Whit Ayres, April 9

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Wall Street Journal regarding President Trump’s position on abortion:

“I don’t know that anything will take the attention off the abortion issue given some of the extremely restrictive bills that have been passed,” said GOP consultant Whit Ayres, who called Trump’s position a politically smart one. “But it is the most likely strategy to allow the focus on other issues.”

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2024 Presidential Election Outlook

Whit Ayres, March 10

Whit Ayres’ comments to The Washington Post about the 2024 general election campaign:

Reelection campaigns generally favor the incumbent. But Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster and no friend of Trump, sees Biden as the clear underdog. He cites public dissatisfaction with the overall direction of the country, and notes that Trump is seen as more trusted on the economy and immigration and that an overwhelming percentage of Americans see the incumbent as too old to hold the toughest office in the world.

Yet he added, “In this sea of uncertainty, I am hesitant to make a flat statement [about the outcome in November]. With two historically unpopular candidates, it feels less stable than it appears on the surface.” Still, he argued that the Democrats’ best chance of winning today “would be to find a different candidate.”

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Whit Ayres, February 19

Whit Ayres’ comment to The New York Times about voters’ feelings about the likely 2024 election matchup:

“Exhaustion is underlying the entire attitude toward our presidential election,” said Whit Ayres, a veteran Republican pollster. “When you’ve got two people that are opposed by 70 percent of Americans who want a different choice, it creates frustration, anxiety and discouragement.”

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Whit Ayres, February 11

Whit Ayres’ comments to The Times of London regarding Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s liabilities:

“I guess his staff are too scared,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster and president of North Star Opinion Research. “He can’t get through an interview without creating more problems for himself.”

“Most people can’t quite believe that [Biden] is even thinking about running again, and they certainly don’t like the idea that he’s one of their only two choices to be president of the United States,” said Ayres. “The other one is facing 91 felony counts. It’s like the vast majority of Americans are going, wait a minute, in a country of 330 million people, are these choices the best we can do?”

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Whit Ayres, February 2

Whit Ayres joined Bill Kristol on his podcast Conversations, saying this about the prospects of another Biden-Trump race:

Trump would win in a landslide in the electoral college if the election were held today and the reason is that Joe Biden is the weakest American president since Jimmy Carter, and there’s some similarity between the two men.

To listen to the podcast, please click here.

Jon McHenry, January 25

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Boston Globe regarding Donald Trump’s performance in the New Hampshire Republican primary:

Trump remains dominant among Republican voters in New Hampshire, but “his performance among independents is a warning sign,” said Jon McHenry, a national GOP pollster who grew up in the state.

“Based on what you saw last night, it seems like he would not be well positioned to win New Hampshire” in the general election, McHenry added.

“Probably the most unifying thing among Republicans is a view that Joe Biden is ruining the country,” said McHenry, the strategist, “so those Republicans certainly vote for Trump.”

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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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Jon McHenry, December 17

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Daily Caller regarding President Joe Biden’s standing in the polls:

“All of these polls point to voters having already decided against Biden on the current merits,” Jon McHenry, a GOP polling analyst and vice president at North Star Opinion Research, told the DCNF. “They just don’t think he’s up to the job, whether we’re asking about traits like stamina and sharpness or about policies like the economy and immigration.”

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Jon McHenry, December 15

Jon McHenry’s comments to The Daily Caller regarding President Biden’s decline in support among traditional Democratic supporters:

“What is really interesting about the polling is not that President Biden is slipping among core Democratic constituencies like younger voters and Black and Hispanic voters,” Jon McHenry, a GOP polling analyst and vice president at North Star Opinion Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The fascinating part is that former President Trump is gaining some of that support. That seems to be attributable to a general sense that voters think they were better off when President Trump was in office.”

McHenry pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal survey that found 49% of voters said Trump’s policies helped them compared to only 23% who said the same of Biden’s, which he believes could be attributable for these minority voters leaving the president’s side.

“That’s a stunning rebuke of President Biden’s tenure,” said McHenry.

McHenry believes the shift of younger voters away from Biden has “accelerated” since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack, citing a recent poll his firm conducted in the battleground state of Wisconsin that found these individuals don’t approve of the president supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.

“All these polls point to Democrats nominating someone who they aren’t actually enthusiastic about and may not show up to support in the fall. As so many Democrats talk about Trump being an existential threat to democracy, it’s hard to believe they’re going to just go ahead and nominate someone who looks like a lock to lose to him,” said McHenry.

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