Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

July 28, 2004

by V

Right-wing pollster calls it for Kerry

This is an interesting peek into the mind of a Republican pollster (who plays a "nonpartisan" analyst on Hardball, but who also worked with Newt Gingrich to engineer the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress).

The Gadflyer: Luntz Spilz by Thomas F. Schaller
So I'm at the event sponsored by Democratic Gain tonight (Sunday) at Avalon -- the nightclub located directly across the street from centerfield at Fenway -- when I spot GOP focus-group guru Frank Luntz ... soon enough Frank is standing all by himself, right behind me...

Anyway, Luntz seems a bit tipsy, but there he is, a few feet away. I cannot resist.

"What do you think?" I ask him, in a tone that indicates that I'm not talking about last night's Sox-Yankees brawl.

"Kerry will win," he says. I feel myself jump back slightly.

"Wow," I say. "How can you be so sure?"

"Bush's numbers on the war are bad, and it's spreading."

I follow-up: "So, it's that simple -- 'It's the war, stupid'?"

"Well, not that simple...but basically, yes."

"Ok, then, so what's the save-all scenario for Bush? Is there some way he manages to pull it out?"

"Only by making Kerry look bad, inconsistent."

"The flip-flopper thing," I say, seeking clarification.

"Yes," Luntz said. "But even that may not do it."

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I offer two clarifiers. First, I did not mention to Luntz that we were on the record, no less for a progressive webzine. And, two, Luntz seemed to be....well, he seemed a bit tipsy. But, hey, en vino veritas, kiddies. What happens in Boston does not stay in Boston.

And in my own defense, all I asked was -- "What do you think?" ... The point is that Luntz knew what I meant, and meant what he said.
I'm trying to come up with a reason Luntz would be playing with Schaller's mind, but the best I can do is, he's trying to make the Dems overconfident. And that just doesn't seem that likely under the circumstances.

So, score one for Republican panic!
Posted by V at July 28, 2004 08:34 AM
Comments

"Bush's numbers on the war are bad, and it's spreading."

If you want to be a war President, you've got to win the war. Americans don't like losers.

Posted by: Night Owl at July 28, 2004 08:58 AM

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