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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.”

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May 2011 Survey

by canderson

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WSJ: No Retreat on Medicare

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Naftali Bendavid and Janet Hook write about the recent congressional election in New York’s 26th district, in which Democrat Kathy Hochul won the traditionally Republican seat. The upset for Republicans has had many speculating how Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan might have affected Republican Jane Corwin’s chances, but David Winston says that isn’t the only issue that everyone on either side of the political spectrum should focus on:

“The Democrats want to cherry-pick issues and make it just about Medicare, whereas the challenge for Republicans is to broaden it to make it about economy, jobs and making government solvent, and Medicare is part of that,” Mr. Winston said.

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WaPo: Gingrich’s bumpy start deepens doubts about his presidential candidacy

by Lisa Mathias

Amy Gardner and Karen Tumulty write for Tuesday’s Washington Post on Newt Gingrich’s recent missteps that have made it increasingly difficult for the 2012 Presidential candidate to garner support for his campaign. With some personal problems and after statements he made on Sunday’s “Meet the Press” criticizing Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, The WG’s David Winston feels he needs to focus on the issues:

“Gingrich needs to focus on his own plans for the country,” said GOP pollster David Winston, who has advised Gingrich over the years. “If he doesn’t make it about his policy, other things are going to intervene. That is going to be his challenge.”

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Politico: GOP seeks new Medicare message

by Lisa Mathias

Jonathan Allen writes for today’s Politico on what to do with Medicare, as the GOP prepares to release attack ads on cable tv this week. Americans face divergent views on the issue not only between Democrats and Republicans, but among Republicans themselves. The WG’s David Winston tries to help put the situation in perspective for Republicans:

Winston says the difference between this effort to rein in Medicare and past Republican attempts to do the same is that more voters are aware of the nation’s dire debt situation and that more of them understand Medicare is going broke.

“Dealing with Medicare is how we’re going to make the government solvent so that we can get the economy back on track,” he said.

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The New Republic: The Long Shot

by Lisa Mathias

Walter Shapiro writes for The New Republic about Newt Gingrich, who plans to announce his candidacy for the 2012 presidential elections. Shapiro points out that although Newt carries with him several personal and professional liabilities that will factor into his popularity with voters, David Winston states that Gingrich’s strong suits lie in policy:

What Gingrich has going for him is that presidential elections are about something beyond gauzy biographical ads and rehearsed debate one-liners. “We’re in the personality phase of the campaign,” says Republican pollster David Winston, who worked for Gingrich when he was House speaker. “But eventually it’s going to move from personality to policy. GOP voters are going to ask, ‘What are your solutions to fix the nation’s problems?’ And that is the moment that plays to Newt’s greatest strength.”

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Chicago Tribune: GOP finding it hard to make progress

by Lisa Mathias

Chicago Tribune reports on the Republican party’s struggles after having won the majority in the House, many of which revolve around focusing on the most pressing issue: the economy. David Winston comments that the GOP’s focus on Medicare at the moment may be too narrow of a focus:

The Republican challenge is “making sure this discussion is broader than simply Medicare,” said David Winston, a GOP strategist who advises House leadership.

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Dayton Daily News: High gas prices prompt calls to drill, tap in, crack down

by Lisa Mathias

Dayton Daily News writes about the ongoing debate between Republicans and Democrats on how to solve the major issue of rising gas prices. The WG’s David Winston expresses the severity of the problem – that the use of gasoline itself isn’t something optional for most Americans:

“There are certain things with individuals that if they have to cut back, they will cut back,’’ said David Winston, a Republican pollster in Washington and an adviser to Boehner. “Gasoline is not one of them. What are they supposed to do? Go half way to work?’’

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St. Petersburg Times: Taking out bin Laden is a major moment for President Obama

by Lisa Mathias

Alex Leary writes for today’s St. Pete Times on President Obama’s decision-making and his role in the successful plan that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death. David Winston raises questions on how Obama’s stance on foreign policy coupled with his recent achievement will affect his approval numbers while raising certain questions:

Indeed, Obama faces broader questions about his foreign policy strategy. Debate will intensify this summer over his decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

“This is an important accomplishment,” said GOP pollster David Winston. “It sets up, ‘Where does he go from here?’ ”

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New York Times: Bin Laden Raid Complicates G.O.P. Message for 2012

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s New York Times, David Winston looks at the affect that Osama bin Laden’s death will have on Republican presidential hopefuls who have criticized President Obama’s seeminly soft stance on foreign policy and national security. Although it may be a personal political victory for Obama as the 2012 elections approach, the events still leave some questions unanswered:

“This is a significant accomplishment. There is absolutely no question about it,” Mr. Winston said. “But the dynamic in terms of, what is the Obama Doctrine, are not necessarily the same thing. Now that this particular significant achievement has occurred, what does he do with it? Now where do we go from here?”

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