Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Frank Luntz Is Now Polling With The Stars, Still Boosting Romney

Reported by Ellen - February 5, 2008 -

What’s up with Frank Luntz’ polling with “the stars?” Last week, John Cleese was the special guest for two nights of focus groups. Now, it’s former West Wing actor Richard Schiff. Who’s next? Orson Bean? George Hamilton? Meanwhile, there was plenty of time for the anti-McCain message we’re becoming accustomed to from Luntz and FOX News: Romney is superior and Republican voters will vote Democratic if McCain is the nominee. With video.

In the first of two focus groups with Luntz on last night’s (2/4/08) Hannity & Colmes, Republican swing voters were front and center. “Everyone behind me has changed their minds at some point in the last six weeks,” Luntz began. But rather than focus on which candidates had been discarded, which chosen, Luntz immediately segued to, “I want you to see the one ad that they picked out as the one that they liked the best, the one that they’d like to see the Republican nominee.” Somehow, I just knew it was going to be a Romney ad long before Luntz added, “and it’s not an ad by the frontrunner.” I did not predict (but should have) that the ad would have been an attack on Hillary Clinton.

Luntz then played the ad and followed up by asking, “What was it about that ad that was so impressive to you?”

Luntz did spend some time asking why McCain supporters had switched to McCain (no questions about who got dumped as a result). Then he asked Schiff, “Is this any way to pick a president?”

Schiff seems like a nice, intelligent, and well-spoken guy but just because he played a politico on a now-cancelled television series doesn’t mean I’m interested in his views on the voters’ thought process, especially since we only got a skimpy picture to begin with and one that seemed selectively highlighted.

Schiff compared it to an acting audition. “You never know how an actor’s actually going to do until they get into the character, they get into the body of the character. Similar here. We’re not gonna know. And this is just, it’s an audition. It’s a chance to get sampling. But it doesn’t really tell us anything.”

But Schiff did ask an interesting question, whether or not an anti-Obama ad would have gotten the same positive reaction as Romney’s anti-Hillary ad. No, the respondents said, it would not have because Obama is much more likeable.

“How many people in this room would consider voting for Obama if he were the Democratic nominee?” Luntz asked. Five people raised their hands.

“If McCain ran, I would,” one woman said.

“This is important,” Luntz said. “The idea – these are solid Republicans – would actually consider voting for a Democrat.”

Later, a similar question was asked of Democratic voters. Not one of them said they’d vote for either McCain or a Republican.

"The Democrats are much more unified, they're much more aligned than the Republicans. This is a key indication of the challenges that the Republicans face come the fall," Luntz admitted.