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

Tonight’s Address Will Be Obama’s Positioning Statement

by David Winston

Washington’s main event last week featured presidential spokesman Robert “The Enforcer” Gibbs taking on CNBC’s Rick “Tea Party” Santelli over the housing bailout package, and it wasn’t pretty. Gibbs got personal at the podium, sarcastically unloading on the former trader with undisguised disdain.

His shots may have gotten a laugh in the White House briefing room, but across America, homeowners who are “playing by the rules” and paying their mortgages on time were cheering for Santelli, who clearly struck a nerve. Round One goes to Santelli.

All eyes on Governor Jindal

by Lisa Mathias

CNN’s Samira J. Simone profiles Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s recent rise in prominence in the Republican Party. Jindal was tapped a possible vice-presidential candidate for John McCain in 2008, and many are already looking at Jindal as a possible presidential candidate for 2012. David comments on one of the reasons why Jindal appeals to GOP members:

“Coming from a family of recent immigrants reflects the opportunities in this country, and that’s a principle the Republican party represents,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster and strategist.

Jindal ready for the spotlight []

Soltis at on Stan Greenberg’s New Book

by David Winston

Over at, Kristen Soltis gives her take on Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg‘s new book Dispatches from the War Room and poses a question: if the “Big Middle” in the electorate exists, does that make it easier or more difficult for policymakers and politicians to pursue big ideas?

Hop on over to for this and more commentary by public opinion experts.

Public’s measure of the stimulus focuses on jobs

by canderson

Adriel Bettelheim of CQPolitics writes about how President Obama is managing public perceptions of the stimulus package. David, quoted in the article, asserts that Americans are focused on job creation since the economy has been losing jobs at such a rapid rate.

Republican pollster David Winston said Americans have become fixated on job-creation since the economy shed more than 500,000 jobs each month over the past three months. This criteria is at variance with some politicians’ definitions of effective spending.

“There are a lot of potentially viable programs in the stimulus package, and Democrats and Republicans can agree or disagree on them, but viability is not the way people will judge it,” Winston said. “The one measure will be how many jobs will it create? People expect a positive outcome.”

Managing Public Perceptions Crucial to Obama’s Performance [CQPolitics]

Voters are worried about new jobs created by the stimulus

by canderson

David’s quoted in this NYT article about the stimulus package. David argues that most voters are looking at the stimulus package in terms of how many jobs it can create and save.

David Winston, a Republican pollster, said that whatever big goals Mr. Obama and the base of the Democratic Party remain eager to achieve, voters for the most part are going to be focused on one thing: whether the economic measures sponsored by the new administration prove effective in halting and reversing job losses.

“He’s going to have to fit other issues into the larger narrative of the economy,” Mr. Winston said.

“Obama’s Battle on Stimulus Shows Threats to His Agenda” []

CBS Survey and the Stimulus Package

by David Winston

In looking through the CBS Survey that was released last night there are a couple of very interesting results. First let’s put the sample in context. In the survey 25% were Republicans, 38% were Democrats, and 37% were Independents. In contrast the media exit polls for the House level had Republicans at 33%, Democrats at 40%, and Independents at 28%. So the CBS survey gives Democrats a +13 advantage as opposed to the exit polls that had the Democrat advantage at 7%. (more…)

Photos from Saturday Night at the Rookery

by canderson

Saturday’s Frustrations concert celebrating Ken Spain’s and Brian Walsh’s new appointments as heads of the communication shops for the NRCC and the NRSC was a smashing success. Check out and enjoy many, many more photos from the event on flickr.