Undecided voters left disappointed, frustrated by first presidential debate: Pollster Frank Luntz
The first presidential debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden was a “disastrous meeting for American democracy” that resulted in no clear winner, pollster Frank Luntz told “Special Report” Wednesday.
“It was not a successful evening for the candidates,” said Luntz, who assembled a focus group of 15 undecided voters from battleground states via Zoom to watch the proceedings from Cleveland.
“There was a lot of disappointment, a lot of frustration,” said the veteran pollster.
Luke, an undecided voter from Wisconsin, told Luntz that he found Trump to be “annoying … like nails on a chalkboard.
“But,” he added, “him acting that way doesn’t necessarily impact my bottom line. What I care about is the economy and I care about law and order.”
Kimberly, from Ohio, said neither candidate properly explained “how they’re actually going to help the American public.
“They are still talking to corporations, but they’re not talking about putting dollars in the pockets of the American people, so I’m still undecided,” she explained.
“By the time they were done, four people had shifted towards Biden, three people had shifted towards Trump,” Luntz said. “Anybody else was still undecided.”
The voters wanted to hear about the economy, and about the candidates’ respective plans to restore law and order, the pollster explained.
“The participants, almost to a number, felt the two candidates were too bitter, too vicious towards each other and they didn’t get what they were coming for.”
Looking ahead to the next debate, set for Oct. 15 in Miami, Luntz said Trump must “change the dynamics” and put pressure on Biden from a policy perspective not a personal one.
Biden should “do the same thing that he’s done until now,” Luntz said, encouraging the former vice president to “look straight into the camera and say ‘Really, is this as good as it gets? Is this the next four years?'”