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.

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Jon McHenry, June 12

Jon McHenry’s comments on Republican primaries and immigration reform for Fox News Latino:

“Lindsey Graham was able to talk about what the Senate bill actually does,” said Jon McHenry of the Republican pollster Northstar Opinion Research. “He took it out of the context of just amnesty.”

“People who run successfully in support of immigration reform say it’s not amnesty, its securing our border, and they talk about what do we do with the undocumented immigrants who live in our country.”

Last month, Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina beat a conservative challenge in the GOP primary that also sought to portray her as an amnesty-loving weakling on immigration.

“Renee Ellmers had a tough primary, her race was all about immigration,” McHenry said. “And she successfully fought on that issue, she spoke about what she was for instead of letting it be defined for her.”

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Whit Ayres, June 12

Whit Ayres’ comments on immigration reform and Republican primary voters in Politico:

Pollsters at the briefing, however, say their surveys didn’t find any evidence of greater intensity among immigration reform opponents. And Whit Ayres, one of the pollsters, said Graham was a better test case of how immigration reform plays in a GOP primary — as was Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, who won her primary easily despite attacks on her support for immigration reform.

“Let’s not get caught up in the news of yesterday,” Ayres said. “There is a pattern of candidates who support these proposals prevailing in Republican primaries.”

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Whit Ayres, May 21

Whit Ayres’ comments on the Republican party primary season in The Washington Post:

That means establishment Republicans must court the tea party. “You have to reach out very aggressively and indicate that as the nominee of the party you will be the voice of all the various parts of the party,” Whit Ayres, a GOP pollster, said. “Successful nominees unite the party by making everyone feel they will be listened to and have a voice.”

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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.

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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.”

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Whit Ayres, March 20

Whit Ayres’ comments on the Hispanic vote and GOP prospects in 2014 and 2016 in the Los Angeles Times:

In 2012, exit polls show Mitt Romney beat Obama by 20 percentage points among white voters, which made up 72% of the electorate, while losing resoundingly among all other racial groups. In this November’s midterm election, whites will constitute a higher percentage of the electorate than in 2012, about 75%, according to GOP pollster Whit Ayres.

“My fear is that a good 2014 will disguise some of the fundamental problems that Republicans need to address if they are ever going to elect another president,” pollster Ayres said.

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Whit Ayres, March 10

Whit Ayres’ comments for the Washington Post‘s PlumLine blog regarding immigration reform and electoral trends:

GOP pollster Whit Ayres, who favors reform, tells me Republicans should take the two point rise in critical swing states very seriously.

“It’s significant,” Ayres says. “Some aspects of the future are difficult to see clearly. The increasing proportion of Hispanics in the electorates in key swing states is not one of them.”
“Swing states are by their very definition closely contested,” Ayres continues. “Many of them have been won in close races by only a percentage point or two. Changing the demographics of the state by two percentage points puts a finger on the scale in each of the swing states for the party that’s doing well among Hispanics. This underscores the critical importance for Republican candidates to do better among nonwhite Americans, particularly among Hispanics, if Republicans ever hope to elect another president.”

Ayres adds that the one-point rises also matter. “It is a sign of things to come,” he said. “States that have been comfortably red, like Georgia and North Carolina, are changing, and will become swing states unless Republicans figure out how to win significant support in the Hispanic community.”

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.”

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