Pollster Frank Luntz– one of the many to predict a Romney victory last week– appeared on Fox News Saturday to explain where Republicans took a wrong turn in forecasting voter turnout.
“Look– the published polls that the Romney campaign and the Republican establishment were trashing day after day turned out to be accurate. And all the polls that are being done for the Republican establishment– I know that the House candidates who lost were shocked at what happened, the Senate, Republicans were supposed to gain seats they actually lost…
“This is a bad day for Republican pollsters, and it’s something that they should be held accountable for. You have to tell your clients the truth, and you have to be accurate. And to miss so many states and to be this far off, your Fox News viewers ought to be outraged, because day in and day out they were told that Mitt Romney was going to win, and the fact is Ohio was never up, Wisconsin was never up, Pennsylvania was never up…the published polls were correct. Nate Silver was correct. But the Republican establishment polls were wrong.” [Emphasis added]
Luntz then analyzed a Republican Main Street Partnership survey where voters were asked which groups they think Republicans are “most interested in helping.” By and large, the respondents seem to believe Republicans only care about “the wealthy” and “big business.”
“That tells you the communication gulf between what Republicans were saying and what the average American was hearing– hardworking taxpayers and the middle class, half as many people said that as the wealthy and big business– it tells you that the Obama campaign got through the message that the Republicans were out of touch,” Luntz explained. “That the Republicans were defending the groups they didn’t like, and if there was a signal that the messaging wasn’t working, this is it.”
Luntz then commented on another poll in which 65% said balancing the budget should be Washington’s top priority, versus 35% who said preventing tax increases should be the main focus.
“So much of the Romney campaign was about preventing tax increases on wealthy Americans, when it should have been about cutting wasteful, Washington spending,” Luntz added.
Noting that many Americans don’t want a tax increase, but would consider it if Washington actually implemented drastic spending cuts, Luntz concluded: “To fight over the taxes is to miss the bigger issue for the vast majority of the American people that Washington spends too much, it wastes too much, and [you’ve] got to stop it.”
Here is video of the interview, via Fox News: