Whit Ayres, May 8

Whit Ayres’ comments for the Wall Street Journal on Democratic messaging for the 2014 election:

The White House strategy is taking shape in a macro-micro approach, similar to the one Mr. Obama’s campaign deployed in 2012, when Democrats essentially ran a series of local campaigns in fewer than a dozen states. The party’s overarching argument is the same: Democrats support policies to bolster the middle class, while the Republican economic agenda would benefit the wealthy—an assertion the GOP says is off-base.

The Republican rebuttal, said GOP pollster Whit Ayres, will include the argument that “the Obama administration has had six years to turn this economy around. What they’ve tried hasn’t worked. It’s time to try a new direction.”

The Democrats’ economic argument “is probably the best they can do, but I don’t think it will be anywhere near enough,” Mr. Ayres said.

For the full article (subscription required), please click here.

Whit Ayres, April 1

Whit Ayres’ comments for CNN regarding ObamaCare and the midterm elections:

Republican pollster Whit Ayers said there’s a more powerful factor in voter fatigue: Obama himself.

Six years into a President’s term, “people get tired of that person’s leadership,” he said. “Especially this President’s.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, March 23

Whit Ayres’ comments in USA Today regarding our joint survey with The Mellman Group for the Bipartisan Policy Center.

For many in the GOP, Ayres says, attitudes toward President Obama and the perception that he’s unwilling to compromise are driving the shift in views. “Republicans in particular realize that the best they’re going to do with a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate is stopping bad things,” he says. “They believe that if you can stop the stimulus bill or stop Obamacare, that may be the best we can do — and that is a function of the divisions.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, March 6

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Christian Science Monitor regarding Republican electoral prospects and Obamacare:

“Anti-Obamacare and anti-Obama leadership is the core message,” says Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “But people vote for things as well as against things, and the smartest politicians I’ve ever worked with all believe in the importance of having a positive agenda. That doesn’t mean they all have to have the same agenda – but they all need something to be for.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, November 15

Dan Judy’s comments on Obamacare and the President’s approval rating, for US News and World Report:

Republican pollster Dan Judy, who has done polling for the NRCC, says that with Obama’s approval plummeting, “things are looking grim for House Democrats.”

“Obamacare is likely to be an even bigger campaign issue than it was in 2010 when the Republicans used it to devastating effect against Democratic incumbents,” Judy says. “It’s gotten Republicans re-energized and Democrats demoralized, which is exactly the opposite of what the Democrats need to have a chance next year.”

For the full article, please click here.

The Obamacare Infection

Whit Ayres’ post titled “The Obamacare Infection” was featured on National Review Online:

Our polling has shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans simply did not believe most of the president’s promises about Obamacare. In March 2012, substantial majorities said that key claims he made about the law were false. For his claim that “the plan will not add one dime to the federal-budget deficit,” that figure is 71 percent; for “the plan will lower premiums for the average family by $2500 per year,” 67 percent; for “the plan will lower costs for individuals, businesses, and the federal government,” 64 percent.

The one promise they did believe? “If you like your current health plan, you will be able to keep it.” By a margin of 64 to 27 percent, Americans said that promise was true. And now they are discovering that to be false as well.

To read the full post, please click here.

Whit Ayres, October 29

Whit Ayres’ comments for the Associated Press regarding Obamacare:

“There’s no question the issue has legs, in part because it affects so many Americans very directly and in part because the glitches with the website are simply one of many fundamental problems with this law,” GOP pollster Whit Ayres said.

To read the full article, please click here.

October 2012 Resurgent Republic Survey

In this last Resurgent Republic survey before the election, taken October 23-25, Mitt Romney has caught up with President Obama, and now leads the national ballot by 48 to 47 percent. The Romney advance has been driven by Independent voters who have moved toward Romney in the wake of the three Presidential debates.

President Obama defeated Senator John McCain among Independent voters in 2008 by eight percentage points (52 to 44 percent), one of the main reasons Obama won the presidential election. But this survey shows Obama’s support collapsing among Independents. Governor Mitt Romney leads Obama among Independents by 51 to 39 percent. If those numbers hold, that would mark a net 20-point turnaround for Obama among Independent voters in four years.

For the full analysis, including links to the toplines and infographic, please click here.

Dan Judy, June 20

Dan Judy’s comments on variables affecting the President’s reelection chances on the ABC News website:

Greece, of course, is also a huge variable. Even after its recent election, surprises from the new Greek leaders could ripple across the ocean. Obama has often cited the uncertainty in Europe — along with the tsunami in Japan — as factors out of his control that affect the U.S. economy. That won’t change the reality that’s felt, however, if the economy dips back into a recession.

“They’ve been trying to do this for a while, saying, ‘Listen, a lot of this isn’t my fault. I can’t control Europe; I can’t control Greece. I can’t control the global market for gas prices,'” Dan Judy, a Republican strategist, said of the Obama campaign. “And of course, all that’s true. And of course, it doesn’t matter.”

“If there’s another recession in two or three months, he will carry the blame for that, whether he’s directly to blame for that or not,” Judy said. “People are already very, very nervous about the state of the economy.”

The most unpredictable of events could be the most unlikely, but also the most dangerous for Obama politically.

The 9/11 attacks initially caused Americans to stand behind George W. Bush, bringing about a sense of unity. If another attack were to happen before the election, while some Republican critics might argue that Obama didn’t protect the country, it’s more likely that people will come together as they did in 2001, Judy said.

“I don’t think you’re going to hear any serious Republican using that opportunity to attack Obama,” he said. “If it’s something on a huge scale, people are going to rally around the president.”

A natural disaster, though, could be more delicate. “It’s the response to things like that that make or break careers,” Judy said.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, June 11

Whit Ayres’ comments on President Obama’s favorable ratings in Politico:

Republican pollster Whit Ayres, on the other hand, contends that Obama’s favorability rating is merely a vestige of the 2008 campaign — of affection for what Obama represented as a hope-and-change candidate and of respect for the fact that he’s the first black president.

None of that, Republicans say, will be enough to reverse voters’ perception that Obama is out of his depth in an alarmingly unsteady economy.

“His favorable rating is a touch higher than his job approval, which is primarily driven, I think, for admiration for what he’s accomplished as an African-American, as a minority in America, his obvious standing as a fine father and a fine husband and a fine family man,” Ayres said, noting that “most Americans, other than the hard-core partisans, want their president to succeed.”

“People are going to make the decision to reelect the president or not based on what they think of this job performance, not what they think of him as person,” he predicted. “Look back to ’96, when people thought Bill Clinton was a philandering cad who presided over a growing economy. Guess which way they chose.”

To read the full article, please click here.