Brent Buchanan

CEO & Founder / Travel Snob

Still (arguably) sane after over 800 political, public affairs, and communication campaigns, Brent serves as senior strategist and visionary. That sounds glamorous, but it really just means he has a bunch of meetings and sits in 4B or 10C a lot.

What was your first job?
My first real job was working as a waiter at Steak ‘n Shake. There’s not much better than a SnS patty melt. Best story while working at the restaurant…I was serving milkshakes to full table of really cute girls. As I took the milkshakes off the tray, they got unbalanced (rookie mistake!) and I dumped one on a girl at the table. Talk about feeling dumb! Years later my wife was telling me a story about this goofy waiter who dumped a milkshake on her friend when she was at Steak ‘n Shake. 🙄

Who is someone you admire?
President John F. Kennedy. He wasn’t the chosen son. His dad meddled in his career. He had immense physical challenges that he worked hard to hide from the public. Moral of the story is that challenges build us, and Kennedy had more than his fair share of obstacles.

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be…
Flying. Is there another choice? Patience isn’t a virtue of mine, so being able to fly anywhere, any time, in no time would be incredible. Now I take that back–teleportation.

What problems do you consistently solve for your clients?
Why. Too often people focus on the “what” without seeking to understand the “why.” Answer “why” is much more powerful. Take for example a message testing question. The “what” is that 52% of people believe X. But understanding the “why” behind the 52% is how you move that number to 72%. This is where Cygnal excels!

Posts Featuring Brent

Polling Is Broken…At Least the Very Old & Very New Ways of Doing It

Not a conversation has gone by in the past several months that hasn’t devolved into “what’s wrong with polling” after someone finds out I work at a polling firm. And there’s good reason for the general public – and even practitioners – to doubt the accuracy of political polls. Let’s step into some minutia quickly […]

Read More

Polling: the Panacea for Persuasion During a Pandemic

Think back to the end of the 2020 state legislative sessions. Legislative chambers across the country closed their doors as the pandemic spread. Some, like in Georgia, hit the pause button due to COVID-19 outbreaks among members then finished up in the summer. The public and lobbyists weren’t allowed in the building. It’s looking like […]

Read More

Iowa voters would view Hart as an illegitimate congresswoman if installed by House: Poll

According to the survey, which was conducted for American Action Network by Republican polling firm Cygnal, 7-in-10 voters in the district say a dispute about election results should be decided by Iowa’s courts, while just 9% want the dispute decided by lawmakers in Washington. The poll includes two-thirds of voters who say they voted for […]

Read More

2020 Is Insane! Understand Voter Emotions to Know Why.

It’s hard to find the right words to describe this election cycle. 2020 is like the gift that keeps on giving…🤯 Nothing feels normal, especially with a worldwide pandemic, an economic crisis, a vacant supreme court seat, and a divisive presidential election.

Read More


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cygnal, the New York Times’ #1 most-accurate polling firm in the nation, announced today a bold acquisition move to expand market share and bring on board more elite clients in the political and public affairs sector. Harper Polling, an industry-leading polling firm with an outstanding reputation in Congress and in state capitals […]

Read More

The Candidates Seven Deadly Sins: The Dr. Peter A. Wish Interview

We interviewed Dr. Wish, a noted psychologist, political coach and best-selling author. Wish shared with Cygnal valuable insights on what makes a successful candidate and how emotions play into voter choice.

Read More

The Pulse Pod is Live!

Hosted by Cygnal’s CEO, Brent Buchanan, and VP of Research and Analysis, Chris Kratzer, the Cygnal Pulse Pod serves the purpose of entertaining and helping conservative politicos, operatives, and people who are just interested in politics learn more about polling and other aspects of campaigning.

Read More

Voting in 2020 will be more emotional than previous elections. Here is how to connect.

Advertising. It has been around a long time. For centuries, ads have targeted our emotions in hopes of eliciting a response to products, services, and people. Promotional ads can be seen on Egyptian papyrus dating back thousands of years. Political ads were found within the ruins of Pompeii. Advertising is, and always will be, inescapable. […]

Read More

Fundraising Drys Up, Campaigns Seek to Save Dollars On Strategies Needed To Win

As coronavirus continues to batter the U.S. economy and the public psyche, once- reliable political donors are pulling the reins on giving to campaigns. This jolt to funding has campaigns across the country struggling to raise the money needed for their election – especially down-ballot. Experts say the financial landscape will continue to look different […]

Read More

Voting-By-Mail To Be Top Story in 2020 General Election

As we near the early months of summer, it is becoming more apparent each week that Vote-By-Mail (VBM) is going to play an unprecedented role in the 2020 General Election. Experts say that COVID-19 could remain a threat well into 2021 and that, while many Americans will feel comfortable voting at polling stations on Election […]

Read More