Friday, August 23, 2019

Gallup Polls Forewarn Political Crises in Argentina and Italy


Pollsters were surprised that an expected close primary election became a 16-point rout of incumbent President Mauricio Macri’s government in a national vote August 16. A stalled economy and a revitalized Peronist Party with a more mild-mannered nominee, Alberto Fernández, put Macri on the defense.

A Gallup poll published August 17 showed 62 percent of Argentinians said the economy where they lived was getting worse. The negative view of the economy started shortly after Macri was elected and various austerity measures were enacted. An anticipated economic recovery failed to appear.

Presidential hopeful, Alberto Fernández (right), and former president, current
 senator and vice-presidential hopeful, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at
campaign rally in Rosario, Santa Fe, Aug. 7, 2019 | Frente de Todos/AFP


Confidence in the Italian government is at 21 percent among citizens according to Gallup (Aug. 20, 2019). It is down 10 percent in the last 5 years, from 31 percent in 2014. On Tuesday, the government fell as the center-right party withdrew its support and the prime minister resigned, possibly leading to a new election. Matteo Salvini, an anti-immigration, Eurosceptic nationalist, is gambling on winning a majority for his League party and govern without his current coalition partner, the Five Star Movement.

Giuseppe Conte (C) with ministers Matteo Salvini (L) and Luigi Di Maio
during his resignation speech, Aug. 20, 2019 | RTÉ Newsroom

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sanders and Warren Control Half the Colorado Democratic Electorate

Colorado’s Democrats have been on the left of the party’s national center for years and generally are not fond of the establishment’s primary candidates when given a choice. In 2016, they overwhelmingly went for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in spite of her near universal endorsements from the party’s elected leadership. Hillary Clinton was also beaten by the more left outsider, Barack Obama, in the 2008 nominating contest.

In a new Democratic primary poll, Sanders leads it with 25 percent over Joe Biden with 25 percent, followed closely by Elizabeth Warren at 20 percent. Sanders and Warren have 45 percent of the Colorado field as of August. Sanders’ support in Colorado, as nationally, is mostly made up of the old guard of 2016 supporters, whereas Warren is attracting more women, higher social economic status voters, and people curious about her plans and momentum. (Emerson College robo poll with panel for cell phones, N1000, 8/16-19/19.)

Michael Bennet scored one point in the poll.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Michael Bennet: A Decision is Near

Michael Bennet faces the same deadline as John Hickenlooper. On August 28, the DNC debate rules close the door on the September 12 debate at 2 percent in four reputable national polls. John bailed out on August 15. The Fox News poll of August 13 had both Hickenlooper and Bennet at zero percent. That is, none of the more than 1,000 respondents offered support after their names were read in a list of more than 20. Unfortunately for Bennet, the latest CNN poll of 1,001 completed on August 18 has him at zero percent, down from one percent in May. Bennet will not be alone in having to make a decision soon. At least a half a dozen additional candidates will be shut out by the rules.

The polling bottom candidates likely to be out soon:
  • Congressman Tim Ryan
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Senator Michael Bennet
  • Congressman John Delaney
  • Washington Governor Jay Inslee

Warren Surges, Bernie Falters

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the campaign
 trail in Iowa, Feb. 2019
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Elizabeth Warren is now second in Iowa, newly ahead of Bernie Sanders and second in the RealClearPolitics national average.

Sanders, who remains ahead in fundraising and number of donors, has his hardcore 2016 supporters, but Warren has the momentum. Sanders, realizing his campaign had stagnated after the first debate, rebooted to a bigger commitment to Medicare for All and a more forceful presence in the second debate. Unfortunately for him, the debates may limit the field, but a good performance has only rarely moved many Democratic voters. And, of course, Warren was also judged to have performed well in both debates.

Notice the other changes in the Iowa line-up. Tom Steyer now makes the top 7 list at 2 percent. He also in on the list in New Hampshire. Not only is Warren ahead of Sanders in Iowa, but Kamala Harris is tied, and Amy Klobuchar replaces Beto O’Rourke from his national sixth position.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally
in Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 7, 2019
Photo: Nati Harnik/AP
One of Sanders’ strengths is his consistency of message, even if it is three years older and about a century out-of-date. But, it is being overshadowed by Warren’s plan a week for America’s ills. And
Sanders’ Medicare for All, which has never been very popular with the general public, is increasingly seen as flawed due to the party moderates attacking it as inimical to private insurance, massively expensive and politically impractical. Sanders, of course, was hoping to be the main foil to the Democratic establishment’s centrist, Joe Biden. And now, he’s being forced to share the platform with Warren and face a stage full of critics.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Job Growth: First Six Months in Colorado

Although Boulder, the heartland of the new Colorado Democrats, has the top job growth the first six months of 2019 (a little surprising since they often eschew growth and jobs), it is shared with Republican Colorado with Grand Junction, Greeley and Colorado Springs joining it in the top four.

Will Hickenlooper Run for Senate? Rudin’s Weekly Podcast

Ken Rudin
Ken Rudin’s weekly podcast featured John Hickenlooper on the day he quit his unsuccessful presidential race and started speculation on a U.S. Senate run against Cory Gardner. Rudin, for years, was a regular on NPR’s All Things Considered with his feature show, “Political Junkie.”

After a long conversation on Hickenlooper’s failed presidential campaign and the 2020 political environment in Colorado, Rudin asked me three questions?
  • Will Hickenlooper run for senate?
  • If there is a primary, will he win it?
  • Will he win the general election?
  1. I answered the last question first. Odds are very high Hickenlooper would win senate race. But, as of today, the year looks so positive for Democrats, several of the top declared candidates could likely win.
  2. The field can’t be cleared. There will be a primary. The national and Colorado Democratic political establishment has limited influence in Colorado. The top candidates have raised more money for their senate campaigns than Hickenlooper for his presidential campaign. Hickenlooper has never been in a Colorado primary contest, and the activists in the party have many objections to Hickenlooper’s Colorado record and presidential politics.
  3. The pressure on Hickenlooper to run is growing, even as he has said it may not be a good fit for him. He will not be able to wait for months to decide. The people in the field are building fundraising bases and grassroots organizers.
Listen to my speculations here

Ken Rudin's "Political Junkie" website
Rudin goes in-depth on issues. This week, besides Hickenlooper, he featured a Democratic pollster on whether after years of inactivity on gun control has the politics changed (Yes!)? Also, he examined why Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s presidential ambitions have stalled. Is it at least partially due to Democratic activists and funders unhappy with her role in Al Franken’s resignation from the Senate (Yes!)?

Listen to the full interview here

Monday, August 19, 2019

Airport Needs New Leadership?

In 1993, Wellington Webb, in danger of a re-election defeat, sent his top manager to get the long delayed airport and its failed automated baggage system back on track. The manager had two special assets: political skill and her close relationship to City Hall power.

Is it time Michael Hancock takes charge and the airport bureaucrats follow directions? The Denver Post documents there has been a massive and expensive mismanagement and a significant failure to communicate the problems in a timely fashion.

John Hickenlooper, Kim Day and Mayor Michael Hancock at an event at DIA.