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

Ripon Society: “How do we offer better value?”

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston recently spoke at The Ripon Society’s 5th Annual Legislative and Communication Directors Symposium on Leadership, unpacking the results of 2014 and the challenges of 2016. First, he addressed the meaning of the 2014 Republican victories:

“I would suggest to you that last year’s election wasn’t a standalone event. It was a continuation of the 2010 wave. What that means is that the coalition is sustainable. We can build on it and keep moving forward.”

He then highlighted the strategic challenges Republicans will face leading up to 2016:

“The first has to do with who has the initiative,” he stated. “If the President is defining the agenda all the time through executive actions, then he is going to be defining the playing field, as well. And that’s favorable to him.” To that end, Winston said, Republicans need to develop an agenda they can point to as an alternative to whatever the President may put forward.

The second challenge, Winston stated, has to do with the image of the GOP, itself… According to Winston, the third challenge Republicans face relates to legislative strategy and how the party handles the various proposals that are debated and put forward this year.

After describing the three options for Republican proposals,

Winston concluded by recalling a quote from Newt Gingrich. “Wal-Mart doesn’t get ahead by attacking Sears,” the former Speaker once said, “but by offering better value.” Picking up on that theme, Winston asked: “How do we offer better value? What’s our product? What is it that we’re going to do that will make people say, ‘I want that.’ That’s where the real opportunity is…”

Read The Ripon Society’s full summary or watch the presentation here.

CNN: The GOP Battle for the Middle Class

by Emily O'Connor

In the context of debate over the state of the economy as well as the upcoming 2016 presidential election, the WG’s David Winston summarizes what the overall GOP message on the economy should be:

David Winston, the pollster who helped coin the “where are the jobs” mantra for House Republicans in 2010, says the GOP message in 2016 should be just as simple: “Where is the middle class?”

You can find the rest of CNN’s story here, and see more of David Winston’s comments on this topic here.

 

Diane Rehm Show: “Analysis of President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address”

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston was a guest on the Diane Rehm Show’s analysis of President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address. Here’s a few highlights from his thoughts on the speech:

Listen to the whole show here, and be sure to follow The Winston Group on Twitter.

 

WashPo: “Obama will give State of Union address against backdrop of deep partisan divide”

by Emily O'Connor

In the Washington Post, the WG’s David Winston discusses President Obama’s actions since the 2014 midterm elections, just before the 2015 State of the Union address:

“Given how poorly the election went for them, they need to find some way to derive a narrative,” David Winston, president of the Winston Group, a conservative consulting firm, said of the White House. On the president’s executive actions, he added, “There’s only so many he can do. . . . Ultimately, they have to figure out as a White House how to actually interact and get things done at a national level.”

Read rest of the story here.

WashEx: “Elections an opportunity, not a mandate, for GOP, polling shows”

by Emily O'Connor

The Washington Examiner highlighted the WG’s post-election analysis “Fix It” in an article describing why the 2014 midterms provided Republicans with an opportunity, rather than a mandate:

“It’s important to understand that the election showed the public is willing to listen to Republican ideas but voters have to be sold on each individual idea first,” Winston explained. “Republicans do not have carte blanche, but they have an electorate that is willing to listen to Republican ideas to fix the country. That is a unique opportunity for any political party.”

…“The brand challenge for Republicans is to turn winning the issues into favorables and expand their midterm majority coalition,” Winston said in his report. “Newt Gingrich once said: ‘Walmart doesn’t get ahead by attacking Sears, but by offering better value.’ That captures the Republican challenge going forward.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Get the rest of our post-election analysis 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.

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 3.49.05 PM copy

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.

PDF Version

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.

Older Posts »