Luntz Focus Group Split on Romney's Debate Performance

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2012 08:26 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A focus group of undecided voters appeared to be split over Mitt Romney's debate performance on foreign policy Monday night, with some saying he failed to distinguish how he would do things differently from President Barack Obama and others saying he finally came across as more "humane and relatable."
The group, appearing on Fox News' Sean Hannity show along with Republican strategist Frank Luntz, declared Obama the overall winner of the debate when the two candidates stuck strictly to foreign policy and military issues.

But when the debate veered into economic policy as a national security issue, most in the focus group said Romney was more credible than the president.
"Mitt Romney . . . is capable of taking this country and turning it around. And once we have that, we'll have more security. We need that security," said one woman in the group.
"The reality of the situation is foreign policy is secondary to our dreadful economy," a man in the group said. "And Mitt Romney has a plan to improve the economy. Obama does not."
"It's Obama's Achilles heel," added another group participant.

"Mitt Romney is aware that the economy is the major issue, so he keeps bringing it back to that because that is what appeals to most voters," another voter agreed.
In summing up the consensus view that seemed to emerge from the group, one man said, "I think the president did well tonight. I expected him to do well, he did well on the foreign policy. But I do agree it's not about the foreign policy in this election, it's just about the economy."
Asked to weigh in on how Romney came across to them in the debate, one woman voter offered this view: "Wall Street-driven. Certainly not a well-rounded leader."
Another man described him as boring. "Business-like, as always."
But one woman said he came off as "presidential and confident" in his ability to guide the nation through both its economic problems at home and its challenges abroad."
Another woman, who voted for Obama in 2008, said she's having second thoughts about supporting him now because, "I actually found [Romney] to be more humane and relatable tonight."

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