Whit Ayres, December 6

Whit Ayres’ comments in USA Today about the late Senator Bob Dole:

“He was one of the greatest of the greatest generation,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican consultant.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, November 4

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Atlantic regarding the nationalization of state and local elections:

“We’ve had increasing nationalization of our politics in an almost straight line for the past 25 years,” Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster based in Virginia, told me. “You used to say all politics is local. That seems like an anachronistic statement today. The polarization and the partisanship is driven down the ballot in a way that you never saw in the 1980s and 1990s. Now you have state legislative races that are being nationalized.”

To read the full article, please click here (paywall, but with some free articles each month).

Whit Ayres, October 27

Whit Ayres’ comments to Yahoo News regarding President Biden’s job approval ratings:

For Republican pollster Whit Ayres, the social welfare and climate package alone would also not restore Biden’s approval because the drop was caused by multiple factors.

Ayres, the president of North Star Opinion Research, listed the COVID-19 pandemic, a sluggish post-lockdown economy, the “unresolved” illegal migrant situation at the southern border, and the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan “fiasco” as other explanations for Biden’s polling dip.

“The ultimate problem is that he presented himself as someone who is competent at the job and knows how the system works, and the system doesn’t seem to be working,” he said.

But Ayres agreed with Democratic strategists who told the Washington Examiner the spending measure disarray would not irrevocably damage Biden’s presidency if the party eventually brokered an accord. If not, it could create “a huge headwind” for Democrats before the 2022 midterm elections, he warned.

“The president’s job approval is one of the best predictors of his party’s performance in the midterms. And if Biden’s approval stays down in the low forties, that’s a real problem for other Democratic candidates next year,” he said. “A president at 60% job approval has a lot more political juice than one at 40%.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, October 22

Whit Ayres’ comments in the Associated Press about the popularity of legislative proposals and the effect on midterm elections:

To Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, “the popularity of particular policies has been overwhelmed by the power of partisanship and polarization.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, October 19

Whit Ayres’ comments on the political effect of tying Republican candidates to President Trump:

Which means there has probably never been a midterm election when a former president was as much a part of the political dialogue as Trump is now. The Virginia result will offer a first gauge of how much that new factor can change the usual midterm dynamics favoring the party out of the White House.

“We’re going to find out in the Virginia race because McAuliffe has puts an enormous number of chips on the table betting that a focus on tying Youngkin to Trump will motivate Democratic base voters as well as independents,” said Virginia-based Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “We are going to get a test of that very soon.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, October 11

Dan Judy’s comments in The Hill about President Biden’s political standing:

Republican strategist Dan Judy asserted that “the bloom is off the Joe Biden rose” after about nine months in power.

From a political standpoint, “Democrats are going to need the COVID tide to recede and the economy to surge forward if they really are to have any chance of keeping their majority, at least in the House,” Judy said. “The Republicans could take over the House almost by accident with such a small majority for the Democrats right now.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, September 9

Dan Judy’s comments in The Hill regarding President Trump’s position in the political landscape:

Still, when Trump tries to show his muscle by offering an endorsement, there is always the danger that the results will cut in the opposite direction.

“When he was president of the United States and he could lay the anointing finger on certain candidates, that’s one thing,” said Dan Judy, a GOP strategist associated with the more traditional wing of the party. “Now, it’s very fraught. Everybody is going to want the Trump endorsement but that is not necessarily going to win you a primary in these heavily contested races.”

Judy also noted two other points that he said were obvious but sometimes overlooked.

One is that Trump’s status is eroded simply because he’s not president anymore. The other is that there are a lot of major events going on in which he is not really a player.

“You’ve got the delta surge, Afghanistan, natural disasters — really big news stories that are impacting people’s lives on a daily basis,” Judy said. “And Donald Trump shouting at a rally really pales in comparison to a lot of that stuff.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, July 30

Whit Ayres’ comments to The Guardian regarding Republican office holders encouraging their constituents to get vaccinated against COVID-19:

One thing that’s clear among pollsters: the change in tone from Republican lawmakers has not been prompted by new polling. Rather it’s because of the increasing urgency that US political figures are feeling about a pandemic that is far from over and may be on the brink of entering a new, dangerous phase.

There’s data out there but it’s not polling data, it’s Covid data. The surge in the Delta variant is coming largely in Republican states and particularly in Republican rural counties of states and it’s that data that has led these Republican leaders to speak out more forcefully,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster.

“Now, it needs to be said that some Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell have always been forceful advocates for vaccinations, driven by the fact that he had polio as a kid and we no longer have polio because of vaccines. But there’s no question that more Republican figures like Kay Ivey, the governor of Alabama, have been more vociferous of late because so many people are getting infected who need not get infected if they simply got the vaccine.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, June 1

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times on COVID vaccines and politics:

“Traditionally Republicans have been very against government interference in free enterprise, and into the workings of the private market,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster. He said it was too early to say how vaccine politics would affect the 2022 midterms, but added, “It’s going to be a big issue.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, June 4

Whit Ayres’ comments to National Public Radio regarding the GOP and declining Christian identification in the electorate:

This makes religion one key part of a looming, long-term demographic challenge for Republicans, says Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster.

“Republicans clearly have a stronger hold among the religiously affiliated, especially evangelical Protestants. And consequently, any decline in evangelical Protestant affiliation is not good news for the GOP,” he said.

The upshot, to Ayres, is that a party still deeply entwined with conservative Christianity and, particularly, white evangelicals will eventually have to win over more Christian conservatives — for example, among the growing Hispanic electorate — or make gains among substantially less-religious groups, like young voters.

To read or listen to the full story, please click here.