Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
March 19, 2011

The 2012 presidential race is under way at the state GOP convention, where conservative commentator and pollster Frank Luntz has just talked to hundreds of people at the convention’s luncheon in Sacramento.

While advising Republicans on how to use political language, Luntz conducted an informal applause poll among the crowd on the possible GOP presidential candidates.

Those winning the loudest applause were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin also received a good amount of applause. Other names such as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who will address the convention tonight, and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels received less applause.

Luntz, who appears regularly on Fox News, advised Republicans to consolidate their gains from the mid-term elections.

“If you can’t be disciplined, then you are doomed to fail,” Luntz said. “We have a very skeptical electorate that did not vote Republican in 2010. They voted anti-Democrat.”

Luntz said he had asked the luncheon’s organizers to close the event to media but had changed his mind and would stick with his original plan.

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