Commenting in an LA Times column by Doyle McManus, the WG’s David Winston lays out challenges for Republicans in the election ahead – Trump’s unfavorables, particularly among women, and Congressional Republican candidates’ potential need for ticket-splitting voters and a sense of direction for those candidates.
“The structural problem of the Trump candidacy is his ‘unfavorable’ numbers,” GOP pollster David Winston told me. “Among women, who — did I mention? — are the majority of the electorate, his unfavorables are in the 70s. Those aren’t easy numbers to turn around, particularly when a candidate has had as much exposure as Trump.”
…In some states, candidates “are going to depend on people who are voting for [Democrat Hillary] Clinton to switch sides and vote for the other party” when it comes to Congress, Winston noted. “That’s hard to do.”
…“House candidates are going to need a sense of direction, and they don’t necessarily want to rely on Trump to provide it,” Winston said. If Trump appears headed for defeat, the Ryan program could give them a lifeline.
…“Everybody writes off a party after it has a bad election,” Winston said. “After 2008, when Obama won, people said it was the end of the Republican Party. But two years later we had 2010 and won a majority in the House.”
As former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his second bid for the presidency today, the WG’s David Winston commented on the main challenges he faces entering the race:
“Here’s someone who has a successful state story to tell, and yet his primary challenge will be to work through that awful moment he had in the debates the last time around,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who worked on Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign.
“This is where the debates will be critical for him,” Winston said. “He’ll have to stand up there in a competitive situation and deliver his viewpoints in such a way that people look at his last time and say, ‘everyone has one bad moment.’ ”
The Hill’s article notes that Perry has focused recently on foreign policy issues and speeches.
“Clearly he thinks that’s become a strength of his,” said Winston. “It’s one area where governors are typically criticized for not having much experience, so he’s taken steps to address that question. It’s part of trying to make himself a complete package.”
Politico’s Alex Isenstadt writes about how the current government shutdown may not be a reason for some Republican lawmakers to worry about losing their jobs, mainly due to being from districts in which voters won’t vote them out. The WG’s David Winston provided some insight:
“Is redistricting a big deal in the sense that there is a greater threat from a primary than a general election? The answer to that is yes,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster and adviser to Boehner. “It’s clearly an element.”
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.”
In today’s Politico, Maggie Haberman writes about the Republican party’s inability to figure out what went wrong in the 2012 elections, as well as how to bounce back from it. The WG’s David Winston states where the GOP needs to start:
“If you’ve at least defined and everybody’s accepted the reasons why the election went so poorly, that’s just a critical starting point,” said David Winston, a veteran Republican pollster who does survey-taking for the House GOP caucus.
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?”
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.”
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:
Sunday’s Politico brings up the question on whether the split within House Republicans that occurred over the fiscal cliff deal can occur again over other issues. The WG’s David Winston doesn’t think so:
David Winston, a veteran GOP pollster who advises Boehner, agreed.
“When things are more focused around spending, there will be more unity,” he said. “The next votes won’t have colliding elements in them.”
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.”