Dan Judy, December 8

Dan Judy’s comments in The Washington Examiner on the potential for Donald Trump’s legal troubles to affect his support in the general election:

Dan Judy, a Republican pollster, cautioned that much is unknown about Trump’s legal future.

“We look at history and how people have behaved in the past and how things have played out in the past to kind of help us figure out how things might play out in the future,” Judy said. “And there’s no precedent for anything even remotely like what Trump is facing.”

Judy noted that North Star Opinion Research has polled Republican voters in multiple states on whether they would vote for Trump if he were a convicted felon over Biden, and most said yes. But roughly 20% to 25% have said they would not vote for Trump.

“I mean, you only need to lose 5%, 10%, 15% of that base and you have no chance to win,” Judy said. “There are some indications that if he’s convicted on one of these felony counts, not a huge number, but enough Republican voters — they’re not going to vote for Joe Biden, but they might stay home. That could easily sort of swing the election against him.”

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Whit Ayres’ Conversation with Bill Kristol

Whit Ayres joined Bill Kristol for a conversation about the State of the Republican party nomination:

Whit Ayres, August 15

Whit Ayres’ comments to The New York Times regarding the political implications of former President Trump’s fourth indictment:

“I do think a conviction on a serious felony charge may change the views of at least the maybe-Trump cohort in the G.O.P. about his electability,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster. “On the other hand, an acquittal in the first case virtually assures his renomination.”

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Jon McHenry, August 4

Jon McHenry spoke to The Daily Caller about former President Donald Trump’s third indictment:

“President Trump really benefited from the first indictment being the Alvin Bragg indictment in NY. That acted like a traditional vaccine: he got enough of a virus to inoculate him but not put him at serious risk. With those charges being seen as politically driven, Trump has been able to fight off increasingly serious charges,” Jon McHenry, GOP polling analyst, told the DCNF. “Plus, this charge coming on the heels of a judge questioning a plea deal for Hunter Biden, it is relatively easy for the former president and his allies to charge that the Department of Justice has one set of standards for President Biden’s family and another set for Donald Trump.”

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Jon McHenry, August 2

Jon McHenry joined Channel 4 News in the UK to discuss former President Trump’s standing despite multiple indictments:

https://www.channel4.com/news/why-trump-is-still-the-republican-presidential-front-runner-despite-several-indictments

Whit Ayres, June 15

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Atlantic about former President Trump, indictments, and the Republican nomination:

Yet other strategists say that the response so far among both GOP voters and elected officials raises doubts about whether any legal setback can undermine Trump’s position. (The party’s bottomless willingness throughout his presidency to defend actions that previously had appeared indefensible, of course, points toward the same conclusion.) The veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres has divided the GOP electorate into three categories: about 10 percent that is “never Trump,” about 35 percent that is immovably committed to him, and about half that he describes as “maybe Trump,” who are generally sympathetic to the former president and supportive of his policies but uneasy about some of his personal actions and open to an alternative.

Those “maybe Trump” voters are the key to any coalition that can beat him in the primary race, Ayres told me, but as the polls demonstrate, they flock to his side when he’s under attack. “Many of them had conflict with siblings, with parents, sometimes with children, sometimes even with spouses, about their support for Donald Trump,” Ayres said. “And they are very defensive about it. That makes them instinctively rally to Donald Trump’s defense, because if they suggest in any way that he is not fit for office, then that casts aspersions on their own past support for him.”

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