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

Analysis: The 2012 Republican Primary Debates By the Numbers

by Emily O'Connor

As we look toward the upcoming 2016 Republican primary debates, the WG has put together this analysis of the 2012 debates. What topics were asked about most? How well did these reflect what voters said they cared about? Who asked what questions? Read more:

Questions in Context: The 2012 Republican Primary Debates By the Numbers

Questions in Context: The 2012 Republican Primary Debates By the Numbers


2012 Post-Election Analysis

by David Winston

Access the .pdf here: 2012 Post-Election Analysis

Infographic: Mitt Romney’s Vote Margins

by Lisa Mathias

Young voters played a decisive role in the 2012 presidential election. According to the exit polls, Barack Obama received fewer votes than Mitt Romney among voters over the age of 30, but won young voters – nationally and in key swing states – by such large margins that he was re-elected.

Kristen Soltis on Anderson Cooper 360

by Lisa Mathias

National Journal: Obama Voters Shake GOP Vision of Electorate

by Lisa Mathias

With the 2012 presidential election season over, many are looking into what happened that led to a GOP loss. National Journal’s Jill Lawrence asked David Winston for some insight into why Romney’s successes during campaigning didn’t lead to a victory:

GOP pollster David Winston, asked about his party’s miscalculation, said that there had been more “interest, engagement, enthusiasm” around Romney after he aced the first debate, which established a “new equilibrium” that some people perceived as momentum. “You’re seeing increased activity, so it looks better,” Winston said. “But that activity didn’t represent him leading the race.”

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Washington Post: Will Romney win the popular vote but lose the presidency?

by Lisa Mathias

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes about recent poll numbers for President Obama and Mitt Romney, turning to David Winston for some insight into why Romney’s numbers are good now, but may not lead to a victory in November:

Another argument I heard was that with the polls this close, the election really comes down to turnout. “The number of variables in terms of turnout that still exist are major,” e-mailed David Winston, director of the Winston Group. “Party ID, minority composition, younger voters [all] make it more complicated to assess.’

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WSJ: Political Pros: What the Final Debate Means

by Lisa Mathias

For the third and final presidential debate of this election season, the WG’s David Winston continues his series writing for the Wall St. Journal’s Washington Wire blog. Winston gives his reaction to Monday night’s debate, stating that Governor Romney succeeded in his tactic of avoiding attacking Obama and instead offering his ideas:

…Mr. Romney came to the debate with a strategy that avoided harsh attacks on Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy record, instead offering voters his own foreign-policy direction for the future. Several times during the debate when Mr. Obama went on the offensive, Mr. Romney calmly told the president he was more interested in talking about where each of them would take the country rather than engaging a rhetorical war of attrition.

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WSJ: Political Pros: Romney Momentum vs. Stronger Obama

by Lisa Mathias

The WG’s David Winston continues blogging for the Wall St. Journal’s Washington Wire, this time highlighting his takeaways from the second Obama-Romney debate. Although President Obama came out stronger than he did in his first debate, says Winston, but he still needs to play defense:

One of the interesting points of debate that emerged was the question of whether the weak economy is the result of the policies of former President George W. Bush or the policies of President Obama. The resolution of this question will be a determining factor in the election.

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David Winston on Jansing & Co., 10/9/12

by Lisa Mathias

The WG’s David Winston chatted with Chris Jansing this morning, along with former Senator Byron Dorgan about campaign finances, taxes, and the first presidential debate:

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NYTimes: Is there Life After Mitt?

by Lisa Mathias

Matt Bai writes an op-ed in today’s New York Times about the future of the Republican party after the elections. Bai talked to the WG’s David Winston, who provided some stats that work in Romney’s favor, but expressed that Romney needs to take advantage of the current economic situation:

Obama hasn’t won anything yet, of course, and on the day Winston and I talked, Romney still had three debates in which to make his case. But in Republican circles, you can already hear the howls of agony and recrimination. “When you have unemployment that high, and the economy is perceived to be as weak as it is, the door is wide open for a challenger, irrespective of party,” Winston told me. “You have to lay out the alternative so that people have something to go to.” The main question facing the party, should Romney lose, will be this: Was the fateful flaw the candidate’s inability to articulate that alternative, or was it the alternative itself?

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