GOP Pollster Frank Luntz: ‘Alabama Is a Symptom of What’s Happening Around the Country’

He may be a pollster, but Frank Luntz isn’t prepared to call today’s special election in Alabama.

Luntz has been working to show the perspective of GOP voters in Alabama during the controversial election; the state will elect a senator today to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacated seat. During a recent panel event covered by Vice News, Luntz moderated 12 conservative voters in Alabama as they discussed the allegations against GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

On today’s show, Glenn talked with Luntz about how Alabama voters are responding to the national focus on their election and analyzed their reasons for supporting Moore.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview.

Glenn: So, Frank tell me what you found in Alabama.

Frank: So, we found a very polarized and extremely excited, tense, passionate electorate that desperately wants to send a message to Washington — and to my greatest surprise: That message is coming just as hard to the Republican establishment as it is to the Democrats. There is as much criticism of the Republican leadership in Congress as there was their Democratic opponents. And this is among Republicans. That tells me that Alabama is a symptom of what’s happening across the country.

Glenn: And what’s happening across the country?

Frank: I think that people are just as fed up today as they were one year ago. I think that they’re disappointed with the rate of change in Washington — that the swamp has not been drained. And I think that they’re ready to say, ‘I’ve had it and I’m going to vote even more people out in the next election.’

Thankfully all the speculation will be over once this race is called, but that won't be the end of the drama.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: So if I had to -- if I could talk to only one person to try to figure out what America was thinking, that one person would be Frank Luntz. He runs Luntz Global, and you can find out all about it at FocuswithFrank.com. But he does things for businesses and politicians and everything else. When you're really trying to get a beat on what people are feeling, Frank is really good with his focus groups. And he's just been in Alabama. Welcome to the program, Frank Luntz. How are you?

FRANK: You're always the kindest person on the radio. I don't know if your listeners have ever met you before. But you've always been the kindest guy. And I'm not sure if that's your image. But --

GLENN: Yes, you do, Frank. If anybody knows my image, you would know my image.

STU: I thought you knew the people, Frank. You don't know that's not his image?

GLENN: That's clearly not my image.

(laughter)

So, Frank, tell me what you found in Alabama.

FRANK: So we found a very polarized and extremely excited, intense, passionate electorate that desperately wants to send a message to Washington. And to my greatest surprise, that message is coming just as hard to the Republican establishment, as it is to the Democrats.

There is as much criticism of the Republican leadership in Congress as there was their Democratic opponent. And this is among Republicans. And that tells me that Alabama is a symptom of what's happening across the country.

GLENN: And what's happening across the country?

FRANK: I think people are just as fed up today as they are one year ago. I think they're disappointed with the rate of change in Washington that the swamp has not been drained, and I think that they're ready to say, I've had it. And I'm going to vote even more people out in the next election.

GLENN: So, Frank, the -- the idea that Alabama has to vote for somebody who is accused of improprieties and possibly worse, 20 years ago, and a guy who is abortion on demand, it's really, truly the lesser of two evils. And, you know, for God-fearing people, you know, abortion is more evil than somebody doing something 20 years ago.

Do I have that right or wrong?

FRANK: You have it right. But I'd be careful. Because that's not -- they will not let themselves be caught saying that. What they're saying that it is all evil, that it all needs to change, and that is the guy, Roy Moore, in their minds, this is the guy who they think is most likely to shake the hell out of Washington, DC.

GLENN: So what do they feel about his -- the accusations?

FRANK: They don't think they're true. They don't think that they're real. They think that is woman who have been paid by --

GLENN: Gloria Allred or the left or whoever.

FRANK: Or even what's his name?

GLENN: Soros?

FRANK: Soros and the Democrats. They think that America is under attack, is under siege. And they desperately want to send a message, enough is enough. And they want to do it in an emotional way.

GLENN: So what do you think this means, Frank, assuming that Roy Moore wins? Do you think he's going to win?

FRANK: I can't -- you know, I've never -- in my professional life, I've never held back a -- a projection. I've always felt that I should speak up because that's my job, as a poster is to know what's going to happen. I can't do it this time. Glenn, I just don't know. I don't believe any of the polls. I think someone is going to look really foolish when the election is over.

GLENN: Yeah, I've never seen -- have you seen a 20-point spread in polls?

FRANK: Never. And there was a spread during Clinton. But the spread during Clinton is a ten-point spread. It means that an awful lot of people are lying to pollsters right now. And that's because they're afraid of the pressure. This essence of political correctness, which is the thing that I urge you to address -- I urge you on your shows going forward to talk about it, because it is poisoning our students' minds. It is poisoning the public debate, that we can no longer say what we truly believe of our fear that it will hurt us, professionally or personally.

GLENN: But how do you -- you know, Frank, I would love to have you on for an extended period of time, because I think you can teach us so much. And I mean the audience in America. How do you have that conversation when millennials are saying that, you know, there should be safe zones, there should be limits on speech.

FRANK: Right. But those are by their definitions, safe zones. So that you're not allowed to ask the question, why does a murderer in California who shouldn't even be in this country, why does that person get let off? You can't have a conversation about border security. But on the same token, Glenn, you also can't say, why is there such negativity in this tweeting? Why can't we tweet each other with respect as we are criticizing each other for beliefs that we don't share?

I think that the coarseness of our culture has been so -- so destroyed by social media, that the ability to talk to each other in a tough, but respectful way, is gone.

It's not that it's going. It's gone.

STU: Frank, you and I have seen each other at some really low points. We've seen each other, where I've come to you, Frank, help me. I have no hope left.

Have you found -- have you found hope in all of the polling?

FRANK: No. Not at all. I'm in the worst place I've ever been in my professional life internally. I don't really want to have this conversation with a million people. But no. I don't.

Because I understand the Trump voter, who is desperate to save his or her country.

GLENN: Yeah.

FRANK: I understand the feeling of African-Americans who don't want to go back to the 1950s and '60s, because that was a bad time for them in this country. I understand those who came from other countries legally, but they're being demonized by the illegal population. I get millennials, who are nervous about where the country is headed. They see the fires and they see the hurricanes and they see the weather, and they wonder what's going on.

I hear all of this. And I appreciate it. But the truth is, most people don't. They see what they want to see, and they disregard the rest.

GLENN: Is there a way in this world of social media, is there a way to come back together? Is there a message that will bring us together? Because I feel exactly the same way, Frank. I really, truly believe that the vast majority of people feel this way. They're tired of this. They don't want to live like this. They don't want to be at each other's throats.

FRANK: Well, two things, one is -- this is a plug. But not really. I want to hear from those people. And if they go to Luntz Global, which is my website, they can sign up for the focus groups that you talk about, they can sign up and their voices can be heard, and there won't be any shouting. And there won't be any disrespect.

They'll get a chance to be heard, and they'll get a chance to learn from others. But the other thing is, I want them to see this Vice News HBO clip. And all you have to do is go on YouTube, type in Alabama, and my name. And they'll see the entire seven and a half minutes. Some of it should shock you. Should shock them. By how --

GLENN: What shock -- tell me about it.

FRANK: -- explicit they are.

A simple question, a 14-year-old, one of the people said his grandmother was married when she was 13 and she had two kids by the time she was 15, that there are a lot of people who would be proud that their daughter of that age was dating a district attorney.

I -- I don't get that. That doesn't compute to me. And I don't care if that's 2017 or you're referring to 20 or 30 years ago, it ain't right. It just isn't.

And --

GLENN: But, you know, that's the one thing -- I keep coming back, Frank, to Jerry Lee Lewis, he married his 13-year-old cousin. And nobody in the South had a problem with that.

FRANK: Well, they did have a problem with it. You know this.

GLENN: No, no, no. They had a problem with it in England, and that's what really tore everything apart.

FRANK: Well, he would have been -- I think he would have been as big as Elvis.

GLENN: I do too.

FRANK: That man was one of the greatest piano players. And by the way, he played here in LA three weeks ago. And even in his 80s, the man is brilliant. But he never had the career that he could have had because outside his home area, Americans found that too much to take.

GLENN: Correct. Correct. Outside of his home area. But his home area -- and this is really kind of -- you know, the same kind of area that Roy Moore is from. I mean, it's different, especially back then.

FRANK: But does that make it okay?

GLENN: No.

FRANK: There was segregation back then. Does that make it okay?

GLENN: No.

FRANK: So that's the issue that I have. I know we cannot judge. I've been through this with so many people with these conversations. We cannot judge values and morals by today's standards, looking back 40 years ago. Because we think differently. And we act differently. But that said, I don't feel like we've learned what we should have learned. I don't feel like we have that same commonality that existed in this country years ago. I think there's so much more that divides us than unites us, and we're looking for those divisions. We're seeking to tear ourselves apart. And that's frightening to me.

GLENN: What is the biggest thing we have in common?

FRANK: Well, biggest thing is appreciation for the country. But I will tell you right now that one out of five Americans isn't patriotic anymore. One out of five Americans does not feel that this is the greatest country on the earth, does not feel that our system is the best system. And that's different. That was the one thing that united us 25 years ago. Under Reagan's administration, we all thought that even with our imperfections, we were still the best. That exceptionalism is gone in one out of five Americans.

GLENN: And out of those one out of five Americans, what do they think is the best?

FRANK: They just believe --

GLENN: Anything better?

FRANK: No. They won't give anything better, but they refuse to accept American exceptionalism. By the way, they do tend to vote Democrat a lot more than they vote Republican. But I don't want to bring partisanship into this. When you can't even agree on your country's values, then we're in deep trouble.

GLENN: Have you tested the Bill of Rights?

FRANK: Yes.

GLENN: How are those testing? Those principles?

FRANK: It's really weird. It's like, have you tested mom and apple pie?

GLENN: Right. Right.

FRANK: Well, the first problem is that Americans don't even know what the Bill of Rights are. They don't know the three systems of government. We have more people in this country who believe that UFOs believe than that believe Social Security will exist when they retire. We have more people in this country that can name the home of the Simpsons than where Abraham Lincoln was born. More people can name more Kardashians, than can name members of the Supreme Court.

All of that scared the living hell of me because we know our pop culture absolutely to the last detail and we know nothing about our Founding Fathers.

GLENN: Frank Luntz. He is the founder and chairman of Luntz Global. I urge you to go with -- go to FocuswithFrank.com. And sign up for some of his testing. He is -- he is one of the best listeners.

He is truly empathetic. And can hear beyond the words. I think he is -- quite honestly, I think he is a solution to many of the things that ail us, if more people will speak honestly and more people like Frank will listen.

Please go to FocuswithFrank.com. And sign up to be part of his focus groups. FocuswithFrank.com. Frank Luntz, always a pleasure and a privilege to have you on the program. Thank you, sir.

FRANK: Thank you.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar brings white fan onstage to sing with him, but here’s the catch

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express

Rapper Kendrick Lamar asked a fan to come onstage and sing with him, only to condemn her when she failed to censor all of the song's frequent mentions of the “n-word" while singing along.

RELATED: You'll Never Guess Who Wrote the Racist Message Targeting Black Air Force Cadets

“I am so sorry," she apologized when Lamar pointed out that she needed to “bleep" that word. “I'm used to singing it like you wrote it." She was booed at by the crowd of people, many screaming “f*** you" after her mistake.

On Tuesday's show, Pat and Jeffy watched the clip and talked about some of the Twitter reactions.

“This is ridiculous," Pat said. “The situation with this word has become so ludicrous."

What happened?

MSNBC's Katy Tur didn't bother to hide her pro-gun control bias in an interview with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the wake of the Santa Fe High School killings.

RELATED: Media Are Pushing Inflated '18 School Shootings' Statistic. Here Are the Facts.

What did she ask?

As Pat pointed out while sitting in for Glenn on today's show, Tur tried to “badger" Paxton into vowing that he would push for a magical fix that will make schools “100 percent safe." She found it “just wild" that the Texas attorney general couldn't promise that schools will ever be completely, totally safe.

“Can you promise kids in Texas today that they're safe to go to school?" Tur pressured Paxton.

“I don't think there's any way to say that we're ever 100 percent safe," the attorney general responded.

What solutions did the AG offer?

“We've got a long way to go," Paxton said. He listed potential solutions to improve school safety, including installing security officers and training administrators and teachers to carry a gun.

Pat's take:

“Unbelievable," Pat said on today's show. “Nobody can promise [100 percent safety]."

Every president from George Washington to Donald Trump has issued at least one executive order (with the exception of William Harrison who died just 31 days into his presidency) and yet the U.S. Constitution doesn't even mention executive orders. So how did the use of this legislative loophole become such an accepted part of the job? Well, we can thank Franklin Roosevelt for that.

Back at the chalkboard, Glenn Beck broke down the progression of the executive order over the years and discussed which US Presidents have been the “worst offenders."

RELATED: POWER GRAB: Here's how US presidents use 'moments of crisis' to override Constitutional law

“It's hard to judge our worst presidential overreachers on sheer numbers alone," said Glenn. “However, it's not a shock that FDR issued by far the most of any president."

Our first 15 presidents issued a combined total of 143. By comparison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3721, more than twice the next runner up, Woodrow Wilson, at 1803.

“Next to FDR, no other president in our history attempted to reshape so much of American life by decree, until we get to this guy: President Obama," Glenn explained. “He didn't issue 3000, or even 1800; he did 276 executive orders, but it was the power of those orders. He instituted 560 major regulations classified by the Congressional Budget Office as having 'significant economic or social impacts.' That's 50 percent more regulations than George W. Bush's presidency — and remember, everybody thought he was a fascist."

President Obama blamed an obstructionist Congress for forcing him to bypass the legislative process. By executive order, President Obama decreed the U.S. join the Paris Climate Accord, DACA, the Clean Power Plan and transgender restrooms. He also authorized spying in US citizens through section 702 of FISA, used the IRS to target political opponents and ordered military action in Libya without Congressional permission.

All of these changes were accepted by the very people who now condemn President Trump for his use of executive orders — many of which were issued to annul President Obama's executive orders, just as President Obama annulled President Bush's executive orders when he took office … and therein lies the rub with executive orders.

“That's not the way it's supposed to work, nor would we ever want it to be," said Glenn. “We have to have the Constitution and laws need to originate in Congress."

Watch the video above to find out more.

Six months ago, I alerted readers to the very attractive benefits that the TreasuryDirect program offers to investors who are defensively sitting on cash right now.

Since then, those benefits have continued to improve. Substantially.

Back in November, by holding extremely conservative short-term (i.e., 6-months or less) Treasury bills, TreasuryDirect participants were receiving over 16x more in interest payments vs keeping their cash in a standard bank savings account.

Today, they're now receiving over 30 times more. Without having to worry about the risk of a bank "bail-in" or failure.

So if you're holding cash right now and NOT participating in the TreasuryDirect program, do yourself a favor and read on. If you're going to pass on this opportunity, at least make it an 'eyes-wide-open' decision.

Holding Cash (In Treasurys) Now Beats The Market

There are many prudent reasons to hold cash in today's dangerously overvalued financial markets, as we've frequently touted here at PeakProsperity.com.

Well, there's now one more good reason to add to the list: holding cash in short-term Treasurys is now meeting/beating the dividend returns offered by the stock market:

"Cash Is King" Again - 3-Month Bills Yield More Than Stocks (Zero Hedge)
'Reaching for yield' just got a lot easier...
For the first time since February 2008, three-month Treasury bills now have a yield advantage over the S&P; 500 dividend yield (and dramatically lower risk).
Investors can earn a guaranteed 1.90% by holding the 3-month bills or a risky 1.89% holding the S&P; 500...

The longest period of financial repression in history is coming to an end...

And it would appear TINA is dead as there is now an alternative.

And when you look at the total return (dividends + appreciation) of the market since the start of 2018, stocks have returned only marginally better than 3-month Treasurys. Plus, those scant few extra S&P; points have come with a LOT more risk.

Why take it under such dangerously overvalued conditions?

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

In my June report Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving, I explained how the Federal Reserve's policy of holding interest rates at record lows has decimated savers. Those who simply want to park money somewhere "safe" can't do so without losing money in real terms.

To drive this point home: back in November, the average interest rate being offered in a US bank savings account was an insutling 0.06%. Six months later, nothing has changed:

(Source

That's virtually the same as getting paid 0%. But it's actually worse than that, because once you take inflation into account, the real return on your savings is markedly negative.

And to really get your blood boiling, note that the Federal Reserve has rasied the federal funds rate it pays banks from 1.16% in November to 1.69% in April. Banks are now making nearly 50% more money on the excess reserves they park at the Fed -- but are they passing any of that free profit along to their depositors? No....

This is why knowing about the TreasuryDirect program is so important. It's a way for individual investors savvy enough to understand the game being played to bend some of its rules to their favor and limit the damage they suffer.

Below is an updated version (using today's rates) of my recap of TreasuryDirect, which enables you to get over 30x more interest on your cash savings than your bank will pay you, with lower risk.

TreasuryDirect

For those not already familiar with it, TreasuryDirect is a service offered by the United States Department of the Treasury that allows individual investors to purchase Treasury securities such as T-Bills, notes and bonds directly from the U.S. government.

You purchase these Treasury securities by linking a TreasuryDirect account to your personal bank account. Once linked, you use your cash savings to purchase T-bills, etc from the US Treasury. When the Treasury securities you've purchased mature or are sold, the proceeds are deposited back into your bank account.

So why buy Treasuries rather than keep your cash savings in a bank? Two main reasons:

  • Much higher return: T-Bills are currently offering an annualized return rate between 1.66-2.04%. Notes and bonds, depending on their duration, are currently offering between 2.6% - 3.1%
  • Extremely low risk: Your bank can change the interest rate on your savings account at any time -- with Treasury bills, your rate of return is locked in at purchase. Funds in a bank are subject to risks such as a bank bail-in or the insolvency of the FDIC depositor protection program -- while at TreasuryDirect, your funds are being held with the US Treasury, the institution with the lowest default risk in the country for reasons I'll explain more in a moment.

Let's look at a quick example. If you parked $100,000 in the average bank savings account for a full year, you would earn $60 in interest. Let's compare this to the current lowest-yielding TreasuryDirect option: continuously rolling that same $100,000 into 4-week T-Bills for a year:

  1. Day 1: Funds are transferred from your bank account to TreasuryDirect to purchase $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at auction yielding 1.68%
  2. Day 28: the T-Bills mature and the Treasury holds the full $100,000 proceeds in your TreasuryDirect account. Since you've set up the auto-reinvestment option, TreasuryDirect then purchases another $100,000 face value of 4-week T-Bills at the next auction.
  3. Days 29-364: the process repeats every 4 weeks
  4. Day 365: assuming the average yield for T-Bills remained at 1.68%, you will have received $1,680 in interest in total throughout the year from the US Treasury.

$1,680 vs $60. That's a 27x difference in return.

And the comparison only improves if you decide to purchase longer duration (13-week or 26-week) bills instead of the 4-week ones:

Repeating the above example for a year using 13-week bills would yield $1,925. Using 26-week bills would yield $2,085. A lot better (34x better!) than $60.

Opportunity Cost & Default Risk

So what are the downsides to using TreasuryDirect? There aren't many.

The biggest one is opportunity cost. While your money is being held in a T-Bill, it's tied up at the US Treasury. If you suddenly need access to those funds, you have to wait until the bill matures.

But T-Bill durations are short. 4 weeks is not a lot of time to have to wait. (If you think the probability is high you may to need to pull money out of savings sooner than that, you shouldn't be considering the TreasuryDirect program.)

Other than that, TreasuryDirect offers an appealing reduction in risk.

If your bank suddenly closes due to a failure, any funds invested in TreasuryDirect are not in your bank account, so are not subject to being confiscated in a bail-in.

Instead, your money is held as a T-Bill, note or bond, which is essentially an obligation of the US Treasury to pay you in full for the face amount. The US Treasury is the single last entity in the country (and quite possibly, the world) that will ever default on its obligations. Why? Because Treasurys are the mechanism by which money is created in the US. Chapter 8 from The Crash Course explains:

As a result, to preserve its ability to print the money it needs to function, the US government will bring its full force and backing to bear in order to ensure confidence in the market for Treasurys.

Meaning: the US government won't squelch on paying you back the money you lent it. If required, it will just print the money it needs to repay you.

So, How To Get Started?

Usage of TreasuryDirect is quite low among investors today. Many are unaware of the program. Others simply haven't tried it out.

And let's be real: it's crazy that we live in a world where a 1.68-2.09% return now qualifies as an exceptionally high yield on savings. A lot of folks just can't get motivated to take action by rates that low. But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't -- money left on the table is money forfeited.

So, if you're interested in learning more about the TreasuryDirect program, start by visiting their website. Like everything operated by the government, it's pretty 'no frills'; but their FAQ page addresses investors' most common questions.

Before you decide whether or not to fund an account there, be sure to discuss the decision with your professional financial advisor to make sure it fits well with your personal financial situation and goals. (If you're having difficulty finding a good one, consider scheduling a free discussion with PeakProsperity.com's endorsed financial advisor -- who has considerable experience managing TreasuryDirect purchases for many of its clients).

In Part 2: A Primer On How To Use TreasuryDirect, we lay out the step-by-step process for opening, funding and transacting within a TreasuryDirect account. We've created it to be a helpful resource for those self-directed individuals potentially interested in increasing their return on their cash savings in this manner.

Yes, we savers are getting completely abused by our government's policies. So there's some poetic justice in using the government's own financing instruments to slightly lessen the sting of the whip.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

NOTE: PeakProsperity.com does not have any business relationship with the TreasuryDirect program. Nor is anything in the article above to be taken as an offer of personal financial advice. As mentioned, discuss any decision to participate in TreasuryDirect with your professional financial advisor before taking action.