There was a clear winner in the Tuesday-night Fox Business Network debate, according to a Fox News focus group conducted by veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz.
A majority of participants declared that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) emerged the victor, and a several of them changed their support from other Republican presidential candidates to Rubio.
“I went from [Ben] Carson to Rubio during this debate just because I liked his vision for America. I liked that he wants to put more money into the military,” one woman said.
“I was originally supporting [Jeb] Bush and I switched to Rubio because I liked his passion,” a man added.
Asked to describe Rubio in a word or phrase, the people in the focus group said things like “eloquent,” “passionate,” “young,” “very articulate,” “slick,” “inspirational,” and “fresh.”
There was one moment in particular, according to Luntz, where the participants’ focus-group dials shot upwards to indicate their approval: when Rubio delivered a powerful endorsement of vocational schools.
“For the life of me, I don’t know why we have stigmatised vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers. And if we do this, we will be able to increase wages for millions of Americans,” Rubio said to loud applause.
The participants also reacted very favourably to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) castigating media and Washington elites for being disconnected from the economic impact of illegal immigration.
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