Luntz Group: Even Clinton Voters Thought Trump Did Better Than Expected

Posted: Mar 01, 2017 1:00 PM

GOP pollster Frank Luntz had one of his signature focus groups, this time consisting of 21 people, to watch President Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress, where 19 felt the president did better than expected, nine of those people were Clinton voters.

While health care and immigration drove a wedge between Democrats and Republicans, there were areas where the two sides could meet. Trump’s condemnation of the vandalism and threats that have been directed towards Jewish centers, keeping those with pre-existing conditions covered through health insurance, and empowering female business owners all did well with the group. Granted, on the two latter categories, Democrats registered a higher score than Republicans.

On jobs, “buy American” was the phrase that untied the group, while “repeal and replace” separated the two camps. Luntz noted that while corporate America may not like some aspects of Trump’s economic agenda, both Democrats and Republicans don’t want them to leave the country. Trump’s call to bring back jobs scored high with members from both parties.

Even in the debates, Luntz found that Trump registered high with Democrats and Republicans on trade and jobs. Even Hillary-leaners were trusting Trump’s economic talk more than Clinton’s, as the campaign was approaching its final weeks.

It once again shows that jobs and the economy were some of the key issues that pushed Trump over the top in 2016—and his support on the front is bipartisan. If he keeps his eye on the ball and delivers on his economic promises, not all, but the big ticket items. Democrats may have a harder time than they think in booting him three years from now.

And it wasn't just the Luntz group that thought Trump did well, 57 percent of speech watchers in a CNN poll had a positive reaction to the address; 69 percent felt Trump's policies would move us in the right direction; and 69 percent said the speech made them feel more optimistic. That's pretty solid.