Is it just me or does it seem that as the more crucial that elections become, the fewer places we have to turn in our attempt to gain for ourselves some level of useful information so that we can then make an educated decision when it comes to casting our vote? Let’s face it, there is simply not enough time in a day to personally conduct the type of research that is both necessary and that would effectively cut out the middleman, aka anyone in the state-controlled media, in our effort to cast and intelligent vote. And it only seems to be getting worse.
Because sadly, it’s these days that it seems there are fewer and fewer of those who can actually be trusted. Everyone now seems to have their own agenda. And now another of those who has seen his credibility shrivel over the years is Fox News focus group guru, Frank Luntz. Now I will admit that when Frank first appeared on the scene I was quite impressed with his schtick. But all that I’ve seen taking place since that time is a rather impressive increase in the size of the man’s ego. An affliction that now seems to have infected many over at Fox News.
Why I even bring this up is the fact that it has now been 12 days since the first Republican presidential debate was broadcast on the Fox News Channel. It was immediately following that event on the network’s ‘The Kelly File’, that pollster Frank Luntz conducted a focus group on location there in Cleveland, the site of the debate. According to the participants of this particular focus group, real estate mogul Donald Trump, the frontrunner of the race, fared pretty poorly, but they gave a mixed response as to who was the strongest in the debate.
Many of the respondents taking part in Frank little group gave favorable reactions to Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson as well as to Marco Rubio. Luntz even went so far as to highlight Huckabee as having received the most favorable reaction of the debate based on his real-time dial response from the focus group during the live event. “Bad news for Donald Trump. Great news for Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee,” Luntz said in assessing the reactions of his focus group panel to the August 6 debate.
However, it would appear that those respondents of Frank’s turned out not to be a very accurate indicator of how the public seems to be reacting to the Republican field nearly two weeks after the debate. Because, you see, according to an average of a bucket of post-debate polls calculated by Real Clear Politics, Trump, at 22 percent, still holds a commanding double-digit lead in the very crowded field over Jeb Bush, at 10.7 percent. So I’d be curious to know how it is that old Frank might explain that? How is it that his group could have been so out of touch?
Because of those that performed well in Luntz’s focus group, only Carson remains in the top tier coming in at 9.7 percent. Meanwhile, Rubio and Cruz are in the middle of the pack, at 7.3 percent each respectively, and Huckabee, seemingly a favorite of Frank’s, has seen a 2.5 percent drop in polling since the debate. So I’m kind of wondering what criteria it was that Frank might have used in putting his little focus group together. And was he, perhaps, trying to skew the out toward a certain candidate or certain candidates? Just sayin’.
For whatever reason Luntz has been particularly critical of Trump from the very beginning of his presidential campaign. According to a report from Hadas Gold and Ken Vogel in Tuesday’s Politico, Luntz has been outspoken about Trump’s candidacy, deeming it, and the insurgent candidacy of Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders, a self-professed Socialist, to be a “big ‘f—- you’ to the elites in America,” but prefacing it as not being helpful to finding solutions to the country’s difficulties. Seem to me that Frank is as out of touch as was his little focus group.
On a broader note, I’m not quite sure, exactly, what it is that is currently underway over there at Fox News. But one thing I do know for certain, and it is that these days I’m watching a lot less of the network than I used to, primarily because with each night it becomes all the more obvious that their success has gone straight to their head. And the success that they have now seems to have bred a certain level of arrogance that, I think, tends to turn people off. And it is an emotion that old Frank himself seems to have fallen victim to.