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

USA Today: “Analysis: A better economy, a more hostile Congress”

by Emily O'Connor

Last night, President Obama delivered the 2015 State of the Union address. The WG’s David Winston sets the stage for the analysis of the speech, highlighting what Republicans were watching for:

“When he came in, he had a filibuster-proof Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House, and now he’s facing a Republican Congress and the largest House membership for Republicans since the ’20s,” said GOP pollster David Winston, an adviser to Republican congressional leaders. He said the GOP was watching to see whether Obama would “double-down” on policies they argue the electorate already has rejected.

Did they get their answer? The rest of the story can be found 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.

Read the stresstips.com version 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.

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Politico: Young Guns vs. Gavels

by Emily O'Connor

In Politico’s special report discussing the future of the Republican-controlled Senate and issues for each committee, the WG’s David Winston comments on the overall direction the Senate will take:

“I think the hope is that things move forward,” said the veteran Republican pollster David Winston. “For a whole lot of reasons, there’s going to be a focus on jobs and the economy, and then after that there will be an assessment of what’s achievable and what’s not.”

Read more at Politico.

NPR: Obama wants to pivot to immigration reform, but can it work?

by Lisa Mathias

NPR’s Mara Liasson recently reported on immigration as a rising issue, amid continuing debate over the Obamacare website and the budget. While President Obama shifts focus onto immigration, the WG’s David Winston states that his priorities need to be shifted elsewhere:

DAVID WINSTON: A lot of our members are hearing, tell me what you’re doing in terms of the economy first. Give me a clear picture of where that’s going to go. And the president, to some degree, wants to go to his priority as opposed to where the country’s really at at this point.

To listen to the full story and read a transcript, turn to npr.org.

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

WaPo: Some House Republicans untouched by campaign for immigration overhaul

by Lisa Mathias

In an article published on August 12, the Washington Post addresses the issue of immigration and turns to David Winston for insight on how Republican leaders should approach the issue:

“These Republican members are reflecting their constituents, so the challenge isn’t pressuring the Republican members, the challenge is to come up with a convincing and compelling argument for their constituents to agree to,” said GOP pollster David Winston, who advises House Republicans.

To read the full article, turn to washingtonpost.com.

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 nationalreview.com.

Politico: House GOP’s fiscal split looms large for President Obama

by Lisa Mathias

Sunday’s Politico brings up the question on whether the split within House Republicans that occurred over the fiscal cliff deal can occur again over other issues. The WG’s David Winston doesn’t think so:

David Winston, a veteran GOP pollster who advises Boehner, agreed.
“When things are more focused around spending, there will be more unity,” he said. “The next votes won’t have colliding elements in them.”

Read more: politico.com.

CJR: Why is ‘issue coverage’ so boring – and often wrong?

by Lisa Mathias

Walter Shapiro writes in today’s Columbia Journalism Review about a conversation he had with the WG’s own David Winston, about the state of political press and how Winston feels there isn’t enough good coverage of the issues:

“Why doesn’t the media write more about issues that are of central concern to the voters? Why don’t they write more about candidate differences and the implications for the country? Instead we get a litany of process pieces with issues as a sideshow.”

When pollsters—yes, pollsters—start sounding like high-minded press critics, it’s a sign that horse-race hysteria has grown to absurd levels. With the election still four months away, we are hooked up to ephemeral data bursts with a shelf life of four hours. As Winston, who has no connection to the Mitt Romney campaign, went on to say, “This coverage makes it difficult for voters to decide whom they want to give the responsibility of governing to.”

To read the full article, turn to cjr.com.

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