Frank Luntz tells us that Trump supporters are not just angry. They want revenge. They seek vengeance for Obama’s fundamental transformation of America. These Trumpeteers see the Donald as the antidote for all that Obama has made wrong with America. Trump’s bombastic attacks on the Republican establishment, the mainstream media and his critics are cathartic for the millions who feel “silenced, ignored and even scorned by the governing and media elite.”
According to Luntz, to understand why Trump is so popular, you have to listen to why his supporters hate Obama so much. One only has to look at the Frank Luntz focus-group conducted on December 9 to see how much Trump supporters dislike Obama:
DICKERSON: Want to play a little more from the focus groups, because a lot of what motivates them that you discovered is an anger about President Obama. So let’s listen.
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LUNTZ: And I want a word or phrase to describe Barack Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pathetic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He’s a great speaker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jellyfish marshmallow.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Annoying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Delusional.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Naive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unbelievable. I just can’t believe him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lost.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good talker and tries hard. Out of touch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A politician.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Full of himself. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clueless.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ineffective.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Elitist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doesn’t respect American values.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Overwhelmingly cocky.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anti-American.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Un-American.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amateur.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zero leadership.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Out of his depth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arrogant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still waiting on this hope and change.
LUNTZ: Anti-American, un-American, Barack Obama. Seriously?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, absolutely.
DICKERSON: So, Frank, I would suggest that obviously they don’t like the president, but could any other Republican — why couldn’t any other Republican just grab onto that feeling? Why is Donald Trump particularly…
LUNTZ: Because no other Republican is willing to say the things that Donald Trump says. I don’t believe there would be a Trump candidacy if there wasn’t an Obama presidency.
And Trump’s willingness to say things that we all would say go beyond the pale, that we would say is unacceptable in American politics, for these voters, is exactly what they want to hear, and no other candidate is talking that way.
DICKERSON: So, it’s not just that they dislike the president, but that Donald Trump is the opposite of the qualities they see in the here
Let me ask you about any other candidate in the Republican field. Was there any purchase for any other Republican candidate in that room?
LUNTZ: The only one who seemed to have some interest was Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Trump is different than other straight talking presidential candidates who rise and fall. Luntz says Trump defies electoral gravity because the attacks against him delivered by a distrusted mainstream media and an elite political and business establishment that are detested.
The anger of the Trump supporters was reflected in a new CNN/ORC Poll, which found that 75% of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, and 69% are at least somewhat angry with the way things are going in the U.S. that dissatisfaction is much greater among Trump supporters:
While majorities across party lines express dissatisfaction and anger, Republicans are most likely to feel that way. And both sentiments are particularly strong among those Republicans who back Donald Trump in the GOP race for the nomination. Overall, 90% of Republicans are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, and 82% express anger with the way things are going in the U.S. today. Among Trump backers, 97% are dissatisfied with government, 91% at least somewhat angry.
Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to bring change hasn’t panned out successfully in the eyes of many of his constituents. Overall, 37% say Obama has brought positive change to the country, but an equal share say he’s changed things for the worse. Another 21% say he hasn’t changed anything. Among Democrats, 67% say Obama has brought positive change, while Republicans mostly lean the other way, with 63% saying he’s changed the country for the worse.
The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted on Dec. 17-21 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent.