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

Roll Call: “With silencing of speech, is America entering Orwellian territory?”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about cancel culture, free speech, and public concern about the consequences of not complying with certain narratives.

A majority of the electorate (52 percent) identified with the statement that “true free speech and freedom of belief do not exist in this country today because of political correctness and potential consequences such as losing a job for not conforming to beliefs and narratives being promoted by the media, academia and elites.” Only 34 percent agreed that “free speech and freedom of belief exist in this country” and felt free to speak their minds and express their personal beliefs in the workplace and social settings.

Across party and ideology, the only ones who felt free to express their beliefs at work or in social situations were, not surprisingly, liberal Democrats, by a 51 percent to 38 percent margin

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Trump and Biden’s 2020 challenge: 3 percent or bust”

by Caitlin Peartree

In today’s Roll Call the Winston Group’s David Winston writes about polling and election results with some historical perspective.

When looking at presidential polls, there is a number that matters — 3. I call it the 3 percent factor. When the race is at or under 3 percent, the head-to-head ballot test in national polls is not necessarily a clear predictor of who will ultimately win the presidency, and state polls are probably a better indicator of the race. But history tells us that when one candidate’s lead goes above 3 percent nationally, the size of the lead is likely to produce both at least a plurality in the popular vote and a win in the Electoral College.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “As budget blues set in, get ready for a Democratic food fight”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the coming budgetary constraints soon to face many blue states and cities in the wake of COVID-19.

What mayors and governors, especially in blue states and cities, are discovering is that with no economy, you have no funding for government and the many services it provides — some necessary, some not so much. Democrats in charge of most of the country’s biggest cities for decades as well as blue-state governors notorious for their high-tax, big-spending budgets have finally run out of road to kick the can.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Women say it’s time to reopen America — safely”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the shift in attitudes- particularly among women- toward reopening.

Women now see that the country not working is not working. Their kids not being in school, missing key learning time, is not working either — for them, their children or their families. A majority has come to the conclusion that neither they nor the country can continue like this.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “America shows its resilience”

by Caitlin Peartree

In the interest of adding something positive to the political debate, the Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about some of the good news we have seen from the past couple of weeks’ headlines, and some of the reasons to be optimistic.

What makes this country great are its people. You can see why America works. When we turn things over to Americans in tough times, they are resilient. It’s the spirit of the country that has always seen it through difficult and even deadly times. We don’t give up. We never have.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: The politics of confusion tests both Trump and Biden

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the increasingly volatile and confused electorate, and what it may mean looking ahead to November.

It is possible that 2020 may see a rerun of two presidential candidates with very high unfavorables and, as a result, many voters having a negative view of both. This is not a choice voters want to make again. Both Biden and Trump are facing a volatile electorate that has come to understand the need for strong leadership, even if they don’t completely understand what’s happening to the country and why.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “A new normal for America”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the major sociological disruption caused by the coronavirus and the new normal into which we are entering:

Beyond hardcore partisans, people are much more interested in who can lead in this new normal, not the color of a face mask or the appropriateness of a golf outing. Life for most Americans is much more serious than the less-than-serious media’s idea of news, and they are looking at their world through a new lens, wondering what a post-pandemic America will look like and knowing deep down that it can never be the same.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Is the California special election a bellwether of things to come? The GOP hopes so”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston returns to his column for Roll Call this week to write about the special election in California and its potential implications for the fall:

Mike Garcia exceeded expectations as a candidate. So did the party in a diverse district in one of the most difficult states for Republicans. It’s clear that Republicans overperformed in California on Tuesday and that means winning 20 House seats in November isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Democratic primary voters haven’t kept up with party’s lurch to the left”

by Caitlin Peartree

In today’s Roll Call, the Winston Group’s David Winston takes a look at some of the key takeaways from Super Tuesday and what they might mean for the Democratic primaries going forward.

The exit polls in the Super Tuesday and South Carolina contests paint a clear picture of Joe Biden’s winning strategy: He appealed to voters who saw themselves as somewhat liberal, winning that group in 10 of the 13 contests in which there were exit polls.

Read the full piece here.

Biden and The Moderate Lane

by Caitlin Peartree

By David Winston and Myra Miller

Since Joe Biden’s stunning reversal of fortune coming out of South Carolina and into Super Tuesday, much has been said about Biden “consolidating the moderate lane,” now that Buttigieg, Bloomberg and Klobuchar have dropped out and endorsed him. He may have consolidated the moderate lane of presidential candidates and re-emerged as the frontrunner over Sanders, but this doesn’t mean that the Democratic Party has suddenly become more moderate again in the past week. 

As we have raised in Discussion Points before, a majority of Democratic voters are now self-identifying as liberal (51%) over moderate (38%) – a stark contrast to the composition of the party when Democrats won the majority in 2006 in which the party was more moderate (51%) than liberal (38%). Ever since then, the Democratic Party’s steady trajectory toward identifying as liberal over moderate has not changed. What happened in states like South Carolina and many other Super Tuesday states is that Biden won liberals overall, or at least performed well enough among liberal voters, particularly among “somewhat liberal” voters, then won by large margins among moderates to be able to pull off a win. 

In South Carolina, exit polls show that Biden won among liberals (+17), including “very liberal” (+13), matching that with a large victory among moderates (+44). In states like Texas, Massachusetts and Minnesota, Sanders still won the overall liberal vote by single digits, but Biden was able to win among the “somewhat liberal” and gain a reasonable percentage of liberal voters, combined with large wins among moderates. In Virginia, Biden managed to win among liberals (+16). Though Sanders still won the “very liberal” by 4, Biden won 2:1 among the somewhat liberal, which was a much larger group (34% of the state’s Democratic primary voters) compared to the very liberal (19% of the state’s Democratic primary voters). 

As a long term trend among Democratic voters, the moderate lane is becoming more of a shrinking side road, with the liberal lane becoming the main highway toward the Democratic nomination. Biden may have successfully performed among the two wings of his party, but this challenge has certainly not gone away, with implications for their convention, party platform and positioning for the general election. 

 

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