While host Jimmy Kimmel and several other TV stars skewered Donald Trump during the 68th annual Emmy Awards on Sunday night, Hollywood Democrats were quietly panicking over the Republican presidential candidate’s election chances while mingling during pre- and post-Emmy parties, according to a report.
Sharon Waxman, founder and CEO of The Wrap, reported Monday that she ran into Republican pollster Frank Luntz during a post-Emmy party at the Pacific Design Center Sunday night, where he was busy taking questions from concerned Democrats about the 2016 race.
Here’s how Waxman put it:
What’s going to happen? a group of eager Hollywood acolytes wanted Luntz to tell them. Would Hillary Clinton manage a win?
Luntz was wearing a burgundy vest and his signature Prince Valiant hairstyle, and shook his head sagely. “She’s going to win, but I can’t say anymore that it’s for certain,” he said.
The group recoiled.
Waxman also wrote that Hollywood Clinton supporters appear to be “seized by election nerves,” and Luntz reminded the celebrity worriers that they are “out of touch” with the majority of the American people.
Judging by the quips at Sunday night’s ceremony, one wouldn’t think Hollywood would be nervous about Trump (or maybe one would).
Kimmel went after the Republican candidate early on in his opening monologue: “If it wasn’t for television, would Donald Trump be running for president? No, he would be at home right now quietly rubbing up against [Melania] while she pretends to be asleep.”
The night’s winners, including Master of None‘s Aziz Ansari, Veep‘s Julia Louis Dreyfus and Transparent creator Jill Soloway also attacked Trump, with the latter calling the candidate an “inheritor to Hitler” in a backstage interview. Meanwhile, People vs. O.J. Simpson star Courtney B. Vance ended his speech by exclaiming, “Obama out, Hillary in!” and Saturday Night Live actress Kate McKinnon thanked Clinton during her acceptance speech.
The race between Clinton and Trump does appear to have tightened considerably with just 50 days to go until Election Day on November 8.
Reuters reported Friday that the candidates were running virtually even in a tally of projected electoral college votes, while a number of recent national polls also have the candidates tied, or even have Trump ahead.
A Los Angeles Times daily tracking poll released Monday found Trump with a 6.7-point lead over Clinton nationally, with a record-high 47.8 percent support compared to Clinton’s 41.1 percent.
See the complete list of Sunday night’s Emmy winners here.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum