Luntz Caps

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I didn't catch all of last night's Paul-less Republican debate on Fox, but the post-game focus group conducted by unreliable pollster Frank Luntz—which is being touted this morning as proof of the long-awaited Romney comeback—struck me straight away as having all the authenticity and heavily caffeinated pace of a Ronco commercial. You couldn't have scripted a more effective infomercial for Our Man Mitt (who, by most accounts, was pretty good).

So it came as little surprise that (via Mickey Kaus) at least one of the chosen Luntzites turned out to be … familiar.

Reminds me of a conversation I had with one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's henchwomen back in 2003, a longtime GOP activist who told me Luntz was an old friend and that she goes on those focus groups "all the time."

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  1. you mean… they’re not being honest with us!?

    *kicks pebble*

  2. All over the local “republican” radio/media in Boston/Southern NH, it seems that they are almost all rooting for Mitt. They are attacking McCain relentlessly. With this and Fox’s Luntz, let me predict right now that it is going to be Mitt-Rudy (Paul’s chances aside).

  3. I’m not sure what the fuss is. So they have the same guy as 4 months ago. So what? He could still be undecided. Unless there is a payroll involved, what’s the big deal?

  4. My prediction based on current standings

    McCain – 32
    Romney – 24
    Huckabee – 18
    Paul – 12
    Giuliani – 8
    Thompson – 4

    Giuliani’s falling, Paul does about 3-4 points better than average, Huckabee’s got some sort of likeability thing we don’t get and Thompson is grumpy enough to get the 60+ vote.

    McCain’s gonna be the nominee fo sho.

  5. Luntz caught on tape with Paul supporters! Worth it:

    http://www.dailypaul.com/node/22221

  6. LIT- Huck ain’t gonna get more than 10 in NH. 3rd is for either Rudy or Paul. I hope Paul.

  7. Based on on the ground reports, Huckabee is inspiring alot of people, while Giuliani is tiring alot of people. Current polls show Giuliani down to 5% in the latest poll, where’s Paul is routinely within the margin of error of 10-12 (albeit on the low end). Paul and Huckabee are both surging up, whereas Giuliani is collapsing. I stick by my prediction.

  8. I stick by my prediction.

    Bet? 🙂

  9. Hmm,

    Let’s make this interesting. Person to lose must agree with everything Dondero says for a day AND come up with logical arguments why he’s right, not just concur. This must occur in atleast 5 different threads between New Hampshire and South Carolina. 🙂

  10. The main reasons I disagree are:

    1. Polls show Paul at as high as 14%.

    2. Zogby was the only pollster who actually said it that polls will not reflect Paul’s support justly and predicted as high up as 18-20%.

    3. As shown in IA, he did far better there than expected –in an agrarian state that benefits from subsidies! Let alone NH. So I can’t believe that he’ll only do 2% better than IA.

    4. I was in Manchester on Saturday and the sheer number of signs was heavily leaning to McCain, Mitt, Rudy and Paul. The only Mike people I saw were on the grounds of St. Anselm’s and there were very few of them (and geee, these people’s way of thinking is, shall we say, a little on the simplistic side).

  11. LIT- OH no, please please not Dondero!

  12. Now the bet.

    I bet that Paul loses to Huckabee.

    Ali, is yours that Paul beats Huckabee?

  13. those are the stakes Ali.

  14. I’m putting 3 to 2 on LIT winning over Ali. Placing all bets!

  15. Can I pay you $1000 instead? That’d be easier on me.

    OH, but, wait, yes… no… I can’t bet… Ah… how can I forget that. No no betting. Uh-uh. Bad. Betting is bad.

    /ducks and then goes makes a prayer for forgiveness/

    OK, now, betting without winnings is ok, though.

    So let me bet LIT that Paul will beat Huck in NH.

    If he doesn’t then something is disturbingly wrong with republicans!

  16. Episiarch is our official witness.

    Let the bets on our bets commence!!!

  17. If he doesn’t then something is disturbingly wrong with republicans!

    i think we knew that already

    [rimshot]

    thanks i’ll be here all night.

    regardless of what happens in NH, at least giuliani is dead in the water.

    thank goodness for small favors.

  18. But no Dondero, please not Dondero! Oh, God, what have I done!

  19. One little modification to the original bet.

    eliminate “for a day” and just subsitute the final statement of 5 threads between the NH and SC primaries.

  20. Episiarch is our official witness.

    OK. Done deal.

  21. Yes, the same guy is still undecided 4 months later AND he just happened to move from Iowa to NH AND be selected by Frank Luntz.

  22. Brick–

    DAMMIT! I’ve been Rick Rolled! O_O

  23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7174536.stm

    New Hampshire’s independent streak – the state’s motto is “Live free or die” – suggests that it could also be a good night for the wild card in the Republican pack: the anti-war, libertarian Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul. His unconventional message has not only gained him a big and youthful internet following, and some very impressive fund-raising figures, but 10% of the vote in Iowa. “

  24. eliminate “for a day” and just subsitute the final statement of 5 threads between the NH and SC primaries.

    OK. I agree to the terms.

  25. As a filthy atheist, I’ll happily cover the penalty portion of Ali’s non-wager. If Huck beats Paul in NH, I’ll do the “agreeing with DONDEROOOO!!!” thing.

    I don’t actually share Ali’s optimism, but what the hell. It’s for the children. Or something.

  26. Paulbots: Winning friends and influencing people wherever they go.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=1d4_1199722032&p=1

  27. Jake Boone-

    As a filthy atheist, I’ll happily cover the penalty portion of Ali’s non-wager. If Huck beats Paul in NH, I’ll do the “agreeing with DONDEROOOO!!!” thing.

    And I will take it, even from you filthy atheist, if it rids me of having to concur and support Dondero on 5 different threads.

    Thanks Jake!

  28. Well, that’ll teach me to answer the phone between the “Preview” and “Post” buttons.

    Ali, just think of me as your redeeming Jesus. 😉

  29. I fear that Huckabee will be successful in converting some of the federalists because he’s lying his face off while campaigning in NH. He’s taking some of Ron’s talking points, which he clearly doesn’t give a shit about, and making them his own.


  30. Ali, just think of me as your redeeming Jesus. 😉

    Haha! :-))

  31. Damn you jake!

    Part of me was looking forward to watching Eric Dondero’s head explode as ali agreed with him. Especially if I could maneuver him into making one of his blanket islamaphobic comments. You know he’d be name linking to that conversation and name-dropping ali to bolster his points for years to come, like ‘former Reason editor Rodney Balko’ and that libertarian culture site known as Urkobold.

  32. Since I don’t actually have a book (seeing as there is only one bet) I can’t really take any bets.

    But I do look forward to somebody agreeing with Dondero.

  33. I don’t think you’re being fair to Ronco. Ron Popiel is far more genuine than Frank Luntz.

    -jcr

  34. Would this be Frank Luntz, the guy who’s admitted that he can make a poll that gets any result he wants? Why would anyone listen to that asshole?

  35. You know he’d be name linking to that conversation and name-dropping ali to bolster his points for years to come

    Obviously, I’m still having trouble thinking fourth-dimensionally. That would, I must admit, be quite the source of hilarity, and now I’ve gone and screwed it up. Oh, well. You go to Teh Intarwebz with the commenters you have, not the commenters you might want…

  36. Especially if I could maneuver him into making one of his blanket islamaphobic comments.

    Geee! Look what I was going to get myself into.

    You know he’d be name linking to that conversation and name-dropping ali to bolster his points for years to come, like ‘former Reason editor Rodney Balko’ and that libertarian culture site known as Urkobold.

    gee! Look what LIT was going to get all of us into if that would happen!

  37. Anyone else see that the most recent CNN poll gives Thompson 1%!
    It just makes me a little giddy.

  38. OH, but, wait, yes… no… I can’t bet… Ah… how can I forget that. No no betting. Uh-uh. Bad. Betting is bad.

    /ducks and then goes makes a prayer for forgiveness/

    In keeping with my New Years Resolution –

    Ali, that is so barnyard fowl excrement of you. 😉
    I’m guessing if it’s not momey or material, Islam doesn’t have a problem with it.

  39. Ali –
    Sorry. I should have finished the thread prior to posting. This will be fun no matter who wins.

  40. J sub D-

    Yeah I know. Hey, what happened to you? You just disappeared over the last few weeks!

  41. Yeah I know. Hey, what happened to you? You just disappeared over the last few weeks!

    Holidays. Even us hellbound atheists have end of the year social obligations. Some of us enjoy it!

  42. The only good thing to come out of Luntz’s focus group last night was the sheer contempt they had for Fred Thompson.

  43. While I hate Hannity as much as anyone else, I don’t think making him run for his life from a Manchester restaurant back to his hotel was such a good idea.

  44. Holidays. Even us hellbound atheists have end of the year social obligations. Some of us enjoy it!

    And I enjoyed Christmas a lot! Also the (Gregorian) New Year (yes the one that is so messed up that they have to fix every 4 years).

  45. While I hate Hannity as much as anyone else, I don’t think making him run for his life from a Manchester restaurant back to his hotel was such a good idea.

    Maybe not so good for the Paul campaign, but in a larger, societal sense… I think I’m okay with it.

    Remember, any time a member of Hannity’s ilk soils his trousers, an angel gets its wings.

  46. Hannity could use the cardio work.

  47. Here is an article with some embedded video on the Luntz confrontation:

    http://www.newhavenindependent.org/archives/2008/01/supporters_figh.php

  48. Those guys chasing Hannity were really putting Live Free or Die into action.

  49. AuH_2O for VP! Ha!

  50. Given the electoral profile of NH, RP has to do substantially better than in Iowa or, I’m afraid, the money and enthusiasm starts to dry up. Anything less than, say, 12% will be detrimental. Here’s hoping there will be some delegate to nominate him in St.Paul with a
    “Listen, GOP” nomination speech.

  51. @Lost_In_Translation

    I strongly suggest that you look up margin of error. When they say margin of error of 10%, that means bewteen two choices that are both at 50%, there is the possibility that it could be really 60-40. However, if there are two choices at 10% and 10%, it doesn’t mean that one could be 0% and the other could be 20%. The margin of error decreases as the percentage decreases.

  52. Apparently the video uploader is going through the comments and deleting any that he doesn’t find 100% supportive of the mob’s behavior. How ironic that they were protesting Fox News preventing Dr Paul from voicing his views at the debate.

  53. FUCK YOU FRANK

  54. Egosumabbas,

    I might agree if the polls held that out, but when I see polls that put Paul anywhere from 6% to 11% and they all have MOE’s of 4-5%, I can think they mean that some polls have Paul at 5.7-6.3% and 10.5-11.5%.

  55. I can’t think they mean…

    type too fast, lose your point…

  56. Actually, Romney had a missed opportunity. He really could have come out as taking the high road by speaking out against Fox’s decision to exclude Paul from the “debates.” This would have helped to sooth the problem caused by his negative ads, and really given him a small bump and some positive press.

  57. Reinmoose- And undermine McCain as a maverick.

    But the way I see it is that a lot more New Englanders know Romney for what he is and that is why he won’t win NH.

  58. Paul and Obama’s poll numbers are going to be artificially low, because they both draw significant levels of support from people who aren’t considered “likely voters,” but who will actually vote this year.

    Iowa showed that.

  59. joe,

    That might help Obama ALOT, like over 50% alot, which could propel his momentum into “ludicrous speed”. Of the democrats, Obama is the most electable.

    Paul meanwhile, still suffers from the “what I don’t understand I fear” and so while he’ll do better, he’s never given off the right vibes to get the mainstream, uninterested voter. Still, his candidacy has been a wakeup call for the republican establishment that thought the libertarian, small government faction was dead. Like the old man in “The Holy Grail”, WE’RE NOT DEAD YET!!!!

  60. Like the old man in “The Holy Grail”, WE’RE NOT DEAD YET!!!!

    They took him anyway. Quotas, or something.

    Riffing with Reinmoose, I had this little dream that one of the “five men who will be the Republican Presidential nominee” would have the stones to say, “Chris, I came here tonight because you invited me, but your network’s attempt to silence one of my rivals, Congressman Ron Paul, and your feeble excuse that we needed to save room for Fred Thompson’s jowls, just doesn’t wash. Thanks for the invite, but I’m leaving now. Who’s with me?” That would have been awesome! Like I said, just a dream.

  61. Paul meanwhile, still suffers from the “what I don’t understand I fear” and so while he’ll do better, he’s never given off the right vibes to get the mainstream, uninterested voter.

    That is Dr. Paul’s main weakness. He’s got ideas–complicated, somewhat esoteric ideas. Which is bad enough, but what makes him worse is that when asked about them he’ll talk frankly about them. That’s bad news for the ordinary, non-political voter who is too likely to rely on easy stereotypes.

    It’s not that they’re dumb, it’s that this is all new stuff and it takes a while to get your head around them. Unfortunately Dr. Paul has no time to talk reasonably about these things in the big debates or during aggressive interviews. That’s why the “Google Ron Paul” campaign is so useful. Those that do sooner or later run into things like his Google talk, which is one of the best introductions to his ideas around.

  62. sixstring,

    Never trust inlaws and always carry a gun.

  63. rho,

    I’m almost embarrased to say it, but I think Dr. Paul needs to revive the Ross Perot political infomercial. If you give someone the time and say, “this is how such a thing works and this is what we should do”, it’s terribly effective at persuading people.

  64. LIT,

    My father-in-law is a police officer. I am so screwed.

  65. Blowback!

    Put this way, LIT, this is something Americans can understand!

  66. Ali,

    Thanks for the link. Nice article.

  67. I really do hope I lose this bet, I could stand bewildering Dondero for a while vs. glumly watching Huckabee suck all the life out of a useful insurgant candidate.

  68. I really do hope I lose this bet, I could stand bewildering Dondero for a while vs. glumly watching Huckabee suck all the life out of a useful insurgant candidate.

    I hope you loose too.

  69. Best possible Scenario (for Paul):

    1. McCain
    2. Romney (hopefully by a wide margin)
    3. Paul (3rd or better, but 3rd would do just fine).

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