Speed Reads

2020 presidential debate

Undecided voters describe Trump as a 'crackhead,' 'arrogant' in post-debate focus group

The first presidential debate left undecided American voters in agreement about at least one thing: President Trump's negativity.

Republican consultant and pollster Frank Luntz asked his focus group to use one word to describe the president and basically "every single word was negative," observed Politico's Tim Alberta. One respondent from Wisconsin called Trump obnoxious and un-presidential, while a Pennsylvania voter said he behaved like a "crackhead." Others described the president as being "un-American" and "arrogant."

In all, from 17 voters in swing states, 15 used negative words and just two used positive words or phrases to describe the president (that is, if you consider "an ass but a confident ass" to be a compliment).

The focus group's opinion of the debate tracks with a CBS poll, which found that 83 percent of debate watchers believed the tone of the evening to be "negative" while 17 percent thought it was "positive." Which raises the question: What debate were those 17 percent watching?