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

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:

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.

National Journal: Obamacare is Costing Democrats the White Women They’ll Need at the Ballot Box

by Lisa Mathias

National Journal has looked at disapproval for Obamacare in terms of demographic group breakdowns, as polls on the health care law are being released to reveal new numbers about where support and opposition lie. They specifically look at blue-collar white women, who may prove to be an important group in terms of the 2014 elections: David Winston provides some insight:

A new poll by Harvard’s Institute of Politics, for one, found millennials turning away from the law. And some GOP pollsters argue that focusing on the effects of just one group is misguided. “This isn’t just small segments of the electorate; these are huge, broad topics that affect everybody,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster with close ties to the House GOP. “Who isn’t interested in health care?”

To read more:

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: Government Shutdown: Republicans downplay 2014 shutdown fallout

by Lisa Mathias

Just before the government shutdown began, Politico reported on the potential effects it might have on Republicans going into the 2014 elections. The WG’s David Winston commented in the report:

GOP pollster David Winston told POLITICO that it’s unclear how much a shutdown would affect the 2014 election.

“Here’s the bottom line: When it’s 52-card pickup, everyone is going to get hurt to some degree because people are seen as not governing,” Winston said. “It’s hard to know what the impact could be, but it creates a significant amount of uncertainty.”

To read the full article:

Bloomberg: Unpopular Republicans See Gains in ’14 Elections

by Lisa Mathias

Bloomberg’s Albert Hunt writes about the possible gains in House and Senate seats next year. David Winston comments:

Republican pollster David Winston foresees a good Republican year but warns it is far from assured: “There is an opportunity, not an outcome,” he says. “Voters aren’t looking for an opposition party; they are looking for an alternative.”

To read the full article, click through to

Op-Ed: Enough with the 2016 Talk

by Lisa Mathias

The Winston Group’s Stephanie Slade writes for US News and World Report, addressing the constant speculation surrounding the 2016 elections. Slade writes:

The idea that polls taken 18 months before the midterm elections could reliably tell us much of anything about where the electorate will be next November is almost a farce. Just one-twelfth of Obama’s second term is in the books so far; spending time worrying about who might choose to run in an election 42 months away suggests we’re working with a set of seriously misplaced priorities.

To read the full editorial, turn to

National Review: “Memo to GOP: Ideas Win Elections”

by Lisa Mathias

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.

To read the full article, click to

US News: What’s Wrong With the GOP? Everything

by David Winston

Winston Group vice president Kristen Soltis Anderson has a post at US News and World Report’s politics blog in which she lays out the myriad problems facing the Republican Party as it tries to make inroads with young and minority voters. She writes:

It is easy to say that the GOP’s problem isn’t a messaging problem, it’s a candidate problem. Or that it’s not a candidate problem but a demographics problem. Or that it is not a demographics problem, it’s a technology problem. Or that it’s not a technology problem, it’s a policy and solutions problem.

The hard truth is that it is all of the above.

The problems that face my party are interconnected, and a piecemeal plan for fixing the GOP is not enough. We need an “all of the above” approach to rebuilding the party, and we need to start that hard work today.

Click here to read the full post.

HuffPo: 2012 Polling Accuracy: Right Winner, But Different Trends

by Lisa Mathias

Mark Blumenthal wrote for the December 23rd Huffington Post on polling during the 2012 election season. Blumenthal turned to David Winston for the answer to what the purpose of polls are:

The main purpose of media polls, Republican pollster David Winston argued at a recent post-election forum, is to “tell a story.” Although they generally forecast the right winner, public polls told very different stories about horse race trends in the final weeks of the campaign. A true judgement of accuracy would take those differing stories into account.

To read the full article, turn to

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