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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Friday, October 01, 2004

    Kerry resurgent? 

    The all-time King of the Focus Groups, Frank Luntz, got booted from his MSNBC gig as an analyst Thursday night because bloggers took issue with his roots as a GOP strategist and swamped the network with complaints.

    But Luntz hooked 18 undecided swing voters from Florida to reaction dials anyway, and his results are in: Sen. John Kerry crushed President Bush in the first presidential debate.

    It wasn't even close.

    Sixteen of the group said Kerry won, 13 agreed more with the Democrat, and, most important, five of these undecided voters said they'd move to the Kerry camp. Nobody signed on with the president.

    Words the focus-groupers used for Kerry: confident, direct, secure, reassuring.

    For Bush: nervous, disdainful, not well-prepared, repetitive.

    "For swing voters, this was the first time in this campaign that Kerry stood side-by-side with Bush - and he looked presidential," Luntz said. "In fact, they think he dominated the confrontation."

    posted by Thomas Fitzgerald at 1:36 PM



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