Words that Work Frank Luntz

On the Power of Asking a Question Rather than just Stating a Fact

December 28, 2018 Posted by Excerpts 0 thoughts on “On the Power of Asking a Question Rather than just Stating a Fact”

If unemployment and inflation are up and confidence in the future is down, telling voters that life has gotten worse, while clearly factual, is less effective than asking voters “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?” Ronald Reagan asked Jimmy Carter and the tens of millions of debate listeners this devastating political question in their only face-to-face campaign encounter in 1980. No litany of economic data or political accusation could carry the power of a simple rhetorical question that for most Americans has an equally simple answer. “Are you better off” framed not just the debate, held only five days before the election, but the entire campaign, and it propelled Reagan from a dead even to ta nine-point victory over the incumbent Carter.

Excerpt from: Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear by Frank Luntz

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