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

Winston Group 2016 Debate Reports

by Caitlin Peartree

In anticipation of our forthcoming 2020 Democratic Primary debate report, here are the Winston Group analyses of the 2016 primary and general election debates. Take a look, and keep an eye out here for our next report where we will analyze the current Democratic primary debates in anticipation of the 2020 general election.

Roll Call: “When it comes to Trump’s future, ‘the people’ would rather do it themselves”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about whether Democrats have succeeded in convincing voters of the necessity of impeachment:

These numbers don’t mean the electorate’s concerns over the impeachment allegations have disappeared. But with the election just over nine months away, Democrats’ argument for it is steadily losing standing with voters at exactly the wrong time for them.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Pelosi’s poor choices helped sink her impeachment gambit”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about some of the positives of the last month, despite the impeachment process in the background.

In fact, in contrast to the Democrats’ overwrought warnings, the world continued to turn, the sun came up every morning, and more than a few positives have characterized the last 28 days.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Reflexive anti-Trumpism, AOC’s shrink-the-ten-strategy will cost Democrats in November”

by Caitlin Peartree

Happy New Year! In his first column of 2020, the Winston Group’s David Winston writes about the Democratic Party’s progressive tilt and the need for both Democrats and Republicans to focus on building majority coalitions for the next elections:

Here’s what AOC and her like-minded progressives don’t seem to understand: That kind of rigid thinking doesn’t build winning coalitions. It’s what loses elections. A fact Republicans ought to remember as well.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Yes Virginia, there is hope for the country”

by Caitlin Peartree

In his last column for Roll Call this year, the Winston Group’s David Winston looks back on two events from the past year that indicate that there is hope for political unity, despite the partisan tone that and division that have marked the past year.

But as we wind down what admittedly has been an ugly political year, we should not accept the premise that next year will be worse. For those who doubt progress can be made despite impeachment and a presidential election or that there are leaders who can at least begin to mend the rift dividing the American people, I will tell you why I think it is possible.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Elizabeth Warren’s big bad idea: Taxing our way to prosperity”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the economic plans of Democratic primary candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders:

Despite the fact that the country is benefiting from one of the strongest economies in history, these progressives are peddling unproven economic theories without any credible economic modeling to support their claims or an ability to cite a successful implementation of this kind of redistributive economic policy.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Adam Schiff’s post-hearing review: He got nowhere”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call on the release of Adam Schiff’s impeachment report.

For all the partisan back-and-forth, for all the hours of third-hand testimony and despite Schiff’s penchant for the personal spotlight, he has accomplished virtually nothing but a 300-page report that half the country will likely reject as little more than a Democratic Party campaign document.

Read the full piece here.

Happy Conflict-Free Thanksgiving

by Caitlin Peartree

Throughout this year, we have talked about the declining state of political discourse and current mood of the electorate. About half the electorate (49%) says that they keep quiet about their political views online to avoid conflicts with family and friends, with this number being particularly high among Republican women (63%) and independent women (52%). From a Winning the Issues survey at the end of July, 47% of the electorate described themselves as “definitely frustrated” over the state of politics and issues in the country; one-third (34%) were “definitely angry” but a similar percentage (33%) described themselves as “definitely interested.” On top of that, the newest survey for Winning the Issues (November 21-22) shows that over half the country (55%) watched at least some of the impeachment hearings. 

With the electorate’s current emotional mix of frustration and anger combined with an interest in politics, many of this year’s Thanksgiving family gatherings are likely to be more politically volatile than ever before. Even the large percentage of Americans trying to keep quiet to avoid conflict may find things getting out of hand if certain subjects come up while trying to enjoy their turkey and pumpkin pie. But as Linus reminded everyone in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, “Thanksgiving is a very important holiday. Ours was the first country in the world to make a national holiday to give thanks.” In the spirit of keeping the upcoming holiday focused on its original intent, this Thanksgiving edition of Discussion Points highlights four resources that might help you and your loved ones have meaningful discussions with less political conflict and more giving thanks. 

  1. Myra recently gave a TEDx talk “Is Your Voice Heard” at TEDx Foggy Bottom about the decline of civility in public discourse, its impact on institutions, and most importantly, the impact on people’s everyday lives – including political conflicts over Thanksgiving dinner. The 8-minute talk includes four ways to help avoid conflict and division in political discussions with others so that we can all enjoy our Thanksgiving dinners once again. 
  2. The Bipartisan Policy Center has developed a bipartisan Thanksgiving family survival guide with discussion tips, interesting facts and quizzes to promote engaging yet peaceful bipartisan conversation. 
  3. Last week, Speaker John Boehner’s official portrait was unveiled in Statuary Hall. There were gracious remarks and humorous tributes from leaders of both parties: Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell and McCarthy. As Speaker Boehner referenced at the ceremony, one of his famous sayings is that “we can disagree without being disagreeable.” Here is the link to the full ceremony and his speech. 
  4. Also last week, Democratic Representative John Lewis was among several Members paying tribute to retiring Republican Senator Johnny Isakson. After his remarks praising Isakson for his “reputation as a bridge builder,” Lewis walked over to the Republican side of the aisle to give Isakson a hug, saying “I will come over to meet you, brother.” Following Lewis’ moving tribute, Representative Austin Scott said, “I wish all of America could be here to see that…two icons from Georgia embracing. What a wonderful sight that I think is representative of the days of the past and the days to come and how we should work together,” he said.

Happy Thanksgiving.  

Roll Call: “The Democratic field: middle-class heroes or millionaire hypocrites?”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call on the wealth tax proposals emerging from the Democratic primary:

Centrist, middle-class voters are rightfully suspicious of politicians telling them that a million dollars is OK but a billion dollars isn’t. This approach lets these wealthy candidates tell voters, “You’re OK, but I’m OK too.” What they miss is that they are making the wrong argument.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Republicans need to study the lessons of 2018 and 2019 before racing to 2020”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the need for Republicans to study the lessons of the 2018 and 2019 elections in anticipation of 2020:

Unfortunately, I get the feeling that many party operatives seem to be racing ahead to the 2020 election that’s one year away, when they should be studying more closely the lessons of the 2018 and 2019 elections. Many of last Tuesday’s outcomes are indicative of the same problems Republicans faced in 2018, yet that election seems to be in the rearview mirror for a lot of party consultants.

Read the full piece here.

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