May 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pollster Frank Luntz: Trump may cost GOP the House in 2022

Kevin McCarthy and Trump

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy with Trump in 2019. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Republican pollster Frank Luntz tells Kara Swisher on her New York Times podcast "Sway" that Donald Trump's lies about the 2020 election "could cost the Republicans the majority in the House in 2022."

Why it matters: The former president is still the most popular figure in the Republican Party, but his baseless claims about the election have alienated moderates and key GOP leaders — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

Key exchange:

  • Luntz: "More than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen."
  • Swisher: "So it's working. This 'Big Lie' thing is working."
  • Luntz: "It is working. ... What Donald Trump is saying is actually telling people it's not worth it to vote. Donald Trump single-handedly may cause people not to vote. And he may be the greatest tool in the Democrats' arsenal to keep control of the House and Senate in 2022."

The big picture: "If Donald Trump runs for president as a Republican, he's the odds-on favorite to win the nomination," Luntz added. "He could never win a general election, but I can't imagine losing a Republican primary. ... I would bet on him to be the nominee and I would bet on him losing to whatever Democratic nominee there was."

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