Pollster Frank Luntz told CNN Friday that former President Donald Trump should “take a very long vacation” or risk the Republican Party deciding to “turn against him” after he attacked two Republican governors via social media posts.
Trump came under fire after some high-profile endorsements, like Republican candidates Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz, lost, while others face tight election races that have yet to be called in midterm elections where the Republican Party underperformed expectations of a nation-wide “red wave.” Trump-endorsed Herschel Walker, a former NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner, trailed Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia by about 0.5% after Tuesday’s election and faces a Dec. 6 runoff.
“We need to acknowledge that he’s still the most popular Republican nationwide. But when he attacks the very popular governor of Virginia and he’s been going after the extremely popular governor of Florida, you’re gonna watch Trump’s numbers start to deteriorate,” Luntz, a one-time Republican pollster and strategist, said. “It’s one thing when he’s attacking Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden, Republicans expect that. But when he’s attacking the next generation of Republican leadership, mark my words, the party’s gonna turn against him.”
Trump attacked Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida in a Thursday statement posted to Truth Social, calling him an “average” governor with “great Public Relations” who was “politically dead” prior to receiving Trump’s endorsement for governor in the 2018 Republican primary. DeSantis won the 2018 primary over Adam Putnam by 20% and defeated Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee by 0.41% in the 2018 general election.
Trump also targeted Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, saying in a Friday post on Truth Social Youngkin “couldn’t have won without me” and claimed the Virginia governor’s name “sounded Chinese.”
“I do not call people names,” Youngkin said in response.
“The angrier he gets at other conservative Republicans, the more that they’re going to punish him with a loss of support and a loss of faith and confidence in his message and what he brings to the political process,” Luntz said. “If I were advising him right now, I would tell him to take a very long vacation, simply disappear for the next 30 days, because he’s destroying himself every single day by attacking Ron DeSantis and Glenn Youngkin, people who other Republicans respect and appreciate and voted for in big numbers in previous elections.”
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