Whit Ayres, June 23

Whit Ayres’ comments to CNN regarding the policy and political landscape in the wake of the Dobbs decision:

“President Trump was right to say that abortion policy should be left up to the states,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican political consultant. “The dramatic differences among state cultures means that there is no possible national policy that would be considered legitimate in both Mississippi and Massachusetts.”

Ayres said that while some states have gone “way overboard” with the abortion restrictions they’ve passed, he believes that eventually states will reach a consensus on abortion that match their culture.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, June 24

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Washington Post on the upcoming presidential debate:

Whit Ayres, also a GOP pollster, points to a somewhat larger group: “at least half of the electorate who doesn’t want to vote for either man.” This group, he said in an interview, will be more influenced by “the candidates’ attitude and affect more than any particular issue positions.”

But issues — abortion, protecting democracy and health care for Biden and immigration, crime and the cost of living for Trump — will matter to other pieces of the electorate that are up for grabs. A canvas of pollsters and academic analysts suggests a series of subgroups that should be on the candidates’ minds: non-evangelical working-class voters, especially women; Black and Latino men; college-educated voters, particularly independents and Trump-skeptical Republicans; and voters under 35, many of them anti-Trump but whom Biden needs to persuade to cast ballots for him. The debate is likely to be a suburban excursion, Ayres said, since suburbanites are key to many of these groups.

To read the full article, please click here.

Jon McHenry, May 26

Jon McHenry joined Financial Times’ Swamp Notes podcast to discuss our polling with Global Strategy Group for the FT/Michigan Ross poll.


Jon McHenry, May 28

Jon McHenry’s comments to National Public Radio regarding former Governor and Ambassador Nikki Haley’s trip to Israel:

Jon McHenry, a Republican strategist with North Star Opinion Research, says Haley’s visit appears designed to shore up U.S. support for Israel. He noted that President Biden, who has long been a supporter of Israel, has faced vocal opposition from the left wing of the Democratic Party over his Israel policy.

“I think it’s probably a good reminder for President Joe Biden as he’s looking to pull some of those Nikki Haley voters in the primary to his side in the general election that this is where they’re at,” McHenry said. 

The trip may also help burnish Haley’s image as a national leader with a strong foreign policy resume, he said, whether or not she has a role in a potential future Trump administration.

“It certainly keeps her on people’s radar screens,” McHenry said. “It may be less about what happens in 2024 and more about what happens in 2028.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Jon McHenry, May 19

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Daily Caller regarding Joe Biden’s legislation and impacts on swing state voting:

“I think the problem for President Biden in Pennsylvania is that there really are not enough jobs created in these bills — especially in the near future — to offset the losses of his curbs on natural gas,” Jon McHenry, a GOP polling analyst who works for North Star Opinion Research, told the DCNF. “Even if voters know about potential gains down the road, what they really know is likely job losses that are a direct result of what could be called the ‘war on gas.’ And of course, the president is in a box because any backing away from his green energy rhetoric will upset his base.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, May 22

Whit Ayres’ comments to The Washington Post regarding Donald Trump’s social media habits:

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, called the past couple of days “par for the course.”

“It’s baked into the cake” with voters, Ayres said. “It drives people who don’t like him crazy, and people who like him dismiss it.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, May 23

Whit Ayres’ comments on the potential political impact of the verdict in the New York case against Donald Trump:

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, doubts that as many as a fourth of Republicans would actually shun Trump if he’s convicted. But Ayres said even if just a small number of more moderate Republicans and independents are turned off by a guilty verdict, it could help Biden in a close election.

However, Ayres said the nature of the New York case, which was brought by a Democratic prosecutor and relies on untested legal strategies, will help Trump and fellow Republicans frame a guilty verdict as a political hit job.

“If I were trying to design a court case that would be easy for Republicans to dismiss as a partisan witch hunt, I would design exactly the case that’s being brought in New York,” Ayres said.

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, May 14

Dan Judy’s comments to The Guardian on former President Donald Trump’s conquest of state Republican parties:

“The big, sort of under-the-radar story in American politics over the last couple of years was the way Trump and his people had taken over state parties across the country,” said Dan Judy, a senior analyst for North Star Opinion Research, a Republican guidance and consultancy company based in Virginia.

“Even early in the primary process, a year and a half ago when Ron DeSantis was riding high and leading a lot of the polls, I was always thinking: Trump has control of the state parties, he’s got his people in, and they are, for lack of a better word, going to attempt to rig the process in favor of Donald Trump.

“If you look at it, that’s exactly what happened. A lot of state parties changed their rules to make their primaries winner-takes-all, which absolutely helped Trump, especially as it came down to a one-on-one with Nikki Haley. It was clear that she was going to have to win some of these things outright to get any delegates at all, and she couldn’t do it.

“The fact that the Florida GOP has also been completely taken over by Trump folks is really indicative of a trend that has happened everywhere.”

Judy pointed to how easily Trump took down DeSantis in the primary race, humiliating the governor he disparaged as “Meatball Ron” in his own state. DeSantis’s efforts to cajole Florida’s congressional delegation were ultimately futile, and he dropped out in January to avoid a spanking in the state’s March primary.

“As high as he was riding after his huge re-election victory, just any hope that he would have had of continuing to be top dog in the Florida GOP went out the window when he failed to get any traction at all in the presidential race,” said Judy, who has worked for the winning campaigns of several Republican politicians, including DeSantis and the Florida senator Marco Rubio.

“He’s not the kind of person who cultivates relationships, who builds relationships, who builds a party, an organization, and an apparatus. He’s just not that guy, and if you’re going around Florida looking for Ron DeSantis people, there are shockingly few of them.

“But if Donald Trump is re-elected, there might be a place in the administration for him. If he wants to have a future in the current Republican party, he cannot be an enemy of Donald Trump, and you’re seeing him do the things that he needs to do to remain in good standing.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, May 14

Whit Ayres’ comments to The New York Times regarding President Biden and his reelection prospects:

“People associated with the administration are beating their heads against the wall saying, ‘Why aren’t they giving us any credit?’” said Whit Ayres, another veteran Republican pollster.

“But even if they did give him credit, voters think he is too old to serve effectively in a second term,” Mr. Ayres said, citing recent polling by ABC that demonstrates concerns over the 81-year-old president’s age.

To read the full article, please click here.

Jon McHenry, April 29

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Daily Caller on the possible effects of Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s candidacy:

“Kennedy has, I think, more lasting impact on this race than most people thought he would,” Jon McHenry, GOP polling analyst and vice president at North Star Opinion Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “All he really needs to be on is Arizona, Georgia, you know, Nevada, a handful of states, North Carolina, maybe Michigan, Wisconsin. He only needs to be on the ballot in five or six states to have an impact on this, because even if he only takes 3%, that’s enough to swing a bunch of states.”

While McHenry still believes that Kennedy “hurts both candidates pretty equally,” he issued a warning to Republicans about the independent’s candidacy.

“He’s sort of been a darling for Republicans for a while because he’s anti-vaccine, and, ‘yeah, he’s a Democrat who’s running against Biden, that’s great!’ And then he goes out and gets a progressive running mate, and they go, ‘oh, wait, is he actually a liberal?’ Yeah, actually, he is,” McHenry told the DCNF. “This sort of implicit permission to vote for RFK Jr. has the potential to backfire in the end.”

To read the full article, please click here.