Independent voters “want to hear more about law and order” and “the economic recovery,” pollster Lee Carter told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday.
Carter, the president of Maslansky & Partners, broadcast her “voter dials,” which assess the real-time reactions to the Republican National Convention from voters across the political spectrum, rating candidates’ statements from A to F.
During the third night of the Republican convention Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence painted a dark picture of what the nation would look like if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins November’s general election, warning that “you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”
“Last week Joe Biden said democracy is on the ballot and the truth is our economic recovery is on the ballot, law and order are on the ballot, but so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country,” Pence said during his speech at the RNC on Wednesday night.
He added, “The choice in this election is whether America remains America.”
Carter said, “Republicans loved this message” and gave it an A grade. She said independent voters gave it a B and Democrats gave the message an F.
She noted that the grades from Republicans and Democrats were “not surprising.”
“What we really are focused on is that independent line who gave Mike Pence a very good grade last night,” Carter said, adding that independent voters “really resonated with this.”
“They want to hear more about law and order, they want to hear more about the economic recovery,” she continued. “Those are the issues that are very, very important to them so they graded this very well.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem opened the third night of the 2020 Republican National Convention by painting a dark portrait of American cities amid the widespread unrest and violence gripping many of them following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody and, more recently, the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.
“It took 244 years to build this great nation, flaws and all, but we stand to lose it in a tiny fraction of that time if we continue down the path taken by the Democrats and their radical supporters,” Noem said during her speech.
“Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs,” she added.
RNC SPEAKER MADISON CAWTHORN RISES OUT OF WHEELCHAIR, AFTER RECALLING ACCIDENT THAT LEFT HIM PARALYZED FROM WAIST DOWN
Noem also said that “people that can afford to flee have fled, but the people that can’t, good, hardworking Americans are left to fend for themselves.”
Carter noted that Republicans gave Noem an A grade, independents gave her a B minus and Democrats gave her speech an F.
“The only dip here was when she referred to Democrats as the radicals and that’s not something that independents are liking,” Carter said. “They don’t like this polarization. They don’t like the evilness, that portrayal of evil as other.”
“But the message did resonate,” she continued, noting that “a lot of folks are really interested in hearing more about her and thought this is going to be someone to watch for years to come.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., also addressed Republicans during the third night of the convention, drawing a line between Democrats and Republicans in their responses to the crises that have hit the United States in recent times.
Blackburn condemned the Democrats’ stances on the coronavirus, the role of police and China.
“Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their radical allies try to destroy these heroes because if there are no heroes to inspire us, government can control us,” Blackburn said Wednesday night.
“If the Democrats had their way, they would keep you locked in your house until you become dependent on the government for everything,” she added. “That sounds a lot like Communist China to me.”
Carter said the reaction from dialers to Blackburn’s speech was “not quite as positive as the other messages” from the third night of the RNC. She noted that Republicans gave the speech a B-plus grade, independents gave it a B-minus and Democrats gave it an F.
Carter noted that attacks “generally don’t get as much of a positive reaction as some of those other messages.”
Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old North Carolina Republican vying for a House seat, on Wednesday night told his personal story of the tragic accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down before dramatically rising from his wheelchair to conclude his address.
Host Steve Doocy said he thought it was “the most powerful image” of the third night of the RNC.
“Americans who love our country young and old be a radical for freedom, be a radical for liberty and be a radical for our republic for which I stand, one nation, under God with the liberty and justice for all,” Cawthorn said as he stood up. “Thank you and may God bless America.”
Carter said “Republicans and independents both gave this an A,” adding that “even Democrats gave this a C, which is a big deal.”
“This was inspiring,” she continued. “This is what the American spirit is all about.”
She pointed out that “So many of the voters that responded said this is the highlight of their night.”
Carter also noted that Cawthorn is a “young gun to watch in the Republican Party and a lot of people are excited about him and [he] really drew a lot of enthusiasm.”
Carter pointed out that independent voters participating in her survey seemed to be “operating in the neutral zone” during last week’s Democratic National Convention, “while you saw the polarization of Republicans and Democrats just like this.”
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“You do see independents aligning a little bit more with Republicans this week,” she continued, adding that the polls are starting to reflect that as well.
“And so the real question is, is this a trend that’s going to continue? Is this message really speaking to the independent voters?” she asked. “We’re going to have to keep watching it.”
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser, Andrew O’Reilly and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.