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

Discussion Points: Issues Driving the Electorate

by David Winston

In the most recent survey for Winning the Issues (July 5-6, 1000 registered voters), we updated the list of issues and news stories in how they are driving voting decisions for next year’s mid-term elections. The chart below shows how each item was ranked on Election Day, in March, and this week. Economy/jobs remains the most important issue on the list, which is consistent with what we observed on Election Day and back in March. The issue that continues to be a close second on the list is need to get things done in Washington and get the parties to work together.

Issue Rankings Chart

Foreign policy (#3 and #5 on the list) and tax issues (#4 and #6) continue to be significant factors in voting decisions. However, news stories being heavily covered by the media – including stories about White House ethics scandals (#18) and allegations of Trump ties to Russia (#20) – are lesser priorities in voting decisions at the moment. As shown in these results over time, the electorate is remarkably consistent in their priorities.


	

Congressional Institute Study: What Working and Middle Income Voters Want From Their Government

by Emily O'Connor

Following the 2016 election, the Congressional Institute commissioned The Winston Group for a study of middle-class Americans and their dissatisfaction with government, including both qualitative research and a survey of voters.

From the overview: “The most recent research indicates that the electorate continues to show serious concern about the direction of the country, and defines the kinds of changes they want to see. In the context of the most recent presidential election, voter perceptions were that the election was a choice between change and the status quo, and the result of voters’ voices not being heard…

From voters’ perspectives, the middle class sees value in their contributions and the work that they do, but do not feel valued by the nation’s elites and institutions… While one out of two voters describes themselves as more engaged and interested in the political process after the last election cycle, they are not fully clear on how to effectively make their voices heard other than by voting. However, the actions taken by lawmakers as a reflection of the issue priorities for which they voted seems to be the most clear signal to voters as to whether or not their voices were heard.”

Head to the Congressional Institute site for the full report.

CNN: The GOP Battle for the Middle Class

by Emily O'Connor

In the context of debate over the state of the economy as well as the upcoming 2016 presidential election, the WG’s David Winston summarizes what the overall GOP message on the economy should be:

David Winston, the pollster who helped coin the “where are the jobs” mantra for House Republicans in 2010, says the GOP message in 2016 should be just as simple: “Where is the middle class?”

You can find the rest of CNN’s story here, and see more of David Winston’s comments on this topic here.

 

Politico: Jeb Bush moves to show he’s no Mitt Romney

by Emily O'Connor

In a Politico article discussing the way Republicans – and in particular potential 2016 presidential candidates – are discussing poverty and the middle class, the WG’s David Winston gives perspective on the state of the economy:

“This goes back to the Jack Kemp DNA part of the Republican Party: The whole point of a prosperous economy is everybody gets to prosper,” said GOP pollster David Winston. “You may look at the unemployment rate dropping below 6 percent, but workforce participation is as bad as it was in the late 1970s.”

Read the rest of the story here.

Bloomberg Politics: “He Won Two, But Obama’s Speech Shows There’s Always a Next Election”

by Emily O'Connor

How might the policies President Obama addressed in the State of the Union speech affect the 2016 elections? The WG’s David Winston comments in Bloomberg Politics:

Republicans argue that Obama’s economic policies will only hurt Clinton. They say the results of the 2014 midterm elections, in which Republicans won back the Senate and expanded on their majority in the House, repudiated those policies. “It puts her in a very difficult position,” Republican pollster David Winston said of Hillary Clinton. “The public has said in exit polls they don’t agree with that argument. And she’s supposed to carry that ball?”

For the rest of the story, click here.

Diane Rehm Show: “Analysis of President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address”

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston was a guest on the Diane Rehm Show’s analysis of President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address. Here’s a few highlights from his thoughts on the speech:

Listen to the whole show here, and be sure to follow The Winston Group on Twitter.

 

LA Times: Obama jumps ahead of Congress, highlighting economy in Michigan visit

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston comments in the LA Times on President Obama’s actions since the midterm elections:

“It’s almost like he’s pretending it didn’t happen,” said Republican pollster David Winston, an advisor to congressional leaders. “Elections are statements from the electorate about how things are going. And they made a pretty clear statement.”

Winston argued that the White House appeared to be missing what he said was the message of the midterm: that Americans wanted a different policy direction and to see leaders in Washington working together.

Read the rest of the story from the LA Times, and be sure to check out our post-election analysis to understand more about what statements voters made through the midterms.

“Fix It” – An Analysis of the 2014 Midterm Elections

by Emily O'Connor

 

In the 2014 midterm elections, what did voters tell Washington? “Fix it.”

Read through our in-depth analysis to find out more about what voters want, who comprised the 2014 electorate, and what challenges and opportunities are ahead for both parties.

Access the PDF here.

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The Diane Rehm Show: What to Expect from a Republican-Controlled Congress

by Emily O'Connor

The WG’s David Winston was a guest on the Diane Rehm Show to discuss what President Obama and a Republican Congress can hope to accomplish in the next two years. You can listen to the whole radio show here or read some of his comments below:

WSJ: Bipartisanship at Last: Poll Shows a Coalition of the Gloomy

by Lisa Mathias

In Thursdays Wall Street Journal, Janet Hook addresses the pessimism felt by Americans across party lines about the state of the economy and the prospects that it will improve, especially for the next generation. The WG’s David Winston points out what most voters are feeling:

“The economy may be getting slightly better, but the progress is unacceptable,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who works closely with congressional GOP leaders. “Everybody — Republicans, Democrats and independents — are looking for, ‘What are the solutions?’

“Both parties, instead, are trying to define only why the other candidate is worse,” Mr. Winston said. “That’s unsatisfying discourse for the electorate.”

To read the full article, turn to wsj.com.

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