Read our latest musings about politics, policy, and others out there who are making ideas matter.

Taxing Capital Gains is Something Voters Get

by Caitlin Peartree

By David Winston and Myra Miller

As we have raised before, the electorate has significant concerns about raising taxes in this fragile economic environment, particularly any tax increase that could impact small business. Voters believe that we need to do everything we can to help businesses get back on their feet so they can get Americans back to work to keep the economy moving in the right direction (70-18 believe-do not believe). 

To read the full piece, click here.

Roll Call: “GOP has to make 2022 about policy, not personality”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about some of the takeaways from the California recall result and what they mean for Republicans looking ahead to the 2022 midterms.

Hispanic voters in California went from favoring Biden over Trump by 52 points last fall (75 percent to 23 percent) to opposing the recall by 20 points (60 percent to 40 percent). Asian American voters backed Biden by 54 points (76 percent to 22 percent) but voted against the recall by 28 points (64 percent to 36 percent). Finally, independent/other voters went from supporting Biden by 22 points (57 percent to 35 percent) to voting “no” on the recall by just 4 points (52 percent to 48 percent).

While the comparison isn’t exact, it should give Democrats pause and Republicans hope, but the road back for the GOP isn’t an easy one.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Biden’s dug a hole for himself, but he keeps digging”

by Caitlin Peartree

In an opinion column for Roll Call this week, The Winston Group’s David Winston checks in on President Biden’s job approval numbers and the concerning trends among independents in the context of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package.

What should be even more concerning for Biden and his party is his decline with independents, a trend I first mentioned in an April 28 column entitled “Independents will decide when Biden’s honeymoon is over.” Biden’s overall job approval rating with independents has gone from +18 points (48 percent to 30 percent) to -14 points (34 percent to 48 percent), a 32-point turnaround. Meanwhile, his economic job approval rating with this key group went from 43 percent to 38 percent approve/disapprove to 33 percent to 50 percent, again, a significant change of 22 points. 

Read the full piece here.

Opportunities for Republicans with Hispanic Voters

by Caitlin Peartree

A  recent New York Magazine interview with Democratic pollster David Shor provided insights on how Democrats see challenges and opportunities for the 2022 midterm elections. One of the groups discussed in the interview is Hispanics, a group with which Republicans improved in the last election, taking Democrats by surprise. Based on the interview, Democrats seem to interpret their electoral challenges in the context of demographics, race and class, and less about voter belief systems and positions on issues. But Shor does recognize that white liberal elites are pushing the party to the left and alienating certain voter groups, including Hispanics: “…We’ve ended up in a situation where white liberals are more left wing than Black and Hispanic Democrats on pretty much every issue: taxes, health care, policing, and even on racial issues or various measures of ‘racial resentment.’ So as white liberals increasingly define the party’s image and messaging, that’s going to turn off nonwhite conservative Democrats and push them against us.”

Click here to read the full piece.

Roll Call: Biden’s summer of joy turns into frustration

by Caitlin Peartree

In this week’s Roll Call, The Winston Group’s David Winston reassesses voters’ outlook on the pandemic, and their satisfaction with how President Biden and his administration have been handling the situation.

People are tired of COVID-19, of one confusing message after another from what seems to be a reeling federal response. They are tired of wearing masks when illegal border crossers, by the thousands, scatter through the country unchecked, many with COVID-19. Tired of doing what was asked of them by a president who promised unity and a “return to normal.”

Instead, they find themselves back to mask mandates and the risks of breakthrough infections, many wondering whether their child will be forced to wear masks in school or even have a classroom and teacher to go to this fall. 

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Biden’s infrastructure choice: Progressives or bipartisanship?”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the recent developments in the infrastructure agreements, and what voters are looking for when it comes to infrastructure legislation.

The White House and congressional Democrats thought they could bring voters along by simply calling social spending programs they’ve wanted for years “infrastructure” on the front end. It is clear that there is buy-in from the electorate for reasonable government spending on true infrastructure. But contrary to what Democrats are arguing, they haven’t won over voters for their record-setting “human infrastructure” proposals offered in the name of economic growth.  

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “As Democrats go hard left, Hispanics head to the center”

by Caitlin Peartree

In yesterday’s Roll Call, the Winston Group’s David Winston wrote about Hispanic voters and Democrats’ mistake in 2020 in assuming this group was a monolithic voting bloc and in sync with their priorities. Hispanic voters, he writes, will be in play for both parties next year.

What is becoming more and more evident is that Hispanic voters will be in play for both parties next year. Democrats have to stop assuming all minority voters, especially Hispanics, are on board the progressive train, nor will an effective GOTV effort assure victory.

Republicans have to understand that Hispanics, by and large, are not conservatives — at least not yet — but they are centrists behaving more like independents than Democrats and are open to a center-right economic message. If the party focuses on the economy and jobs, this is a growing voter group with the potential to become an important part of the Republican coalition.

Read the full piece here.

“Split Decision”: An Analysis of the 2020 Presidential Election

by Caitlin Peartree

Ultimately, 2020 was a two-tier election. Biden defeated Trump for the presidency, but results down ballot showed support for center-right ideas and governance. Overall, a split decision. 

Read our full analysis here.

Roll Call: “Joe Manchin is a bona fide centrist. Deal with it”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the centrism of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin is a traditional Democrat, not a bomb thrower. He seeks out compromise to move the country forward and, unlike many of his fellow Democrats, uses reason and rationality to argue for his positions on issues, not race or moral shaming.

Read the full piece here.

Voter Confidence in Election Integrity Is Not Just a GOP Problem

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