Jon McHenry, November 8

Jon McHenry spoke with NPR news about Governor Nikki Haley’s path to the Republican nomination:

Republican pollster Jon McHenry with North Star Opinion Research says if Haley can make a very strong showing in the early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and her home state of South Carolina, she could still have at least a theoretical – albeit narrow – path to the nomination.

“It’s not overly likely,” McHenry cautioned, “given the sort of the cult like following [Trump] seems to have among some primary voters.” 

“But I do think Gov. Haley has probably the best shot of the rest of the field,” he added. 

McHenry says Haley would need to continue standing out in the debates, and hope that more of her rivals drop out, like former Vice President Mike Pence did recently.

To read the full story or listen to the audio, please click here.

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.”

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Whit Ayres, October 5

Whit Ayres’ comments on the PBS survey and keys to the presidential election:

Voters who dislike both Trump and Biden — “the double haters,” Republican strategist Whit Ayers says — “become a swing voter group” that both parties will spend significant time and money trying to win over.

“This is a politics of negative polarization where people feel greater animosity against the other side than they feel support for their own,” said Ayres, who has previously consulted for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.

To read the full article, please click here.

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 23

Whit Ayres’ comments to CNN regarding continued Republican support for former President Donald Trump:

Veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres points to another, more personal, reason so many GOP voters have discounted the charges against Trump. “Many of them had conflict with siblings, with parents, sometimes with children, sometimes even with spouses about their support for Donald Trump,” Ayres says. “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.”

To read the full article, please click here.

“They’re not going to settle for second-best Trump.”

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign strategy:

Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, argued in an email that DeSantis has adopted an approach to the nomination fight that was bound to fail:

“DeSantis’s strategy, and that of any candidate not named Trump, should be to consolidate the Maybe Trump voters. But DeSantis has seemed like he was going after the Always Trump voters with his aggressive language (“slitting throats”), his comment that Ukraine was just a “territorial dispute,” his suggestion that vaccine conspiracy theorist RFK Jr. would be a good candidate to head the Centers for Disease Control, and his doubling down on whether slavery might have been beneficial to some enslaved people.”

The problem with this approach, Ayres continued, is that “the Always Trump voters are ‘Always Trump’ for a reason — they are not going to settle for the second-best Trump if they can get the real thing.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, August 18

Whit Ayres’ comments to the Associated Press regarding the Republican primary electorate:

Whit Ayres, a national pollster based in Virginia, handicapped the GOP electorate as 10% to 15% “Never Trumpers” — those who might gravitate to Christie for his attacks on Trump — and 35% or so “die-hard MAGA Trump supporters,” referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

The rest, half or a slim majority of the party, “have doubts about his electability” in a general election but are still “reliable Republicans who voted for him twice,” Ayres said. Trump’s rivals cannot win over that remaining faction by “going after him frontally,” the pollster argued.

As a Republican, “you can’t call him unfit for office,” Ayres said. “That’s basically requiring half the party to admit they screwed up and put someone unfit for office into the Oval Office. That’s just a psychological step too far for most people.”

To read the full article on the PBS website, please click here.

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.”

To read the full article, please click here.

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.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Jon McHenry, August 2

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