The Democrats have such a bad slate of presidential candidates that the only one who could potentially beat President Trump in 2020 may be someone too young to run and passionately radical. According to conservative pollster Frank Luntz, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the only Democrat capable of beating President Trump.
Speaking with Laura Ingraham on Fox News, Luntz said that Americans love authenticity and people who mean what they say, even if what they say is borderline farcical.
“The key is authenticity,” Luntz told Laura Ingraham on Tuesday, according to HuffPost. “You want to say what you mean, mean what you say. You want to be able to look straight at the camera and be yourself. And at least half of them [the 2020 Democratic hopefuls] are trying to be something that they’re not.”
“That’s why AOC does connect — she is herself,” Luntz continued. “And you can disagree with her policies and ideas, but she seems very genuine. And she looks like she’s having fun.”
Of course, polls show that Ocasio-Cortez has some unpopularity of her own; a Gallup poll in March found that the increase in Ocasio-Cortez’s “unfavorable” rating in recent months had more than doubled her increase in “favorable ratings.” A Siena College poll from roughly the same time found more than three times as many respondents viewed her as a villain rather than a hero and 31% of respondents overall had a favorable impression of Ocasio-Cortez while 44% viewed her unfavorably.
Frank Luntz touches onto one of the key reasons why President Trump was propelled to presidential primary success over candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. It wasn’t just what he said but how he said it. With that, people got a sense that he was talking directly to them as individuals, and not just as potential votes. All great politicians, from Presidents Reagan to Clinton to Obama, had an incredible ability to connect with voters in that way. In this year’s offering of candidates, only one has stood out as the most sincere: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which seems to have not fared well for him at the moment, given he’s massively lagging behind former Vice President Joe Biden. Other candidates, including Joe Biden, have instead resorted to apologizing for past records or becoming more radical on certain positions in order to appeal to progressive voters.
In the same interview with Laura Ingraham, Luntz also blasted the other candidates, such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), for pushing the “reset” button on their campaigns, saying it was “the dumbest thing you could possibly do because then it’s acknowledging that your politics doesn’t work.”
On Tuesday, Beto O’Rourke even went on “The View” to apologize for rolling out his campaign on the cover of Vanity Fair, acknowledging that it looked “elitist” and “privileged.”
“I think it reinforces that perception of privilege and that headline that said I was born to be in this, in the article I was attempting to say that I felt that my calling was in public service,” O’Rourke told “The View” co-host Joy Behar. “No one is born to be President of the United States of America, least of all me.”
As to who will actually win the Democratic nomination in 2020, Frank Luntz predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would take the top spot while admitting he will not appeal “to the overall mainstream of American people.”
“The public is really frustrated about being forgotten or left behind,” Luntz said on Monday. “And those two emotions, which elected Donald Trump, are alive not just on the right but also on the left. It’s the reason why Bernie Sanders did so well in 2016 and why, I’ll be blunt with you, I think he is the most likely nominee in 2020.”