Dr. Whit Ayres is the President of North Star Opinion Research, a national public opinion and public affairs research firm located in Alexandria, Virginia, that provides research and strategic advice for corporations, associations, and Republican candidates for public office. Roll Call, a widely-read newspaper on Capitol Hill, called the firm “one of the best in the nation.”
The firm provided polling for Georgia Senator Paul Coverdell’s upset of Wyche Fowler in 1992 and Tennessee Senator Bill Frist’s upset of Jim Sasser in 1994. Other political clients include U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Governors David Beasley and Carroll Campbell of South Carolina, and the 1996 Lamar Alexander for President campaign. Corporate clients include the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the Boy Scouts of America, Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and America’s Health Insurance Plans.
Ayres’ 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. He also appears periodically on Fox News, CNN, and National Public Radio.
Before establishing the firm, Ayres served as Senior Executive Assistant for Budget and Policy to Governor Carroll Campbell in South Carolina. He has also served as a tenured member of the political science faculty at the University of South Carolina.
Ayres graduated cum laude from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina, with a major in political science. He received an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He is an active private pilot, flying his Beechcraft Baron throughout the eastern U.S., and he is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He serves on the boards of the Paul Coverdell Leadership Institute, the Awakening Policy Conference, and the American Association of Political Consultants, where he is also Vice President.