Speaking at a briefing for the British strategic advisory firm Global Counsel, Luntz ripped into Trump’s advisors, saying that they should be “brought up on charges of political malpractice.”
“It is the worst campaign I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching them since 1980. They’re on the wrong issues. They’re on the wrong message. They’ve got their heads up their a**es.”
“Your damn job is to get your candidate to talk about things that are relevant to the people you need to reach,” Luntz continued, pointing to Trump and his allies’ renewed focus on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and as millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet, Trump and other Republicans have made the younger Biden’s allegedly inappropriate dealings with Ukrainian and Chinese businessmen the focal point of their message.
They allege that the former vice president’s son sold access to his father to foreign oligarchs. Biden has refused to address these allegations, which were first reported by The New York Post. Last week, he scolded a CBS News reporter for asking him to comment.
Trump’s team has seized on Biden’s behavior. The president went as far as to suggest that Attorney General William Barr should investigate the Bidens.
According to Luntz, “nobody cares” about the alleged scandals involving the Democratic nominee’s son.
The pollster argued that Trump’s team made a major mistake by zeroing in on the younger Biden, instead of pushing a coherent message about issues voters actually care about, such as COVID-19 and the economy.
“Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID,” Luntz said.
Luntz also noted that he watched the first presidential debate with a focus group of undecided voters, revealing that a substantial number of them switched to Biden after watching Trump’s performance.
He added that the final debate between the two candidates, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday night, could be Trump’s last chance to change the trajectory of the race.
As Luntz pointed out via Twitter, polling supports his analysis. Trump is trailing Biden in every single battleground state, according to poll averages from FiveThirtyEight. The Democrat is ahead in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina.