Hungarian Conservative – ‘A lot of my conservative friends in the US now look to Hungary as a blueprint’ — An Interview with Brent Buchanan of Cygnal Polling & Analytics

Brent Buchanan has been an international pollster and messaging strategist for the successful Washington DC-based polling and analytics firm Cygnal for over 15 years. He was gracious enough to sit down for an exclusive interview with Hungarian Conservative, in which he talked about the 2024 US Presidential election, the Hungarian government’s National Consultation, and more.

Could you please provide a brief overview of your background? 

Math was my worst subject in school. So, it’s kind of funny to be doing any kind of polling work. But what most people don’t realize is that polling is both an art and a science. You can hire lots of really smart people that understand the science piece of it—but the more difficult part of polling is the art side. I began doing campaigns about almost 20 years ago where I would actually run the entire campaign, produce the television ads, do the flyers, the mailers and the door-knocking, the digital advertising, and all those pieces. So, I’m very familiar with what role polling serves within the campaign. And just getting the numbers right is only part of the responsibility of a pollster. A core part, however, is understanding how that information needs to be used. So, our tagline for our company is ‘intelligence for action, not just information’.

Is this a unique tagline?

I think people look at polling as ‘just’ information. But you have to learn, you have to know what to look at to create the intelligence, and then you have to have experience in how it’s all applied in order to turn that intelligence into action within a political campaign or an issue campaign or advocacy or whatever the application is. 

What is your experience in polling and survey research? 

It was about 2018 when I stopped doing all the other parts of campaigns and just did polling for campaigns moving forward. We’ve done work in 17 countries and all 50 US states. We did Donald Trump’s campaign in 2020.

Read the full interview with Brent Buchanan on Hungarian Conservative: