The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to 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

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?


Discussion Points: More than Words

by Lisa Mathias

In our second video of our new Discussion Points series, we discuss the importance of having not only a good message, but a good plan to back it up. We also take a look at how President Reagan served as an example of this concept.

Video: Is America Still Center Right?

by Lisa Mathias

In the first of a new series of short, original videos, we decided to look into whether the American electorate has remained ideologically center-right since the last two presidential elections, or whether voters have shifted to the left. We also explain what this means for Republicans as we go into the 2014 election season.

Op-Ed on The Daily Beast: Americans Don’t Like Obama’s Job Performance – or Him

by Lisa Mathias

The WG’s Kristen Soltis Anderson writes for today’s The Daily Beast, commenting on recently released job approval numbers for President Obama, as well as some questions that indicate the public’s current standing with him.

In the CBS/NYT poll, fewer than half of Americans said they felt Obama is honest and trustworthy, a decline from the six out of ten Americans who saw the President as honest in September of 2012. The latest CNN poll, released last week, showed 53% of Americans concur that the label “honest and trustworthy” does not apply to Obama. As far back as the start of the month, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that slightly more Americans held a negative view of Barack Obama than held a positive view.

To read more:

RCP: Health Law Woes Spark Glee – and Caution – for GOP

by Lisa Mathias

Real Clear Politics reports on how the problems with Obamacare are opening up possibilities for Republicans to continue pursuing repeal, but also present a worthy alternative. The WG’s David Winston provides insight:

Republicans hope Friday’s vote will splinter Democrats, who had stayed remarkably united during the GOP’s defunding effort last month. “It’s saying to every Democrat, ‘Did you believe his promise? Or are you going to say that wasn’t the key promise?’” said David Winston, a pollster for the House GOP.

But Winston also said this week’s vote should serve as a predicate for alternative policy. “Ultimately what this has done is given Republicans a real opportunity to lay out their alternative, and the public is willing to listen,” he explained, noting that the president’s likability rating has taken a dip for the first time in his presidency. “The electorate is wanting to hear [the GOP’s] ideas on health care. … The challenge is clearly front and center.”

Read more:

Bloomberg: Is Elizabeth Warren the Face of a Democratic Crackup?

by Lisa Mathias

In an opinion piece for Bloomberg, Francis Wilkinson writes about the effect that the troubled rollout of Obamacare has had on the Democratic Party, and what this means for Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, both speculated to be considering running for president in 2016. The WG’s David Winston comments:

David Winston, a top strategist for Republican House leaders, had a similar reply: “Not sure I see that at this point,” he wrote in an e-mail. “What is the choice being defined if it were Clinton versus Warren? Is that a choice that splits the moderates and the left because it is seen [as] a fundamental difference? Right now the Democrat challenge in setting things up for either [candidate] – is the struggling economy, and the management of the implementation of the ACA.”

To read the full article, turn to

AP: For Obama, a sudden struggle with personal appeal

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s AP, Jennifer Agiesta and Julie Pace write about President Obama’s falling approval ratings. They turned to the WG’s David Winston for some insight:

“It’s a slow cumulative effect,” Republican pollster David Winston said, adding that personal favorability “is a much harder number to move if it starts to go south.”

To read more:

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