Whit Ayres, December 21

Whit Ayres’ comments to the BBC on the Republican primary:

Whit Ayres is a Republican pollster who has worked with a number of the party’s candidates. He told the BBC that “survival and momentum” would be key for the anti-Trump candidates in the contest. 

“If Nikki Haley can run a close third, or maybe even beat [Ron] DeSantis for second place, that will give her a substantial boost,” he observed. “Donors want to support a winner. If you can’t get votes, you can’t get money.” 

Mr Ayres observed that voters can be split into three categories: People who will never vote for Mr Trump, staunch supporters of his agenda and a third category who are interested in alternatives. 

“About half of the party are ‘maybe Trump’ voters,” he told the BBC. “They are at least interested in who the alternatives are, they’re maybe concerned about the amount of baggage he carries, his focus on the past, his concern with grievances as opposed to policies. So they are open to alternatives.”

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