In Tuesday’s, National Review Online, Robert Costa writes about the divide between House Republicans and the tea-party idea to shut down government if Obamacare isn’t defunded. Costa turned to David Winston for insight on the GOP:
“The electorate expects Congress to govern,” explains pollster David Winston, a longtime adviser to the House leadership. “House Republicans are going to offer their health-care alternatives within that process.”
Today’s Fiscal Times featured commentary from The WG’s David Winston on how the Tea Party is taking advantage of the debt crisis to push their agenda, and how business leaders are reacting:
“It’s not an outcome difference, but there’s a pretty significant difference of opinion in terms of the process of getting there,” David Winston, a GOP strategist, told The Fiscal Times. “Some within the Tea Party are trying to get quite a bit of their agenda done right this second, using the debt ceiling. The business community wants to be more careful about how they use this device, and err on the side of caution, even if they do eventually want to go in the same direction.”
Matt Bai writes in Tuesday’s New York Times on how voters aren’t necessarily aligning themselves solely with Republicans or the Tea Party, despite having supported their overall ideas and voted them into Congress. Bai references The Winston Group’s recent memo on the 2010 elections, and turns to David Winston for insight on the numbers:
“While some Tea Party candidates struggled individually,” Mr. Winston concluded, “the movement’s focus on fiscal conservatism impacted the political discourse on the issues that eventually decided the election.”
Los Angeles Times’ Kathleen Henessy writes about how more non-politicians are entering themselves as candidates for this year’s election, many of whom are aligning with the tea party. The Winston Group’s David Winston commented on the need for tea party and for GOP members to work together, especially to win over independent voters:
“This isn’t a college debate about who made the best points,” said Republican strategist David Winston, who has seen tea party candidates rising as they focus their arguments on deficit spending and federal overreach. “If they’re going to win races, they have to prove they can build a coalition.”
Politics magazine recently featured the Winston Group’s own Kristen Soltis as one of their “Movers and Shakers,” and asked her several questions about polling, policy and the Tea Party:
Politics: “Tea Party” is a bit of a loaded term on all sides of the debate. Does that make it hard to get an accurate reading?
Soltis: It depends on the question that you ask. Some pollsters ask “Do you support the Tea Party?” I believe there was a question some months ago, “Do you sympathize with the Tea Party?” We tried to ask a question that was pretty strong, so it was either yes or no, not how you feel about it. We wanted to get the most definite group.
The LA Times features a story on Tea Party members and their makeup, and refers to our Tea Party poll and analysis, along with commentary from The WG’s David Winston:
“It’s a good sample size,” David Winston, polling director of the Winston Group that did the poll for an education advocacy group, told the Ballot Box blog of The Hill newspaper.
The Tea Party adherents broke down 28% independent, 17% Democrat and only 57% Republican. Not coincidentally, this bipartisan breakdown has been the way that Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin has often described movement members as “commonsense Americans” worried and….
…angered by the over-reaching one-party control of Democrats in Washington these last 15 months, rooted initially in opposition to Obama’s $787 billion government economic stimulus package.
New polling data examines the demographics and political philosophy behind the Tea Party Movement
WASHINGTON DC (April 1, 2010) — Tea Party activists may be ardent supporters of economic conservatism but are similar to the overall electorate when it comes to economic priorities, according to the findings of a new report released by The Winston Group today on the political movement.
In one of the most extensive looks to date at just who Tea Party activists are, how they think, and the ideas that matter to them, the report found that 17% of the people polled considered themselves “part of the Tea Party movement” and more than four in ten Tea Party members said they were either Independents or Democrats.
In three national surveys, done for New Models from December 2009 through February 2010, 57% of Tea Party members called themselves Republicans, another 28% said they were Independents, and 13% were Democrats. Two-thirds of Tea Party members identify as conservatives but 26% say they are moderate and 8% described themselves as liberal
The study also found Tea Party members are more likely to be male by a 56-44% margin, slightly older than the electorate as a whole and middle income earners. When it comes to issues, the research found that Tea Party activists espouse a strong economic conservatism.
According to David Winston, president of The Winston Group,
“Our research shows that Tea Party activists’ top concern – economy and jobs — mirrors the majority of voters in the country.”
In the February 2010 New Models study, 36% of Tea Party members name the economy and jobs as their top issue with national deficit and spending close behind at 21% — over twice as high as the overall electorate. However, when given the choice in the January survey, Tea Party members favored “reducing unemployment to 5%” over balancing the budget 63-32%, which closely reflects the overall electorate (64-32%).
While Tea Party members prioritize job creation over deficit spending and tax issues, they value economically conservative policies because they view them as a means to reducing unemployment and improving the economy. Over 4 out of 5 Tea Party members (85%) say tax cuts for small business will create more jobs than increased government spending on infrastructure while the overall electorate prefers tax cuts by a more modest 61-31% margin.