Longtime political pollster Patrick Caddell, who was a Fox News contributor, died over the weekend, it was reported.
He died due to complications of a stroke, colleague Professor Kendra Stewart told The New York Times.
“After escaping Washington, he sought refuge in L.A., where he was a writer and producer on ‘West Wing’ with Aaron Sorkin and consulted on other films such as ‘Outbreak,’ ‘Air Force One’ and ‘In the Line of Fire,’” Stewart told The Associated Press.
Patrick Caddell, a former Fox News contributor whose launch into the world of polling came when he devised a…
“These past years he has been consulting, conducting research and writing on the state of voter unrest and dissatisfaction with the political system. I worked with him through his company, Caddell Associates, on many of these projects,” Stewart added. “He was a passionate man who wanted nothing more than to leave his grandchildren a better country.”
Born on May 19, 1950, in South Carolina, he lived in Florida and Massachusetts during his youth because his father worked for the Coast Guard, the Times noted.
In high school, he entered the world of polling after devising a “voter election model,” the paper noted.
“I set up at the courthouse and called all the elections early with great abandon, with no idea what I was doing,” he reportedly said. “And they all turned out right.”
“Math was not my favorite subject,” he added, saying that that was the extent of his formal academic training on polling.
Patrick Caddell, Self-Taught Pollster Who Helped Carter to White House, Dies at 68 https://t.co/QEkinSt7W3
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) February 16, 2019
Caddell is credited with contributing to the election of former President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s.
Carter’s campaign manager, Hamilton Jordan, once told a reporter, “You know why Jimmy Carter is going to be president? Because of Pat Caddell—it’s all because of Pat Caddell.”
Caddell, a native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and the Georgia governor found they had many ideas in common about how he could win the presidency. As a one-term governor from the South, Carter would have to offer a compelling outsider theme.
Pat Caddell, Carter Pollster Turned MAGA Supporter, Has Passed Away
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 17, 2019
“In order to win, he had to articulate a sense of what had happened to the country through Vietnam and Watergate. If you go back and look at those speeches that he gave early in the campaign, he would talk about the damage to the country, its psychology,” Caddell said previously. “Essentially, what he was running on in the campaign was that the country had been psychologically devastated by the previous decade of events. He was offering himself as a healer…”
But later, he drifted away from the Democratic Party and eventually started advising Republican supporters of President Donald Trump, The Associated Press noted, adding he contributed to Fox News. According to some news outlets, he became an adviser to Trump’s campaign manager, Steve Bannon.
Caddell considered the Democrats to be guilty of “the stifling of dissent.”
Carter-era polling whiz Patrick Caddell dies https://t.co/lxlKfqGiZu
— David Mark (@DavidMarkDC) February 16, 2019
He once commended Trump for reaching out to people the Democrats were not effective in reaching, and his willingness to take on “the political class,” AP noted.
It was in the 1990s when he became frustrated with the Democratic Party, criticizing it for relying on corporate donors and moving away from its roots.
He leaves behind a daughter, three grandchildren, and several siblings, Times reported.
Other details about his death are not clear.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.