Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Angry America Makes for Brutal Election: Expert
Pollster and political commentator Frank Luntz expects this time around to be the "most negative, vicious, most frightening election cycle" ever.
It's no secret that presidential campaigns can get brutal.
But pollster and political commentator Frank Luntz says he expects this time around to be "most negative, vicious, most frightening election cycle" ever.
Luntz, the author of "Win: The Key Principles to Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary," said on "The Early Show" Tuesday it's because Americans are the angriest we've ever been.
Luntz said, "Seventy-two percent of Americans define themselves as 'mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.' We've never had that level of anger. If you're over age 30, every income level, every educational level, we're anxious, we're frustrated, and we think that people have made promises to us that they haven't kept. We don't trust politicians. We don't trust business leaders. We don't trust religious leaders. We have no trust in anything anymore."
Republicans, Luntz said, are focusing on the budget and the deficit, and how government debt undermines economic growth. Democrats, he said, are focusing on the Republican budget cuts and challenges to Medicare to talk about economic anxiety that seniors, in particular, would feel.
"No one trusts anyone to actually create anything. I equate that to Dr. Kevorkian at an AARP convention," Luntz said. "Nobody wants to hear it, nobody wants to be part of it, and that's why no one's connecting right now."
He added, "Both of them have messages that appeal to their partisans. But neither of them have messages that appeal to the center, and in the center, that's how you win a presidential campaign."
Co-anchor Erica Hill noted the negative ad campaigns are already starting to roll out, using President Barack Obama's words on the campaign trail about cutting the deficit.
She remarked, "In the grand scheme of things, this is what you expect. It's a campaign."
Luntz responded, "But I think it's going to be more vicious than that. It's a smart approach. You take someone's words and you use them against them. And Obama gave a lot of speeches in 2008. And so there's a lot of language that you can show."
However, in the end, Luntz said, a political candidate is trying to build trust and credibility.
"That's what this is all about," he said. "Who do I trust? If I trust them, I'll believe their statistics. I'll believe their solutions. And I'll vote for them."