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

The Hill: “Rick Perry hopes second time is a charm”

by Emily O'Connor

As former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his second bid for the presidency today, the WG’s David Winston commented on the main challenges he faces entering the race:

“Here’s someone who has a successful state story to tell, and yet his primary challenge will be to work through that awful moment he had in the debates the last time around,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster who worked on Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign.

“This is where the debates will be critical for him,” Winston said. “He’ll have to stand up there in a competitive situation and deliver his viewpoints in such a way that people look at his last time and say, ‘everyone has one bad moment.’ ”

The Hill’s article notes that Perry has focused recently on foreign policy issues and speeches.

“Clearly he thinks that’s become a strength of his,” said Winston. “It’s one area where governors are typically criticized for not having much experience, so he’s taken steps to address that question. It’s part of trying to make himself a complete package.”

Read the rest of the article here.

USA Today: Perry debate lapse undermines credibility

by Lisa Mathias

USA Today writes about the latest Republican debate in Michigan, where candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry failed to list the third of three government entities that he would get rid of if voted for President. The WG’s David Winston says this slip-up wasn’t going to help Perry’s already slipping poll numbers:

The debate performance didn’t help, Republican pollster David Winston said.
“It was a very difficult thing to watch,” he said. “Anything is possible but this is a really deep hole.”

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Des Moines Register: Bachmann’s fall in polls makes Iowa essential

by Lisa Mathias

Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register takes a look at the current status of Michelle Bachmann’s campaign in light of her recent poll numbers where she reached only 5% and 8% in two different polls. Noble says Rick Perry has much to do with this, and David Winston says this is nothing out of the ordinary:

“I don’t think what happened to her is unusual,” said Winston, who is based in Washington, D.C. “But she clearly missed an opportunity in growing her support.”

To read the full article, turn to

The Christian Science Monitor: Why Rick Perry is downplaying his front-runner status

by Lisa Mathias

CSM writes about Rick Perry’s initial success in the campaign front among high numbers in recent polls. Though he is showing to be a strong contender and not just a “flavor of the month,” Perry’s campaign has downplayed all this, knowing that this is just the beginning of the election season. The WG’s David Winston agrees that this is the best approach:

“In terms of building a majority coalition within the Republican Party, he has quite a bit of work to do,” says David Winston, a Republican pollster. In addition, “his lead is based on some initial perceptions of him, things he has said that have intrigued people. But the Republican electorate has not gone through the vetting process with him yet.”

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Politico: Rick Perry vies for front-runner title

by Lisa Mathias

Politico’s Alexander Burns chronicles Texas governor Rick Perry’s quick rise as a front-runner ahead of Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for 2012’s presidential elections. David Winston says this sudden popularity in the polls may just be temporary:

“There’s a difference between saying, ‘He’s slightly ahead,’ and saying, ‘He’s the front-runner,’” said Winston.

“For a lot of people, they’re hearing the specifics about him for the first time. They initially saw him as this charismatic speaker, had some interesting things to say that intrigued them,” continued Winston. “It’s a natural period of initial engagement, followed by some vetting.”

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The Hill: Perry’s entrance to shake up the Republican presidential field

by Lisa Mathias

Over the weekend, The Hill newspaper briefly outlined Texas governor Rick Perry’s plans to enter the Republican field for 2012 presidential nominations. The WG’s David Winston commented that Perry has quite a few points to make in his candidacy speech:

“This weekend’s speech is going to be critical because he is going to go through his whole reasoning, and explain how he is going to be positioning himself in relation to the other candidates and how he feels he is going to win,” said Republican pollster David Winston.

To read the full article, turn to

TIME: Rick Perry and the Vienna Convention

by Lisa Mathias

Massimo Calabresi writes in today’s Swampland on about the debate on whether or not to execute foreigners who have been denied access to their country’s diplomats. The debate stems from the current situation in Texas, where a convicted Mexican national is to be executed on July 7. The outcome of the situation could affect how Governor Rick Perry does on a national front, if he decides to run for president. David Winston weighs in:

And if he gets in the race, says GOP strategist David Winston, “His challenge will be to translate what he’s done in Texas to what he’ll do for the rest of the country.”

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