Whit Ayres, May 3

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Wall Street Journal regarding Tim Scott’s comments on race:

The core of this conversation, of course, is whether America is at heart a racist nation, or merely a nation where racism still exists. “There are very few Americans other than the ideological left who would disagree with almost anything in that speech,” says Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster who has worked extensively in the South.

Mr. Scott’s formulation “is a fundamental challenge to the premise of the far left in America,” he adds. “His overall argument would be supported by significant majorities of Americans of all races. Certainly the vast majority of whites would agree. It would be a closer call among Blacks.”

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Whit Ayres, April 20

Whit Ayres’ comments in Politico regarding election results in the Atlanta suburbs:

“It’s a mistake to assume that suburban voters are somehow locked into the Democratic column,” said Whit Ayres, the longtime Republican pollster. “They are very much up for grabs not just in Georgia, but around the country.”

Still, Ayers said, the focus of party activists on exacting a measure of payback on the party’s own statewide elected officials is “doing the exact opposite of what’s necessary to revive the Republican Party in the suburbs.”

“Picking a fight with your own party’s governor and lieutenant governor and secretary of state,” he said, “doesn’t strike me as the wisest of political moves.”

To read the full article, please click here.

2020 Post-Election Presentation

Dan Judy, April 8

Dan Judy’s comments in The Hill on changes in the Republican Party:

GOP strategist Dan Judy took a milder tack but shared the same broad concerns, noting how far the GOP has moved over the past 10 years.

“Two things are interesting — one is the new people who have been elected, but the other thing is the way formerly ‘establishment’ Republicans have moved toward the populist ideology,” he said. “The net effect of all that is to move the party away from a more establishment mindset, and toward a more populist mindset.”

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Whit Ayres, March 15

Whit Ayres’ comments in the Financial Times on the $1.9T Democratic stimulus bill:

“The package is popular and widely supported, and the Republican objections to it have not been persuasive enough or consistent enough to do the bill any real damage at this point,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster.

“It is challenging, obviously,” he added. “When you are giving away free stuff, it is hard to make an argument against it, particularly when the vast majority of Americans are going to get some free stuff.”

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Whit Ayres, March 9

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding Hispanic voting patterns:

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, whose firm, North Star Opinion Research, has studied Hispanic partisan allegiance, wrote in an email that Latinos are far more flexible in their voting than African-Americans:

“As a general rule, about 50 percent of Hispanics vote fairly consistently for Democrats, 25 percent vote for Republicans and the remaining 25 percent are up for grabs.”

In the Latino electorate, Ayres said, “many are sensitive to charges of socialism because of their country of origin. Many are sensitive to law-and-order issues. And many are cultural conservatives, as Reagan argued years ago.”

As a result, Ayres continued,

“When white liberal Democrats start talking about defunding the police, the Green New Deal and promoting policies that can be described as socialistic, they repel a lot of Hispanic voters. In other words, most Hispanics, like most African-Americans, are not ideological liberals.”

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Whit Ayres, March 4

Whit Ayres in The New York Times on the Republican Party and working-class voters:

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster whose clients have included Mr. Rubio, was critical of Democrats for not seeking a compromise on the stimulus after a group of G.O.P. senators offered a smaller package. “Seven Republican senators voted to convict a president of their own party,” he said, referring to Mr. Trump’s impeachment. “If you can’t get any of them on a Covid program, you’re not trying real hard.”

As the Covid-19 relief package, which every House Republican voted down, makes its way through the Senate this week, Republicans are expected to offer further proposals aimed at struggling Americans.

Mr. Ayres said that the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., last weekend, the first major party gathering since Mr. Trump left office, had been a spectacularly missed opportunity in its failure to include meaningful discussion of policies for blue-collar voters. Instead, the former president advanced an intraparty civil war by naming in his speech on Sunday a hit list of every Republican who voted to impeach him.

“You’d better be spending a lot more time developing an economic agenda that benefits working people than re-litigating a lost presidential election,” Mr. Ayres said. “The question is, how long will it take the Republicans to figure out that driving out heretics rather than winning new converts is a losing strategy right now?”

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Whit Ayres, February 28

Whit Ayres’ comments to Politico on the 2021 CPAC meeting in Orlando:

“Donald Trump remains the leader of the populist wing of the party, which he grew into a dominant force in Republican primaries, although never a majority force in the country,” said Whit Ayres, the longtime Republican pollster. “But because Trump dominates the populist wing, the folks who are members of that wing are going to continue to promote whatever he wants to promote at the time. That means they’re still hanging on to this myth that the election was stolen.”

To read the full article please click here.

Whit Ayres, February 26

Whit Ayres’ comments in USA Today about CPAC:

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster and consultant, sees the split as one between a “pro-governing” wing of the party and the “pro-populist” wing.

The populists, he said, are more interested in being anti-establishment, anti-immigrant, and anti-media. Trump fused those people into a force that won the Electoral College in 2016, but could not get him over the top in 2020.

Now, “the Republican Party is seriously split between the governing faction and the populist faction,” Ayres said, and CPAC “will be a celebration of the populist faction.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, February 26

Whit Ayres’ comments in Bloomberg about a failure of bipartisanship:

“Seven Republican senators just voted to convict a president of their own party of impeachable offenses — if you can’t get a single one of those Republicans, you are not trying,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster, referring to Trump’s impeachment trial this month. “They will need Republican support for future initiatives. Why stiff them coming out of the gate?”

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