Joe Biden’s Democratic campaign for the White House has received a boost lately because President Donald Trump is alienating voters with his divisive rhetoric, veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz told CNBC on Friday.
“This election is not over at all. But it is Joe Biden who loses,” Luntz said in an interview on “Squawk Box.” “You never, ever tell anyone, but these have not been two good weeks for Donald Trump.”
“Biden has been pretty quiet” lately and should remain that way, because when he speaks he cheats that Trump can exploit, Luntz said.
The latest mistake came during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, where Biden said Thursday that the United States had “more than 120 million killed by Covid,” when he intended to say more than 100,000. According to data from Johns Hopkins University on Friday, the total number of Covid-19 deaths in the United States exceeded 124,000 in more than 2.4 million cases.
Trump tweeted Biden’s misstep and wrote: “This is beyond normal error.”
Luntz said Biden should “stay in his basement,” where he had been under lockdown for coronavirus for months, and “stay away from the media.”
“The most calm [Biden] that is, the better he does in the polls, “said Luntz.” That should tell you something. The more Trump talks, and I think it’s the message, and I think it’s what he’s saying, the worse it comes. “
According to the RealClearPolitics national poll average, Biden leads Trump by 10 percentage points.
More importantly, Luntz said, “The states that Donald Trump won in 2016 have now shifted to Joe Biden by 6 to 10 points. That is significant. That is beyond the margin of error.”
The Trump and Biden campaigns did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Biden is also gaining favor with Wall Street, which has benefited greatly from Trump’s 2017 corporate tax cut and his push to remove trade regulations. Even with the coronavirus on the markets, the Dow Jones industrial average, as of Thursday’s close, was up 40% since Election Day 2016 and up 30% since Trump’s inauguration 73 days later.
Several current and former financiers, analysts, lobbyists, lawyers, and political advisers with bank clients told CNBC that they are increasingly preparing for the possibility that the former vice president may beat Trump in the November election.
“They are willing to support anyone who gives them a sense of stability and a feeling that things will calm down. That is why Biden has really moved into the business community and people are now considering voting for him,” Luntz said. .
Luntz said the prospect of higher taxes under Biden is not hurting him in the polls.
“There is a greater acceptance of higher taxes today than ever before in my research. And this goes back to Reagan-Mondale in 1984. That’s how important it is; willingness to pay the bill, willingness to keep the economy on march, willingness to give something for all the unrest there is, “Luntz said.
He said Trump shouldn’t try to use the same bravado and tough talk that worked four years ago when he rocked the political establishment by beating Hillary Clinton. “Hillary Clinton was very easy to dislike. Donald Trump had his number.”
However, Luntz added: “There is a fragility, anger, frustration, anxiety that exists in the American people that did not exist in 2016,” referring to the double crisis of the coronavirus pandemic and national protests against racial inequalities. that were triggered. for the murder of George Floyd last month by a white police officer.
“Again, what matters is the language of Donald Trump, not his policies,” Luntz said. “The language he is using is not the language of the American people. He is being very tough. The public wants empathy. They want understanding. He talks about law and order. He should talk about public safety. He talks about his supporters as warriors. When what people really want is that he [work] for hard-working taxpayers. “