Video: The winner of the Luntz focus-group prize last night was …

posted at 12:01 pm on January 15, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

… Ted Cruz, and by acclamation. The moment that convinced these South Carolina voters? Cruz’ riposte to Donald Trump on birther theories, even while Cruz led it off by emphasizing that the debate should focus on more important issues. Looks like Cruz was wrong about that, but the focus group’s reaction to his rebuttal went almost literally off the chart:

Cruz also scored big when he blasted the Obama administration for the capture of 10 US Navy sailors by Iran, and the images gleefully published by Tehran of the Americans on their knees. “That’s absolutely terrifying,” one focus-group respondent told Luntz after the debate. Another, a veteran, added that Cruz and Trump “are focused on veterans issues better than anyone else.”

Due to a schedule conflict, I could not catch last night’s debates, but there does seem to be some consensus among those who did about the three big winners last night being Cruz, Trump, and Marco Rubio. Andrew Malcolm of Investors Business Daily feels that the field has been narrowed to three people in Iowa and perhaps the rest of the race:

1) Less than three weeks out from the Iowa caucuses, the field of realistic competitors for the party’s nomination, based on substance and polls, has been narrowed to three for this moment.

2) With arguably the exception of Ben Carson, who seems so often so congenially lost, the candidates have certainly honed their presentations in the 23 campaign weeks since that first party debate on Fox News in early August. They’ve moved into the closing argument stage for the last pre-Iowa caucus debate on Jan. 28, again on Fox News.

3) Most of the seven men on the main stage — Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Carson — tried valiantly to drag their likely Democrat November opponent into the rhetorical struggle. …

Christie is knocking on the contender door. But for now atop the field are Trump, at 69 the oldest GOP candidate, older even than Hillary Clinton, and Cruz, at 45 second youngest by only five months to Rubio, 44. Trump and Cruz are virtually tied in Iowa polls, while the articulate, optimistic Rubio, as always, lurks nearby.

Each of them had brilliant moments in Charleston on the Fox Business Network.

Jeff Dunetz thinks it’s down to four, but that Trump had the best night:

Last night the GOP field was whittled down to four people, there may be more in the race but only four matter; Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Christie. And the prediction here is that after the first three primaries, only those four will be left.

Looking at the debate from an unemotional point of view Cruz probably won the night, however Trump will probably have the biggest bounce from the debate.  Right now Trump is leading the field, and you don’t knock the leader off his perch on points, you have to knock him out. Trump wasn’t close to being knocked out. In fact, he showed incredible growth as a candidate. He’s lost part of the frothing lunatic approach. While Cruz may have out-pointed Trump, the billionaire had his best debate.

Guy Benson calls it a good night for the three at the top, but also picks Trump as the winner:

Though his performance was laced with characteristic policy ignorance and general incoherence (his answer on tariffs was especially bad, for instance), Trump had three shining moments that made last night’s event a success for him. First, his rejoinder to Ted Cruz’s “New York Values” barb — calling to mind New Yorkers’ magnificent response to the horror of 9/11 — was at once cutting and humanizing.  It was delivered with an air of disappointment, blended with the indignance of a man defending the honor of the city he loves. Very savvily played.  Later, when moderator Maria Bartiromo asked whether Trump could disentangle himself from and set aside his international business interests in order to prioritize the country’s interests as president, Trump gave what struck me as a deeply-felt, authentic answer: Sure, I’m proud of my company, and yes I’m very rich, with financial interests all over the globe. But if I’m president, that all stops. I’m in this for America. The presidency and our nation would be the one and only thing that matters to me. Even as someone who’s been very critical and cynical about Trump, I believed him here. A strong moment. Finally, Trump’s closing statement actually seemed prepared — even rehearsed! — for once. And it was very effective. He spoke of meeting with construction workers who were despondent and angry over the spectacle of Iran capturing and humiliating US sailors this week. In the post-debate spin room, the frontrunner said that “many people” had told him that last night marked his best debate showing of the cycle. Though he’s said virtually the exact same thing (always attributed to nameless others) after each and every forum this cycle, he was probably right this time.

The one consensus loser of the night appears to be Ben Carson. If so, the question will be who ends up with his voters. Based on style, one might expect them to go to Rubio, but based on the impulse for outsiders, it may be that those voters split between Trump and Cruz, too.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

I was disappointed that not more time was spent on

Jobs, blue and white color, displaced by illegals, border and visa overstays

Debt and deficit

Entitlement reform

Omnicrap and Paul Ryan and McConnells obamanitis disease and arrogance

Auditing and re-eng. of the entire gov’t. They had the perfect opening when asked “how will you pay for the infrastructure…”

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Not according to Rush. Rush can’t understand why we won’t overlook his Gang of 8 open borders campaign and other knives in the back. Apparently Rush is okay with turning the country into the 3rd world, as long as his Rubio gets to the WH.

Alabama Infidel on January 15, 2016 at 1:50 PM

Haven’t listened to Rush in years. Is he really pushing Rubio?

Criminility.

portlandon on January 15, 2016 at 1:56 PM

I’m not understanding why ED thinks that Carson voters would tend to line up for Rubio. Seems unlikely and completely counter-intuitive.

kpguru on January 15, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Omnicrap and Paul Ryan and McConnell’s obamanitis disease and arrogance

Ryan doubled down on “immigration reform” aka amnesty, while obama is still king…but got destroyed in their retreat yesterday.

He fancies himself the server of the king.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:57 PM

Carson voters, what’s left of them, are most likely to go to Cruz. He’s evangelical and an outsider. I don’t see them going to Rubio (who is?) as he’s been tagged as an establishment and I don’t see them going from the quiet calm cerebral Carson to the bombast and secularism of Trump. I see this coming down to Trump and Cruz.

livefreeordie76 on January 15, 2016 at 1:59 PM

I was disappointed that not more time was spent on

Jobs, blue and white color, displaced by illegals, border and visa overstays

Debt and deficit

Entitlement reform

Omnicrap and Paul Ryan and McConnells obamanitis disease and arrogance

Auditing and re-eng. of the entire gov’t. They had the perfect opening when asked “how will you pay for the infrastructure…”

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

If the losers like Fishlips McChopChop, Krispy Kreme, and Yebbie would drop out of the race, they’d have more time to debate substance.

fossten on January 15, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Carson voters, what’s left of them, are most likely to go to Cruz. He’s evangelical and an outsider. I don’t see them going to Rubio (who is?) as he’s been tagged as an establishment and I don’t see them going from the quiet calm cerebral Carson to the bombast and secularism of Trump. I see this coming down to Trump and Cruz.

livefreeordie76 on January 15, 2016 at 1:59 PM

By the time Jeb, Carson, and Christie drop out, the SEC will be done and Trump will have locked up the nom.

fossten on January 15, 2016 at 2:01 PM

More of the fail of R leadership.

Harry Reid’s former chief of staff voted by Senate to be head of BLM by 71 to 39…..

it is like that now

APACHEWHOKNOWS on January 15, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Haven’t listened to Rush in years. Is he really pushing Rubio?

Criminility.

portlandon on January 15, 2016 at 1:56 PM

No, he isn’t. That guy is full of shit.

fossten on January 15, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Ted was given high marks for his spirited defense of his eligibility from Trump’s birther attack, particularly with his “your momma” riposte. However, he was flat out dead wrong. The Donald was born in NYC in 1946. His dad was born in NYC. His mom, though born in Scotland, became a naturalized citizen in 1942 — 4 years before The Donald was born. Born in the USA with two US citizen parents — under even the strictest proposed definition of “Natural Born Citizen” The Donald would qualify.

Ted knows his eligibility is an unanswered legal question and knows there is legitimate authority for interpretations that could disqualify him. He also knows that there is no legitimate (or even kooky conspiracy theory) authority for an interpretation that could disqualify Trump.

Trump is right here. Ted should clear this up. Ted would probably win, given the authority, the cultural climate, and the current make-up of the US Supreme Court. However, the key word is probably. He might not. Did the framers in saying “natural born citizen” intend to follow or break with the British common law tradition concerning subjects of the crown? Did they equate citizenship with subjects, or were they charting another course concerning the government and the governed? Were they readers of Vattel? An originalist interpretation could go either way, and are there enough originalist on the Court to make a difference? Like I said, Ted would probably win.

It would be the prudent thing for Ted to get it resolved before we nominate him. But I understand politically why Ted does not want to follow Trumps suggestion of seeking declaratory judgment. I also understand politically why Trump wants to put this cloud over Ted’s head leading into the Iowa caucus. So, I guess this legal question will just remain a political question. You are natural born so long as you can get enough votes…

tommylotto on January 15, 2016 at 2:02 PM

The one consensus loser of the night appears to be Ben Carson. If so, the question will be who ends up with his voters.

At this point in time, I still intend on voting for Ben Carson in my state’s primary.

ITguy on January 15, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Well primary debates are just televised cage fights for ratings. The majority of the questions are set up to provide fights no matter how inconsequential the subject. They know the average viewer will tune out any real debate that is on actual substantive issues, unless it provokes a match.

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Every post-debate Luntz focus group has been the same, anti-Trump. People come in supporting Trump but something happened in the debate to make them change their mind. And then it turns out the Luntz group in no way resembles reality and national polling that usually show Trump “gaining” after a debate. The Luntz focus groups are definitely rigged.

TarheelBen on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 PM

I was disappointed that not more time was spent on

Jobs, blue and white color, displaced by illegals, border and visa overstays

Debt and deficit

Entitlement reform

Omnicrap and Paul Ryan and McConnells obamanitis disease and arrogance

Auditing and re-eng. of the entire gov’t. They had the perfect opening when asked “how will you pay for the infrastructure…”

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Geez schad, I actually agree with you on this. I would also add that instead of the moderators trying to defend NY on the values question they should have asked what NY values Cruz was referring to.

The debates have devolved into gotcha questions about fighting between the candidates, who’s the toughest on immigration and Muslims.

There are other issues of concern in the country.

Tater Salad on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Dr. Carson appears to be way out of his element. He sounds like he gets his info from some of the same web sites I read. Rubio was really starting to tick me off with his ‘when I am president’ repeated over and over. He’s starting to sound like our current dear leader. What’s up with that big phony smile.

Kissmygrits on January 15, 2016 at 2:06 PM

fossten on January 15, 2016 at 1:52 PM

For me, it’s all about getting the economy growing. That is the linchpin that allows us a strong national defense and better policing. That is what gets people employed so we do need so much spending on welfare and food stamps. That is what will reduce our debt which gives us a future.

The problem with the way the right views immigration is not that it means too many people. It is a problem because we have too few jobs because we have a shitty economy. Get the economy growing like it should and we will be begging workers to come here and illegals will be a non-issue.

Tax policy is part of that and I think tRump will improve that. I wish he would go further but he’s moving in the right direction. I hope that he will cut the EPA as deeply as he says. He is on the right side of global warming which would be a catastrophic problem if Pantsuit were to win.

On the negative side of the ledger, his ideas on protectionism could be as disastrous as his ideas above are beneficial. I hope that he is engaging in “the art of the deal” with that crap because a trade war with our largest creditor would not be good. Nor would the inflation caused by loss of trading partners (which would accelerate disastrously if it forced interest rates up sharply).

The above is off the cuff. I could probably come up with more on both sides with more thought.

MJBrutus on January 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I guess now we have to get the Pace people who approved the “New York City?!? Get a rope!” commercial and run them out of town on a rail. Equating what Cruz said to an indictment of the character of the specific (and heroic) actions of people on 9/11 is a naked victim ploy. New York City and its surrounds are a corrupt, arrogant place that is out of touch with most of America. Their politics are almost uniformly toxic, and there is zero that Cruz can do to ever win it as the GOP nominee.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t great people and world-class museums and entertainment available there. Hubris is not a condition that often infects the lowly.

It is a poor character trait to play to victim card. It may sometimes be advantageous in politics, but it is never warranted and never an act that I will find anything but repulsive. If you can’t win the election (or primary) without people feeling sorry for you, then you have no business in the office. Foreign leaders of both allies and enemies will not care if they hurt your little feelers. They will grab you like a dog grabs a teddy-bear and they will rip you to shreds without a moment of remorse. Trump may think he can pull off the alpha-male with hurt feelings shtick, and maybe he can with the rubes, but I’m not buying it.

What is further mock-worthy is people here who have, in the past, mocked the PC culture and those trying to use it as shelter who are now summoning crocodile tears because the guy they support draped himself in the PC victimhoodie. Please do not quote Alinsky to me and insist that we must deploy the weapons of the enemy. In the United States, we win the game by our rules, not the rules of our enemies. Man up and stand up. Trump is not a victim and he doesn’t need to pretend to win.

Immolate on January 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I was disappointed that not more time was spent on

Jobs, blue and white color, displaced by illegals, border and visa overstays

Debt and deficit

Entitlement reform

Omnicrap and Paul Ryan and McConnells obamanitis disease and arrogance

Auditing and re-eng. of the entire gov’t. They had the perfect opening when asked “how will you pay for the infrastructure…”

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Yes.

The media will never bring up Ryan’s sellout budget fiasco, though.

The candidates should — loudly and often.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Haven’t listened to Rush in years. Is he really pushing Rubio?

Criminility.

portlandon on January 15, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Cruz fans think Rush is in the tank for Trump.

Trump fans think Rush is in the tank for Cruz.

I still listen to Rush all the time, and I can tell you he’s not “pushing” Rubio at this point in any way, shape or form.

Right Mover on January 15, 2016 at 2:19 PM

MJBrutus on January 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I agree that jobs, economy, the size of government, regulation, debt and deficit are as important, if not moreso, than immigration. Yet we spend so little time on them.

Tater Salad on January 15, 2016 at 2:20 PM

The debates have devolved into gotcha questions about fighting between the candidates, who’s the toughest on immigration and Muslims.

There are other issues of concern in the country.

Tater Salad on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Actually, they could not have devolved into anything, since the first one started at the bottom with the moderators clearly having an agenda.

It backfired miserably, and strengthened Trump whom they sought to escort off the stage figuratively and literally.

I take your point, though. The moderators of all the GOP debates are only interested in sowing discord in pursuit of ratings. The issues of the day sorely need debating, and they are lost in poo-flinging contests.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Well primary debates are just televised cage fights for ratings. The majority of the questions are set up to provide fights no matter how inconsequential the subject. They know the average viewer will tune out any real debate that is on actual substantive issues, unless it provokes a match.

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Now I’ll have to take you out for food and drink, with tater :)

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM

MJBrutus on January 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I agree that fixing the economy fixes much. Fixing debt along with the economy fixes more. Most don’t understand that this is not likely without fixing entitlements, which if not changed guarantee economic failure.

This is the sacred cow, though. Everyone conveniently ignores the 800 lb. gorilla in the room — to mix metaphors midstream — when election time comes ’round.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2016 at 2:31 PM

It backfired miserably, and strengthened Trump whom they sought to escort off the stage figuratively and literally.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2016 at 2:23 PM

And, it might force Kelly, advised by Ailes, who’s all dough and business, to behave, and not Haley herself.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:33 PM

On Jan. 28, the last debate ahead of Iowa, and the hottest debate.

These Jan. debates were not even on the radar. The RNC added them on, in order to ‘kill’ Trump. They’ll regret it, like so much else.

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:34 PM

Now I’ll have to take you out for food and drink, with tater :)

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM

You got it! ;)

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 2:35 PM

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM

Schad… where is Bmore? Haven’t seen him in a long time. Is he ok?

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 2:37 PM

I’m waiting for Trump to say “enough already” with all these debates.
By the end of these too many debates, the final nominee always is weakened…sure happened to Romney, even tho he was a weak candidate to start with.

Take a lesson from the liberal enemies. They don’t have so many debates.

Belle on January 15, 2016 at 2:39 PM

Take a lesson from the liberal enemies. They don’t have so many debates.

Belle on January 15, 2016 at 2:39 PM

I agree, especially when the debates are content-free.

To be fair, though, the libs don’t have that much to debate, except how to best fool the masses.

hillbillyjim on January 15, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Schad… where is Bmore? Haven’t seen him in a long time. Is he ok?

Neitherleftorright on January 15, 2016 at 2:37 PM

He and Bishop must be out fishing :(

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Mainstream Republicans fret as Trump and Cruz strengthen in presidential race


Best part

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 2:57 PM

Interesting comments – and interesting as the day wears on. According to Rush – no Trump basher – the NY/East Coast press is beginning to diss his Cruz New York value’s response, by the fact he recalled 9/11 in it. Which was a nice deflection by Trump, though not what Cruz was referencing. That 9/11 reference bt Trump actually rubbed some conservatives the wrong way – “he sounded like a democrat.” But – I don’t think any of it matters.

Cruz’s NY values mistake wasn’t a mistake. NY is impossible to win for any GOP candidate. Trump won’t win it either. But Cruz will pick up some midwestern voters. Again, though I doubt enough to make much of a difference.

WE do probably have four candidates at this point. Everyone still likes their guy. Trump hanging around at the top for as long as he has helps people who aren’t convinced he can win, that he is a flash in the pan. Cruz stopped the birther nonsense coming from Trump so he sucked out the oxygen for that. Rubio took the gamble and dropped a late bomb on Cruz that he didn’t expect was coming. Some of it had merit, but some of it didn’t and with another debate before the caucuses, and if Trump and Cruz are at Detente on eligibility, Cruz can go after Rubio hard where he has no defense. That will be fascinating to watch.

Rubio has to be begging Jeb to drop out. The establishment needs to coalesce around one candidate and now they still have three out there, while the anti – GOP voters all belong to Trump and Cruz.

A very different set up than in 2012.

Zomcon JEM on January 15, 2016 at 2:59 PM

Trump hanging around at the top for as long as he has helps people who aren’t convinced he can win, that he is a flash in the pan.

Should have been more clear – that he can win and that they could see themselves voting for him.

Zomcon JEM on January 15, 2016 at 3:01 PM

I was disappointed that not more time was spent on

Jobs, blue and white color, displaced by illegals, border and visa overstays

Debt and deficit

Entitlement reform

Omnicrap and Paul Ryan and McConnells obamanitis disease and arrogance

Auditing and re-eng. of the entire gov’t. They had the perfect opening when asked “how will you pay for the infrastructure…”

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Geez schad, I actually agree with you on this. I would also add that instead of the moderators trying to defend NY on the values question they should have asked what NY values Cruz was referring to.

The debates have devolved into gotcha questions about fighting between the candidates, who’s the toughest on immigration and Muslims.

There are other issues of concern in the country.

Tater Salad on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Exactly, I felt like I was watching a circus show last night. Anyone else?

fallingsky on January 15, 2016 at 3:16 PM

Fallingsky – debates are the second most worthless piece of political theater – following close behind the SOTU.

It’s all garbage.

Zomcon JEM on January 15, 2016 at 3:37 PM

If the packed focus group said “Cruz,” then Trump probably “won,” FWIW.

ebrown2 on January 15, 2016 at 12:03 PM

Little surprise that the first comment comes from a howler claiming that the focus group is stupid.

Happy Nomad on January 15, 2016 at 1:21 PM

The consensus among non-psychotic/TDS (i.e. still rational) Trump opponents says otherwise. Wipe the spittle off your chin, Spud Dumpling.

The Trumpenstein Monster did just well enough to avoid trouble, according to them, hence the “win.”

ebrown2 on January 15, 2016 at 3:54 PM

Exactly, I felt like I was watching a circus show last night. Anyone else?

fallingsky on January 15, 2016 at 3:16 PM

That’s what “political debates” are, these days.

I didn’t care to watch, because Trumpen-ho-tep’s bloated ego rivals Obama’s for being a personal auditory ipecac as far as I’m concerned, in addition to the fact that I’d want to heave bricks at the monitor every time Cruz shows his vomitous mug.

ebrown2 on January 15, 2016 at 3:59 PM

Ben Carson did so well last night. But it was too late I think. He should have been like that a few months ago.

Last night, Trump was the sane one.

Rubio is always great, but it’s hard to know how much is acting.

And I like Cruz less and less. He has good moments, but he is always so preachy. Then it turns out he is a hypocrite on his birth status too. Pretending that being born in the country is exactly the same as being born in Canada is stupid.

petunia on January 15, 2016 at 4:02 PM

Too much time spent on this terror nonsense. No one is taking over this country, stop with the hysterics.
What’s the damned plan to replace Obamacare? HUH?
What’s the plan to eliminate the department of education? Huh?

rickyricardo on January 15, 2016 at 4:04 PM

Exactly, I felt like I was watching a circus show last night. Anyone else?

fallingsky on January 15, 2016 at 3:16 PM

Nope. I felt I was watching an important winnowing of the pack.

It made a difference in how I feel about Trump. His standing up for New York made me see him differently. He would do that for our country if other countries attacked our honor too.

All his hype about loving America seemed calculated, but somehow last night, I think it is more real feeling than any of the others have.

And I hate Donald Trump. Or I did.

petunia on January 15, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Zomcon JEM on January 15, 2016 at 2:59 PM

That is why this conservative can barely stand Rush anymore.

Trump had to stand up for New York. And it was very base and degrading that anyone calling themselves a Conservative would lump the whole city together and bash it. That made me mad, and I don’t even care about New York at all. You don’t say you want to be PResident and then bash the biggest city. That is what Obama does. It is Cruz that sounded like Democrat. A big fat Demo Rat.

petunia on January 15, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Frank Duntz and his band of losers.

alanstern on January 15, 2016 at 4:13 PM

Immolate on January 15, 2016 at 2:09 PM

I get it now, Cruz was selling hot sauce! Of course he’s from Texas and Hispanic… of course he was selling Salsa! That back fired big time. Maybe it was his “I’m better than you” voice that made me miss it.

Cruz was doing what Obama did when he dissed a whole class of people.

It was wrong when Obama did it and it is wrong when Cruz does it.

So many are willing to give Cruz a pass on everything. He is horrible.

petunia on January 15, 2016 at 4:14 PM

Trump had to stand up for New York. And it was very base and degrading that anyone calling themselves a Conservative would lump the whole city together and bash it. That made me mad, and I don’t even care about New York at all. You don’t say you want to be PResident and then bash the biggest city. That is what Obama does. It is Cruz that sounded like Democrat. A big fat Demo Rat.

petunia on January 15, 2016 at 4:10 PM

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you want to sell something or convince people of something you don’t insult their home towns, no matter how awful those hometowns are.

No matter how crappy their politics and leadership, there are a lot of people who consider NY their home, and an egregious tweak serves no purpose.

Ted could have gotten his point across to the Iowa voters he was pandering to by calling it “Northeastern blue-state values” without pointing a holier-than-thou finger at the Big Wahoonie.

I did’t think it was a major faux pas when he said it, until he said to the lady mod “You’re from NY, so you wouldn’t understand”

I felt like slapping him. And this in spite of the fact I like Ted and voted for Ted and I’ve lived in NY, which I consider will reduce my time in purgatory when I die.

It may help him in Iowa, but I doubt if Florida will feel the same.

Dolce Far Niente on January 15, 2016 at 4:29 PM

Ted’s smart as a whip but he’s just not very likeable. As history has shown, likeability is a significant factor in selection of Presidents, and Ted unfortunately falls short. He’s still underwater on favorability ratings (conglomerated RCP polls attached for skeptics) and he looks a bit like Count Chocula which isn’t a plus. Granted, Rush and Sean and Levin and Ingraham love Ted but that foursome clearly doesn’t represent mainstream or majority America. All that said, I suppose Ted’s fans have a point when they note that if he gets the nomination, he’ll be running against someone equally unlikeable, Hillary Clinton.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/cruz_favorableunfavorable-3887.html#po

Dan333 on January 15, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Every post-debate Luntz focus group has been the same, anti-Trump. People come in supporting Trump but something happened in the debate to make them change their mind. And then it turns out the Luntz group in no way resembles reality and national polling that usually show Trump “gaining” after a debate. The Luntz focus groups are definitely rigged.

TarheelBen on January 15, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Another paranoid Trump-bot. Rigged…yeah riiiiiiiiight….

Bob Davis on January 15, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Dan333 on January 15, 2016 at 4:42 PM
Richard Nixon

flackcatcher on January 15, 2016 at 5:29 PM

I’ve read all 3 pages of comments and no one thinks Kacisch won. He’s the son of a mailman, you know.

Yankee Doodle on January 15, 2016 at 5:56 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuwYYfWYFHI

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 6:01 PM

And I hate Donald Trump. Or I did.

petunia on January 15, 2016 at 4:06 PM

:)

Schadenfreude on January 15, 2016 at 6:04 PM

…and he looks a bit like Count Chocula which isn’t a plus

Krauthammer looks like Count Chocula; Cruz a little like Grandpa Munster to go along with his WSJ op-ed partner Paul Ryan aka Eddie Munster.

Redstone on January 15, 2016 at 6:31 PM

Krauthammer looks like Count Chocula; Cruz a little like Grandpa Munster to go along with his WSJ op-ed partner Paul Ryan aka Eddie Munster.

Redstone on January 15, 2016 at 6:31 PM

I agree. And Trump looks like a Pez dispenser.

Mimzey on January 15, 2016 at 7:10 PM

I agree. And Trump looks like a Pez dispenser.

Mimzey on January 15, 2016 at 7:10 PM

Don’t really see that, Cruz also has a kind of rodent sort of look, like a weasel, or a ferret, or an aardvark or something.

Presentation probably isn’t his strong suit.

Redstone on January 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

Saying that Marco Rubio is still in it isn’t reality. It’s the security blanket of the Establishment and Republican pundits.

K. Hobbit on January 15, 2016 at 7:38 PM

Another paranoid Trump-bot. Rigged…yeah riiiiiiiiight….

Bob Davis on January 15, 2016 at 4:56 PM

I’m not even a Trump supporter. Just pointing out the fact – that every Luntz post-debate has been exactly the same. Full of people who said they were Trump supporters to begin with, but now they’ve changed. When these groups don’t at all line up with reality, and when you consider the overall Fox News position on Trump, I can conclude nothing else.

The Luntz group is an attempt to “influence” voters rather than inform how they really feel.

TarheelBen on January 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Don’t really see that, Cruz also has a kind of rodent sort of look, like a weasel, or a ferret, or an aardvark or something.

Presentation probably isn’t his strong suit.

Redstone on January 15, 2016 at 7:23 PM

Its there. You may have to screw up your eyes a bit, but his stiff vertical stance and that little swept back (“finger hold/lid flip) of his hair at the back of his head, make a perfect Pez dispenser.

Mimzey on January 15, 2016 at 8:18 PM

I’ve read all 3 pages of comments and no one thinks Kacisch won. He’s the son of a mailman, you know.

Yankee Doodle on January 15, 2016 at 5:56 PM

it annoys me when the karate chopper says we will get to that in a minute. first my vast experience.

whats he still doing there?

MrMoe on January 16, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Krauthammer looks like Count Chocula; Cruz a little like Grandpa Munster to go along with his WSJ op-ed partner Paul Ryan aka Eddie Munster.

Redstone on January 15, 2016 at 6:31 PM

nailed it

Younggod on January 17, 2016 at 10:19 AM

The Luntz group is an attempt to “influence” voters rather than inform how they really feel.

TarheelBen on January 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM

The boy really really needs to pull away from the buffet table and hit the gym.

He’s going to pass from the gout and consumption before he’s 50.

Younggod on January 17, 2016 at 10:23 AM

I don’t know why Kasich is still on the stage, he is at 2.3% in the polls. He is only .11% above Huckabee and is losing to Trump by 30 points. He is down in bottom with Rand Paul and Fiorina. And Christie is only at 3.5%, he is actually losing to Jeb Bush right now. The only candidates with any kind of chance at all are Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and Carson. But really, Trump is leading by double digits, Cruz is behind by 15 points, Rubio is down by 23 points and Carson down 25 points. It’s not really much of a race anymore.

Dollayo on January 17, 2016 at 3:25 PM

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