Frank Luntz went into more detail over Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s debate performance last night with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, noting that most in his focus group—which was entirely comprised of undecided voters—indicated that Trump had the most impact on their vote. Moreover, they found that Clinton’s email fiasco and her ineffective response to that issue was worse that Donald Trump’s 2005 remarks about groping women, which set off a firestorm over the weekend.
Yet, after last night’s debate, which showed that Trump prepared and came to play, the Republican nominee may have stopped his campaign’s meltdown. Yet, let’s not kid ourselves that no damage was done by the 2005 groping remarks. Clinton has surged ahead of Trump by a comfortable margin, but let’s see what other polling firms come up with later this week. The fact is that Trump could’ve walked into a disaster, but had a strong performance last night. Clinton could have delivered the deathblow to a campaign that was reeling from the leaked tapes, and the defections of support from prominent party members. She didn’t because she couldn’t; she’s an awful campaigner.
In the end of the segment, Luntz said, “Megyn, this is the first time of the three debates that there’s been any genuine movement.”
“I thought that it was all over for Donald Trump. And when these people walked in here—I was pretty sure of it. Based on their response, and I hope to bring some more of it to you later on in the show, I have to change my mind. I actually think that tonight was so significant that he is back in this race.”
Yes, he’s back. He’s stopped the bleeding, but he has more work to do thanks to his undisciplined personality that has yielded many unforced errors, which is maddening because as flawed as Trump is—he can beat Hillary. But I fear more unsavory recordings will be released in the coming days or weeks. Let’s see what happens. For now, take a bow, sir. You had a good night.
The group cares more about Hillary's emails than Trump's "locker room talk." #debate— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 10, 2016
Friendly Reminder: The CNN focus group seems to be a nice piece of theater, with the network coaching members on what to say, like reminding them to reiterate what Clinton said about America already being great.