Political Vetting & Opposition Research

Know yourself, know your opponents.

Forward Risk’s Political Vetting & Opposition Research team combines its direct experience supporting political campaigns and advocacy groups with a rigorous and creative approach to investigations.

Based in Washington, DC, our team is led by seasoned investigators who previously conducted opposition research at national political committees for presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional races. We draw upon our collective expertise, derived from experience working for high-profile political campaigns and committees, government agencies, and media outlets.

A political campaign’s success or failure can hinge on a revealing statement or a key piece of information from a candidate’s past. Forward Risk’s political vetting and opposition research services provide in-depth portraits of candidates, nominees, and incumbents, highlighting the findings that will make a difference.

How We Help

Investigating campaign opponents.

Forward Risk conducts a wide-ranging review of political opponents to uncover negative information that can be used during the course of a campaign.

We examine news clips and social media, civil litigation and criminal records, and also undertake discreet human source inquiries and/or Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests when appropriate, with a view to uncovering pertinent primary source materials.

Contextualizing opponents’ political track record and affiliations.

Forward Risk analyzes a candidate’s voting record, as well as their comments on matters of public interest, to identify key statements and positions.

We not only comb through campaign finance filings and financial disclosure reports, among other sources, but we also translate our research findings into easily understandable information for internal and external stakeholders.

Executing defensive research.

Forward Risk provides in-depth vulnerability assessments into a candidate’s background prior to running in order to mine potential weaknesses.

We also carry out comprehensive vetting of potential employees, surrogates, and large donors, as well as fact checking of a campaign’s public-facing materials (like ads and emails) for accuracy.

Our Experience

Forward Risk’s work often makes headlines. In 2021, for instance, our opposition research for a congressional campaign in Georgia uncovered a previously unreported series of lawsuits regarding allegations of domestic abuse that occurred in the wake of the candidate’s contentious divorce and custody battle, which successfully bolstered our client’s communications and messaging strategy.

We also help to keep you out of the spotlight. For example, in 2020, we completed self-research for a first-time candidate in Michigan and found embarrassing comments that he made on social media when he was in high school. He was able to remove those posts before they were discovered by a wider audience.


Forward Risk’s Political Vetting and Opposition Research practice is helmed by Claire Vinocur and Chris Haxo.

Claire’s experience includes vetting political and administration hires and nominees, and she has led campaign finance research into candidates, committees, and outside groups. Chris has overseen research on key congressional and gubernatorial contests in over a dozen states, helping contribute to wins in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Maryland.

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