Dave "Doctor" Gonzo on a good move by Microsoft.
Yeah, yeah, I know: uberpollster Mark Penn takes a lot of heat from the progressive/liberals, particularly in the blogosphere and more strongly-left-leaning media.
But I know at least one critic of his centrist political bent who will tell you in private that "there are two people the party needs to keep listening to until it sinks in: Penn and [George] Lakoff."
Five years ago, Mark Penn's book "Microtrends" (reviewed at APJ by Jeff Koopersmith) took a look at the rise and importance of niche constituencies and fragmenting demographics in the wake of technological and cultural change. You can be sure that it influenced then-Senator Barack Obama's runs both for the Democratic nomination as presidential candidate and for the Oval Office. There is nobody on the left-of-center side of the fence who has Penn's handle on the interactions between demographics, messaging, and polling.
So we are urging you to read this newsflash from Politico this morning:
Let's just say it's a big-time loss for Burson-Marsteller.