Thursday’s second and final presidential debate was looked upon much more favorably than the first presidential debate, with far fewer interruptions and moderator interjections.
However, the debate was still a savage showdown between the two candidates, a showdown which one key focus group of “undecided voters” thought Donald Trump won.
Trump edges closer
Pollster Frank Luntz facilitated a focus group of undecided voters for the Los Angeles Times during Thursday’s debate, and found that though the voters complained about Trump’s personality at times, many believed that his performance was more “presidential” than expected.
Biden, on the other hand, was characterized by the participating voters as “vague” and “grandfatherly.”
Luntz tweeted during the debate: “My focus group’s words to describe Trump tonight: “Reserved, poised, con artist, surprisingly presidential. Words to describe Biden tonight: Vague, elusive, defensive, grandfatherly.”
“If I had to go with one person I’d probably go with Trump because at least he has proven something in his 4 years,” said Keita from Georgia, a member of the focus group.
“I really really really wanted to vote for Joe Biden. I really really do. But, I just, based on tonight’s performance, Donald Trump…” said another voter from Michigan.
Others expressed concern about Biden’s ability to do the job of president, citing his age as a factor. Other cited Trump’s first term accomplishments as a more persuasive argument than Biden’s nebulous plans.
At the end of the discussion, Luntz asked eight of the undecided voters who they would choose after watching the debate, and all but one responded that Trump was the clear winner.
Luntz shown up
Luntz blasted Donald Trump’s campaign earlier this week, calling it the “the worst campaign I’ve ever seen,” echoing similar comments made during the 2016 election cycle.
“It is the worst campaign I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching them since 1980,” Luntz blazed on Tuesday, according to The Hill. “They’re on the wrong issues. They’re on the wrong message … Your damn job is to get your candidate to talk about things that are relevant to the people you need to reach. And if you can’t do your damn job then get out.”
Luntz has yet to reveal if he believes Trump’s performance at the debate corrected the problems identified by himself earlier this week. However, regardless of Luntz’s opinion, the national reaction to Thursday’s debate is radically different than the first debate — an important win for Trump with just 11 days until election day.