Kristen Soltis, 28, is Director of Policy Research for the GOP polling firm, The Winston Group, where she advises campaigns and corporate clients on strategy and message development. She is active in numerous House and Senate races, and the paintings in her office are of Margaret Thatcher and Jeb Bush (he appointed her to a gubernatorial commission).
She is a regular panelist on CNN International, and her numerous articles have been published in Pollster.com, National Review, The New York Times, The Washington Examiner and The Orlando Sentinel.
Soltis received her MA in Government from Johns Hopkins University in 2009, and did additional graduate work at Yale. She graduated summa cum laude from JHU, and received the award for best thesis. Her topic was on how the GOP could win back young voters, and it has been widely praised by the party’s senior echelon.
Many of her recommendations are now being implemented, and the thesis was written when Obama was winning 68% of the youth vote. She was still a student when The Atlantic magazine featured her work.
Soltis is a conservative who has a lot to say about every issue. She has posted over 7,500 messages on Twitter at KLSoltis.
In addition to working full time and going to school, Soltis had an exciting part time job from 2007 to 2009. She was lead singer with “The Frustrations” rock band. They received excellent reviews but broke up when several members entered law school. “Rolling Stone” described her as “a strong frontwoman belting it out in her signature red dress.” Her music videos are still popular at Young Republican events.
She enjoys survey research because “it makes you think strategically,” and she commented on the industry’s future: “I think polling is going to become less about asking people what they think and more about analyzing data that is already out there. Response rates are getting lower and lower as people screen calls from pollsters and move away from landlines.
“Meanwhile, people are more open than ever about their views, desires and beliefs. Individuals reveal preferences in places like Facebook and Twitter; large groups reveal information through web traffic and search data. I really think analytics are where polling is going to move in the future.”
Soltis grew up in Orlando and her summer jobs were at Disney World where she was the actress who drove the tram on the King Kong ride. She was a National Merit Scholar and a Massey Presidential Scholar at the University of Florida, where she was the president of her sorority and a member of the student senate.
She was inspired to learn Russian by Condoleezza Rice, and her major focus is on foreign policy and national security issues. She claims an addiction to Ruffles potato chips but she is still a size zero.
Soltis is now expanding her thesis into a book, and recently announced her engagement to co-worker Chris Anderson. He says “We get paid for providing common sense. Which is odd, since I don’t have any.” In addition to a family, her goal is to be the GOP’s major pollster. Watch out Scott Rasmussen!
You can read more about the contest rules and background at: The 45 Most Admired Republican Women Under 45