Jon McHenry, October 8

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Daily Caller regarding recent polling showing Donald Trump edging ahead of Joe Biden:

A Republican nominee like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis or former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley would have a better chance than Trump against Biden, according to Jon McHenry, a GOP polling analyst and vice president at North Star Opinion Research. Despite this, McHenry told the DCNF that Trump could beat Biden on the basis of the economy, though he acknowledged it’s still too close to call.

“We have such a unique situation right now with both party’s leading candidates in negative territory on their favorable to unfavorable ratings — and the current and previous officeholder. Reelection campaigns are typically a two-step process as a referendum on the incumbent: first, does he or she deserve reelection, and second, would the other candidate do better? I think right now President Biden is losing the referendum, with voters disapproving of his job overall, and especially on the economy and immigration,” said McHenry. “But if the choice is between two candidates with 35 to 40 percent favorables, voters are likely to choose the one who had the better economy.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Voters Trust American Free Enterprise

Our June 17-22, 2023 survey for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was highlighted in Politico Influence:

FIRST IN PI — CHAMBER POLLING: BUTT OUT OF BUSINESS: As (most of) the Republican presidential hopefuls gear up for tomorrow night’s first primary debate, a new memo based on polling from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and shared exclusively with PI looks to discourage the use of corporate America as a political punching bag, arguing to candidates on both sides of the aisle that voters are not interested in political “micromanagement” of business decisions.

— “As we head into election season, the message is clear: Whether you are courting Republican, Democratic, or independent voters, candidates will be well served to run as pro-business candidates focused on solutions that support jobs and America’s free enterprise system,” Ashlee Rich Stephenson, the Chamber’s senior political strategist, writes in the memo.

— In a matchup between three hypothetical candidates — one who favors more disclosure of companies’ ESG efforts; one who favors government intervention to rescue companies from large “woke” investors; and one who “says that whether it comes from the right or the left, government micromanaging of business is a bad idea” — the last of those candidates received a plurality of 40 percent support, according to the Chamber’s memo. That included support from 53 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and a little over a quarter of Democrats, which the memo says tracks with other recent polls of GOP voters.

— North Star Opinion Research polled 1,327 registered voters between June 17-22 for the Chamber. Among the survey’s other findings were that voters across the ideological spectrum agreed that businesses are a force for good. The poll found that Republican and independent voters trust even large companies more than the federal government, with Democrats rating the federal government only slightly more trustworthy. More than three quarters of Republicans polled and nearly 6 in 10 independents polled favored less government intervention in the economy.

To read the full column, please click here.

To read the Chamber’s memo highlighting the survey results, please click here.

Jon McHenry, August 14

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Boston Globe regarding the economy as an issue in the Republican primary and general election:

Letting the White House dominate the conversation isn’t good for Republicans with polls consistently showing that voters rank the economy as the most important issue, said Jon McHenry, a GOP pollster not affiliated with any of the campaigns.

“It makes a lot of sense to be out there … talking about what you’re going to do to fix the economy,” McHenry said of the candidates in the GOP primary campaign. “Republicans are better served being involved on the issue and laying the groundwork on it rather than ceding the issue to Joe Biden for the next 12 months or so.”

McHenry said Pence was smart to frame his economic plan, which goes beyond inflation, as still primarily focused on that problem.

“It’s a good shorthand on the economy,” he said. “Just talking about inflation is a pretty good way to make sure people are on the same page with you.”

For now, Biden is doing more talking in detail about the economy than his Republican opponents, making Bidenomics a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.

“I don’t know if it’s the dumbest or gutsiest move I’ve seen politically in the last 20 years,” McHenry said.

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, October 16

Dan Judy’s comments to The Hill regarding President Trump’s campaigning in the election’s home stretch:

The president’s tendency to return to the topic of Clinton’s emails — he raised the subject during a friendly interview with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh last week — is especially perplexing, even to Republicans.

“He is not running against Hillary Clinton, which is unfortunate for him because she was massively unpopular,” said GOP strategist Dan Judy. “He is doing what he did in 2016, and it worked, but I just don’t see it getting him any extra votes.”

Trump does have more fertile areas to plow. He consistently performs better on the economy than on any other issue. There is a widespread belief, in and beyond Republican circles, that a reelection campaign fought on that territory would give him the strongest chance of success.

The problem, of course, is that even many conservatives don’t believe Trump has the desire or self-discipline to stick with such a message.

“When there is a conspiracy theory about the death of Osama bin Laden you can tweet, why talk about the economy?” Dan Judy asked wryly. “He is not doing himself any favors.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, May 3

Whit Ayres’ comments to Bloomberg News regarding re-opening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic:

“You’re balancing competing values: the importance of the economy and the food chain and the importance of public health,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. “You’re making judgment calls with no obvious answers.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, August 14

Whit Ayres’s comments in the Los Angeles Times regarding President Trump’s approach on trade:

Republican pollster Whit Ayres said trade and trade agreements were significant factors for voters who switched from backing President Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, especially in the upper Midwest.

“He has certainly elevated the importance of the issue,” Ayres said of China. “Time will tell whether Americans support his proposed solutions.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, July 3

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Washington Post on the gap between President Trump’s approval rating and views of the economy:

Yet the president hasn’t enjoyed a similar lift in his numbers. It’s evidence, Republican pollster Whit Ayres says, that voters are “evaluating Trump’s job approval based on his conduct and behavior in office rather than the state of the economy.”

“Donald Trump is a nontraditional president, and he has severed the traditional relationship between economic well being and presidential job approval,” Ayres says. “A more traditional president in this economy would have job approval in the upper 50s, maybe even 60 percent or above.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, June 14

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Daily Caller regarding the President and the economy:

“A normal president with these economic numbers would have job approval somewhere in the vicinity of 60 percent,” according to Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “But Donald Trump is a nontraditional president, and he has, at least at this point, severed the traditional relationship between economic well-being and presidential job approval.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, June 6

Whit Ayres’s comments in The Washington Times on President Trump’s reelection prospects:

Republican pollster Whit Ayres said the Midwestern states are always competitive, and polls at this point in the 2016 cycle likely showed Mr. Trump in a similar position.

“It’s the economy that’s his ace in the hole. He’s very unlikely to change his basic message regardless of what polls say,” Mr. Ayres said.

To read the full article, please click here.