The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to making ideas matter.

LA Times OpEd: “Never say #NeverTrump”

by Emily O'Connor

Commenting in an LA Times column by Doyle McManus, the WG’s David Winston lays out challenges for Republicans in the election ahead – Trump’s unfavorables, particularly among women, and Congressional Republican candidates’ potential need for ticket-splitting voters and a sense of direction for those candidates.

“The structural problem of the Trump candidacy is his ‘unfavorable’ numbers,” GOP pollster David Winston told me. “Among women, who — did I mention? — are the majority of the electorate, his unfavorables are in the 70s. Those aren’t easy numbers to turn around, particularly when a candidate has had as much exposure as Trump.”

…In some states, candidates “are going to depend on people who are voting for [Democrat Hillary] Clinton to switch sides and vote for the other party” when it comes to Congress, Winston noted. “That’s hard to do.”

…“House candidates are going to need a sense of direction, and they don’t necessarily want to rely on Trump to provide it,” Winston said. If Trump appears headed for defeat, the Ryan program could give them a lifeline.

Yet –

…“Everybody writes off a party after it has a bad election,” Winston said. “After 2008, when Obama won, people said it was the end of the Republican Party. But two years later we had 2010 and won a majority in the House.”

For more, head here.

Analysis – Last Debates before NH Primary

by Emily O'Connor

The last debates before the New Hampshire primary were held last week, and the Winston Group has updated our analysis to include all the latest questions, topics, candidate speaking times, comparisons, and the full text of all questions.

How well have the debates covered the topics most important to voters? Who has gotten the most direct questions – and who has gotten the most chances to speak overall? Check out these numbers and more, compared across the Republican and Democrat debates so far.

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Debate Analysis – Updated

by Emily O'Connor

The first debates of 2016 have been held for both parties’ primaries, and the Winston Group has updated our analysis to include all the latest questions, topics, candidate speaking times, comparisons, and the full text of all questions.

How well have the debates covered the topics most important to voters? Who has gotten the most direct questions – and who has gotten the most chances to speak overall? Check out these numbers and more, compared across the Republican and Democrat debates so far.

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Analysis: The First 2016 Presidential Primary Debates, By the Numbers

by Emily O'Connor

Four debates in to the Republican presidential primary, the Winston Group has compiled the following analysis covering the questions and topics of each debate, candidate speaking time, the number of questions addressed to each candidate, and comparison to the topics of the two Democrat debates so far. The appendix includes an updated list of the full text of each question asked in each of the debates.

How well have the debates covered the topics most important to voters? Who has gotten the most direct questions – and who has gotten the most chances to speak overall? Check out these numbers and more, compared across the Republican and Democrat debates so far.

(Missed our 2012 Republican primary debates analysis?)

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ABC News: “Americans Split on Whether Clinton Cares About Their Needs”

by Emily O'Connor

In recent polls, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s ratings are down on measures such as whether Americans feel she “cares about people like you” or “understands the problems of people like you.”

Republican pollster David Winston said the intense early focus on such issues gives Republicans an opening to define the terms of the debate over the direction each party wants to take the country.

“If she doesn’t have a product on the shelf — her ideas — what’s the point?” Winston asked.

Read the rest of the story here.

“Fix It” – An Analysis of the 2014 Midterm Elections

by Emily O'Connor

 

In the 2014 midterm elections, what did voters tell Washington? “Fix it.”

Read through our in-depth analysis to find out more about what voters want, who comprised the 2014 electorate, and what challenges and opportunities are ahead for both parties.

Access the PDF here.

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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.

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 bloomberg.com

Yahoo News: The poll pols just can’t read: Americans need more jobs

by Lisa Mathias

Walter Shapiro writes for Yahoo News about the one major issue that has been overshadowed by budget and Obamacare debates: jobs. Shapiro states that politicians aren’t paying enough attention to the polls. He turned to the WG’s David Winston for some insight:

The voters get it. “I have done a lot of focus groups in the last few years,” says Republican strategist David Winston, who advises the House and Senate GOP leadership. “And there’s one number that people know — and that’s the unemployment rate. And they’re sophisticated about it. They know that the unemployment rate understates things because of people leaving the workforce.”

To read more:yahoo.com

Politico: Obamacare Wins? See you in 2014

by Lisa Mathias

With the government shutdown over and the Obamacare website now live, Washington debates center around the site’s inability to operate properly as promised. David Nather writes that the issue is becoming one that could define the 2013 elections. David Winston comments:

“The challenge for Republicans is to make this a policy fight, not a political fight,” said David Winston, a top Republican pollster who advises the House GOP leadership. “It’s incumbent upon Republicans to come up with an alternative. For most people, going back to where we were is not an option.”

Read more: politico.com

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