The WG’s David Winston and Myra Miller have a new piece in the latest volume of The Ripon Society’s magazine, The Ripon Forum, discussing the opportunity and challenge for Republicans in Congress:
“Republicans have to transition from the mindset of ‘reacting to President Obama’ into a new era of creating Republican initiatives that deliver results and provide a governing framework. People want change and they want it soon. They expect Congress and the President to get something done and get government working again for them.
In a focus group after the election, one voter in Pittsburgh told us that it now felt like the country was in ‘the bottom of the ninth and there are two outs.’ In other words, this might be America’s last chance to get it right. Republicans in Congress need to focus on voter priorities and they need to deliver results.”
Commenting in an LA Times column by Doyle McManus, the WG’s David Winston lays out challenges for Republicans in the election ahead – Trump’s unfavorables, particularly among women, and Congressional Republican candidates’ potential need for ticket-splitting voters and a sense of direction for those candidates.
“The structural problem of the Trump candidacy is his ‘unfavorable’ numbers,” GOP pollster David Winston told me. “Among women, who — did I mention? — are the majority of the electorate, his unfavorables are in the 70s. Those aren’t easy numbers to turn around, particularly when a candidate has had as much exposure as Trump.”
…In some states, candidates “are going to depend on people who are voting for [Democrat Hillary] Clinton to switch sides and vote for the other party” when it comes to Congress, Winston noted. “That’s hard to do.”
…“House candidates are going to need a sense of direction, and they don’t necessarily want to rely on Trump to provide it,” Winston said. If Trump appears headed for defeat, the Ryan program could give them a lifeline.
…“Everybody writes off a party after it has a bad election,” Winston said. “After 2008, when Obama won, people said it was the end of the Republican Party. But two years later we had 2010 and won a majority in the House.”
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?”
As a result of voter unhappiness not only about the economy but moving forward generally, people expect Republicans in Congress to focus their efforts on proposing and passing policies to improve the economy (71%). They didn’t vote for Republicans simply to be a check and balance on President Obama (23%)…
Ultimately, what this reflects is a country that continues to be unhappy with the current direction of the economy and have decided to give Republicans more governing responsibility…
What policies were most important to voters? What did they think of the role of government? Keep reading here.
The Los Angeles Times touches on the immigration debate in terms of what Republicans are – or are no longer – doing, as Speaker John Boehner steps away from pushing any legislation, the newspaper reports. The WG’s David’s Winston says the White House also needs to take action:
“Republicans are willing to move forward, but the president’s got to instill some confidence that he’s going to implement the law,” said Republican strategist David Winston, who is close to party leadership. “The ball’s in the president’s court.”
Looking forward to the 2012 elections, CNBC writes about President Obama’s likelihood of getting re-elected, despite a high unemployment rate and relatively pessimistic views of the direction the country is going, as well as the Republicans’ sweep of the House in last year’s elections. The WG’s David’s Winston believes that Republican presidential candidates need to step up to the plate and present solid policy goals:
“The challenge to Republicans is to offer an alternative that builds a majority coalition,” said David Winston, a Republican strategist. “At this point, where you’ve heard the policy discussions occurring have not been within the Republican presidential primary but among the Republican members of Congress.”
Kristen Soltis chats with Mark Blumenthal of pollster.com and Patrick Ruffini from Engage about the latest primaries, the Ground Zero mosque, moveon.org and some big changes for pollster.com and engage (engagedc.com).
This week, Kristen chats with Alex Lundry from Target Point and Kevin Madden from Dyke & Associates about the “Golf or Gulf” website, constituents breaking away from Democrats, Scott Brown’s backing of the financial reform bill, the word “liberal,” and the Apple fans.
TRI gets a bit of a change of pace this week with some new segments. Kristen chats with Rachel Hoff from the Foreign Policy Initiative, and The Winston Group’s own Nicki Kurokawa. Topics include this week’s big stories like Kagan’s hearings, Russian Spies, the Kill Switch Bill, and Summer TV, as well as a new section, Blogger Beat.