A top GOP pollster on a real ‘threat to the business community’

Bernie Sanders

This guy.

MACON — If you’ve been thinking the 2016 presidential primaries have been unusually unpredictable so far, you’re not alone. Frank Luntz feels the same way.

Luntz, the pollster and focus-group wizard who frequently appears on Fox News Channel, said the current cycle is the first time he’s felt so unsure about who would end up being the major-party nominees. Speaking Tuesday at the Georgia Chamber’s congressional luncheon in Macon, Luntz asked the roughly 500 audience members to applaud for the candidate they supported as he read off a list. Most of the candidates received a modest amount of applause — except for Rand Paul, for whom a single person appeared to clap, and Rick Perry, who got crickets — but no more.

“There was applause for all those different candidates, but no ovations for any of them,” Luntz observed.

He also made the case that there is real drama on the Democratic side. “I don’t know that Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee,” Luntz said. He referred to Hillary’s new polling low: “We’ve never elected a person with a 38 percent approval rating six months before the first vote” is cast.

If you’ve watched Luntz on TV before, you’re probably familiar with his system of measuring audience reaction second-by-second as candidates debate or deliver speeches. He showed the Georgia Chamber crowd a series of clips of different candidates, including a speech by Bernie Sanders and the part of this month’s GOP debate in which Fox’s Megyn Kelly grilled Donald Trump about demeaning things he has said about women. They were overlaid by graphics showing how viewers (not the Chamber audience, but some previous focus group he didn’t identify) reacted to what Sanders and Trump said.

What was striking was the way Republican and Democratic viewers alike reacted positively to both men — who, Luntz said, are “tapping into the same anger.”

Donald Trump

Also, this guy.

At one point, Sanders’ mid-speech ratings were, as Luntz noted, “off the charts.” His candidacy might be even more powerful, Luntz suggested, if the 73-year-old Sanders were a little younger: “His language is so powerful to a middle class that is struggling to remain middle class, and a working class that believes it will never make it to the middle class.”

Trump’s viewers weren’t quite as enthusiastic, but there was strong bipartisan support for Trump’s riff about political correctness in response to Kelly’s question. “He changed the entire focus” away from his past statements, Luntz observed. “And people across the country sat there and said, darn it, he’s right.”

All of this, he argued, poses a problem for the business community, whom he challenged to shake up the way it thinks and talks to put more focus on workers rather than business owners. To the politicians in the audience, he said this: “It cannot be your way or the highway. There has to be common ground.”

Reader Comments 0

33 comments
332-206
332-206

Trump attacks immigrants.

Sanders attacks an inequitable economic system.

Thank goodness we have someone bright enough to link them.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@332-206

Funny how inequality has gotten worse with the business-bashing, over-regulating, over-taxing, over-mandating, health-care-deforming Obama in office.

We were literally better off on Bush's watch.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@332-206 You might want to check out some of what Bernie's said about immigration. Take away the talk about rapists and murderers -- which, in all likelihood, Trump said just to get people to pay attention -- and they're both playing to people who think immigration harms them economically.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Sanders' philosophy is Obamanomics on steroids, and would result in more good jobs being moved offshore to more sane, more business-friendly locales.

M H Smith
M H Smith

That old populism is ever so popular with the majority again Kyle. Spin it anyway you want. You can call it anger if you like. I see it as a fervent determination on the part of the American to no longer allow global or corporate interest to totally screw "we the common people" all over the place anymore. This isn't like the movie network, where the guy sticks his head out the window and screams: I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. The under currents I sense are real and growing bigger each passing day across the political divide. Business has had it very good for too long, now the balance of things must regain their center.         

ByteMe
ByteMe

Kyle, for a moment there, I thought this was a Bookman column.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Kelly should say she was wrong.  It was not a place for her to score got you points, this should be about those running.


Trump is the real GOP.

332-206
332-206

"Trump is the real GOP."

None so blind as those who will not see...

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

But what does Nate Silver say? ;) 


Great analysis by Luntz, though, who is trying to keep his head while everyone about him is losing theirs (and blaming it on the polls.) 


(h/t Kipling)

straker
straker

"poses a problem for the Business community"


I'd guess that neither Trump or Sanders can be bought.


Now that is a REAL problem for Big Business.


Only in America.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@straker Well, and in a bunch of banana republics... but business there would have those "unbuyable" candidates killed before they got too close to the ring of power.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

shake up the way it thinks and talks to put more focus on workers rather than business owners.

Swell. A good start would be to stop punishing the former with virtually every proposed "tax reform" and "entitlement reform" to ever come down the pike, and to stop trying to rile them up with the imbecilic "makers vs. takers" nonsense. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Visual_Cortex I'd be fine if dividends were taxed at the same rate as labor income.  Oh, and a per-share tariff on high-speed trading of $0.01 per share traded.  That should level the playing field quite nicely.

JackClemens
JackClemens

But, darn it, he's not right ... in the head. He's not correct either, politically or otherwise.

DeborahinAthens
DeborahinAthens

I feel the need to point out how bad the Fox polls are. If you recall, during the final hours of the 2012 election, Fox had Karl Rove still calling for Mitt Romney, when all the other stations said President Obama was the clear leader. Also, as a person whit a degree in Psychology, going by what you tell us, Kyle, the "pollster" is clearly leading the participants...what's up with that?

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@DeborahinAthens

Rove wasn't "calling for Mitt Romney", he was grasping for a non-existent path for Romney to still win.  And it had nothing to do with polls--Fox's or anyone else's.

EuroYankee
EuroYankee

Trump and Sanders are definitely NOT "“tapping into the same anger.” Trump is appealing to the basest, meanest and most negative aspects of human emotion, while Sanders is appealing to our higher angels, our sense of equality, unanimity, inclusion, empathy, and humanity.


332-206
332-206

That's way too simple for this blog.

Dusty2
Dusty2

Well, here we go again sailing down the river of politics not knowing whether we are headed for  deep water or  shallow sand.  Even the expert pollster is afraid to make a choice. Maybe it is good and we will have a more exact view of each one.  Doesn't matter to me since I made my choice some time ago.  I think Americans will settle down and go for the suitable one,  obviously the sensible,  ethical and experienced one,  the one that Dems really hate. (They love Trump!)


Let the other candidates  enjoy their moment  of fame but then let them move into a support system.     Our country cannot keep sliding into mediocrity with another Democratic president like the one we have now.         

332-206
332-206

So many thought Romney was"...sensible, ethical, and experienced...".

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

"...Trump’s riff about political correctness..."

Political correctness is such a powerful, and dangerous, presence in our society. It suppresses open and honest dialogue by wrapping a protective bubble around issues that need to be addressed but are not for fear of seeming to be uncaring, insensitive, or judgmental. 

Hopefully the other candidates took note of the way in which so many people responded to Trump's comment about PC.

Claver
Claver

@stogiefogey I agree that political correctness is often used to stifle important debate.  On the other hand, I also see people who are intentionally rude and mean try to deflect criticism by claiming they are victims of political correctness. I don't think either should be condoned.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Sanders isn't a threat because as a socialist he's repulsive to all Real Americans and also to a large number of Democrats.

Trump isn't a threat to the business community, he loves business and hates government interference in business (which is different from using government to help his businesses along).

No, the real threat to business is when Democrats dump Hillary and embrace Biden and his America-, capitalism-, and free-market-hating veep candidate, Elizabeth Warren.

Warren's greatest fear and source of rage is the thought that someone, somewhere might be earning a profit.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

@LilBarryBailout Big businesses don't necessarily favor free markets, they favor markets they control or strongly influence, and they seek to secure profit streams. Government has become an enabler and partner; big government, big business, favorable legislation (even to the point of creating new markets), big deals, big profits (often now underwritten by the US taxpayer). Biden and Warren would be great friends of big business, just wait and watch. Small business - not so much, likely.

lvg
lvg

Here's how the GOP front runner attacks political correctness to get the male vote:


"""As Fox News host Megyn Kelly returned from vacation, the Republican presidential candidate used Twitter late Monday night to slam her return during the airing of her show, saying that host "must have had a terrible vacation, she is really off her game."

Then he tweeted another one, suggesting Kelly goes back on vacation: "I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!"

He even retweeted a tweet calling her a "bimbo" and another that says "she came back looking like Nancy Grace."""



From CNN today

He is learning how to get that angry male vote  from Rush.

JackClemens
JackClemens

@lvg Sounds like he's taking credit for her "unscheduled vacation," like she had to go hide from him. What a jerk.

bu2
bu2

@lvg 

He's making a mistake if he's going after Nancy Grace!

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

The struggling middle-class, and hopeless working class are not well served by political correctness.

The way I see it, they're all three tied together. Political correctness has got to go.

Though Trump has brought its crippling effect to the fore, he's not presidential material. He's like a dog chasing a car...when he catches it, he won't know what to do with it.

As far as the impact on business and politicians? The American voter has had enough. You cannot survive without US! 

dreema
dreema

@FIGMO2 You're kidding, right? It's not political correctness that is causing the economic erosion for middle and working class people. It's the increasing wealth gap in this country--with the shift of money in the last 35 years away from middle and below to the topmost wealth holders. Trump appeals to the alienated people who dig misogyny and race-baiting. Sanders appeals to people who work full time or more for a living, but still see their chances of getting ahead crumble. Sanders rightly points a finger at those wealth holders and corporatists--and Luntz (!) agrees with him.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@dreema

When Sanders points his finger, there are three pointing back at an inept government laden with fraud and abuse. The road to hell is paved with "good" intentions launched by government policy.


Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

Someone in the audience asked him about that. He said he hated the attack on his professionalism. The part about being a slob? "That part was accurate," he joked.