Whit Ayres is a leading Washington, D.C. political consultant with over 30 years of experience in polling and survey research for high profile political campaigns and associations.
As Founder and President of North Star Opinion Research, a national public opinion and public affairs research firm located in Alexandria, Virginia, Whit provides message development advice and strategic insights to high level political clients including U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, and association clients including the Boy Scouts of America, the Federalist Society, and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.
Whit and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie are Co-Founders of Resurgent Republic, a center-right nonprofit which develops and disseminates a steady stream of national polls and focus groups, helping policy makers, think tanks, interest groups and others advocate for policies that are consistent with conservative principles. Resurgent’s research is regularly cited by leading journalists and politicos.
Whit has been active in The American Association of Political Consultants for over 20 years, serving as its Treasurer, President, and Chairman. In 2012, Whit was honored as the Republican Pollster of the Year by the organization. AAPC is a bi-partisan professional society that promotes the political consulting industry, protects political freedom of speech, and fosters ethical behavior in political campaigns.
Whit is a frequent commentator on network and cable media outlets including NBC’s Meet the Press, FOX News, CNN, NPR and the BBC. His comments and analysis appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and numerous regional newspapers.
Whit founded his company after a career as a tenured professor in the Department of Government and International Studies at the University of South Carolina. Whit is a graduate of Davidson College and holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jon McHenry is Vice President of North Star Opinion Research, formerly Ayres, McHenry and Associates. In addition to working with the firm’s political, public affairs, and corporate clients, he oversees the firm’s fielding procedures and methodology.
Jon has spent a significant amount of time helping clients looking at multiple races target their time and resources. His work with the Business Council of Alabama helped target resources in state Senate races and the BCA team helped Bob Riley’s campaign to oust a sitting Democratic governor in 2002. In 2010, he worked with the American Action Forum on 31 congressional districts that helped define potential pick-up opportunities for Republicans, and with the National Republican Congressional Committee’s independent expenditure committee to help target districts and decide on messages to defeat entrenched incumbents in the South and Midwest.
Jon’s corporate and public affairs work has focused on telecommunications, including AT&T as a client; transportation, working with both government and private firms; and employee satisfaction research, most notably with Georgia-Pacific.
Jon’s comments and analysis have appeared in a variety of media settings, including Fox News, CNN, NBC Nightly News, BBC television and radio, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and NPR-member radio station shows.
Jon graduated cum laude from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in political science while earning spots on the North Atlantic Conference All-Conference Soccer Academic Team in 1990 and 1991. He held his first job in polling at UNH as well, working in the Survey Center as an interviewer during the 1992 primary season.
Jon received his M.A. in political science from the University of Georgia, with an emphasis on American politics and statistics. He served both as a research assistant and teaching assistant to faculty there.
Jon is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research and American Association of Political Consultants. He ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC in 2005 and 2007, the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in 2010, and the George Washington Parkway 10-Miler in 2011.
Dan Judy joined North Star Opinion Research as a Research Analyst in early 2001, and became Vice President in 2009. In 2012, Campaigns and Elections magazine named him a “Rising Star” in the political consulting industry, and in 2015 he was part of the American Association of Political Consultants’ inaugural “40 Under 40″ class. He works on a wide variety of political, non-profit, and corporate projects from questionnaire development, to fielding, to strategic analysis and presentation, and is also a skilled focus group moderator, having conducted groups on a wide range of topics in cities across the country.
Dan has helped the winning campaigns of U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, numerous members of the U.S. House, and state and local officials across the country. His public affairs work has focused on transportation (for clients including the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Transit Planning Board in his home state of Georgia), the environment (for The Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land, and Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition), and health care (for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, and PhRMA). Other clients include the Boy Scouts of America, The Federalist Society, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Dan often offers commentary on polling and the political issues of the day, and his analysis has appeared on network television stations across the country, BBC World TV and Radio, NPR’s Morning Edition, Sirius XM, and in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, The Hill, and National Journal. He has also served as a panelist at national conferences including ALEC, the American Association of Political Consultants and the Hispanic Leadership Network.
Dan graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia with a degree in political science and history, and developed an interest in politics while interning for House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the late Senator Paul Coverdell. He is a member of the American Association of Political Consultants and the American Association for Public Opinion Research.
Dan is a passionate fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, Atlanta Braves, and Atlanta Falcons. He has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, run two marathons, and reached the summits of Washington’s Mt. Rainier (14,410 feet), Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba (18,701 feet), Ecuador’s Cayambe (18,996 feet), and Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341 feet). He and his wife Caroline live in Old Town Alexandria.
CHERYL MARTIN GLENN
Cheryl Glenn founded the firm with Whit Ayres in 1991, and is the one indispensible member of the team, managing the day-to-day operations of the company. Her wide variety of responsibilities include managing the firm’s finances, and meticulously editing every written document that is released publicly or privately.
Cheryl has two decades of experience in survey research and data management, and specializes in clear and creative graphic presentation of survey data. In addition to preparing the presentations for Resurgent Republic’s national releases, her work has been seen by a wide variety of groups throughout the country, including the annual Awakening Conference in South Carolina, the American Association of Political Consultants, and the U.S. Senate Republican Conference.
A native of Columbia, SC, Cheryl attended the University of South Carolina and enjoys history, politics, and international travel.
Photos contributed by DC Photographer Aaron Clamage