Roll Call: Beating up on Manchin and Sinema won’t fix the Biden agenda

In today’s Roll Call, the Winston Group’s David Winston argues that progressives are ignoring political realities in their attempt to push through the reconciliation bill.

Rather than take the political temperature down a notch, Biden’s shrill performance Monday was designed to appease an increasingly demanding progressive wing that believes it’s operating under a mandate for radical change.  No one better exemplifies that misguided notion than the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who tweeted this about the Build Back Better plan: “It’s President Biden’s agenda — and it’s why voters delivered Democrats the House, the Senate, and the White House. It’s too important to be left behind.”

With all due respect, Jayapal is flat-out wrong. Democrats seem to have forgotten that they gained only a tie in the Senate, and by the thinnest of margins — 13,471 votes, which is what Georgia Sen. David Perdue needed last fall to avoid the runoff he later lost. 

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: Odd couple Sanders and Manchin are 630 centuries apart

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the divisions between moderate and liberal Democrats and the latest on the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better reconciliation bill.

Washington has perhaps never seen two members of the same party further apart in their economic beliefs and priorities. Yet Sanders and Manchin are tied to each other in fast-moving negotiations with vastly different goals. To provide some context as to how far apart $2 trillion is, think about this analogy.

The next million seconds is about 11 days; the next billion seconds is about 31 years; the next trillion seconds is about 315 centuries. At a rate of a dollar per second, a $2 trillion difference is the equivalent of about 630 centuries.

So, from a spending perspective, Manchin and Sanders, the Senate’s odd couple, are 630 centuries apart. And the House Democratic Caucus has a similar time and space problem. 

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “GOP has to make 2022 about policy, not personality”

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about some of the takeaways from the California recall result and what they mean for Republicans looking ahead to the 2022 midterms.

Hispanic voters in California went from favoring Biden over Trump by 52 points last fall (75 percent to 23 percent) to opposing the recall by 20 points (60 percent to 40 percent). Asian American voters backed Biden by 54 points (76 percent to 22 percent) but voted against the recall by 28 points (64 percent to 36 percent). Finally, independent/other voters went from supporting Biden by 22 points (57 percent to 35 percent) to voting “no” on the recall by just 4 points (52 percent to 48 percent).

While the comparison isn’t exact, it should give Democrats pause and Republicans hope, but the road back for the GOP isn’t an easy one.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Biden’s dug a hole for himself, but he keeps digging”

In an opinion column for Roll Call this week, The Winston Group’s David Winston checks in on President Biden’s job approval numbers and the concerning trends among independents in the context of the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package.

What should be even more concerning for Biden and his party is his decline with independents, a trend I first mentioned in an April 28 column entitled “Independents will decide when Biden’s honeymoon is over.” Biden’s overall job approval rating with independents has gone from +18 points (48 percent to 30 percent) to -14 points (34 percent to 48 percent), a 32-point turnaround. Meanwhile, his economic job approval rating with this key group went from 43 percent to 38 percent approve/disapprove to 33 percent to 50 percent, again, a significant change of 22 points. 

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: Biden’s summer of joy turns into frustration

In this week’s Roll Call, The Winston Group’s David Winston reassesses voters’ outlook on the pandemic, and their satisfaction with how President Biden and his administration have been handling the situation.

People are tired of COVID-19, of one confusing message after another from what seems to be a reeling federal response. They are tired of wearing masks when illegal border crossers, by the thousands, scatter through the country unchecked, many with COVID-19. Tired of doing what was asked of them by a president who promised unity and a “return to normal.”

Instead, they find themselves back to mask mandates and the risks of breakthrough infections, many wondering whether their child will be forced to wear masks in school or even have a classroom and teacher to go to this fall. 

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Biden’s infrastructure choice: Progressives or bipartisanship?”

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the recent developments in the infrastructure agreements, and what voters are looking for when it comes to infrastructure legislation.

The White House and congressional Democrats thought they could bring voters along by simply calling social spending programs they’ve wanted for years “infrastructure” on the front end. It is clear that there is buy-in from the electorate for reasonable government spending on true infrastructure. But contrary to what Democrats are arguing, they haven’t won over voters for their record-setting “human infrastructure” proposals offered in the name of economic growth.  

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “As Democrats go hard left, Hispanics head to the center”

In yesterday’s Roll Call, the Winston Group’s David Winston wrote about Hispanic voters and Democrats’ mistake in 2020 in assuming this group was a monolithic voting bloc and in sync with their priorities. Hispanic voters, he writes, will be in play for both parties next year.

What is becoming more and more evident is that Hispanic voters will be in play for both parties next year. Democrats have to stop assuming all minority voters, especially Hispanics, are on board the progressive train, nor will an effective GOTV effort assure victory.

Republicans have to understand that Hispanics, by and large, are not conservatives — at least not yet — but they are centrists behaving more like independents than Democrats and are open to a center-right economic message. If the party focuses on the economy and jobs, this is a growing voter group with the potential to become an important part of the Republican coalition.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Joe Manchin is a bona fide centrist. Deal with it”

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about the centrism of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin is a traditional Democrat, not a bomb thrower. He seeks out compromise to move the country forward and, unlike many of his fellow Democrats, uses reason and rationality to argue for his positions on issues, not race or moral shaming.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Independents will decide when Biden’s honeymoon is over”

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in this week’s Roll Call about how Biden’s policies are doing among independent voters.

Contrary to what the White House and corporate media are saying, on most issues, Republicans are not on board, and neither are independents.  The Biden team ought to remember that honeymoons don’t last forever, nor do voters’ patience or confidence.

Read the full piece here.

Roll Call: “Yes, I still believe in bipartisanship. No, I don’t believe in unicorns”

The Winston Group’s David Winston writes in today’s Roll Call about why bipartisan cooperation is still possible, even in today’s political environment.

The fact that Collins and Coons were able to recruit a majority of senators to stand fast for the filibuster shows that bipartisan cooperation is possible, even if it is on life support these days. And for those who complained to me that anyone who believes that Republicans and Democrats can work together to get things done must also believe in unicorns, we saw evidence last year that cooperation can still produce crucial legislation when the need is great.

Read the full piece here.