After the historic debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, renowned pollster Frank Luntz reported a significant shift in voter sentiment among undecided swing-state residents. The debate, which was aired on CNN, marked the first time a sitting president and his predecessor squared off, offering a unique spectacle that captivated the nation.

According to Luntz, the majority of his focus group, which consisted of undecided voters from critical swing states, overwhelmingly leaned toward Trump after the debate. “In my entire professional career, I’ve done 32 debates. Never has someone performed [like Biden last night]. And I was very upset with Donald Trump in 2020. I have never seen a performance like I saw last night,” said Luntz.

“We’ve never had that before. We are truly in uncharted territory. And what blew me away the most was that Joe Biden voters in 2020 don’t want him on the ticket in 2024. What is the reaction you had [from] 14 swing voters from these states? All undecided, all voting Republican and Democrat back and forth over the last 10 years. And boy, did they swing,” Luntz added.

One participant from the focus group remarked, “He does not have the leadership qualities to survive for the next four years. I don’t even know how he’s going to survive the next few months. They need a candidate that could beat Trump.” Another member reflected on their past support for Biden, stating, “I just think if the Democrats want to have a chance at putting someone in the White House, they need to put someone else up.”


“I think in 2020, Biden was a safe option that was relatively non-harmful to replace Trump,” another said. “And frankly, I didn’t think it reflected these same cognitive issues that we see tonight on the campaign. Yeah, it was a little dry, but it was definitely not to the same extent. I think tonight, I’m not sure how he functions during an eight-hour workday, let alone an eight-plus-hour workday.”

The focus group’s reaction marked a significant moment for Biden’s campaign, with voices within the Democratic Party questioning his suitability to lead the ticket in the next election. At 81, Biden appeared visibly challenged during the debate, struggling with vocal clarity and consistency. This debate and its aftermath could be a critical turning point for the Democratic Party. In 2020, Biden was seen as a safe, stabilizing choice over Trump, but the recent visibility of his cognitive struggles has raised doubts among previously supportive voters.

Sixty-seven percent of registered voters who watched Thursday’s face-off between Biden and Trump believe Trump delivered the superior performance, according to a CNN flash poll by SSRS. This marks a shift from pre-debate expectations, where 55% anticipated Trump would outshine Biden, who garnered confidence from only 45% of respondents before the debate.

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Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.