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 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?

 

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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LA Times: World crises drown out Obama’s economic message for midterm election

by Lisa Mathias

The Winston Group’s David Winston comments in the July 23rd edition of LA Times on how President Obama’s handling of foreign policy reflects his handling of policies stateside:

The foreign affairs crises are not drowning out the economic message, but rather heightening concerns about his ability to get to successful policy outcomes, which includes the economy.

To read the full article, click to LA Times.com

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.

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