CLEVELAND — Republican pollster Frank Luntz on Tuesday told delegates at the Republican National Convention that the GOP has “lost” the millennial generation of voters.
Addressing the South Carolina delegation, Luntz attributed the Democratic Party’s hold on younger adults to colleges and universities that he said are leading them toward socialism.
“We have lost. It’s not like we are losing, we have lost that generation. And I don’t care if you are a Democrat, Republican, independent, none of the above. The fact that 58 percent [of millennials] say socialism is the better form of economics, that is the damage of academia,” he said at a breakfast event here.
“The No. 1 priority to me is what happens at universities. And yes, Capitol Hill matters, yes politics matter, but a whole generation is being taught by professors who voted for Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Biden on Univision: Deporting 3 million ‘was a big mistake’ MORE. That’s a problem that begs for a solution.”
Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, identifies as a democratic socialist.
As Luntz spoke, one delegate muttered under his breath, “We are screwed.”
Turning to the presidential race, the pollster noted Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonUnion leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Will Bernie have to turn on his bros? De Blasio endorses Sanders for president MORE’s lead over presumptive GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpChanges in policies, not personalities, will improve perception of corruption in the US Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Pelosi: ‘I’m not counting Joe Biden out’ MORE in the polls while noting the important role North Carolina could play in the fall.
“This is one of the toughest elections. Let’s be honest, she’s leading now,” Luntz said. “If anyone comes here and tells you this is going to be easy, they are trying to make you feel good, but they are not being helpful.”
“Just because your state is a solid Republican state — thank God for that — the state just north of you matters. And if we can’t win North Carolina, then we have a problem.”
Luntz’s speech had a casual tone, mixing in jokes about Sanders, Clinton and other Democrats.
“Bernie Sanders is so old, it takes him an hour and a half to watch “60 Minutes.” … He is so old, the only time he doesn’t have to pee is when he’s peeing,” Luntz quipped.
On Clinton: “Clinton chose to live in Chappaqua, New York. Did you know that Chappaqua is Indian for separate bedrooms?”
“I know that I’ve got reporters in here — I just want to say to reporters that I do actually have a ‘Run Hillary Run’ bumper sticker on my car,” he said. “I just put it on my front bumper.”