Tags: | debate | undecided | voters

Luntz Focus Group: Undecided Voters Still Undecided After Debate

Friday, 12 Oct 2012 09:06 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A quick survey of a small group of undecided voters Thursday night by Fox News political consultant Frank Luntz found that all were still uncertain about who they would vote for on Nov. 6 after watching the vice presidential debate.
 
Some of the 26 interviewed by Luntz said they were put off by what they described as Vice President Joe Biden's "condescending" and "disrespectful" attitude towards the younger Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
 
Others in the group said they didn't understand why Ryan couldn't be more specific about how GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney intends to implement his "five-point" plan to get the economy back on track.
 
"I thought it was a huge mistake. It was very arrogant and it sticks with me," one woman told Luntz, referring to Biden's constant interruptions of Ryan. "I can't forget that."
 
"When Ryan gave us the five-point plan, which I've heard repeatedly over the past few weeks, there is never a how to," said another woman. "They're going to increase job market by 12 million. How? I don't know. I don't understand."
 
"I agree with the lady behind me," one man piped up, referring to the lack of specifics laid out by Ryan. "It shows what a state of confusion the country is in. I got no answer just a lot more questions and a lot more rhetoric frankly."
 
But overall, the participants in the Fox News post-debate interview, which aired on the Sean Hannity program, said they were impressed that both candidates seemed prepared and had a solid grasp of the issues. Most, however, gave Biden higher marks than Ryan when it came to explaining the problems facing the country and laying out the differences between the two campaigns.
 
One said Biden seemed to talk more "normally," while Ryan appeared to be more scripted. Nonetheless, several voters said Ryan exceeded their expectations in the debate.
 
"Biden could be president. Ryan, basically, is still learning to be president. But, certainly, he would be capable of it," said one male participant in summing up his views of the two.
 
Overall, the voters said they thought the debate format, with both candidates sitting at a table, worked well and allowed them to engage more in a give-and-take on a wide range of issues. The consensus among the group seemed to be that they were more informed on the campaign positions by the vice presidential debate than they were by the first presidential debate.
 
"It seemed more comfortable. It seemed more casual. It seemed like they were talking to each other at the kitchen table," someone observed.
 
In summing up the interviews, Luntz noted that there appeared to be "no clear winner" in the vice presidential debate unlike the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, which resulted in an obvious voter shift toward Romney, according to most polls.
 
"Did anyone decide absolutely, definitely, who you're voting for without a doubt because of what you saw tonight," Luntz asked. "None of you?
 
"They are not critical of Ryan, but they think Biden did well," Luntz told Hannity after the interviews. "But there is no fundamental shift like you saw a week ago. We're going to have to wait until next week's debate [Oct. 16] to see when the undecided decide."

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