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Shop Talk: Pew Research Names New Director

Michael Dimock, a 12-year organization veteran, will succeed Andrew Kohut

Pollster Michael Dimock will succeed Andrew Kohut as director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Dimock is currently associate director for research at the organization, which conducts surveys on politics and public policy and is the flagship project of the Pew Research Center. Dimock, a 12-year Pew Research veteran, has coauthored several of the center’s research reports, including an examination of American political and social values and presidential polling from the last several cycles.

“Michael Dimock, who has worked closely with me for a dozen years, is a careful and incisive analyst who will ensure that the Pew Research Center’s polls continue to provide comprehensive and accurate reporting of American public opinion,” Kohut said in a statement.

In an email to staff, Kohut also congratulated Pew Research pollsters including Dimock, Associate Director for Editorial Carroll Doherty and Director of Survey Research Scott Keeter for “accurately predicting the popular vote in its final election estimate.”

The Dimock announcement comes two weeks after veteran journalist Alan Murray was named president of the Pew Research Center. Murray also succeeded Kohut, who is staying on as founding director and will continue to provide counsel on political polling and global attitudes research.

The Pew Research Center has about 130 employees and an annual budget of $33 million, according to a release.

Shuffling the Chairs

Just two weeks removed from the Nov. 6 elections, there is already movement among leadership of the Republican National Committee and state parties around the country.

Even as the GOP partakes in soul-searching after the elections, it looks unlikely that there will be a change in leadership. Reince Priebus made it clear in a letter to RNC members Nov. 16 that he is seeking a second two-year term as chairman. He also flexed his strength, claiming the backing of 130 of the 168 members, well more than enough to win a second stint.

Priebus was credited throughout the past election cycle with rehabilitating the RNC’s reputation among the major donor set and bringing sound management to an organization that was saddled with debt. The RNC had more than $20 million in debt when he took over in early 2011, a legacy of the controversial tenure of Priebus’ predecessor, Michael Steele.

But Priebus’ leadership has also been questioned by some conservative and GOP activists since the elections. President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney for re-election and the Republicans lost two Senate seats despite a favorable playing field.

Meanwhile, there has been movement in both parties at the state party level.

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro announced in late October that he will not seek another term after a terrible year for the party there. In Florida, GOP Chairman Lenny Curry announced he will seek a full term at the helm of the state party. Curry took over late last year for the late David Bitner.

In Massachusetts, state Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh was re-elected Wednesday to a second four-year term. Walsh took over in 2007 after managing Gov. Deval Patrick’s first gubernatorial campaign.

After a good year for the party in Virginia, Brian Moran announced last week that he will step down next month as Democratic chairman. State House Minority Whip Charniele Herring quickly announced she was running to replace him and touted the support of both Moran, who is the brother of Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., and Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and 2013 gubernatorial candidate.

Jindal Heads RGA

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association at the group’s meeting last week in Las Vegas.

“Governors are the future of the Republican Party, and I am deeply honored to be elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association,” Jindal said in a statement. “By implementing pro-growth, reform agendas, Republican governors are providing a roadmap for the GOP. I look forward to helping elect Republican governors in 2013 and 2014.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was elected vice chairman, and the executive committee consists of Govs. Rick Scott of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina and Bob McDonnell of Virginia.

New Jersey and Virginia will hold gubernatorial elections next year, and a majority of states will elect governors in 2014.

David M. Drucker contributed to this report. Please send news of developments in the political industry to shoptalk@rollcall.com.

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