Whit Ayres, November 8

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Hill regarding Republican Senate reelection prospects:

Republican pollster Whit Ayres told The Hill that the results from Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania show suburban voters are trending further away from GOP candidates.

“It’s a continuation of the pattern we saw in 2017 in Virginia’s gubernatorial election and the 2018 midterms. Blue states are getting bluer, red states are staying red and states in the middle are still competitive. But it’s hard to reelect with a job approval of 34 percent,” Ayres said, referring to Bevin’s ratings.

“The suburbs continue to trend toward the Democrats where the Republicans have had a stranglehold for years,” he added.

Ayres said statewide Republican candidates can win in swing states such as Maine and Colorado next year but will have to outperform Trump on top of the ticket.

“The senators running in swing states will need to run well-ahead of the president in the suburbs to win reelection,” he said.

“And that’s possible,” Ayres said, noting how Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) outperformed Trump in their home states in 2016.

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Dan Judy, Oct 28

Dan Judy’s comments in The Hill regarding the political impact of U.S. troops successes against ISIS:

Another Republican strategist, Dan Judy, said that it was important to acknowledge the importance of al-Baghdadi’s demise — but also to keep its likely impact at home in perspective.

“Strategically, it is a huge deal, it is a huge win, and I think people recognize that,” he said. “But most people would not have recognized al-Baghdadi, whereas Osama bin Laden held a singular place in the American psyche.” …

To be sure, some Republicans argue that even if the al-Baghdadi operation does not change Trump’s overall approval ratings, it could at least give him some breathing room from GOP elected officials who have been openly critical of the Syria pull-out.

“Many Republicans, especially on Capitol Hill, were very unhappy about that,” said Judy. “This could take a bit of heat off [Trump] for that decision.”

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Whit Ayres, October 15

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding public opinion on impeachment:

Still, there are signs that the outlook for Mr. Trump is not improving. Support for impeaching the president has been growing among Americans who were once against it. Before the Ukraine revelations, said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, about 15 percent of Americans who disapproved of Trump’s job performance still opposed his impeachment and removal. 

“The Ukraine revelations are reducing that number,” he said, to 12 percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. “The progression of this story will likely make the impeachment inquiry numbers look much like Trump’s job approval numbers, with 40 to 45 percent opposing it and 55 to 60 percent supporting it,” Mr. Ayres added.

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Whit Ayres, September 28

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Atlantic on President Trump’s statements regarding California:

“It’s a freebie for Trump” that energizes his base, says the veteran Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “It’s not like California’s going to turn around and vote Republican anytime in the future. This is part of the messaging that Republicans have used for years to send a signal to the rest of the country that I’m on your side, not on their side.”

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Whit Ayres on NPR, September 27

Whit Ayres appeared on Morning Edition to discuss public opinion regarding the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump:

Whit Ayres, August 14

Whit Ayres’s comments in the Los Angeles Times regarding President Trump’s approach on trade:

Republican pollster Whit Ayres said trade and trade agreements were significant factors for voters who switched from backing President Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, especially in the upper Midwest.

“He has certainly elevated the importance of the issue,” Ayres said of China. “Time will tell whether Americans support his proposed solutions.”

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Whit Ayres, August 12

Whit Ayres’s comments in The Washington Post about President Trump’s appeal to his base:

“It’s part and parcel of his long-running effort to energize his base at the expense of those who were not for him before and who are not for him today,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. “Part of his appeal to his base is that he is famously and proudly not politically correct.”

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Whit Ayres, July 15

Whit Ayres’s comments in The Atlantic regarding Donald Trump’s appeal to the coalition that elected him in 2016:

A verity of American politics is that the game is about addition. A successful candidate preserves his core support and builds out. Yet more than a year before the 2020 election, Trump has shown no appetite for enlarging his coalition. He seems content to win or lose with the ones who got him this far. “The president has, since the day he was elected, focused his attention on stimulating and energizing the people who were already for him—often at the expense of people who are not,” Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, told me. “He’s made no effort at all to expand his base of support.”

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Whit Ayres, CSIS Podcast

Whit Ayres joined Dan Runde on his CSIS Building the Future podcast to discuss demographic change, the future of the Republican party, and issues for the 2020 election.

You can listen to part one here.

You can listen to part two here.

Whit Ayres, July 3

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Washington Post on the gap between President Trump’s approval rating and views of the economy:

Yet the president hasn’t enjoyed a similar lift in his numbers. It’s evidence, Republican pollster Whit Ayres says, that voters are “evaluating Trump’s job approval based on his conduct and behavior in office rather than the state of the economy.”

“Donald Trump is a nontraditional president, and he has severed the traditional relationship between economic well being and presidential job approval,” Ayres says. “A more traditional president in this economy would have job approval in the upper 50s, maybe even 60 percent or above.”

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