Pollster Luntz: GOP Should Personalize Election Against Harry Reid

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 06:15 PM

By Greg Richter

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Republicans and their supporters are right to be focusing on Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid in the midterm election, says GOP pollster and strategist Frank Luntz, but they need to be smart about how they do it.

"They're trying to learn from what Democrats did to Newt Gingrich and what Republicans did to Nancy Pelosi," Luntz said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World With Neil Cavuto."

"And Harry Reid has said some awful things, some very divisive things, about Republicans in states where Mitt Romney won and Democrats are up for re-elections."

Republicans running for office in districts and states throughout the country are making Reid their bogeyman. A heavy focus is being put on Reid's refusal to bring bills before a vote in the Senate or to allow any amendments to bills he supports.

But Republicans must be sure to show specific instances where Reid "goes off the deep end," Luntz said. For instance, Reid called people in anti-Obamcare ads "liars" from the Senate floor, and Luntz said that noting that can appeal to the 6 million people who lost coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Though many voters who don't follow politics regularly may not know who Reid is, Luntz said that can be overcome by introducing him to them over time.

Reid, he said, has long done the same thing.

"He picks on certain people to demonize over time, and now he's basically being held accountable for the same strategy that he has promoted," Luntz said.

Going after Obamacare is also a good strategy, Luntz noted, but he said Republicans will do even better if they focus on the broader issue of what Washington does wrong.

"Obamacare is merely the symptom, and Washington is the disease," he said.

Despite predictions that Republicans will gain more seats in the House, which they already control, and even gain a majority in the Senate, Luntz said he is wary.

"Every time Republicans get close, somebody says something stupid," he said.

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