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Presidential Primaries — Page 2

Jon McHenry, September 5

Jon McHenry’s comments in The Boston Globe regarding Hillary Clinton’s performance on the campaign trail:

Not everyone is giving her high marks.

“I don’t think she’s doing a whole lot better,” said Jon McHenry, a Republican pollster and strategist who worked on Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, noting that everyone gets a little better with practice. “Mostly what she is is not Donald Trump. There’s so much attention on him every day. Even when she’s drowning in e-mail scandals, he’s not content to let her drown.”

Leaving the awkwardness of the primary behind seemed to help loosen Clinton up. There’s a natural tension in a primary battle when some of a candidate’s natural allies pick the other side, and a candidate must attack — but not too harshly — his or her teammates.

Clinton seemed to feel the discomfort acutely; one close aide said Clinton’s new self-assurance started in early June, when she had effectively clinched the nomination, in part because she was “excited to stop dancing on the head of a pin.”

McHenry, the GOP strategist, said Clinton overreached during the primary, trying to bend over backward to appeal to Democratic rival Bernie Sanders’ base of passionate progressives. Clinton does better with her general election approach, he said, of playing toward the middle and focusing on policy rather than emphasizing ideology.

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Whit Ayres, April 27

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Whit Ayres’ comments in the Kansas City Star on the impact of Indiana’s primary on the Republican nominating process:

“If Donald Trump wins Indiana, there will be very little energy or hope left among those who want to back a nominee other than Donald Trump,” said Republican consultant Whit Ayres.

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Dan Judy, April 25

Dan Judy’s comments in The Hill on the alliance between Senator Cruz and Governor Kasich:

“It remains to be seen how effective this is going to be,” said GOP strategist Dan Judy. “Can the average Kasich supporter stomach voting for Cruz? Can the average Cruz supporter stomach voting for Kasich? We just don’t know.”

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Whit Ayres, April 1

Whit Ayres’ comments in the Los Angeles Times regarding the Republican nominating contest:

“Any candidate that looks like an almost sure loser in a general election is going to have a hard time getting a party’s nomination,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, who was a top strategist for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s unsuccessful bid. “The weaker Trump looks as a potential nominee, the greater the pressure to open up the nominating process for someone who might actually win the general election.”

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Whit Ayres, March 31, NPR

Whit Ayres’ book 2016 and Beyond was featured by NPR regarding Donald Trump’s comments on abortion:

Knowing this, Republican strategists know that the party has to be thoughtful when talking about abortion. In his 2015 book, 2016 and Beyond: How Republicans Can Elect a President in the New America, GOP strategist Whit Ayres — who advised Marco Rubio’s campaign — told Republicans to exercise “extreme care” in talking about abortion.

“If your audience contains women, chances are very good that you are talking to someone who is extraordinarily sensitive about the topic,” he wrote. He pointed to statistics showing that “three out of five Americans know someone who has had an abortion.”

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Whit Ayres, March 31

Whit Ayres’ comments to CNBC on the state of the Republican primary contest:

“I think this thing is a long way from being over,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. It’s also a long way from being clear whether this week’s contretemps represents a grave threat to Trump’s candidacy or another in a series of bumps he has consistently moved beyond.

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Whit Ayres, January 5

Whit Ayres’ comments in the Wall Street Journal on the mood of the electorate:

Republican Whit Ayres, who advises Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign, says: “The mood of the country reminds me of the last years of the Carter presidency: We are frustrated with apparent American impotence in world affairs, fearful about the economy and unsettled about the future course of the country.”

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Whit Ayres, November 11

Whit Ayres’ comments in Politico on Marco Rubio and the Republican presidential primary contest:

“Marco Rubio is in a unique position to unite the various factions of the Republican coalition,” said Whit Ayres, Rubio’s pollster, who noted focus group data that showed an uptick in support from social conservatives, not just moderate Republicans looking for a candidate who can win the general election.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, August 13

Whit Ayres’ comment on outsider candidates and the mood of primary voters in the Washington Post:

“There’s a disquiet, discomfort and angst that so many people are feeling,” said GOP pollster Whit Ayres, who advises Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.). “They’re scared economically, they’re scared about what’s happening with our adversaries, and it makes them really, really uncomfortable with where the country’s going and where the leaders are going.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, August 12

Whit Ayres’ comments on RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and the state of the Republican primary campaign:

“There’s no way you can compare 2012 and 2016 and not conclude that Chairman Priebus has made major strides in improving the process,” says Whit Ayres, another longtime GOP pollster who is working for Marco Rubio this cycle.

To read the full article, please click here.