In an interview with Fox News’s Jesse Watters this weekend, veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz said that people who had written off Trump’s reelection chances should take a close look at the recent poll trends, all of which are beginning to head in the president’s favor. Luntz noted that, historically, polls only really begin to matter in the final months before the election. And with the way things are trending now, we could be looking at four more Trump years.
“Take a look at the movement – at the change between surveys over a week, 10 days, two weeks – and the trend for Donald Trump has actually been favorable, it’s been positive, over the last three, four weeks,” Luntz explained.
The pollster said that the conventions and the debates could easily shift the winds of the race.
“It’s always dangerous to do something right in the middle of a convention, and it’s particularly dangerous to talk about polling before the debates, because so much can change,” Luntz said, explaining that polls often change as much as 10 points between Labor Day and November.
Luntz acknowledged that Biden would win if the election were held today.
“But,” he said, “we’ve got the Republican convention coming up, we’ve got the debates coming up, and the trend is definitely – over the past couple of weeks – in Donald Trump’s favor.”
Luntz’s ideas were born out only a day later when a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll came out showing that Trump enjoys a 10-point advantage over Joe Biden with voters who consider themselves to be “in play” for the election: In other words, voters who haven’t entirely made up their minds yet.
“These voters as a group have characteristics that suggest they are open to Mr. Trump and his party,” the WSJ reported. “Some 22% have a positive image of Mr. Trump, while only 11% have a positive image of Mr. Biden, the July poll found. They prefer a candidate who will confront the Washington establishment, a hallmark of Mr. Trump’s pitch to voters, over one who makes an appeal based on competence and compassion, key themes during the Democratic convention. In addition, these voters want Republicans to lead the next Congress rather than Democrats, 42% to 25%.”
This is certainly welcome news. We’re also encouraged by polls that show that this election, more than not, is going to be about Trump – not Biden. On both sides – Biden voters and Trump voters – people are going to vote based on what they think about the president. While this may limit the effectiveness of criticizing Biden, it also shows you that no one is particularly enthusiastic about him at all.
If that plays to Biden’s advantage in November, we’ll be very surprised.