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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.”

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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: 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.

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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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Politico: House GOP’s fiscal split looms large for President Obama

by Lisa Mathias

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.”

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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.”

To read the full article, turn to

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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