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

Winston Group Democratic Primary Debate Report – Through ABC/Apple News (Feb 7)

by Caitlin Peartree

With the New Hampshire Primary happening tomorrow, we are releasing our Democratic Primary Debate report data from the latest debate this past Friday in New Hampshire. Which topics have been covered the most, and who has had the greatest amount of speaking time? Check out these numbers and more, compared across the all of the debates so far.

Winston Group Democratic Primary Debate Report – Through CNN/Des Moines Register

by Caitlin Peartree

With the next Democratic Primary Debate happening this Friday in New Hampshire, we are releasing our report of the Democratic Primary debates to date. Which topics have been covered the most, and who has had the greatest amount of speaking time? Check out these numbers and more, compared across the all of the debates so far.

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.

LA Times OpEd: “Never say #NeverTrump”

by Emily O'Connor

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.

Yet –

…“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.”

For more, head here.

The Hill: “Rick Perry hopes second time is a charm”

by Emily O'Connor

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.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Politico: Government shutdown: Why many Republicans have no reason to deal

by Lisa Mathias

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.”

Read more: politico.com

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.”

Read more: politico.com

Politico: 2012 blame game: Will it ever end?

by Lisa Mathias

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.

Read more: politico.com

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 latimes.com.

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 latimes.com.

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