Whit Ayres, November 20

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times on the electability of Elizabeth Warren:

Whit Ayres, president of North Star Opinion Research, was outspoken: “Elizabeth Warren is God’s gift to Donald Trump and Republican candidates.”

“Well-educated suburban voters, especially women,” Ayres continued, “are uncomfortable with President Trump,” but, he added, “they are not going to vote for a candidate who wants to take away their private health insurance, decriminalize the border, increase government spending by 50 percent, and ban fracking, especially in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Colorado.”

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Whit Ayres, November 19

Whit Ayres’ comments to the Associated Press on voting trends in Georgia:

“Only in the event of a landslide nationally does Donald Trump lose Georgia,” said GOP pollster Whit Ayres, pointing to Trump’s 5 percentage point win in Georgia in 2016. Arizona, Ayres said, is the likelier Sun Belt state to flip to Democrats, while Texas and Georgia are a tier below, still a few election cycles away from tilting.

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Whit Ayres’ WSJ Opinion Piece, November 18

From Whit Ayres’ op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on November 18:

As the nation tumbles toward the 2020 presidential elections, it seems also on course for its second presidential impeachment in a little more than two decades. It all looks like so much chaos, but our likely path forward is illuminated by polls about the Bill Clinton impeachment in the 1990s and predictions from one of America’s most prolific Founding Fathers.

While the Clinton and Trump impeachment efforts differ dramatically on the politics and allegations involved, one similarity offers tantalizing parallels that could predict how the public reacts to the current investigation. Unlike the Nixon impeachment inquiry in 1973-74, the Clinton and Trump impeachment drives evoked an overwhelmingly strong partisan reaction. In both instances, stalwart party members on either side defended behavior they would roundly condemn in a president of the other party.

To read the full column, please click here.

Whit Ayres, November 14

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding potential handling of the Supreme Court ruling on DACA:

“Presumably, there will be discretion about how aggressively various laws are enforced,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, “but it does create a political challenge because, consistently, 80 percent of Americans have supported allowing the DACA kids to stay.”

“What’s so frustrating is that 80 percent of Americans also support a secure border, and Congress has thus far seemed unable to put those two 80 percent issues together in a very limited immigration bill,” Mr. Ayres said.

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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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Jon McHenry, October 12

Jon McHenry’s comments to the Associated Press on the potential for Republicans to support impeachment:

In today’s hyperpartisan climate, if the House impeaches Trump, it seems hard to envision 20 Senate Republicans joining all Democrats for the two-thirds majority required to remove Trump from office. Some retiring Republicans might be reluctant to cast a futile vote against Trump after a lifetime of party loyalty, while others might view it as a way to burnish their reputations for independence.

“You’ve just got to decide where the evidence lies and where you want your legacy to be,” said Republican pollster Jon McHenry.

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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, September 24

Whit Ayres’ comments in Politico regarding voters’ views of President Trump and impeachment:

“People have made up their minds on Trump. It would take a momentous event to change enough minds to alter his job approval rating away from the average of 43 or 44 percent,” said Whit Ayres, founder and president of North Star Opinion Research, a Republican polling firm. “We’re so polarized and in our tribes that people will look through their current lens and determine either the president did something wrong, or Joe Biden did something wrong. The facts won’t be particularly relevant.”

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