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

Washington Examiner: “Survey: Hillary Clinton too liberal for most voters”

by Emily O'Connor

This week, a finding from the Winston Group’s post-election survey was featured in the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” column –

Ideological Spectrum - 2014


Pollster David Winston provided Secrets with his latest analysis that included his trademark political sliding scale that for the first time tested the public’s opinion of Clinton’s political pulse.

He found that on a scale of 1 for liberal to 9 for conservative, voters put Clinton at 3.6, to the left of the House Democratic Caucus and just shy of Obama’s 3.37, the most liberal on the chart. Voters put themselves at a right-of-center 5.79, a yawning 2 points away from Clinton…

“Looking at 2016, the ideological spectrum should [be] concerning for Democrats, especially the likely front-runner Hillary Clinton. The good news for her is voters put her to the right of President Obama. The bad news for her is voters put her significantly to the left of where they put themselves ideologically,” Winston said.

Read the whole story here, or take a look at everything else we covered in our post-election analysis.

WaPo: The remarkable consistency of Democratic party ID — in 1 chart

by Lisa Mathias

The Fix blog’s Chris Cilizza uses our updated exit poll data to take a look at the breakdown of Party ID in past elections. Some points he noticed:

What’s remarkable is the consistency of the percentage of voters calling themselves Democrats over that time period. In those eight presidential elections, Democratic party ID has never dipped below 37 percent and never risen above 39 percent.
There has been more fluctuation in Republican party ID over that time. Republicans reached 37 percent of the electorate in the 2004 election but have dipped to 32 percent in each of the last two presidential contests — the party’s lowest ebb in 30 years.

To read the full blog post, turn to

The Fix: How party ID became partisan — and why it shouldn’t be

by Lisa Mathias

Washington Post’s Chris Cilizza writes for The Fix blog about party identification in polling, discussing how Party ID does or does not reflect the electorate. Cilizza uses one of our Party ID charts from our recent post on Party ID and Ideology Breakdowns

While the exit numbers are slightly less favorable to Democrats than the Pew party ID data, they still show clearly that Democrats have enjoyed an edge over time. (In only one race — 2004 — since 1984 have there been an equal number of people identifying as Republicans as Democrats.)

To read the full article, turn to

Politico: Fickle independents return to Barack Obama

by Lisa Mathias

In Sunday’s Politico, Alexander Burns addressed independents and their recent rebound to supporting Obama. The WG’s David Winston stressed that this isn’t something that may stick for the long run:

But Winston emphasized that while independent voters may be in the political center, they aren’t in the “ideological center,” meaning that even under the best of circumstances they’ll be a difficult group for Obama to hang onto.

“Independents are a center-right group,” he said. “That’s why Republicans have been able to put together majorities and that’s the challenge to the president.”

Read more:

CBS News: How Democrats Can Avoid a Blowout this November

by Lisa Mathias

Jeff Greenfield write about the potential “tsunami bearing down on Democrats” come this November, and offers strategy on how they can win in the upcoming election. The WG’s David Winston points out a very important group of voters that Democrats will need to connect with in order to avoid losing seats:

Independents, as Republican strategist David Winston notes, were the key to the GOP takeover of Congress in ’94 and the key to the Democratic takeover in ’06. Right now, they are leaning heavily toward the GOP, and if Democrats cannot win substantial numbers of them back, that thunderstorm will turn back into a tsunami.

To read the full article, go to

Soltis on Young Voters and Independents at

by David Winston

At, I give my take (2000 words of it…fair warning ahead of time!) on the election and why the GOP had a bad night.  In short?  Independents, young voters, the economy.  There are serious long term implications for the party, particularly regarding young voters and the number that voted for Democrats compared to 2004.  

Kristen Soltis – The GOP Faces Long Term Challenge with Young Voters and Independents []