"In the next segment--the debate between Romney and Mike Huckabee over Huckabee's college scholarships for the deserving children of illegal immigrants--I noticed something really distressing: When Huckabee said, 'After all, these are children of God,' the dials plummeted. And that happened time and again through the evening: Any time any candidate proposed doing anything nice for anyone poor, the dials plummeted (30s). These Republicans were hard.If you want to know why my belief in this country and certainly respect for the GOP is falling, you need look no farther. Anyone who can say that about torture (former federal law officer or no) is uninformed and chooses to remain so. What is more, their moral compass has now joined Stalin and the dictators who employ secret police. They don't value democracy, morality, or anything except hatred towards others.
But there was worse to come: When John McCain started talking about torture--specifically, about waterboarding--the dials plummeted again. Lower even than for the illegal Children of God. Down to the low 20s, which, given the natural averaging of a focus group, is about as low as you can go. Afterwards, Luntz asked the group why they seemed to be in favor of torture. 'I don't have any problem pouring water on the face of a man who killed 3000 Americans on 9/11,' said John Shevlin, a retired federal law enforcement officer. The group applauded, appallingly."
November 30, 2007
Joe Klein, who I don't care for, actually, blogs about sitting in a Republican focus group during the most recent debate. The focus people turned little dials to demonstrate how they felt about what was being said at the time.