Name: Michael Kaplan

Title: Research Director, Cannon Research Group

Location: Annapolis, MD

Bio: I was born and raised on Long Island, home to the famed Nassau County Republican machine. I volunteered on my first political campaign in 2002 and in the subsequent four years, I worked on numerous campaigns, ranging from village and town offices all the way up to U.S. Congress. Upon graduating from Fordham in 2007, I moved to Washington and was hired at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC.) Over the course of the next seven years, I went from press assistant to eventually becoming the field research director. From there, I went on to work at Freedom Partners and for another opposition research firm before joining Cannon Research Group in January, 2018.

What you do at Axiom/how you serve our clients: My primary responsibility at Cannon is to work with our political clients, spearheading and organizing their opposition/vulnerability research needs. In serving as a conduit between our candidates and consultants, I am able to ensure we are exploring all potential avenues that can be exploited in the primary or general campaigns.

Fun fact: In the beginning of 2006, I interned with my hometown congressman in Washington. For two days a week, I’d be at the office by 7:30 in the morning and wouldn’t leave until 6:30 in the evening. Within two weeks, the congressman dubbed me “The Machine” and that nickname followed me throughout my seven years at the NRCC. Even today, fourteen years later, there are some folks that’ll refer to me simply as “The Machine.”

What lessons have you learned from previous campaign cycles: Despite what many people might think, rarely are there silver bullets in research. Moreover, chances are that the most effective research nuggets are hiding in plain sight. It’s just a matter of knowing where to find them.