Undecided voters in pollster focus group describe Trump as 'controlled' and Biden as 'vague' in debate

A focus group of undecided voters called President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE “controlled” and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE “vague” following their final debate on Thursday night.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz convened a virtual focus group of 14 undecided voters for the Nashville, Tenn., debate, many of whom used the word "civil" to describe the overall tone of the faceoff.

Several of the focus group participants said they were more likely to consider voting for Trump after the debate.


"I am leaning more toward Trump now, however I still don't feel like I have good answers on the race issues and that's a very, very important issue to me in this country right now," said one participant. 

However, the majority said Biden had "better character" than Trump.

"It's a choice between character and policy," one participant said, summing it up.

The participants in the focus group are all registered to vote in one of 11 swing states and were undecided on their vote when they were selected.

"In the mind of the undecided voters, Trump won," Luntz told CNBC's "Squawk Box" after the debate. "But he did not win by a significant margin. It's not going to change any votes."


Other words the focus group participants used to describe Trump included "reserved," "poised" and "surprisingly presidential," as well as the more critical "con artist."

Other words they used to describe Biden included "unspecific," "elusive" and "defensive," as well as the more positive "grandfatherly."

Luntz predicts Biden will win the presidential election and told Fox News if "Donald Trump surprises people," then "my profession is done."

The majority of the focus group following this debate said it was better than the first. Undecided voters in Luntz's focus group following the first presidential debate in September described Trump as a “bully” and Biden as “better than expected."