Saturday, May 22, 2021

Pollster Frank Luntz's research is a 'total schtick and scam' that relies on manipulated focus groups


Former employees of the influential Republican anti-Trumper pollster and strategist Frank Luntz say that his methods are a 'scam', according to a new report.

Three former Luntz employees, including Chris Ingram, a former senior vice president at the Luntz Research Company, spoke out about the pollster's practices in interviews with Salon.

Ingram, who worked for Luntz from 1997 through the early 2000s, said that Luntz's claim to deliver objective data is a 'total shtick and a scam' and called his methods 'quite frankly bulls**t.'

Luntz did not immediately respond to a request for comment from on Saturday.

Luntz is an influential GOP pollster and strategist, as well as close friend and roommate of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Though he runs a Republican polling and communications company, in January declared that he no longer felt able to call himself a Republican. 

In recent days, his focus group work has been featured on The Daily Show and the New York Times opinion section, and he makes regular appearances on MSNBC.

'The clowns at MSNBC didn't have a clue about how the focus groups or panels worked, or what Frank what was doing,' Ingram told Salon.

'The actions were basically contrived: He screened out anybody that isn't going to give the viewers the opinion that Frank, on behalf of his client, is looking for. Somehow, he is able to bulls**t people,' he added.

Ingram said that Luntz tried to manipulate his focus groups using 'dial testing,' in which participants turn knobs on a dial to indicate their reactions in real time. 

'Frank, when he would be hired by clients, whether they would be corporate or political, would sit in that room yelling, 'Keep turning the dials! Keep turning the dials!'' Ingram said. 

He said that Luntz was mainly concerned with results that would yield more 'compelling' data for the client, rather than accuracy.

Two other former Luntz employees told Salon similar stories on the condition that they not be named. One called Luntz a 'slimeball' and remarked on his lavish lifestyle.

Another said that negative experiences working with Luntz were 'widespread' in Washington DC.

Luntz was recently the target of withering attacks earlier this month from Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who accused him of lobbying on behalf of 'liberal' causes. 

Carlson said senior Republicans were disconnected from their supporters partly because they listen to 'conventional liberals' like Luntz, whom he accused of serving 'left-wing corporations'

The commentator said that Luntz, who is not a registered lobbyist, 'lobbies on behalf of the world's most left-wing companies,' citing Google, Nike and Delta airlines. 

'In real life, his views bear no resemblance whatsoever to the views of actual Republican voters,' said Carlson.

'So the question is - how did someone like this wind up with so much influence in the Republican Party? Why do they listen to someone like Frank Luntz, rather than their own voters?'

He then played a clip of an interview with Luntz in which the pollster says that Trump supporters are in favor of providing a ‘path to citizenship’ to so-called DREAM-ers.

Carlson accused Luntz of taking the same position on immigration as that of Google, and that his views were applauded by ‘open borders activists.’

In a follow-up segment, Carlson revealed that McCarthy is renting out space in Luntz's luxury 12-bedroom penthouse in DC.

McCarthy's arrangement in Washington appears unusual, but his spokesman said he paid the going rate, to avoid conflict-of-interest charges. 

Carlson ripped the arrangement, saying: 'The top Republican in the House lives with a Google lobbyist? Come on. 

'Even by the sleazy and corrupt standards of politics in Washington, that didn't seem possible. In fact, it sounded like a joke.' 



No comments: