Jon McHenry, October 17

Jon McHenry’s comments on the political effect of President Obama’s Ebola response in the Washington Times:

“It’s pretty clear that the best politics is to do a travel ban,” said Jon McHenry, vice president of North Star Opinion Research in Alexandria, Virginia. “In that sense, the president, regardless of what’s going on behind scenes, seems to be detached and inactive on another situation that people care about. This is yet another case that seems to show a lack of leadership on his part.”

The Ebola infections and the CDC’s missteps are keeping the news story alive and making it difficult for Democratic candidates to talk about topics other than the administration’s apparent incompetence, Mr. McHenry said.

“It’s another issue on which Democrats are having to defend the president or turn around and attack the country’s response on this,” he said. “At a time when they want to be talking about almost anything else, they’re talking about the administration again.”

He added, “It reinforces a pattern of what people believe that they’re seeing — a lack of leadership, a lack of engagement. Whether it’s being slow to react in Ukraine, slow to react in Syria with [the Islamic State], he charitably has a very deliberate approach but, being less charitable, seems to not put the sense of urgency on issues that voters want him to have.”

How the crisis plays out politically might well depend on whether any more cases of Ebola surface in the U.S., Mr. McHenry said.

“If someone in Ohio winds up getting this, then it’s going to look like a pandemic to the public,” he said. “I’m sure more people are going to die from the flu this year [in the U.S.] than from Ebola, but the news media has a fresh story to run with every day, there’s a new facet to it every day.”

For the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, August 7

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Hill regarding outside groups in Senate races:

“Money is necessary but not sufficient for political success,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster and strategist. “The record is replete with candidates who have outspent their opponents and still lost.”

Ayres said the effectiveness of advertising by outside groups depends largely on the type of group that does the advocacy and quality of the ad. The National Rifle Association, for instance, has a much more loyal following than some of the super-PACs with generic-sounding names that have sprung up in recent years.

As much as outside groups will spend this cycle, Ayres predicted other factors would have a bigger impact on deciding control of the Senate.

He said President Obama’s job-approval rating, the political leanings of the Senate battlegrounds themselves and the demographics of the voters who show up to the polls on Election Day would be the top three factors.

To read the full article, please click here.

Resurgent Republic/Democracy Corps NPR Survey

Our survey with GQRR for NPR was featured on today’s broadcast of Morning Edition, and highlights the tough road ahead for Democrats in swing Senate seats.

To read the article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, May 8

Whit Ayres’ comments for the Wall Street Journal on Democratic messaging for the 2014 election:

The White House strategy is taking shape in a macro-micro approach, similar to the one Mr. Obama’s campaign deployed in 2012, when Democrats essentially ran a series of local campaigns in fewer than a dozen states. The party’s overarching argument is the same: Democrats support policies to bolster the middle class, while the Republican economic agenda would benefit the wealthy—an assertion the GOP says is off-base.

The Republican rebuttal, said GOP pollster Whit Ayres, will include the argument that “the Obama administration has had six years to turn this economy around. What they’ve tried hasn’t worked. It’s time to try a new direction.”

The Democrats’ economic argument “is probably the best they can do, but I don’t think it will be anywhere near enough,” Mr. Ayres said.

For the full article (subscription required), please click here.

Whit Ayres, April 1

Whit Ayres’ comments for CNN regarding ObamaCare and the midterm elections:

Republican pollster Whit Ayers said there’s a more powerful factor in voter fatigue: Obama himself.

Six years into a President’s term, “people get tired of that person’s leadership,” he said. “Especially this President’s.”

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Whit Ayres, March 23

Whit Ayres’ comments in USA Today regarding our joint survey with The Mellman Group for the Bipartisan Policy Center.

For many in the GOP, Ayres says, attitudes toward President Obama and the perception that he’s unwilling to compromise are driving the shift in views. “Republicans in particular realize that the best they’re going to do with a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate is stopping bad things,” he says. “They believe that if you can stop the stimulus bill or stop Obamacare, that may be the best we can do — and that is a function of the divisions.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, March 6

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Christian Science Monitor regarding Republican electoral prospects and Obamacare:

“Anti-Obamacare and anti-Obama leadership is the core message,” says Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “But people vote for things as well as against things, and the smartest politicians I’ve ever worked with all believe in the importance of having a positive agenda. That doesn’t mean they all have to have the same agenda – but they all need something to be for.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, November 15

Dan Judy’s comments on Obamacare and the President’s approval rating, for US News and World Report:

Republican pollster Dan Judy, who has done polling for the NRCC, says that with Obama’s approval plummeting, “things are looking grim for House Democrats.”

“Obamacare is likely to be an even bigger campaign issue than it was in 2010 when the Republicans used it to devastating effect against Democratic incumbents,” Judy says. “It’s gotten Republicans re-energized and Democrats demoralized, which is exactly the opposite of what the Democrats need to have a chance next year.”

For the full article, please click here.

The Obamacare Infection

Whit Ayres’ post titled “The Obamacare Infection” was featured on National Review Online:

Our polling has shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans simply did not believe most of the president’s promises about Obamacare. In March 2012, substantial majorities said that key claims he made about the law were false. For his claim that “the plan will not add one dime to the federal-budget deficit,” that figure is 71 percent; for “the plan will lower premiums for the average family by $2500 per year,” 67 percent; for “the plan will lower costs for individuals, businesses, and the federal government,” 64 percent.

The one promise they did believe? “If you like your current health plan, you will be able to keep it.” By a margin of 64 to 27 percent, Americans said that promise was true. And now they are discovering that to be false as well.

To read the full post, please click here.

Whit Ayres, October 29

Whit Ayres’ comments for the Associated Press regarding Obamacare:

“There’s no question the issue has legs, in part because it affects so many Americans very directly and in part because the glitches with the website are simply one of many fundamental problems with this law,” GOP pollster Whit Ayres said.

To read the full article, please click here.