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Whit Ayres is a leading Washington, D.C., political consultant with over 30 years of experience in polling and survey research for high profile political campaigns and associations.
As Founder and President of North Star Opinion Research, a national public opinion and public affairs research firm located in Alexandria, Virginia, Ayres provides message development advice and strategic insights to high level political clients including U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham, and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, and association clients including the Boy Scouts of America, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.
Ayres and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie are Co-Founders of Resurgent Republic, a center-right nonprofit which develops and disseminates a steady stream of national polls and focus groups, helping policy makers, think tanks, interest groups and others advocate for policies that are consistent with conservative principles. Resurgent’s research is regularly cited by leading journalists and politicos.
Ayres has been active in The American Association of Political Consultants for over 20 years, serving as its Treasurer, President, and Chairman. In 2012, Ayres was honored as the Republican Pollster of the Year by the organization. AAPC is a bi-partisan professional society that promotes the political consulting industry, protects political freedom of speech, and fosters ethical behavior in political campaigns.
Ayres is a frequent commentator on network and cable media outlets including NBC’s Meet the Press, FOX News, CNN, NPR and the BBC. His comments and analysis appear in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and numerous regional newspapers.
Ayres founded his company after a career as a tenured professor at the University of South Carolina. Ayres is a graduate of Davidson College and holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ayres has been an active private pilot for 30 years, flying his Beechcraft Baron throughout the eastern U.S. He is also the 2012 Virginia State Racquetball champion in his undisclosed age division.