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

WSJ: US Budget Deal Puts Ryan in Spotlight Once Again

by Lisa Mathias

WSJ writes about Paul Ryan’s new budget deal that, if passed, will once again put him on the forefront of the political campaign sphere. The WG’s David Winston comments:

David Winston, a GOP pollster who advises House GOP leaders, saw benefits to Mr. Ryan’s role. “After watching the government shutdown, what people want to see is just to put some points on the board,” he said. “If you’re somebody in that position to move things forward and make some progress, that’s something to be viewed favorably.”

To read more:

US News: Paul Ryan Won by Staying Cool and Composed

by David Winston

This morning a short opinion piece I wrote in answer to the question of who won last night’s vice presidential debate appeared in U.S. News and World Report.

But there is one very real way in which the vice presidential showdown was a win for Ryan. He came into the night the youngest and least-known member of either ticket. Casual observers were introduced to a competent, mature policy wonk with a strong command of the issues and, perhaps most importantly, a demonstrated ability to remain composed despite the disrespectful bluster of his opponent.

I go on to explain that part of voters’ job is to decide whether they trust a candidate to be second in line for the presidency. Against that standard, Ryan passed with flying colors.

Check out the rest of the article (and other takes on the issue as well) at the U.S. News website.

WSJ: Political Veterans: A ‘Real’ and ‘Testy’ Debate

by Lisa Mathias

The WG’s David Winston contributed to the Wall St. Journal “Washington Wire” blog today, giving his take on how last night’s Vice Presidential Debate went.

An excerpt:

The most frustrating moment was when Ryan was trying to outline historical situations where tax cuts led to economic growth and tax revenue, only to be interrupted by both Mr. Biden and moderator Martha Raddatz. This is a central economic argument between the two campaigns and we never got a chance to hear the differences. It was a real disappointment.

To read more, turn to

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: