Whit Ayres, June 24

Whit Ayres’ comments in The Washington Post on the upcoming presidential debate:

Whit Ayres, also a GOP pollster, points to a somewhat larger group: “at least half of the electorate who doesn’t want to vote for either man.” This group, he said in an interview, will be more influenced by “the candidates’ attitude and affect more than any particular issue positions.”

But issues — abortion, protecting democracy and health care for Biden and immigration, crime and the cost of living for Trump — will matter to other pieces of the electorate that are up for grabs. A canvas of pollsters and academic analysts suggests a series of subgroups that should be on the candidates’ minds: non-evangelical working-class voters, especially women; Black and Latino men; college-educated voters, particularly independents and Trump-skeptical Republicans; and voters under 35, many of them anti-Trump but whom Biden needs to persuade to cast ballots for him. The debate is likely to be a suburban excursion, Ayres said, since suburbanites are key to many of these groups.

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