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Washington Post: Health-care debate still alive and well for parties

by Lisa Mathias

David Winston comments on how the healthcare debate continues between the GOP and Democrats, in today’s Washington Post:

“For the election, part of what you want to do is contrast what would happen if you were governing,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who advises party leaders in Congress. “The Democrats and President Obama spent months talking about health care, and Republicans say they should have spent that time working on jobs.”

Access the full article at

DesMoines Register: Obama revels in triumph, braces for a new fight

by Lisa Mathias

Thomas Beaumont writes in today’s Register about President Obama’s trip to Iowa, as well as his speech given to help gain support for the recently-signed law. Although Obama keeps his eye on health care, Beaumont turns to David Winston for insight into what the more pressing matter is:

“I’m sure he would like us to spend all our time on health care, but we’re not going to do that,” said Winston, a longtime adviser to the National Republican Congressional Committee.
“The No. 1 issue in the country is jobs and the economy, and I’m sure he’d love Republicans to take their eye off that,” Winston said.

Read the full story at

The Columbus Dispatch:Democrats the targets after health-care vote

by Lisa Mathias

Jonathon Riskind writes about the GOP’s reaction to Sunday’s health care vote, as Republicans express their expectancy for Democrats to lose their seats in November. Riskind turned to The WG’s David Winston for some insight on why Democrats should feel weary about voting for the bill:

However, David Winston, a GOP pollster in Washington, contends that for Democrats in moderate, swing districts such as Kilroy, Driehaus and Boccieri, the health-care bill does mean trouble, in part because of the overall political climate.

“You voted for a package people didn’t want and, two, you didn’t focus on the issue they really care about, which is jobs,” he said.

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LA Times: After healthcare vote, Democrats turn to damage control

by Lisa Mathias

In an LA Times article released today, Mark Barabak explains what happens next, now that “Obamacare” is poised to join the ranks of once-hotly debated but eventually accepted legislation. The Winston Group’s David Winston reacts to the health care vote passed in the House this Sunday night:

“Their choice was to pass bad legislation or prove they’re incapable of governing,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who works closely with the party’s House and Senate leadership. Moreover, he said, the effort was off point; by far the greatest concern of most voters is the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate.

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Politico: GOP casts Pelosi as health care villain

by Lisa Mathias

Politico’s Alex Isenstadt’s piece details efforts to place Nancy Pelosi as the sole face of health care reform, among reports of her low favorability numbers with voters. This push comes expected before this year’s elections in November, in which Pelosi’s future as speaker seems vulnerable. The Winston Group’s own David Winston comments:

“Obama’s not on the ballot, but Pelosi’s role as Speaker is,” said GOP pollster David Winston. “She’s up.”

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Washington Examiner: The White House’s phony case for its health plan

by Lisa Mathias

Byron York debunks the notion coming from the White House that voters are supportive of all elements of Democrats’ health care plan. David Winston provides some insight into the kind of “truths” that some polls provide:

“The way some of the polls have worked is that they cherry-pick the positive items and leave the negative items out, which creates what I would call a false positive,” says David Winston a Republican pollster.


After Massachusetts defeat, Democrats are dizzy from a political train wreck

by Lisa Mathias

Kansas City Star’s David Goldstein features The Winston Group’s David Winston in his latest article on Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts, and what that means for Democrats and their policies.

“One of the problems that Democrats have had is they understood late that they’ve been on the wrong issue. This has been about jobs and unemployment. When you have three months of unemployment 10 percent or higher, the public is unhappy.”

To read the complete article, turn to theKansas City Starwebsite.

“Urgency of now” should be for the economy, not health care

by Lisa Mathias

In Byron York’s latest article for the Washington Examiner, a recent Gallup poll shows that Americans do not feel the urgency that President Obama is pressing for in reforming health care. York also gets insight from the WG’s David Winston and refers to a recent WG memo to Republican leaders stating that the real concern lies in fixing the economy, and not so much in health care.

For a recent report to House Republican leader Rep. John Boehner, Winston asked people to judge two different approaches to today’s woes. The choice was between “Republicans who say Congress should be focusing on long-term policies that create jobs, like small business and family tax relief, and controlling federal spending to get our economy moving again,” and “Democrats who say that health insurance reform is key to jump-starting the economy by expanding coverage to the uninsured, lowering costs, and restricting the worst insurance company practices, and we must get it done this year.”
Fifty-four percent of respondents agreed with the Republican approach, versus 40 percent who agreed with the Democratic approach. That’s not because they like Republicans better than Democrats — they don’t — but because they want their leaders to directly address the economy and jobs.

To read more, turn to for the full article.

National Review Online: Obamacare Goes Primetime

by Lisa Mathias

In a recent article in NRO by Robert Costa, David offers a strategist’s view on where Obama stands now that August recess is over and the health care debate still rages on. He also offers some advice for GOP leaders since they now have the opportunity to present a more viable alternative for Americans:

David Winston, a Republican pollster, agrees. He says that Obama “has to do a kind of reset on health care and figure out if he can regain the initiative on the policy debate, since he clearly lost the month of August.” Winston cautions, however, that Obama has bigger problems than his message. “One of the difficult stress points of a majority coalition is how you keep your base and the people beyond the base together to sustain that coalition. Health care is the first clear example where the two have divergent views.”

If Republicans are heartened by Obama’s summer stumble, that doesn’t mean they should relax. Republicans, says Winston, should work to create a “positive policy choice”…

To read the full article, access

LA Times: Obama’s big gamble on health care debate

by Lisa Mathias

David was recently featured in an article by LA Times’ Peter Nicholas and Janet Hook about what’s to come from Obama in the next few weeks in terms of health care reform and lays out several issues that may arise. David provides some insight into Obama’s recent poll numbers:

“This is his big moment in managing a majority coalition,” said David Winston, a GOP strategist who compared Obama’s challenge to those faced — unsuccessfully — by three other former leaders: Clinton on healthcare, President George W. Bush on Social Security, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the budget battle that shut down part of the government during Clinton’s first term.

“Every one of them overreached,” said Winston. “But the question is, do they understand they have overreached? And what do they do in response?”

Access the LA Times article here

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