selzer’s life as a pollster spans more than three decades; she claims to have the most linear career track of anyone in the profession. She completed her doctoral work on political communication and polls at the University of Iowa in 1984, spent time in a couple of research shops, joined the staff of The Des Moines Register to run their prestigious Iowa Poll, then stepped out on her own in 1994.

Her track record for accuracy in election polls—in Iowa and beyond—contributed to her A+ rating from Nate Silver’s influential website FiveThirtyEight.com. It was one of three such grades in an analysis of more than 300 polling firms. In addition to directing the Iowa Poll, she is also pollster-in-chief for Bloomberg Politics and regularly appears on their daily TV show With All Due Respect, hosted by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, authors of the Game Change books on presidential campaigns.

Selzer has appeared on most of the major news programs, including CBS Evening News and Face the Nation, This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, Morning Joe on MSNBC, PBS NewsHour, various shows on Fox News, CNN, the BBC and National Public Radio, among others. She was also a featured TEDx speech in 2012. Selzer is politically unaligned, which distinguishes her from most competitive polling firms.

Polling puts Selzer in the spotlight, but she attracts a wide range of clients, conducting audience development and strategic research for nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies, including a grocery store chain, advocacy groups, health care organizations, financial institutions, universities, agencies and a technology start-up.

She sings alto with the Des Moines Choral Society, has won a competitive Scrabble tournament, was awarded a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair and was named Woman Business Owner of the Year in 2011 by the Des Moines Business Record.


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Speech Topics

Why Iowa? Understanding the First-in-the-Nation Caucuses

Every four years, Iowa is the epicenter of American politics. An expert on the how and why of the Iowa caucuses gives historical context to the way the United States elects presidents. Ann Selzer’s speech is filled with anecdotes and personal experiences from her unique position in the vortex of some of the most fascinating races in modern history. Audiences are treated to an insider’s account of the good and bad of starting the presidential contest in Iowa, breaking some stereotypes and challenging conventional wisdom about the process.

Ten Things to Know About Polling in 2016

This electoral year is like none other. No one could have predicted in 2015 that 2016 would look the way it does today. And yet, the polls told stories that were prescient—defining a dissatisfied public, slates with too many me-too candidates, cynicism, fatigue and even some anger. The pollster-in-chief for Bloomberg Politics offers her insights into this election year in an accessible data-driven presentation. As a pollster, Ann Selzer thrives on questions, so she happily devotes time to addressing what is on audiences’ minds

What in the World Is Going on in American Politics? A Pollster Explains

One of the most respected pollsters in the country brings you up to date on where the campaign stands in this most unusual election year. Using public polling data, Ann Selzer defines the mood of the electorate and illustrates why campaigns are doing what they are doing. Along the way, audiences get clear insight into the workings of the polling industry and the life of a pollster who gets it right.

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