In today’s National Review Online, the WG’s David Winston writes a piece on how the Republican Party needs to win on the issues and stop campaigning with negative advertising.
As important as Republican core principles are, it is the potential outcomes those principles and ideas generate that, in the end, win elections. How effectively Republican candidates translate these ideas into clear policies will determine whether the party succeeds in the future.
Young voters played a decisive role in the 2012 presidential election. According to the exit polls, Barack Obama received fewer votes than Mitt Romney among voters over the age of 30, but won young voters – nationally and in key swing states – by such large margins that he was re-elected.
For the third and final presidential debate of this election season, the WG’s David Winston continues his series writing for the Wall St. Journal’s Washington Wire blog. Winston gives his reaction to Monday night’s debate, stating that Governor Romney succeeded in his tactic of avoiding attacking Obama and instead offering his ideas:
…Mr. Romney came to the debate with a strategy that avoided harsh attacks on Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy record, instead offering voters his own foreign-policy direction for the future. Several times during the debate when Mr. Obama went on the offensive, Mr. Romney calmly told the president he was more interested in talking about where each of them would take the country rather than engaging a rhetorical war of attrition.
Recently, Newsweek announced that it will no longer be producing a print version of the iconic magazine. No matter what business concerns lead to that decision, one fact that must be acknowledged is that there are dramatic changes happening in how Americans consume news. The Winston Group recently conducted a survey that asked respondents which electronic devices they use to get their news. Here is what we found:
Among the “Overall” responses, television was still the most popular device, but computers were a reasonably close second, well ahead of radio. Additionally, radio is beginning to see some stiff competition from smartphones.
But the advantage in audience size that television has over computers and the lead that radio has over smartphones disappears when you look at younger members of the population. Among 35-44 year olds, smart phones and tablets are already outpacing radio as a source of news. When you look at 18-44 year olds, the results are even more striking with computers dominate as a source of news, outpacing television, with smartphones beginning to challenge for second spot.
So while not every magazine will incur the same fate as Newsweek, there can be no doubt that the media landscape has already changed for the youngest members of the adult population.
An October 6th post writes about the result of Romney’s successful first presidential debate, and turns to the WG’s David Winston’s analysis that we posted on October 5th. One part of the analysis in the blog post delves into Winston’s analysis of a post-debate discussion held by Democracy Corps:
Democracy Corps also conducted a post-debate discussion with 45 swing voters in Colorado. Its results were largely consistent with those of CBS and CNN. Democracy Corps concluded, though, that “this debate did not emerge as the game-changer the Romney campaign needed.”
But Winston is not persuaded:
Most of the data in the focus group doesn’t support this conclusion and was more in line with the two quantitative studies by CBS and CNN which showed clear movement. Their rationale was that no supporter of President Obama in the focus group moved to Governor Romney.
Looking at the numbers it looks like this represented about 14 people (out of 45), a small group to make such a definitive conclusion. This is a quantitative conclusion based on qualitative data from 45 people in Denver preselected to match certain demographic criteria. Focus groups can provide possible theories; they cannot provide quantitative conclusions.
As the election draws closer, both the public and the media are paying more attention to polls. With the election less than 40 days aways, polls are not just being read to try and feel the pulse of the American electorate, but also to predict how that electorate will look on November 6th.
It is of course impossible to compare a poll result with an election that hasn’t taken place yet so at The Winston Group we look at the next best thing: exit polls from past elections. We have uploaded charts of national and state level exit poll data on our website for the media and public to use: http://winstongroup.net/2012/09/17/party-id-and-ideology-breakdowns/.
One of the best questions to compare electorates across time is party identification (Party ID). This is a question that is asked in every exit poll. When we compare a newly released poll’s Party ID to the Party ID of past polls we get a sense of how the new electorate compares to the Party IDs of past exit polls.
The polls we have tweeted show there is a wide range of differences in Party ID numbers, but this is not a phenomenon unique to 2012. Ultimately it is up to the reader of the poll to determine if they find the poll’s explanation for Party ID satisfactory or not. The most we can do is provide a resource to allow everyone to make their own comparisons.
Jack Torry writes in Monday’s Columbus Dispatch about one of the important voting groups for this year’s presidential election: undecided voters. He turns to the WG’s David Winston for further insight on this group:
Winston likes to use this analogy to describe the thinking of an independent voter. Imagine that a fire has broken out at your home. Outside the house, two people are arguing. “You started it,” one says, prompting the other to reply, “You made it worse,” when in fact the homeowner only wants to know one thing: How are you going to put the fire out?