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The Daily: Minimizing “Mediscare”

by Lisa Mathias

The Daily’s Dan Hirschhorn writes about how Medicare continues to be an on-going debate between Republicans and Democrats as campaign season continues. Hirschhorn points out that while it seems that President Obama is doing better in terms of Medicare, it may not be a huge difference in voter support for him yet, as The WG’s David Winston states:

Earlier this week, a Tampa Bay Times poll found that, even while Obama leads in the critical battleground of Florida, his advantage on the issue of Medicare is negligible.

“That is a dramatic shift in favor of Republicans,” David Winston, a Republican pollster close to House Speaker John Boehner. “Granted, Democrats still hold an advantage but it’s nowhere near where it used to be.”

To read more, turn to The Daily online.

USA Today: Romney fights on Medicare but Obama retains advantage

by Lisa Mathias

A recent article in USA Today addresses the issue of Medicare, one major focus in this year’s presidential election. Polls are showing that Obama has a lead over Romney in his handling of Medicare, which looks like there is a huge disadvantage for Republicans. But David Winston doesn’t think so:

“Now we’re still behind but six points is significantly better than being minus 25,” he says. “That’s an improvement.”
It is an issue on which neither side scores very well, he adds. “The country is still waiting for somebody to come up with a solution that will work. That will end up making it a draw — which for Republicans is a good outcome.”

To read more, turn to USA Today online.

NY Times: Challenged on Medicare, G.O.P. Loses Ground

by Lisa Mathias

In Saturday’s New York Times, Jackie Calmes writes about Republican and Democrat opposition over the issue of health care, stating that while before the conventions the two parties seemed to be neck-in-neck, as shown in a recent WG poll:

Democrats fretted that Mr. Romney would win the retiree-heavy Florida and increase his support nationwide among older voters, who lean Republican anyway. David Winston, a Republican pollster, wrote a month ago of “a structural shift in the issue” that left the parties in “a dead heat” and Mr. Obama unable to mount an effective response.

Calmes writes that since then, voters have started to favor Obama’s approach to the issue.

To read more, check out New York Times online.

At the Races: Focus on Economy or Broaden the Message? GOP Poll Has Clues

by Lisa Mathias

Roll Call’s David Drucker wrote about our recent survey with American Action Network that addressed voters’ views on the economy and Medicare. Drucker says that the polls results show what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should address in the next months up to the election:

The survey’s findings suggest that relentlessly focusing on the economy and jobs gives the Republican presidential ticket its best opportunity to capture independent voters and deflect the central attack being leveled by Obama. However, selecting House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate and going on the attack on Medicare has also proved valuable for the GOP, according to a comparison of political messages tested by Winston in this poll.

To read the full post, check out At the Races.

Politico: Does deal muddy Medicare waters?

by Lisa Mathias

Sunday’s Politico features a story pitting Paul Ryan’s health care plan against President Obama’s health care law, and features comments from David Winston on public opinion about Ryan’s plan:

At the very least, public opinion on the Ryan plan may be more in flux than it is on the health reform law. “They’re still working through what they think of the Ryan plan,” said Winston, the Republican pollster. “They’ve pretty much worked through what they think of Obamacare.”

Read more:

WSJ: No Retreat on Medicare

by Lisa Mathias

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Naftali Bendavid and Janet Hook write about the recent congressional election in New York’s 26th district, in which Democrat Kathy Hochul won the traditionally Republican seat. The upset for Republicans has had many speculating how Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan might have affected Republican Jane Corwin’s chances, but David Winston says that isn’t the only issue that everyone on either side of the political spectrum should focus on:

“The Democrats want to cherry-pick issues and make it just about Medicare, whereas the challenge for Republicans is to broaden it to make it about economy, jobs and making government solvent, and Medicare is part of that,” Mr. Winston said.

To read the full article, turn to

Politico: GOP seeks new Medicare message

by Lisa Mathias

Jonathan Allen writes for today’s Politico on what to do with Medicare, as the GOP prepares to release attack ads on cable tv this week. Americans face divergent views on the issue not only between Democrats and Republicans, but among Republicans themselves. The WG’s David Winston tries to help put the situation in perspective for Republicans:

Winston says the difference between this effort to rein in Medicare and past Republican attempts to do the same is that more voters are aware of the nation’s dire debt situation and that more of them understand Medicare is going broke.

“Dealing with Medicare is how we’re going to make the government solvent so that we can get the economy back on track,” he said.

Read more:

Chicago Tribune: GOP finding it hard to make progress

by Lisa Mathias

Chicago Tribune reports on the Republican party’s struggles after having won the majority in the House, many of which revolve around focusing on the most pressing issue: the economy. David Winston comments that the GOP’s focus on Medicare at the moment may be too narrow of a focus:

The Republican challenge is “making sure this discussion is broader than simply Medicare,” said David Winston, a GOP strategist who advises House leadership.

To read the full article, check out

David Winston on ABC’s Topline

by Lisa Mathias

David Winston appeared on today’s Top Line, discussing his views on Democrats’ messaging on Medicare:

“People see through this,” Winston said. “That’s just a political gimmick. They want some real substance discussed here, and they want to hear some real policy debates — not sort of trite political advertising.”