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.

Bloomberg Politics: “He Won Two, But Obama’s Speech Shows There’s Always a Next Election”

by Emily O'Connor

How might the policies President Obama addressed in the State of the Union speech affect the 2016 elections? The WG’s David Winston comments in Bloomberg Politics:

Republicans argue that Obama’s economic policies will only hurt Clinton. They say the results of the 2014 midterm elections, in which Republicans won back the Senate and expanded on their majority in the House, repudiated those policies. “It puts her in a very difficult position,” Republican pollster David Winston said of Hillary Clinton. “The public has said in exit polls they don’t agree with that argument. And she’s supposed to carry that ball?”

For the rest of the story, click here.

What Voters Want

by Emily O'Connor

From our 2014 post-election analysis:

As a result of voter unhappiness not only about the economy but moving forward generally, people expect Republicans in Congress to focus their efforts on proposing and passing policies to improve the economy (71%). They didn’t vote for Republicans simply to be a check and balance on President Obama (23%)…

Ultimately, what this reflects is a country that continues to be unhappy with the current direction of the economy and have decided to give Republicans more governing responsibility…

What policies were most important to voters? What did they think of the role of government? Keep reading here.

LA Times: Republicans back away from immigration reform

by Lisa Mathias

The Los Angeles Times touches on the immigration debate in terms of what Republicans are – or are no longer – doing, as Speaker John Boehner steps away from pushing any legislation, the newspaper reports. The WG’s David’s Winston says the White House also needs to take action:

“Republicans are willing to move forward, but the president’s got to instill some confidence that he’s going to implement the law,” said Republican strategist David Winston, who is close to party leadership. “The ball’s in the president’s court.”

To read more: latimes.com

CNBC: Obama finds some solid ground; tests still ahead

by Lisa Mathias

Looking forward to the 2012 elections, CNBC writes about President Obama’s likelihood of getting re-elected, despite a high unemployment rate and relatively pessimistic views of the direction the country is going, as well as the Republicans’ sweep of the House in last year’s elections. The WG’s David’s Winston believes that Republican presidential candidates need to step up to the plate and present solid policy goals:

“The challenge to Republicans is to offer an alternative that builds a majority coalition,” said David Winston, a Republican strategist. “At this point, where you’ve heard the policy discussions occurring have not been within the Republican presidential primary but among the Republican members of Congress.”

To read the full article, turn to cnbc.com

The Right Idea, Ep. 44: Primaries, Controversies, Movements

by Lisa Mathias

Kristen Soltis chats with Mark Blumenthal of pollster.com and Patrick Ruffini from Engage about the latest primaries, the Ground Zero mosque, moveon.org and some big changes for pollster.com and engage (engagedc.com).

The Right Idea, Ep. 42: Golf, Angry Voters, Brown and Apple

by Lisa Mathias

This week, Kristen chats with Alex Lundry from Target Point and Kevin Madden from Dyke & Associates about the “Golf or Gulf” website, constituents breaking away from Democrats, Scott Brown’s backing of the financial reform bill, the word “liberal,” and the Apple fans.

TRI Ep. 40: Hearings, Spies, and Kill Switches

by Lisa Mathias

TRI gets a bit of a change of pace this week with some new segments. Kristen chats with Rachel Hoff from the Foreign Policy Initiative, and The Winston Group’s own Nicki Kurokawa. Topics include this week’s big stories like Kagan’s hearings, Russian Spies, the Kill Switch Bill, and Summer TV, as well as a new section, Blogger Beat.

The Right Idea, Episode 14 – Education Reform

by Lisa Mathias

The Right Idea, Ep. 14 – Education Reform from The Winston Group on Vimeo.

The Right Idea, Episode 13 – Education Policy

by Lisa Mathias

The Right Idea Ep. 13 – Education Policy from The Winston Group on Vimeo.

This week, Kristen Soltis talks about education with Katherine Haley from House Republican Leader John Boehner’s office, and Dan Lips from The Heritage Foundation.

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