STANFORD – Richard Wirthlin, a close adviser to President Ronald Reagan dating back to before his presidential candidacy, has donated extensive materials to the Hoover Institution Archives. Wirthlin, a well-known political pollster and opinion researcher, is considered a pioneer in developing sophisticated techniques in opinion research and communications strategy.
Included in the donation are several research studies Wirthlin conducted for Governor Reagan between 1968 and 1974, polling and strategic research conducted for Reagan's presidential campaigns in 1976, 1980, and 1984, plus eight years’ worth of monthly surveys and other event-driven studies done for the Reagan White House between January 1981 and November 1988.
Hoover Institution director John Raisian said: “Mr. Wirthlin’s materials add substantially to Hoover’s collections that are directly related to the Reagan presidency. President Reagan’s legacy is growing in stature, and materials, such as those found in the Wirthlin collection, add to the knowledge base for researchers analyzing his presidency. We believe the Hoover Institution is a ‘must-see’ for anyone doing research on the Reagan presidency, and these papers add credence to this assertion.”
The Wirthlin materials join others from colleagues and associates of Reagan during his presidency, including those of U.S. attorney general Edwin Meese and domestic and economic policy adviser Martin Anderson.
In making the donation, Wirthlin said, “I am delighted to donate my Ronald Reagan studies to the Hoover Institution Archives. They offer presidential scholars and others the opportunity to view what was known about public opinion through the course of Reagan’s California governorship and his eight years in the White House.”
Richard Wirthlin founded WirthlinWorldwide, a strategic opinion research and consulting firm, in 1969. The company merged with Harris Interactive of Rochester, New York, in 2004.
He is the coauthor, with Hoover fellow Wynton Hall, of The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me about Politics, Leadership, and Life, published in 2004.