Whit Ayres, August 22

Whit Ayres’ comments in the Wall Street Journal regarding Republican pickup opportunities in the U.S. Senate this cycle:

Perhaps the toughest challenges for the GOP are in red states where incumbents are fighting battles they have long expected. They include Democrats Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who are all scions of established political families in their home states.

“All three are running incredible campaigns,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who remained bullish about GOP prospects. Getting elected as Democrats in those states “is not an inconsiderable advantage and not one to be underestimated.”

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Whit Ayres, August 21

Whit Ayres’ comments for Fox News Latino on Rick Perry’s indictment and presidential bid:

Whit Ayers, a Republican pollster in Washington, D.C., said the subtext of a liberal area’s indictment of conservative Republican stands to give Perry a boost, should he decide to run for president in 2016.

The Democrats pushing the case against Perry, Ayers said, “are trying to criminalize political disagreements.”

“This is a trumped up indictment,” Ayers said. “It’s such an obvious and blatant abuse of prosecutorial discretion, it may be the best thing that’s happened to Rick Perry.”

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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.

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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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