The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to making ideas matter. GOP Strategist: Focus on Policies, not Personalities

by Lisa Mathias

Ronald Kessler recently interviewed The WG’s David Winston about Republican strategy for the upcoming year through the 2012 elections, and what voters are looking for when choosing leadership for the country. Winston stressed that voters are no longer interested in personalities, that people want leaders who know how to take a step back:

“This is a country that fundamentally believes that the success of this country is based on the private sector,” Winston says. “People see an imbalance that’s really dramatically changed in the last two years, where the public sector plays too large a role in terms of determining what the private sector can do and can’t do, given that that’s where the innovation comes from and how this country moves forward.”

Read more on GOP Strategist: Focus on Policies, Not Personalities

Washington Post: State of the Union: John Boehner adviser David Winston reacts

by Lisa Mathias

The Washington Post hosted an online chat on Wednesday for readers to ask questions for The WG’s David Winston. Questions ranged from health care to job creation:

Q: Why doesn’t Congress develop legislation that will move us to be energy independent? Developing jobs, keeping U.S. dollars at home would probably do more to make us fiscally sound faster and without uncertainty. It means continuing to develop alternate fuels but also being realistic about our fossil fuel needs for the next 20-30 years.
Good question. Republicans were glad to hear that the President seemed to embrace an “all of the above” approach, which would work toward alternative energy while expanding resources here at home, both in terms of oil exploration and nuclear capacity. While his rhetoric was good, we will see what his actions produce. The most critical piece will be the impact on the economy.

To read the full list of questions along with David’s answers, turn to

Politico: Fickle independents return to Barack Obama

by Lisa Mathias

In Sunday’s Politico, Alexander Burns addressed independents and their recent rebound to supporting Obama. The WG’s David Winston stressed that this isn’t something that may stick for the long run:

But Winston emphasized that while independent voters may be in the political center, they aren’t in the “ideological center,” meaning that even under the best of circumstances they’ll be a difficult group for Obama to hang onto.

“Independents are a center-right group,” he said. “That’s why Republicans have been able to put together majorities and that’s the challenge to the president.”

Read more:

NYTimes: President, Rebounding, Gives Opponents Pause

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s post on The Caucus, John Harwood writes about President Obama’s bounce back from low poll numbers in the wake of his remarks in Tuscon and his compromise with Republicans on tax cuts. But David Winston states that there is still major business left unsettled, like the lagging economy and continued high unemployment rates:

“The structural elements, he hasn’t changed,” said a Republican pollster, David Winston.

To read more, turn to

Wall St. Journal: Republicans Look Beyond Repeal Vote

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s Wall St. Journal, Naftali Bendavid describes Republican leaders’ efforts to repeal the health care bill, even though the issue is divided evenly among Americans. The WG’s David Winston states that the GOP can focus on the issue, but needs to tie it back to an even bigger concern in voters’ minds:

“Are [voters] unhappy with the health-care plan? Sure,” said Republican strategist David Winston. “But they’re more unhappy with the unemployment rate. The key thing is to make sure it’s clear in their minds how it’s related.”

To read the full article, access it at

NPR: GOP Ready for Hot Button Issues Like Health Care

by Lisa Mathias

NPR recently interviewed The WG’s David Winston about what to expect from Republicans in the near future in terms of the health care bill, and how public opinion will affect the GOP’s plans.

To access the interview, go to

Bloomberg: Republicans to Temper Health-Law Repeal Rhetoric After Giffords Shooting

by Lisa Mathias

Today’s Bloomberg reports on Republican leaders’ task of “tempering their rhetoric,” on the health care debates following the recent shootings in Arizona of which U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is a victim. The story featured comments from David Winston:

“There’s going to be a natural cautiousness,” said pollster David Winston, who advises House Republican leaders. “Members are thinking through how they can have an effective debate without it being disagreeable.”

To read the full article, click

Washington Whispers: Boehner’s Focus on Unemployment Helped GOP in 2010

by Lisa Mathias

Paul Bedard refers to our recent Post-election Analysis in today’s Washington Whispers to help explain the results of 2010’s mid-term elections, specially as to why the GOP won the majority of votes in the House, using the message of “Where are the Jobs?”:

A new election analysis by GOP pollster and adviser David Winston, head of the Winston Group, says that Boehner’s question beat out Obama’s “keys to the car” analogy by a mile. The reason: Voters wanted Washington to concentrate exclusively on jobs, not healthcare, the environment, or other problems Obama addressed.

To read the full article, access it at

Los Angeles Times: A modest speaker not to be underestimated

by Lisa Mathias

In his latest op-ed for the LA times, Doyle McManus outlines the challenges that new speaker of the House John Boehner faces as he takes on his new position. The WG’s David Winston zeros in on the most important goal behind anything that Boehner and the newly-elected Republicans do:

One of Boehner’s top advisors, David Winston, was more direct.

“The mandate is to deal with jobs,” he told me. “That’s the message that helped win the majority: Boehner constantly asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’ Our biggest challenge now is sustaining that focus.”

To read the full article, turn to

New York Times: Victory Alone Does Not a Mandate Make

by Lisa Mathias

Matt Bai writes in Tuesday’s New York Times on how voters aren’t necessarily aligning themselves solely with Republicans or the Tea Party, despite having supported their overall ideas and voted them into Congress. Bai references The Winston Group’s recent memo on the 2010 elections, and turns to David Winston for insight on the numbers:

“While some Tea Party candidates struggled individually,” Mr. Winston concluded, “the movement’s focus on fiscal conservatism impacted the political discourse on the issues that eventually decided the election.”

To read the full article, click

Older Posts »