America’s REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES and unfinished, on-going counter-revolutions

America is being rapidly transformed by revolutions in energy, innovation, big data, advanced manufacturing, but also immigration, racial diversity, family structure, religious faith that are turning millennials and the cities into cauldrons for change. One in five of the globe's migrants are in the US, producing an economic and cultural dynamism.

But America's progress comes with a dark side. That is why the 'America-is-in-decline' crowd gets part of the story right. The middle class is in trouble, incomes are stagnant, inequality is spiking, kids are raised with a single parent, and there is growing poverty and segregation in the cities. 

Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ counter-revolution decried immigration, Mexican and immigrant criminals, and threats to US jobs, as well as the elite’s comfort with an America that was ever more foreign-born and multi-cultural. He decried the decline of the traditional family and male, bread-winner.  

 But that misreads America. The great majority think immigration is good for the country, including most Republicans. Most other countries struggle sometimes violently with their immigrant, religious and racial differences. America's multicultural identity will win out. They are joining a counter-revolution to Trump that is playing out in a new level of engagement. 

The biggest companies identify with the new values, make clear their social bottom line and are moving into the cities. Cities and states are requiring a living wage, new work and family policies, accessible transport, affordable housing and sustainability and climate change. They are pressing reform, accelerated by opposition to President Trump.

Millennials embody and drive so much of these changes and the demand for reforms. They are at the heart of the counter-counter revolution that will settle the fight over America’s future.

The speech includes a big dose of history, surprising data on American thinking and  comparisons with other countries -- underscoring America's uniqueness.  


I was pollster for five historic national leaders and some now who will get your attention.

It is a mystery how I ended with that honor, and often pinch myself: how did you get to be here?

I worked for Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair, Ehud Barak, and Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada-all presidents or prime ministers who won formative elections and then struggled to meet sky high expectations.

These are complicated people with complicated motives, ambitious, self-centered, and with more flaws than I want to know, but what other qualities would allow them to rise above the others?

You won't be surprised to discover that Nelson Mandela is the most impressive to know and work for but you will be surprised why?

You will learn when Bill Clinton ignored the polls.

I will explain why I learned the most from the Israelis, whose survival is always at stake.

This will be full of stories, like Mandela studying with his his debate book in bed or attending a focus group.

You will learn a lot about leadership and how to pursuit big goals in transformative times


Millennials have just surpassed the Baby Boomers in size and already dominate the work force and America's emerging values. They will have the biggest say as voters and consumers and shaping the quality of life in our growing cities.

Welcome to the new America, and I share my experience research and listening to them in my work for mayors of US megacities, the largest business consultancies, and elected leaders.

Three quarters of the college graduates have already moved to the 50 largest cities, where their commitment to friends and family, quality of life and identification with the city are dominant.

They love technology, social media and value the sharing economy and the environment. That's not a surprise.

But millennials also believe in mutuality, kindness, empathy, fairness and equality, tolerance, openness to racial and family diversity and multi-culturalism. Despite their debt load and uncertain future, they are optimistic about the future.

Does that sound like today's America? Well get used to it.

Their distrust of big institutions and the private sector got politicized in 2016 and lost, but they are already having their say every day.

No group in the country has more negative views of CEOs, big banks, and Wall Street and that may only be re-enforced by current national debates.

I use graphs to show the trends, rich text in millennial voices and told through the challenges facing a mayor, senior manager and politician.

It is full of lessons on how to adapt and what to do.


Do you remember when elections were about something, not just the latest poll conducted by some network or newspaper?

Remember when polls were right? Not blown away by the latest surprise winner in the yet another referendum or election in Israel, Britain, Colombia or the US?

Pundits and analysts look at Brexit, the defeat of the Colombian peace agreement, and Trump's nine lives and say, what polls should I trust?

Well, the founder of modern polling and focus groups for political campaigns will provide his guide to interpreting public opinion polls.

He show why some get things so wrong and why some can be trusted.

The media rushes to the polls most different from the boring average, and that tells you more than anything about the foolish coverage.

The pundits never catch up to how fast the country is changing.

And the biggest change is cell phones, and that is changing everything.

Won't cell phones be the end of polling? Won't big data analytics be the end of polling? Maybe, though probably not.

This is all informed by experience as pollster for Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Tony Blair and many current political and business leaders, so the talk is full of stories.

He has been described as a puppet master who diminishes political leaders who put their finger to the wind.

His answer is Prime Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres of Israel. Ask him what they said about polling.

And ask him whether America really elected Donald Trump or it was just a figment of the polls?

You will only understand what happened in America over the last few years, right now, and in the few years ahead if you understand the Republican Party. The pundits and elites totally missed the building anger at the GOP establishment and cultural elites, and that is why they got so much so wrong.

Over the last five years, I've headed up the Republican Party Project that does deep and graphic research among Republican base supporters. As you will hear, they were angry at a GOP establishment that failed to stop Obama. I wrote how they would never rally to a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio.

Trump won over half the GOP primary vote and now still would win 55 percent of them, but the party is fractious and just at the beginning of a civil war. Understanding that internal struggle is an indispensible window into what happens in America.

Over the past decade, the GOP was the counter-revolution against the country's surging racial and immigrant diversity, the sexual revolution, gay marriage, growing secularism, and radically changing family structure. The growing ferociousness of the battle has left it as the party of the oldest, most rural, most religiously observant, and mostly married white voters.

Trump’s deepening support with the economic nationalist, anti-immigrant and America first voters and social conservatives defending the tradition family may well sideline one of America’s great parties nationally. The initiative on policy reform may shift to Democrats and the metropolitan areas and coastal states.

But this deep support in the rural America has allowed them to be electorally dominant in the 20 states of the South, Appalachian Valley, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain states. The constitutional and apportionment bias in favor of rural areas means the Republicans remain a big force in the Congress.

The nationalist and alt-Right conservatives have joined the fight over the character of the Republican Party, and many moderate and establishment candidates are retiring. Critically, many moderate, affluent suburban and women college graduates are abandoning the GOP and voting Democratic, as happened in California. But two-of-every three Republicans is an Evangelical, religious or Tea Party conservative. The anti-government Tea Party was Trump's base but he showed there is a big, America first, anti-immigrant and anti-trade bloc too. They can still govern many states and impact the Congress.

Don't miss this window into the American story. 

What the GOP Civil War means to you