Undecided and independent voters are the key to any Presidential election. A nominee has to unify the party, fire up his or her base, and then reach toward the middle in search of the additional votes needed to secure victory.
Shortly after Donald Trump gave his acceptance speech Thursday night, CNN decided to empanel a focus group of undecided voters in Ohio and see that they thought about his message. The results could spell big trouble for the Trump camp as it moves forward.
Overall, 20 participants who participated in the focus group called Trump’s speech stern and serious, but the lack of specifics offered by the GOP nominee concerned many of them. Independent voter Lesa Goodman remarked:
“He talks about how he’s going to make America great again, but he doesn’t seem to have a plan. How are we going to get there?”
Republican Brad Izeman was particularly irked by Trump’s repeated use of one phrase: “believe me.” Izeman commented:
“I can’t believe him.”
And Republican Kent Maas, while more receptive to what Trump said, noted:
“He laid out a vision tonight. He hasn’t laid out any of the ways he’s going to take care of that vision, but it’s a great start.”
Other polling has shown that Trump’s lies about the unemployment rate, crime statistics, and exaggerations about his own personal wealth, not to mention his refusal to release his tax returns, is making voters in the middle of the political spectrum have doubts about him.
The overall tone of Trump’s acceptance speech was also brought up by some in the focus group. It has been described as dark and ominous, devoid of hope. But Republican Jen Straniero disagreed:
“Usually when I hear him talk it’s a lot of polarizing, hateful talk, but he seemed more inclusive this time.”
The highest level of approval among independents occurred when Trump talked about destroying ISIS. But when Trump mentioned his plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico, independents disagreed while the majority of Republicans responded positively.
Can Trump win independents and undecided voters with such a polarizing and non-specific message? That remains to be seen.
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org