Name: Jerome Trankle

Title: Research Associate, Cannon Research Group

Location: Annapolis, MD

Bio: I am a native of Buffalo, NY where I grew up and attended the University at Buffalo. I developed an interest in politics from a young age and was fascinated by the electoral process as far back as the 2000 Presidential Election (when I was in third grade). Despite my interest in politics, I actually attended college as an accounting major and I intended to have a career in public accounting, not politics. In college I was involved with the College Republicans and volunteered on a number of local political campaigns. In 2012, I was an intern on the Congressional campaign of Chris Collins in New York’s 27th District, which Collins one that year in a close race. Following Collins’ win, I went on to work as an intern in Congressman Collins’ District Office and later was hired as a junior staffer for the Congressman. Additionally, in 2014, I served as a field staffer on the gubernatorial campaign of Rob Astorino and the state senate campaign of Rob Ortt.

In 2015, I decided I wanted to move to Washington, DC and took a job working in campaign finance compliance for the 2016 cycle. In that role, I worked with state, House, and Senate campaigns to stay in compliance with campaign finance laws, while also helping fundraisers and finance teams to develop robust donor databases. In 2017, I joined Cannon Research Group in Annapolis as CRG’s third employee and I have been helping campaigns to find effective opposition research on their opponents ever since.

What you do at Axiom/how you serve our clients: In my role as a Research Associate at Cannon Research Group, I help our political and corporate clients find actionable opposition research to deploy against their opponents. While this involves reviewing thousands of news stories, database records, and documents obtained under federal and state Freedom of Information Laws, the most important part of my job is to separate the wheat from the chaff, explain our findings to our clients, and identify ways in which our clients can deploy our oppo against their opponents. Given my compliance and accounting background, I have developed something of a specialty within CRG for reviewing campaign finance, lobbying, tax, and other regulatory records.

How you got your start in politics: As a freshman in college, a friend of mine in College Republicans was hosting a phone bank for a local state senate candidate. I didn’t really want to make phone calls, but my friend offered free pizza as an enticement – and as a college student, there was no way I was turning down free pizza. Before long I was hooked on campaigns and I spent the next few years volunteering on several races in Erie and Niagara Counties. Fortunately, Chris Collins won his campaign in 2012, and the senior members of Collins’ team decided to take a chance on me and offered me an internship, and later, a job. Like most folks in this industry, I owe my career to some combination of hard work, luck, and my mentors in the industry deciding to give me an opportunity.

What trends do you expect to see in the 2020 election? While it is still early in the cycle, the Democrats are clearly experiencing serious disunity within their party. They seem to be in a constant race to the left, with Democratic candidates trying to out-tax, out-spend, and out-victimize their opponents. While 2018 was a difficult cycle for Republicans, I believe that in 2020 — with our President on the ballot, a roaring economy, and liberal, one-party rule failing miserably in states like California and New York — that the Democrats’ message will fall flat with swing voters and that a united Republican Party will keep the White House, keep the Senate, and pick up several key swing seats in the House.