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.

Whit Ayres, November 8

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Los Angeles Times about the Democratic ticket:

Whit Ayres, who has spent decades polling and strategizing for Republican candidates, described the Democratic ticket of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as the weakest since that of George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were shellacked by President Nixon in 1972.

But Ayres is not convinced Republicans will win the White House.

“There’s a host of events that are going to happen between now and November 2024 that could change the outcome, or at least affect the outcome, of the election,” Ayres said. 

He’s not even certain that Biden and Trump will be their respective party nominees, though it seems more likely than not.

“There are a lot of people who are making flat statements about what’s going to happen … that might turn out to be right but could just as likely turn out to be wrong,” Ayres said, “because they’re affected by events that haven’t happened yet.”

To read the entire column, please click here.

Whit Ayres, October 29

Whit Ayres’ comments in Politico on Governor Nikki Haley’s standing in the Republican presidential nominating contest:

“It’s coming at a great time for her,” said Whit Ayres, a longtime Republican pollster. “Sometimes the direction of movement is as important as the absolute level of standing — and she’s going up, while the other candidates are either going down or remaining flat.”

Despite Trump still leading the rest of the field by as many as 50 points nationally and 30 points in the early states, Haley is now the main reason DeSantis can no longer declare the primary a “two-man race.” She has closed in on DeSantis, surpassing him in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and is slowly gaining on him in Iowa, despite the Florida governor barnstorming the state throughout the summer and investing significantly more there than Haley.

Since the first debate, Haley has caught fire with New Hampshire voters, rocketing from 3 percent in August to as high as 19 percent recently and solidly in second place.

“The rise is real,” Ayres said. “It reflects her debate performance in the first two debates, but also her performance on the stump.”

To read the whole story, please click here.

Jon McHenry, October 19

Jon McHenry’s comments to Politico regarding Governor Ron DeSantis’ governing and campaigning style:

“Gov. DeSantis seems to be better at running for president when he’s governing rather than campaigning,” said Jon McHenry, a GOP pollster [from] New Hampshire whose firm North Star Opinion Research Group worked on DeSantis’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign. “He drives the conversation more effectively when he’s governing, and actually doing something, rather than sort of talking about what ideological perspective he might be coming from.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Jon McHenry, October 14

Jon McHenry’s comments to NPR regarding the importance of the New Hampshire presidential primary:

“New Hampshire is a reminder that we don’t do this nomination process nationally, that the undeclared voters, the Republican voters in New Hampshire have a chance to say, we’re going to take a look at all these other candidates,” said Jon McHenry, a national GOP pollster from New Hampshire. 

“So we’re going to sort of put them through their paces and see which one we really want to be the standard bearer for our party rather than just Donald Trump holding a few rallies and rolling to a nomination again,” McHenry added.

To read the full article, 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.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Dan Judy, October 3

Dan Judy’s comments to The Hill regarding the threat of government shutdowns:

“Most voters don’t really pay attention to the Machiavellian ins-and-outs of this stuff,” GOP strategist Dan Judy told this column. “But what voters do see is continued utter dysfunction in Washington. That is what hurts the Republican brand more than the details of any specific situation.”

Judy cautioned that any political advantage for Democrats was likely to be slight, even as he expressed dismay at the recent goings-on.

“Republicans do tend to take more blame historically for shutdowns,” he said. “But this sort of brinkmanship has become so common that I think the idea of blame is sort of irrelevant in the minds of most voters. So, do Republicans take more blame? Probably. But it dirties everybody up so much.”

To read the full article, please click here.

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.

Dan Judy, October 3

Dan Judy’s comments to The Hill regarding shutdown brinksmanship:

“Most voters don’t really pay attention to the Machiavellian ins-and-outs of this stuff,” GOP strategist Dan Judy told this column. “But what voters do see is continued utter dysfunction in Washington. That is what hurts the Republican brand more than the details of any specific situation.”

Judy cautioned that any political advantage for Democrats was likely to be slight, even as he expressed dismay at the recent goings-on.

“Republicans do tend to take more blame historically for shutdowns,” he said. “But this sort of brinkmanship has become so common that I think the idea of blame is sort of irrelevant in the minds of most voters. So, do Republicans take more blame? Probably. But it dirties everybody up so much.”

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: