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RCP: Will Boehner’s Push-Back Continue into 2014?

by Lisa Mathias

Real Clear Politics writes about Speaker John Boehner’s recent comments pushing back on criticism from some conservative groups. Boehner also delivered those comments in reaction to the lack of support from such groups on the bipartisan budget agreement that the House passed. RCP turned to David Winston for some insight:

Longtime House GOP pollster David Winston said the speaker is establishing something of a new threshold for the legislative year: “If you’re going to walk in with a position, you have to have a strategy that is going to work,” Winston said. “What you’ve seen, there are obviously lessons learned in terms of the shutdown. … Part of that was the conference working though how to operate in the future.”

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WSJ: US Budget Deal Puts Ryan in Spotlight Once Again

by Lisa Mathias

WSJ writes about Paul Ryan’s new budget deal that, if passed, will once again put him on the forefront of the political campaign sphere. The WG’s David Winston comments:

David Winston, a GOP pollster who advises House GOP leaders, saw benefits to Mr. Ryan’s role. “After watching the government shutdown, what people want to see is just to put some points on the board,” he said. “If you’re somebody in that position to move things forward and make some progress, that’s something to be viewed favorably.”

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Politico – The GOP should just do it

by Lisa Mathias

Politico reports on the current drama in Congress over a potential government shutdown amidst the debt ceiling debate. The WG’s David Winston refers back to when the government shut down during Newt Gingrich’s stint as Speaker of the House:

“What people forget is that going into that shutdown, Dole had a pretty significant lead,” said David Winston, a pollster and strategist who has advised the House Republican leadership, then and now. “And by the time they finished the two shutdowns, he was trailing by a significant margin. All the numbers dramatically changed.”

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Politico: The war over ‘balanced’

by Lisa Mathias

On Thursday’s Politico, the WG’s David Winston commented on effective message communication, in light of Paul Ryan unveiling a new budget plan:

David Winston, a GOP pollster who has long advised House Speaker John Boehner, said that Republicans have to overcome Mitt Romney’s failure to combat Obama’s message, which complicates their efforts to cast themselves as the party of fiscal zen.

“The opportunity is clearly there, it’s just made a lot more difficult given the nature of the 2012 campaign,” Winston said.

He said using the word “balanced” is a good way to get voters’ attention. But, he cautioned, it’s the first step in a politician’s persuasion effort, not the last one.

“They’re going to say ‘What does he mean by balanced approach?’” Winston said. “They are going to want to understand what that represents. The communications element to this is coming up with a clearly and easily consumable way of describing what you mean in terms of that idea.”


McManus: D.C. doubles down on the sequester

by Lisa Mathias

In an op-ed for Sunday’s LA Times, Doyle McManus addresses the looming sequester and the failure of both political parties to reach a compromise. McManus turned to David Winston for some insight on the GOP side of the debate:

“Most people agree [with Republicans] that the deficit is one of the reasons the economy can’t get back on track,” said David Winston, a GOP pollster who advises House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). “So let’s get to work cutting the deficit. And then we can ask a second question: Do you really want your taxes to go up?”

To read the full op-ed, click to

LA Times: Neither side blinks in federal budget standoff

by Lisa Mathias

Today’s LA Times released a story on the looming federal spending cuts, and how neither Republicans nor the White House backed down on their solutions to address the nation’s budget problem. The Winston Group’s David Winston commented in the story:

“Republicans are saying: We need to put the cuts on the board,” said GOP strategist David Winston, who is close to the House Republican leadership. “We need to start talking about how we deal with this spending problem.”

To read the full article, turn to

NBC: Fight over budget cuts rages despite recess

by Lisa Mathias

The budget debate continues, this time touching on the possibility cuts affecting civilian employees of the Pentagon, who face a sequester that would force them to take one day off a week without pay. The WG’s David Winston commented in the story:

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Real Clear Politics: Obama and Boehner: In Need of Couples Counseling?

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s Real Clear Politics, Caitlin Huey-Burns writes about the issue of President Obama and Speaker John Boehner having difficulty working together to solve the nation’s fiscal problems. David Winston gave his thoughts on Obama:

“Prior to this president, no president had ever run a deficit over a trillion dollars,” says David Winston, a veteran pollster for House Republicans. “[Obama’s] negative impact on the economy is his Achilles’ heel.”

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Politico: John Boehner: Cut spending with debt ceiling

by Lisa Mathias

Politico reports that after being re-elected as Speaker of the House, John Boehner cited Winston Group poll numbers to support his view on cutting spending in the debt ceiling debate:

Speaking at a closed-door House Republican Conference meeting the day after he was reelected as speaker with resistance from some conservatives, the Ohio Republican cited a poll by his adviser David Winston that showed “72 percent of Americans agree any increase in the nation’s debt limit must be accompanied by spending cuts and reforms of a greater amount.

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Politico: GOP anti-tax policy goes over the cliff

by Lisa Mathias

January 2nd’s Politico features a story on the GOP’s faltering anti-tax policy among the passage of the bill that addresses the fiscal cliff, which allows tax hikes on those earning over $400,000. The WG’s David Winston explains why the Republican Party faced such difficulty in keeping their priorities:

Republican pollster David Winston, who advises House GOP leaders, said the party must move on from a weak 2012 message on the economy and define something sharper moving forward: “One of the problems Republicans in Congress are having right now is they’re trying to have the economic debate that should have happened in the fall campaign that didn’t. As a result, they’re trying to both have an economic debate and manage a legislative process. That’s made it very, very difficult for Republicans in Congress as they face this situation.”

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