Whit Ayres, June 27

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding cultural issues and the presidential election:

“There will always be side issues, but none of that will compete with people’s primary concerns, which are the economy and who is going to be able to keep the country safe,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster advising Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, Forbes Magazine

Whit Ayres was interviewed by Forbes to discuss his new book 2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America:

In a new book, 2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America, veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres argues that given demographic trends, Republicans need to attract more minority voters or face Democrats winning the White House in 2016 and on into the foreseeable future. Ayres is founder and president of North Star Opinion Researchand has consulted for high level Republican candidates and conservative organizations.

To read the interview, please click here.

Jon McHenry, September 19

Jon McHenry’s comments in US News and World Report on ObamaCare and a potential government shutdown:

On its own, GOP pollster Jon McHenry says repealing and dismantling Obamacare is a great issue that attracts the Republican base, a majority of independents and even a fraction of Democratic voters to the GOP ticket.

“Where we lose is where we link Obamacare to the CR,” McHenry says, referring to the continuing resolution battle Congress is embroiled in.

Independents won’t go for a government shutdown even if it would stop Obamacare in its tracks, he explains.

“It jeopardizes Republicans maintaining control of the House and even gaining control of the Senate, which they are in a position to do in 2014,” McHenry says.

To read the full article, please click here.

Jon McHenry, September 2

Jon McHenry’s comments in the Washington Times regarding President Obama and the budget:

“Has he been trying to sell his budget priorities?” asked Republican pollster Jon McHenry, vice president of North Star Strategies. “I’m sure there are some folks in upstate New York who appreciate that he’s been out on the hustings. But there’s so much attention on Obamacare, defunding it or delaying it, and Syria on the other side, that I don’t know if anybody is getting any sense of his budget priorities.”

The collapse of talks raised concerns that Washington could be headed for a government shutdown. Mr. McHenry said his polling suggests that would be a mistake for the GOP.
“What we’re seeing in our polling and in the public polling is that Republicans are in fantastic shape when they’re talking about Obamacare, and that includes with independents, right up until the point where you start talking about the government,” he said. “At that point, it becomes more of an ideological issue where you start to lose some independents, and some Republicans, too.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, August 8

Dan Judy’s comments on ObamaCare for US News and World Report:

Republican pollster Dan Judy said while the idea may appear overwhelmingly popular among the loudest tea party voices at town halls, only half of Republicans support it and nationally it is an election loser.

“It is short-sighted to divide our base and send independents into the arms of Democrats over this shutdown issue,” Judy says.

For the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, November 3

Whit Ayres’ comments on Independents during the Journal Report on FoxNews.

October 2012 Resurgent Republic Survey

In this last Resurgent Republic survey before the election, taken October 23-25, Mitt Romney has caught up with President Obama, and now leads the national ballot by 48 to 47 percent. The Romney advance has been driven by Independent voters who have moved toward Romney in the wake of the three Presidential debates.

President Obama defeated Senator John McCain among Independent voters in 2008 by eight percentage points (52 to 44 percent), one of the main reasons Obama won the presidential election. But this survey shows Obama’s support collapsing among Independents. Governor Mitt Romney leads Obama among Independents by 51 to 39 percent. If those numbers hold, that would mark a net 20-point turnaround for Obama among Independent voters in four years.

For the full analysis, including links to the toplines and infographic, please click here.

Winning Among Independent Women

Resurgent Republic has noted the similarities between Independents and Republicans on a host of issues since our first poll in 2009.  Conservatives have the upper hand with these voters for now, and the party best able to appeal to Independents in 2012 will win the White House and may well claim both chambers of Congress.

We largely expect Republican men and women, and Democratic men and women, to hold similar views regardless of gender.  An examination of our research from this year – specifically Independents by gender – shows that Republicans have the potential to expand their lead among Independents overall by maximizing their potential among Independent women.

According to our most recent survey, Independent women are less conservative (34 percent) than Independent men (44 percent), and currently favor Republicans by smaller margins than men on the presidential ballot (42 to 35 percent versus 44 to 29 percent) and the generic congressional ballot (34 to 32 percent versus 38 to 26 percent among men).  While Independent women have the same views of Republicans in Congress as men (34 to 56 percent favorable to unfavorable, compared to 32 to 58 percent among men) they hold Democrats in somewhat higher regard (35 to 52 percent, compared to 26 to 64 percent).  Regarding the Tea Party, Independent men split (44 to 43 percent) while Independent women view the movement unfavorably (36 to 48 percent).

But opinion on a number of questions shows that Independent women could move to the same levels of Republican support seen among Independent men.  Independent women, for example, are more likely to say the economy is worse now than when President Obama took office (70 percent versus 61 percent among Independent men), say the federal government’s financial situation is worse (77 percent versus 70 percent), and say their own personal financial situation is worse (40 percent versus 27 percent).

While Independent women are more likely to say President Obama is an outsider trying to change the way Washington works (52 to 37 percent, with men saying he is an insider who is part of the way Washington works by a 49 to 40 percent margin), a plurality thinks the President is more interested in campaigning against Republicans (47 to 40 percent, compared to 58 to 35 percent among men).  And Independent women are just as likely as Independent men to disapprove of the job the President is doing (52 to 44 percent compared to 54 to 42 percent among men); in fact, Independent women are moving away from the President, having split on his job performance in January (47 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved).

Independent women are split on President Obama’s jobs bill (47 percent agree with a statement supporting it while 46 percent agree with a statement opposing it) while Independent men oppose it by a 48 to 43 percent margin.  But Independent women oppose the mortgage proposal (49 to 41 percent, compared to 55 to 36 percent among men) and agree it is a higher priority to spend less to reduce the deficit rather than spend more to help the economy (by a 59 to 34 percent margin, similar to the 58 to 35 percent margin among men).

Conservatives can win among Independent women by making the case that their approach to the economy and government spending will be more successful than President Obama’s approach, considering these women overwhelmingly say things are worse now than when the President took office.  When making that case, conservatives should:

  • Keep the discussion of entitlements focused on saving the programs for the future.  While we’ve noted this in the past, it’s particularly important among Independent women: these voters support a liberal position on entitlements when the conservative focus is on the budget (59 to 33 percent), but support the conservative position stating that “Congressman B says Social Security is in real trouble because of so many retiring baby boomers.  We can save Social Security with minor benefit adjustments for people age 55 and under, and we should do that now rather than wait until the program faces a crisis.” by a 56 to 37 percent margin.  Independent men agree with conservatives regardless of the message on entitlements (August survey).
  • Emphasize a goal of allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines (supported 74 to 20 percent among Independent women in January) and the unfairness of the individual mandate (supported 57 to 34 percent) when talking about the current health care law and what should replace it (January survey).  While Independent women agreed with other conservative positions on health care as well – opposing the new law by a 53 to 32 percent margin, for example – these are the two strongest points with them (November survey).
  • On energy, emphasize offshore drilling more than the expansion of nuclear power.  While Independent women split with Independent men on nuclear power (men agree with a conservative position for more nuclear power by a 64 to 29 percent margin and women agree with a liberal position against it by a 47 to 42 percent margin), both Independent women (60 to 34 percent) and men (64 to 32 percent) agree that we need “more offshore drilling to create jobs and make us less dependent on foreign oil” (January survey).