GOP pollster: Focus group found Trump 'controlled, reserved,' Biden 'vague, elusive'

Participants also said Trump was "poised," Biden was "grandfatherly."

Published: October 23, 2020 9:21am

Updated: October 23, 2020 5:48pm

Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster and frequent guest on Fox News, conducts focus groups with voters during every presidential debate.

His findings after Thursday's final face-off between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden were fascinating.

On Twitter, Luntz wrote:

My focus group's words to describe Trump tonight:

  • "Controlled"
  • "Reserved"
  • "Poised"
  • "Con artist"
  • "Surprisingly presidential"

Words to describe Biden tonight:

  • "Vague"
  • "Unspecific”
  • "Elusive"
  • "Defensive"
  • "Grandfatherly"

In another Twitter post, Luntz wrote: "People running for office have to tell you what they plan to do and how they're going to do it. I thought Joe Biden would tell us tonight, but there was nothing there."

Another person wrote on Twitter: "Frank Luntz' post-debate focus group of nominally undecideds. Q: Who best on the economy - raise hands for Trump. Every single one. Interesting expressions on some of the faces though."

Earlier in the week, Luntz said the Trump campaign was the "worst ever" in history and that his advisers have "their heads up their asses" if they think the Hunter Biden scandal will move the needle.

The pollster also said his profession — which badly blew the call in 2016 — better get this one right.

"I hate to acknowledge it, because that's my industry — at least partially — but the public will have no faith," he said. "No confidence. Right now, the biggest issue is the trust deficit. And pollsters did not do a good job in 2016. So if Donald Trump surprises people, if Joe Biden had a 5- or 6-point lead, my profession is done."

After the first debate, Luntz said both candidates lost.

"I have never had a session blow up where the participants were disappointed on both sides, where everyone was embarrassed and everyone was upset about what had happened," Luntz said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"They felt like they didn't get the policy they were looking for," Luntz said of the participants in that debate focus group. "They felt like the candidates behaved as though they didn't deserve to be president," Luntz continued, later adding, "It actually makes them less likely to vote for any candidate."

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