Whit Ayres, February 29

Whit Ayres’ comments in the Washington Times on the state of the Republican presidential primary contest:

GOP pollster Whit Ayres said that, depending on the outcome, Super Tuesday “could effectively end this contest — or extend it for many more weeks.”

One giant unknown is how the race could be reshaped by a foreign crisis, particularly in the face of soaring tensions between Israel and Iran that could lead to a military strike against Tehran’s nuclear programs.

Mr. Paul has put himself squarely in opposition to an attack on Iranian nuclear enrichment plants, while Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Santorum have been hawkish to varying degrees on the subject.

“It depends on how candidates handle it,” said Mr. Ayres. “Whoever seems most knowledgeable and reasonable — who seems the best in a foreign policy crisis — will end up benefiting most.”

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