Read our latest musings about poltics, policy, and others out there who are making ideas matter.

Bloomberg View: How to Waste Money and Annoy Voters

by Emily O'Connor

In Francis Wilkinson’s editorial from Bloomberg View, the WG’s David Winston comments on whether the abundance of political advertising in the 2014 midterm elections has reached a saturation point:

“It depends,” said Republican strategist David Winston. “If it is a new topic or idea people will listen. If it’s just a variation on a familiar theme, then less so as they have already heard it. Hearing a point the 96th time is not likely to generate a different reaction than when it was heard the 73rd time.”

For the rest of the piece, click here.

WaPo: What Republicans plan to do to demolish Obama’s legacy if they win the Senate

by Emily O'Connor

In the Washington Post, the WG’s David Winston emphasizes the importance of Republicans using the next two years to define new ideas, not just oppose the president’s:

“Is the purpose to define the direction of the country or to oppose Obama over his last two years?” says David Winston, a Republican pollster and consultant. “We’re seeing a growing consensus that if things are going to work out in the long run — and in 2016 — it has to be about defining a direction.”

Even now before the outcome of the mid-term elections, Winston said that the most important thing is to look toward the 2016 election.

“The one definitive thing you can say is that in 2016 there will be a new president,” he said. “As we look at the last two years of the Obama presidency, the challenge is really defining where the country goes in a post-Obama environment.”

For the rest of the story, head to www.washingtonpost.com.

WSJ: On the Campaign Trail, Obama’s Hard to Find

by Emily O'Connor

The Wall Street Journal highlights President Obama’s comparatively quiet role in the 2014 midterm campaigns so far, particularly in Senate races. The Winston Group’s David Winston comments:

David Winston, a Republican strategist, said the White House has a long-term interest in demonstrating that Mr. Obama still has some political capital.

“If there was a sense that he was in a situation where he couldn’t help any Democratic candidate, that’s just not a good setup for his last two years,” Mr. Winston said.

Click here for the full story.

CBS News: “Crunching the Numbers: What if the swing voters aren’t who you think?”

by Emily O'Connor

The Winston Group’s David Winston and CBS’s Anthony Salvanto look beyond the usual political labels and groupings to talk about what voters – whether “base” or “swing” – really want from political parties:

Crunching the Numbers: What if the swing voters aren’t who you think?

 

The Contract with America: The Power of a Positive Message

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston was published in September’s volume of The Ripon Forum, which takes a look back after 20 years at the Contract with America. Winston explains how the Contract is an example of the power of a positive message – giving people something to vote for, rather than just someone to vote against:

“Telling voters what you get with a Republican majority worked in 1994.  It worked again in 2010.  It can help assure a Republican victory in 2014 for those who are willing to step up and tell voters what they stand for and what specifically they will do to address the nation’s challenges.”

Read the full article here: bit.ly/10471Eg, psychology24

LA Times: Why So Many Voters Care So Little About the Midterm Elections

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston commented in an LA Times column on the midterm elections:

“The way to win is to tell voters what they’ll get with a Republican majority,” said David Winston, an advisor to House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). “That’s what worked in 1994, and it worked again in 2010.”

To read the full column:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-column-midterm-elections-20141001-column.html

NYTimes: Loss for Democrats in Midterm Elections Could Be Boon for Clinton

by Lisa Mathias

The New York Times released a story on how a possible Republican-led Senate for Obama’s last two years of presidency could pave the way for success for Hilary Clinton, if she decides to run for 2016. The WG’s David Winston comments:

“If the direction Republicans define is where the country needs to go, then the initiative is with Republicans,” said David Winston, a Republican strategist for House leaders. “If Republicans just define themselves as being opposed to President Obama, then Republicans hand the initiative to Clinton.”

To read the full story, turn to nytimes.com

National Teacher Attitudes on the Adoption of Common Core State Standards

by David Winston

While teachers’ outlook on Common Core continues to be positive, there are some challenges emerging on the horizon that need to be addressed. By a 2:1 margin (62% approve-31% disapprove) teachers approve of adoption of Common Core State Standards. However, this support is soft as 17% said they strongly approve and 44% said somewhat approve. This overall level of support is basically unchanged from last March, when in a Hart/Winston Group survey, 62% of teachers approved and 32% disapproved.

Additionally, attitudes about approval of state implementation of Common Core has slipped slightly as it went from 66% in March to 60% in July. While the trend is of concern, nonetheless the approval margin is still 2:1 (60-30). Also like overall approval, that approval is soft with 18% strongly approving and 42% somewhat approving.

Finally, and perhaps the most immediate challenge, is that what teachers have heard about Common Core Standards over the last year has not been favorable. Given what teachers said they had heard over the last year, 17% said it made them more favorable, while 32% said it made them less favorable. However, almost half (49%) said that what they had heard had not changed their attitude. Again, this was similar to last March when it stood at 18% more favorable, 32% less favorable, and 49% the same.

This survey occurs as we are in the middle of implementation across the country. Implementation was always seen as a challenging moment, yet 6 out of 10 teachers at this point still approve of how that is occurring. Obviously it would be better if that approval were not as soft as it is. Additionally that softness is complicated by the teacher reaction to what they have heard. Nonetheless, the attitudes are still very positive, but a stronger Common Core narrative is needed to coincide with further implementation to move things forward.

This survey was fielded August 2-3, 2014 for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 800 teachers nationally were interviewed.

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NYT: While Some in G.O.P. See Obama’s Competence as Rich Vein to Mine, Others See Little Reward

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s New York Times, Jackie Calmes writes about competency – or lack thereof – and how that will play into the midterm elections. While voters feel that President Obama is lacking competency, there are conflicting views on whether Republicans also have it. The WG’s David Winston commented:

David Winston, a Republican pollster who advises House leaders, gave his party the edge, but he agreed that the midterm elections were “going to come down to one basic issue: jobs and the economy, and who the voters have more confidence in, in terms of what’s being proposed.”

To read the full article, turn to nytimes.com.

WSJ: Bipartisanship at Last: Poll Shows a Coalition of the Gloomy

by Lisa Mathias

In Thursdays Wall Street Journal, Janet Hook addresses the pessimism felt by Americans across party lines about the state of the economy and the prospects that it will improve, especially for the next generation. The WG’s David Winston points out what most voters are feeling:

“The economy may be getting slightly better, but the progress is unacceptable,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who works closely with congressional GOP leaders. “Everybody — Republicans, Democrats and independents — are looking for, ‘What are the solutions?’

“Both parties, instead, are trying to define only why the other candidate is worse,” Mr. Winston said. “That’s unsatisfying discourse for the electorate.”

To read the full article, turn to wsj.com.

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