- Reuters / Stephen Lam
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have hired a Democratic pollster, increasing speculation that the Facebook CEO is considering entering the political arena, according to a Politico report published on Wednesday.
The pollster, Joel Benenson, is a former top adviser for Barack Obama and was chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
According to the report, Benenson will conduct research for the couple’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropy effort launched in 2015.
However, the hire comes amid other Zuckerberg moves perceived as testing the waters for a possible run for office. Zuckerberg embarked on a road trip through several US states this year, making stops at a Wisconsin farm, the Ford factory in Michigan, North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, and the Civil War cemetery in Vicksburg, Mississippi, among other locations.
Last month, A Public Policy Polling survey found that 40% of respondents would support Zuckerberg in a theoretical presidential election against Donald Trump.
For his part, Zuckerberg denied his whirlwind tour of the US indicated a desire to enter politics.
“Some of you have asked if this challenge means I’m running for public office. I’m not,” he wrote on Facebook.