Republican pollster Frank Luntz said Wednesday that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would be leading Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by eight points if he was the Republican presidential nominee.
In addition, he told Yahoo Global News anchor Katie Couric that Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who battled for the GOP nomination during the primary season, would be besting Clinton by 12 points. He said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who also fought hard against Trump but ultimately endorsed him, would be "dead even" with the former secretary of state right now.
Luntz went on to say he fears the Republican Party nominated the one candidate who just cannot win against Clinton, who, similarly to the billionaire businessman, is burdened with historically high unfavorability numbers.
"It is possible that the Republicans nominated the one candidate who accurately captured the mood of more than half of America, but could not translate that to a vote to himself on Election Day," he told Couric.
At another point in their wide-ranging discussion, Luntz charged that Trump's entire presidential operation is "the worst campaign that I have ever seen in my professional life," noting the myriad topics — private email server, Benghazi, WikiLeaks revelations — Trump could focus on instead of tweeting, as he often does, about issues that are distractions from the subjects at hand. "Break his fingers, take the iPhone away," the pollster joked about Trump's hyperactive Twitter account.
Luntz wondered why Trump hasn't been a better messenger when it comes to the issues brought to light by the Clinton campaign emails stolen by WikiLeaks.
"Every day, there’s another batch of emails, and every day, we learn more about what she has done," he said. "No one knows about it, because he speaks so loudly that all the cameras are on him, removing the oxygen in the room that should also be about her."
"It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear," he continued. "It’s not how loudly you speak — and he speaks way too loudly — but what people learn from what you say, and people don’t learn anything from Donald Trump."
The conservative consultant tested that theory, he told Couric, when he presented a series of Clinton-focused news reports, which were mostly about her emails, to a group of people unsure of who they support. He said "it changed an entire room of undecided voters." But then he shared Trump's own responses to those reports and "they all went back to being undecided," he said.
"Not only did he not win them over," Luntz observed, "he actually turned them off because his language is wrong; his presentation is wrong."