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

Politico: John Boehner to GOP: Stick together on taxes

by Lisa Mathias

Politico reports on the week’s talks and meetings regarding the fiscal cliff, focusing on what Speaker Boehner is urging House Republicans to do. Boehner has been citing data from our recent survey to help support his stance on taxes:

Boehner used a three-page slide show to prove his point, drawing on a recent poll by David Winston. The poll, displayed on blue pages and festooned by stars, displayed three statistics that bolstered the House Republican position on taxes: that tax rates shouldn’t go up on the rich, but the code should be reformed to eliminate loopholes and lower rates all while cutting spending.

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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.

WaPo: ‘Fiscal cliff’: Consensus on increasing tax revenue, a wide gulf on how to do it

by Lisa Mathias

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery writes about the looming “fiscal cliff” and the negotiations taking place to fix the situation. The article quotes public support for the Republican solution to the issue as shown in our recent November survey:

They pointed to a new poll by the Winston Group, a GOP research firm whose president, David Winston, is close to Boehner. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed preferred a deal that wipes out “special interest tax loopholes and deductions commonly used by the wealthy” over an approach that raises tax rates on “Americans earning more than $250,000” on Jan. 1.

To read the full article, turn to

November II 2012 Survey

by Lisa Mathias

PDF Version

Politico: House Democrats face uphill slog in 2014

by Lisa Mathias

Sunday’s Politico featured a story on the battle for Democrats to win majority of the House, and for Republicans to keep it. Citing historical trends in congressional elections, Alex Isenstadt turned to David Winston for some insight, citing Winston’s experience being the top aide to then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich:

“Just because there is a six-year itch doesn’t mean it will happen,” said Winston, who now advises House Speaker John Boehner. “You go back to 1998, there were some Republicans who thought they were going to gain 20 to 30 seats, and they ended up losing five or six.”

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National Review: Kristen Soltis on GOP Reinvention: It’s Not About Moving Left or Right

by Lisa Mathias

Reihan Salam quotes The WG’s Kristen Soltis in his latest pieces on NRO about addressing the Republican Party’s next steps post-election.

Wise words from Kristen Soltis, a pollster and policy analyst at the Winston Group:

The challenge to Republicans and conservatives today is to answer the question: How do our policies make everyone better off? How do we solve the problems we face in the modern era? And how do we tell that message to others?

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WaPo: The remarkable consistency of Democratic party ID — in 1 chart

by Lisa Mathias

The Fix blog’s Chris Cilizza uses our updated exit poll data to take a look at the breakdown of Party ID in past elections. Some points he noticed:

What’s remarkable is the consistency of the percentage of voters calling themselves Democrats over that time period. In those eight presidential elections, Democratic party ID has never dipped below 37 percent and never risen above 39 percent.
There has been more fluctuation in Republican party ID over that time. Republicans reached 37 percent of the electorate in the 2004 election but have dipped to 32 percent in each of the last two presidential contests — the party’s lowest ebb in 30 years.

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Op-ed: The GOP Can’t Fall for the False ‘Center v. Right’ Debate

by Lisa Mathias

The WG’s Kristen Soltis Anderson has an op-ed on US News and World Report, commenting on what the Republican Party should do now that the election is over.

An excerpt:

The glaring truth we Republicans have to face following this election is that there are simply not enough of us anymore. Independent voters broke for Mitt Romney by a five-point margin, but the significant numbers advantage enjoyed by Democrats put President Obama back in the White House. We have not evolved our coalition to keep up with a changing America. Given this reality and the need for the GOP to expand its ranks, what is the Republican Party offering that would persuade anyone to join our cause?

To read the full article, turn to

Party ID and Ideology Updated for 2012

by David Winston

We’ve updated our charts of national and state Party ID and Ideology breakdowns to include 2012 numbers, and is presidential-level data. There are two items to note: 1) states with a (P) label means the data from that still is still preliminary and is subject to change and 2) not every state has exit polls, so some states’ charts only go up to 2008.

Access the updated .pdf here: National Exit Polls: Party Identification and Ideology Breakdowns

Politico: The GOP Polling Debacle

by Lisa Mathias

Politico’s Alexander Burns addresses how poll results prior to the election misled Republicans’ expectations of voter turnout and election results. The WG’s David Winston gives his take on the polls:

“The results fell within the 2004 result and the 2008 result, obviously closer to 2008,” said Winston, who advises the House GOP leaders — who fared well on Tuesday. “That was clearly how everybody had been describing what the potential range was. The question is, as people were assessing their individual campaigns, whether it be the presidential or down ballot for that, was how were they working through the potential scenarios as far as what could happen.”

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