Video: Pollster Frank Luntz focus-groups the GOP debate

posted at 3:31 pm on June 6, 2007 by Allahpundit

Is that a verb, “focus-groups”? It is on this blog. Here’s Luntz chatting with Steve Doocy this a.m. about last night’s real-time data. You’ll be shocked to find that St. John McCain, libertador of The Undocumented, didn’t fare so well. Shocked, that is, if you’re a Democratic strategist. If you’re a Republican or an independent you’ll simply nod along, slowly yet purposefully, as he kicks into one of his paeans to ruinous legislative compromise and those red and yellow lines start to drop and drop. And drop.

Big winner: …nah, I won’t spoil it. Suffice it to say, he made our highlight reel last night and for a good reason. Exit question: Will it matter?



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Exit answer: Nope.

Iblis on June 6, 2007 at 3:36 PM

Hewitt will be insufferable!

Alex K on June 6, 2007 at 3:50 PM

/Off-topic

Completely off-topic (my apologies) but I wanted to make sure HA was paying attention:

According to Fox, they just found the body of that missing Kansas girl. Kayley something. It’s of course another senseless tragedy …

… but as I’m watching, I can’t stop thinking about Channon Christian and Christopher Newsome.

They disappeared too. They were kidnapped too. They’re bodies were found, too. So why am I hearing wall-to-wall coverage of this current Kansas case … and heard nothing about that case, even though I live an hour away? Since the Christian/Newsome murder was horrific, the details far more newsworthy – and titillating to the voyeuristic public – I can’t figure out why this Kansas case is getting so much press.

Yes, the girl was very pretty. And white. But so was Channon.

But I just saw the footage of the suspect in this case. And noticed his race. He’s … white.

If he was black – would I be hearing about this case? Is there ANY other explanation for why I’m right this minute hearing Sheppard Smith talk about Kelsey Smith (not Kayley) … and heard nothing about Channon and Chris?

Any explanation at all?

Sorry to go off-topic.

Professor Blather on June 6, 2007 at 3:51 PM

Ron Paul? :(

lorien1973 on June 6, 2007 at 3:51 PM

In the end I think the big race for the primary will be between Fred and Mitt. Fred’s internet numbers there are impressive but Mitt has no shortage of cash.

bj1126 on June 6, 2007 at 3:53 PM

I’m anxious to see how Fred does in a debate. Right now he is like a pundit running (I don’t mean that in a negative way).

Spirit of 1776 on June 6, 2007 at 3:55 PM

Focus group….poll…..biometric data…..shaving creme…

So tired of the ‘science’ of opinion tracking. Soon every TV in America will sniff the pheromones in the room and cue the candidates what is selling and what is not. How about good ol ‘X’ marks the spot?

Limerick on June 6, 2007 at 3:55 PM

For Romney’s standards I really didn’t think he had that great of a night. Guess I was wrong.

Patriot33 on June 6, 2007 at 3:56 PM

Fred right now is all promise. Let’s see if he can deliver. I’m worried about his energy level.

Mitt is the very definition of competent. It’s pretty amazing how much he was able to get done here in MA. The less he tries too hard to please, the better he’ll do (it’s what causes him to exaggerate things like his hunting experience). My big concern is his ability to pull the trigger. Rudy can pull the trigger. McCain can pull the trigger. Fred looks like he could pull the trigger. I want Mitt to convince me (and hence our enemies) he can too.

All that said, I am sticking by my ticket prediction of Fred/Mitt.

TheBigOldDog on June 6, 2007 at 3:59 PM

bj1126 on June 6, 2007 at 3:53 PM

I agree. Rudy will be there too though. I can happily say bye bye to the rest of the group. I would be very happy to support a Romney/Thompson ticket as well as a Thompson/Romney ticket.

As for the exit question: No it won’t matter. I’m afraid to say that the Dems have a 60/40 chance of winning this election in 08. Certain things can happen to change those odds but based on the current environment I can’t see the Republicans pulling this one out no matter who is on the ticket.

Zetterson on June 6, 2007 at 4:01 PM

Is that a verb, “focus-groups”?

You’re the pundit.

Shocked, that is, if you’re a Democratic strategist.

You’re not going to let that one go anytime soon, are you?

Is there ANY other explanation for why I’m right this minute hearing Sheppard Smith talk about Kelsey Smith (not Kayley) … and heard nothing about Channon and Chris?

Any explanation at all?

Sorry to go off-topic.

Professor Blather on June 6, 2007 at 3:51 PM

Because the Channon and Chris murder doesn’t move their agenda along. This simply doesn’t injure their agenda.

amerpundit on June 6, 2007 at 4:01 PM

TheBigOldDog on June 6, 2007 at 3:59 PM

While I think that ticket would clean up I think both are too strong a personalities for it to be a possibility.

bj1126 on June 6, 2007 at 4:01 PM

I didn’t think Romney did well either. No big gaffs, but no home runs either. Fred! fund raising is great, but 12k an hour…how long is that going to hold up? On the outside of this story I don’t like that Fred! is running off to Israel to talk. Don’t get me wrong, we should back Israel 100%, but it is too soon to be playing foreign policy games. Sit and chat with the Israeli ambassador in private if you want to connect, not some photo op with the soon to be ex-Israeli prime minister.

Limerick on June 6, 2007 at 4:02 PM

TheBigOldDog on June 6, 2007 at 3:59 PM

If it makes you feel any better I have a family member who’s rubbed elbows with Mitt quite a bit in the venture capitalism world. His quote to me was, “Don’t let the smile fool you.” That amongst other things give me confidence that he will have no trouble pulling the trigger if necessary. I think those decisions come down to clarity of thought and intelligence more then anything else. Those are definitely Romney qualities.

Zetterson on June 6, 2007 at 4:07 PM

I’m pleased with choices of Mitt/Fred. In fact, I wouldn’t mind a Mitt/Fred ticket or Fred/Mitt ticket.

I have more respect for Romney as time goes on as well. However, we have yet to see what Fred! can do when he and his exclamation point take the debate podium….

unamused on June 6, 2007 at 4:09 PM

I think Mitt did well, but I’m not sure he won. I think Brownback was very good – actually I think everyone but McCain and Paul did well.

amerpundit on June 6, 2007 at 4:11 PM

I will give McCain a home run when he addressed the sister of the fallen soldier, but other then that he dug his hole deeper. Mitt did just OK. I thought he won the other two debates and he is growing on me too. CNN botched this debate to help botch the GOP. The Dhimmis didn’t watch…it was Reps who watched and any global warming, Libby, Bush is bad ain’t he, questions were meant to grate on us not detail the candidates to all the public.

Limerick on June 6, 2007 at 4:15 PM

I will give McCain a home run when he addressed the sister of the fallen soldier

Limerick on June 6, 2007 at 4:15 PM

I agree but no matter what that man says all I can hear are the words “Amnesty bill” over and over again in my head. He’s done.

Zetterson on June 6, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Mitt did just OK.

I didn’t think Romney did well either

For Romney’s standards I really didn’t think he had that great of a night

I knew it! He’s chided for being “too perfect” and the first time he’s not…well, then, whatever you guys want to think.

As for the focus groups, believe me, I’ve sat in on the other side of the mirror of enough focus groups to recognize uninformed people. I bet that was the very first time most of them had ever heard of or seen MITT.

Besides Huckabee being a stand out as stated in another post on this site, I think Gilmore was good. Oh if it weren’t for that one word….”macaca”…it would be George Allen up there instead of him.

Brat on June 6, 2007 at 4:24 PM

Sorry, should have posted like this…

For Romney’s standards I really didn’t think he had that great of a night

I knew it! He’s chided for being “too perfect” and the first time he’s not…well, then, whatever you guys want to think.

As for the focus groups, believe me, I’ve sat in on the other side of the mirror of enough focus groups to recognize uninformed people. I bet that was the very first time most of them had ever heard of or seen MITT.

Besides Huckabee being a stand out as stated in another post on this site, I think Gilmore was good. Oh if it weren’t for that one word….”macaca”…it would be George Allen up there instead of him.

Brat on June 6, 2007 at 4:26 PM

Mitt, I have no doubt has tremendous financial acumen, and a lot of his answers last night conveyed that message, however I don’t think we are looking for a CFO. I give him high marks for his work in getting the Olympics for Utah but a big minus for me was the medical insurance bill he enacted as governor.
Still when it comes to fresh blood on capitol hill I am looking at Fred!, Newt, or Mitt although Huckabee’s stock rose somewhat last night in my eyes.
/I am soooooooo confused!

LakeRuins on June 6, 2007 at 4:40 PM

/I am soooooooo confused!

LakeRuins on June 6, 2007 at 4:40 PM

I may be the only one that feels this way, but I’m glad that I’m confused right now.

I’m confused because I’ve got options. And multiple options (thus far) seem good. I’m even excited about a couple of these guys. And some of them that I don’t know too much about (like Huckabee) have been able to surprise me and distinguish themselves in a game-show debate format.

I wanted to pick Huckabee up and swing him around for finally saying “I don’t see what that has to do with electing a president, but I’ll go ahead and answer it.” Finally, someone called these people on at least one of their idiot questions!

Unlike a lot of people here (at least, from many of the comments I’ve read, that’s the impression I’ve gotten), I’m excited about our crop of candidates. We’ve got a great mix of business experience, political experience, Washington old guard, new comers, principled conservatives, moderates, etc. Instead of choosing between candidate a.1, a.2, and a.3, we have everything from a-z.

My biggest issue at the moment is that, with so many candidates, the debates do not provide the opportunity to really dig deep into what a candidate believes and do follow-up question.

Someone here mentioned (a few weeks ago) that they’d like to see 2-4 person debates (with the people involved rotated in randomly). That’s something I’d tune in for (unless Wolf was just going to take the opportunity to ask more inane questions of the candidates – if that’s the case, they can all save their breath).

JadeNYU on June 6, 2007 at 5:07 PM

the person who promises to legalizes America’s largest cash crop will get my vote. the taxes collected alone will end the deficit in a couple of years. not to mention the freed prisoners that cost us next to $70,000 per person a year to keep in jail.

otherwise Fred looks best to me so far.

i would even consider accepting leaving Iraq if the soldiers where placed on the border with live ammo that did not need to be accounted for.

doggod on June 6, 2007 at 6:06 PM

Mitt, I have no doubt has tremendous financial acumen, and a lot of his answers last night conveyed that message, however I don’t think we are looking for a CFO. I give him high marks for his work in getting the Olympics for Utah but a big minus for me was the medical insurance bill he enacted as governor.

Mitt for Treasuary Secratary!!

thirteen28 on June 6, 2007 at 6:31 PM

The most important issue of our time is “jihad”. this issue more than any other, we need to find candidates who thoroughly understand it, and have a desire to confront it.

Amazingly few of the candidates, both democratic and republican have said much publicly regarding jihad.

here is a list of the republican candidates who do and do not discuss jihad:

McCain: just does not use the word, seems intent on fighting terrorists but does not address the underlying problem.

Guilianni: Same as McCain, shows no indication iof an understand of the root cause of terrorism, and how it has become a problem here on the home front

Huckabee: Cant find anything where he mentions jihad.

T. Thompson: Nada

Hunter: Strong support for Israel, but seems to go out of his way to avoid the subject of jihad.

Brownback: mentions jihad only in relation to the genocode in the Sudan.

Paul: Has mentioned jihad several times,calls it what it is, but also says it appears around the time we got involved in the middle east, suggesting that somehow, the U.S. is responsible for the current modern jihad.

Gilmore: no mention of his ever bringing up this subject that I can find.

Tancredo: Mentioned is directly in the first republican debate, shows a clear understanding of the relationship between jihad and terrorism around the world.

Romney: Has referred to “global jihad” in several speeches and appearances. Indicates the war on terror is indeed a war against radical jihadists. Has indicated he understands the domestic threat that jihad poses in the U.S. currently, and has noted recent challenges to impose sharia, and jihad in our courts.

F Thompson: Has not declared yet, but has spoken on jihad numerous times including a peice on you tube in which he discusses Ayan Hirsii Ali and islamic jihadists.

The bottom line is this, how can we expect to win the war on terror with a commander in chief who doesnt know or want to know who the terrorists are and why?

Guilianni seems to get a free pass on the war, and McCain also, I just dont get it. We must hold them accountable, and make sure they understand and adress this most important issue.

paulsur on June 6, 2007 at 6:36 PM

I just wonder if Fred is going to come off as just too old to the electorate? He seemed a little slow to me last night on H/C? If he gets the nomination, he’ll need to run with Mike Huckabee, Lynn Swann, Michael Steele, or even Mitt Romney (They’d tower over Hillary literally and figuratively) or some other more youthful running mate.

IMHO, of course!

SouthernGent on June 6, 2007 at 6:39 PM

the person who promises to legalizes America’s largest cash crop will get my vote.

Me too. My family grew tobacco for 50 years.

BacaDog on June 6, 2007 at 6:54 PM

LakeRuins on June 6, 2007 at 4:40 PM

The problem with that is Newt and fred? are Washington insiders. Mitts! the only one who isn’t beholden to the Washington elite.

csdeven on June 6, 2007 at 6:55 PM

the person who promises to legalizes America’s largest cash crop will get my vote.

But then everyone will be roaming around humming the tune to “Baby Bumblebee”.

otherwise Fred looks best to me so far.

Smokin that cash crop are we? ;-)

csdeven on June 6, 2007 at 7:07 PM

Fred Thompson is going to wipe the floor with these people.

msipes on June 6, 2007 at 9:02 PM

This Luntz guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Every internet poll I’ve seen has Ron Paul wiping the floor with these guys.

And we all know internet polls can’t be influenced…

Nethicus on June 7, 2007 at 12:21 AM

I wouldn’t underestimate Guiliani, particularly with the primaries being so early and close together. By March 5th over half the delegates needed will have been won. Fl, Ca and NY offer some 400 delegates alone, Rudy may be rolling strong by March 5th if he picks up these three plus a few others.
Lot can happen but still a lot of campaigning to prove themselves.

Bradky on June 7, 2007 at 12:46 AM

the person who promises to legalizes America’s largest cash crop will get my vote. the taxes collected alone will end the deficit in a couple of years. not to mention the freed prisoners that cost us next to $70,000 per person a year to keep in jail.

doggod on June 6, 2007 at 6:06 PM

There’s someone who would pull that lever for the Hunter Thompson ticket.

Even though he blew his own brains out months ago. Fear and loathing for the rubes.

Freelancer on June 7, 2007 at 11:35 AM