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

Roll Call: “2020 was no fluke for congressional Republicans, no matter the Georgia runoff results”

by Caitlin Peartree

In his first Roll Call column of 2021, the Winston Group’s David Winston offers an assessment of the 2020 elections in light of the Georgia run-offs:

What happens in the next 48 hours in Georgia and the halls of Congress will change the political dynamics of the next two years.

What it won’t change, however, is how and why President Donald Trump lost and Joe Biden won.

And it also won’t change the fact that congressional Republicans outperformed the president and upended the expected blue wave by focusing on legislative priorities that connected ideologically with a broader electorate.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Pelosi’s dilemma: Fuel the fires or practice what Biden preaches?”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about Joe Biden’s calls for unity since the election, in contrast with Congressional Democrats’ seeming pursuit of a more progressive agenda.

When you lose seats like Florida’s 27th District or Iowa’s 2nd or Texas’ 23rd, perhaps a little introspection on the part of the speaker might be in order. Perhaps rethinking a progressive agenda that is at odds with a center-right country is a good first step. But if the events of the past couple of weeks are any indication, congressional Democrats are gearing up for more ideological battles, not preparing for peace talks.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Biden at bat: ‘There is no joy in Mudville’”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston considers the results of the election in today’s Roll Call, with takeaways for both Democrats and Republicans. 

In many ways, the 2020 election has already delivered its verdict. Simply put, the blue wave that was predicted never happened, and while it may not have technically been a red wave, it was certainly a “red surprise” with unexpected Republican strength driving key victories at every level.

In the end, there was “no joy in Mudville” for a party that expected a clean sweep. There was no mandate for Biden or the Democratic leadership on the Hill, nor for the Democratic Party and its policies. The top issue in this election was the economy, as it usually is, but this year, it was complicated by the impact of the coronavirus.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “To win, Trump must focus on the economy in campaign’s remaining days”

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston provides an election preview in today’s Roll Call, describing the elements that would need to be in place for a repeat of 2016:

Still, the Trump administration’s communications mistakes on the coronavirus are undeniable. The president has yet to deliver a concise, substantive defense of his administration’s achievements in fighting the virus and its economic impact on families and businesses. There is a reasonable case to be made, but the president has failed to make it.

This leaves the Trump campaign facing an uphill climb to victory next week.  But there is still a path if Trump can make this a state-by-state coalition election focused on the economy, just as he did in 2016.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: If you don’t like the Supreme Court, blame Harry Reid

by Caitlin Peartree

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about court packing, the Biden campaign’s reticence to take a stance on the issue, and the political implications of doing so.

Our Sept. 26-30 Winning the Issues survey found voters opposed to expanding the court, with 33 percent in favor and 41 percent opposed. And by a 42 percent to 29 percent margin, they believed that “adding seats to the Supreme Court through court expansion would mean we begin to lose any credibility the court has.” On the issue of expanding the number of justices, liberal Democrats were more supportive (56 percent in favor, 23 percent opposed), but moderate Democrats were less so (38 percent in favor, 28 percent opposed), a major difference within the party. Independents opposed it 17 percent to 47 percent.

The Biden-Harris ticket faces a tough call — take a stand and risk alienating the progressives already suspicious of Biden’s promises, or scare moderate voters who are wary that a politically motivated change to the composition and character of the court would do irreparable damage to its credibility.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “There is nothing civil about intimidation”

by Caitlin Peartree

In today’s edition of Roll Call, The Winston Group’s David Winston writes about the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her friendship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and their example of mutual civility and respect despite ideological differences, in contrast with the present environment for discourse.

For the country’s sake, we need leaders who will turn down the temperature, reject the irresponsible calls of Twitter celebrities and resist the temptation to exploit what is already an explosive environment or they risk setting off a chain reaction they may not be able to control.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Good riddance to the summer of 2020”

by Caitlin Peartree

In today’s column for Roll Call, The Winston Group’s David Winston assesses the state of the presidential race, how voters view the candidates’ ideologies in relation to their own, and how Republicans can get to a discussion about reopening the economy.

What the president and Republicans have to do over the next 50 days is a better job explaining the steps the administration has taken to confront the COVID-19 crisis and their plans to get the country to a transition point, from the pandemic to getting America working. What is the outlook for a vaccine? When and how will it be distributed? What about therapeutics? Can schools and businesses reopen safely and what kind of support can people expect from the federal government in the months ahead? The more detail the better.

Read the full piece here.

 

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.

Older Posts »