Jon McHenry, October 19

Jon McHenry’s comments in The Boston Globe about school choice and parental rights:

School choice and parental rights, especially after the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, are often a reliable way for Republicans running in statewide races to talk about issues that are typically favorable to their campaigns, according to GOP pollster Jon McHenry.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, October 8

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Hill regarding Ben Sasse leaving the U.S. Senate:

Ben Sasse was one of the people who made the Senate work,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “And there’s a pattern of a lot people who made the Senate work who are leaving the institution, and that’s not good for the country and not good for our democracy.”

Ayres suspects that Sasse and other retiring Senate Republicans are fed up with what he called “the toxic polarization” that’s made it “difficult to do the things that led them to run for the Senate in the first place.” 

To read more, please click here.

Whit Ayres, August 31

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding Republican governors and state policies regarding the coronavirus:

Mr. Ayres, the Republican pollster, said that governors trying to control the virus policies of schools, employers and local officials were breaking with years of tradition on free enterprise and local control.

“Liberty has never meant the freedom to threaten the health” of others, Mr. Ayres said. “That is a perversion of the definition of liberty and freedom.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, July 26

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Washington Post regarding Republican governors encouraging residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19:

As Republican pollster Whit Ayres notes, McConnell, who endured polio as a child, has always embraced the power of vaccination. More surprising was a vaccine plug from Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, a longtime baiter of federal authorities whose reelection campaign is selling merchandise mocking Anthony S. Fauci, the White House health adviser.

Ayres, the Republican pollster, said the growing willingness of leaders of his party to speak up for vaccinations is a response to dangers that can no longer be ignored. “The surge is in the red states and the red counties,” he said in an interview, “and there’s a real concern about protecting the health of people who are not yet vaccinated, many of whom are our people.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, February 3

Whit Ayres’ comments in Newsweek about GOP in-fighting:

Whit Ayres, a longstanding GOP pollster and North Star Opinion Research founder, took a similar view. The political consultant said it remained to be seen whether the Republican Party would still be a “viable political force” or make the fatal decision to split into two separate entities.

Asked for his view of the party’s makeup, Ayres said Trump had successfully expanded the populist wing of the GOP and built it to be the new “dominant force” in the party. Ayres cautioned that all was not over for the so-called “governing” faction.

Speaking about the battle between Cheney and the Trumpian faction on Capitol Hill, the pollster said: “It’s a small skirmish in the larger war. It’s a skirmish that, at this point, is confined to the House of Representatives’ Republican caucus”

“Just because you have a faction dominating the House caucus does not mean it’s dominating the entire party.”

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Jon McHenry, September 9

Jon McHenry’s comments to STAT News regarding health care and the Kansas Senate race:

“Barbara Bollier could be in the right position for Kansas on surprise billing, but it’s likely to get drowned out by her abortion position,” said Jon McHenry, a pollster for the GOP-aligned group North Star Opinion Research. “Similarly, ACA repeal may not be decisive here if the conversation skews to other issues.”

Despite voters’ broad coronavirus anxiety, Bollier could still face difficulty incorporating the country’s pandemic struggles into her broader health care message, given Republicans’ large advantage in voter registration.

“Often 80% or more of Democrats will say they are very concerned about the effect of the pandemic, but that will drop to 50% to 60% among independents, and maybe 25% to 45% among Republicans,” said McHenry, the Republican-aligned pollster. “For some Republicans and independents, it’s more of a government control and economic issue than a ‘health care issue.’”

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Whit Ayres on the Democratic Primary

Whit Ayres’ comments on the Democratic primary, as seen on FOX Nation:

Whit Ayres, September 24

Whit Ayres’ comments in Politico regarding voters’ views of President Trump and impeachment:

“People have made up their minds on Trump. It would take a momentous event to change enough minds to alter his job approval rating away from the average of 43 or 44 percent,” said Whit Ayres, founder and president of North Star Opinion Research, a Republican polling firm. “We’re so polarized and in our tribes that people will look through their current lens and determine either the president did something wrong, or Joe Biden did something wrong. The facts won’t be particularly relevant.”

To read the full article, please click here.

Whit Ayres, CSIS Podcast

Whit Ayres joined Dan Runde on his CSIS Building the Future podcast to discuss demographic change, the future of the Republican party, and issues for the 2020 election.

You can listen to part one here.

You can listen to part two here.

Whit Ayres, March 1

Whit Ayres’ comments in The New York Times regarding climate change:

“A lot of thoughtful Republicans have accepted the reality of climate change and are wrestling with questions of policy,” Whit Ayres, a prominent Republican pollster, said. 

Mr. Ayres noted that many Republicans had concerns about climate change policies like taxing or regulating coal and oil pollution. But he said that questioning the foundational science of climate change could become a political liability.

“There are perfectly legitimate questions to be raised about whether a dollar spent fighting climate change is better spent on health care or education,” Mr. Ayres said. “But there are no longer credible questions to be raised about the existence of climate change. If the White House ends up there, that is simply not credible.”

To read the full article, please click here.