Management Team
John Nienstedt, Sr.

John Nienstedt, Sr.
President and CEO

  • Questionnaire design and script writing
  • Project development
  • Data analysis
  • Sampling
  • Focus group moderation
  • Dial-testing using Perception Analyzer


Early in his career, John Nienstedt worked in local political campaigns, was an aide to a San Diego County Supervisor and managed a mammoth political phone center. He and a partner founded Competitive Edge Research & Communication, Inc. in 1987. John acquired sole ownership of the firm in 1991 and computerized the operation with predictive dialers in 1992. He expanded calling capacity in 1995 and again in 1998 when he purchased Competitive Edge’s current headquarters.

John earned his master’s degree in political science with an emphasis in social science research, writing a thesis entitled, “A Practical Strategy for Predicting Voter Turnout in Pre-Election Polling.” In 2003, he launched the KPBS/Competitive Edge Research San Diego County Opinion Assessment, which took the monthly pulse of local residents. In 2007, Competitive Edge partnered with the San Diego Institute for Policy Research to conduct regular surveys of county residents.

John is a featured speaker at campaign seminars and is frequently called on by the media and other organizations to shed light on political and polling issues. He has written articles for the U-T San Diego and Campaigns & Elections magazine. John is a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Political Consultants and American Association for Public Opinion Research. He received the SBA’s Entrepreneurial Success Award for 2000. John and his wife married in 2000 and have a son. He is Mexican on his mother’s side, a native San Diegan and an avid baseball fan.