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

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.

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.

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