Dave Jacobson is a former CNN political commentator and co-founder of J&Z Strategies.
Throughout his career, Jacobson has worked on over 200 local, state and federal candidate and ballot measure campaigns all across the United States. Previously, as a CNN political commentator, Jacobson appeared weekly on CNN Newsroom, weighing in on national and international political news.
In 2016, Jacobson, along with Maclen Zilber, co-founded J&Z Strategies, a national strategic media and political consulting firm. The firm specializes in political strategy and the creative development and execution of paid media advertising. As one of the firm’s partners, Jacobson’s portfolio ranges from representing clients who are running for statewide political office to those running for Congress, as well as progressive organizations, labor unions and more.
Before co-founding J&Z Strategies, he worked as a campaign consultant at two of California’s premier political communications and public affairs firms. While there, Jacobson managed a broad spectrum of clients, spanning from political campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives to state legislative races, local elections and public affairs accounts. His scope of work ranged from crafting and producing sophisticated creative content for paid media and direct mail campaigns to managing message, speech writing, debate prep, as well as campaign and communications strategy for dozens of accounts.
Previously, Jacobson also helped orchestrate one of the greatest upsets in California political history in the state’s first top-two jungle primary as campaign manager for Janice Hahn’s special election for Congress. In that race, Hahn overcame 15 other candidates, including California’s sitting secretary of state. Prior to the special election, he served as Hahn’s director of communications in her L.A. City Council office.
Beyond Hahn, Jacobson has held several high-level campaign management positions on races throughout California, including at labor powerhouse SEIU California State Council. Outside of California, he’s served as statewide communications director for a U.S. Senate campaign in Massachusetts, in Michigan as a communications consultant, and as an account manager at one of Washington D.C.’s formerly largest direct mail and media firms, MSHC Partners. Jacobson also worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary bid. With varying roles, he served on Clinton's staff in California, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Before entering the world of political campaigns, he worked at the United Way of the Bay Area, where he was a campaign advisor overseeing fundraising efforts for philanthropic and nonprofit causes. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Jacobson currently resides in Sherman Oaks with his wife, Donna, and his little girls, Maya and Sofia.