News Release: After Two Wins Last Week, Former GQR Pollster Announces New Firm, Upswing Research & Strategy

May 22, 2023

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WASHINGTON, May 22, 2023—veteran Democratic strategist Ethan Smith announced today he will launch his own polling firm. Based in Washington, D.C., the firm will offer a range of opinion research and campaign services, including polling, focus groups, and general consulting. “Upswing will be a place for innovation, rigorous research methods, and diverse perspectives,” said Smith, one of the only openly gay pollsters in the Party.

His client list includes Democratic Frontline member Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07), freshman member Rep. Summer Lee (PA-12), Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, SEIU Healthcare PA and progressive criminal justice reform group Justice and Public Safety. He has also conducted research for  Democrats, progressive organizations and labor unions across the country, including in Washington, Minnesota, Connecticut, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Texas, and New Jersey. This announcement comes after Smith helped secure primary victories last week in his hometown of Pittsburgh: Sara Innamorato for County Executive and Matt Dugan for District Attorney.

He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Smith previously served as vice president at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQR). Prior to joining GQR, Smith worked on campaigns up and down the ballot. 

Upswing will formally launch with an intimate gathering next month, but Smith is already hard at work. “Building something new is exciting and challenging,” he said. “With that in mind, I’m still laser-focused on continuing to be a strategic partner to my clients to help advance progressive goals and elect Democrats.”

About Upswing Research & Strategy 

Upswing launched in 2023 and sits at the intersection of public opinion and advancing progressive values, helping clients effect change and shape outcomes. The firm offers a range of services, primarily quantitative and qualitative research. Upswing is 100% LGBTQ+ owned. Learn more at or @UpswingRS on Twitter.


Ethan Smith, Founder
(202) 681-1756