Luntz has criticized the Trump campaign for focusing on Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his alleged financial dealings in Ukraine and China. The veteran Republican consultant thinks most people just don’t care.
Luntz convened a panel of 14 undecided voters for the Los Angeles Times to review the final presidential debate on Thursday. From their reactions, Luntz concluded that Trump could make up ground with some undecided voters but not enough to win.
A majority of the participants in Luntz’ focus group said they wanted to hear more about the allegations against Hunter Biden. Just two said they didn’t care.
“If it were Trump, they would be all over it, the media would be all over it. That is what is concerning as well,” one of the undecided voters said.
The focus group also used more positive words for Trump’s debate performance than Biden’s, calling the president “controlled” but Biden “vague.”
Though Luntz determined that Trump had won the debate, he still didn’t think it was enough to turn the president’s campaign around. Speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday, Luntz reiterated his belief that Biden is too far ahead.
“You got to give Trump a minor victory because he’ll bring some [undecided] voters home, and it’ll close the race a little bit. But in the end, I think Joe Biden won the war,” he said.
Luntz said it’s “virtually impossible” for Trump to win even if the polls are as wrong as they were in 2016. He noted that Biden’s lead is large enough to overcome any margin of error in polling. The Democrat enjoys a poll lead of 9.7 percent, according to poll tracker FiveThirtyEight.
Hours before the final debate on Thursday, Luntz told Mediaite that focusing on Hunter Biden was a losing strategy for the Trump campaign.
“No one cares,” Luntz said. “I promise you that if that is the focus of their response over the next 48 hours, then Donald Trump will not win this election.”
“They have won all the Trump voters they’re going to win,” he went on. “And I know that their philosophy is, ‘How do we turn out as many people who like us as opposed to trying to go for the center?’
“By comparison, Joe Biden has completely gone to the center, has basically ignored his hardcore people. And that’s one of the reasons why his numbers have increased and Donald Trump’s numbers have not.”