Jon Huntsman 2012 Campaign Adds Top Pollster Whit Ayres

Thursday, 21 Apr 2011 02:54 PM

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Jon Huntsman’s political action committee took another step in preparing for him to run for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday by hiring pollster Whit Ayres, who is well known by the GOP field, reported Thursday.

"I think the Republican nominating contest is more wide open than at any time in our lifetimes,” said Tim Miller, a spokesman for the Horizon PAC, which has been setting up the campaign apparatus for a Huntsman run.

Jon Huntsman,Horizon PAC,pollsters,Whit Ayres,Seth Masket
Jon Huntsman
“Republican primary voters appear hungry for a fresh face and a new conservative voice. I hope Governor Huntsman will be that voice."

Huntsman, a former Utah governor, is serving as ambassador to China, and federal rules prohibit him from campaigning until he ends his term. He’s scheduled to step down at the end of this month.

“Hiring the pollster that they did, Whit Ayres, is a pretty big signal,” said Seth Masket, a University of Denver political science professor.

“He's a very serious pollster. He has a lot of history in both presidential campaigns, a number of prominent congressional campaigns.

"He's very well known in the Republican field and so the fact they were able to land him, suggests to other candidates . . . and to other people in Republican politics, this is a serious candidacy," Masket added.

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