Monday, February 24, 2020

“Thousands of Colorado 17-year-olds can vote on Super Tuesday” – Will Likely Help Bernie Sanders

Generation Z, aged 7 to 22, the cohort just behind Millennials (aged 23-36) is about to start voting in substantial numbers. A new Colorado law allows 17-year-olds, estimated at about 25,000 registered voters, to participate in the March 3 presidential primary if they turn 18 by November 3, 2020. The conventional wisdom has been that younger voters don’t participate – that has been changing. In the Colorado 2018 election, they came out in substantial numbers. I argued in an Aurora Sentinel article that they could make a difference for Bernie Sanders. My quote:

“However, the new voters could help Bernie Sanders’ candidacy and that could make a difference in a tight race. Denver pollster and commentator Floyd Ciruli said. The Vermont senator has benefited from support among Generation Z and Millennial voters.”

The division of the generations by their date of birth and current age.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Japan-U.S. Alliance and the 2020 Election

On March 2, the Korbel School will host a dialogue with experts on the vital U.S. and Japan strategic alliance. Professor Koji Murata from Doshisha University of Kyoto and Dina Smeltz, senior fellow on public opinion and foreign policy from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs will describe the current political environment in the Asian Pacific.

They will be joined by DU professors Ambassador Christopher Hill, Suisheng (Sam) Zhao and Floyd Ciruli for a panel discussion on the impact of the 2020 election on the alliance and politics in the Asia Pacific in general.

The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Office of Global Engagement and the Center for China-US Cooperation Present: Japan-U.S. Alliance and the 2020 Election.

Monday, March 2, 2020
Doors Open/Reception: 11:45 am
Program: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
University of Denver
Sie Complex, 2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO
The Forum, 1st Floor, Room 1020

Please register early
Free and open to public
Lunch provided


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Will Bernie Sanders Defeat John Hickenlooper?

Bernie Sanders is already a major problem for John Hickenlooper, and if he is the Democratic presidential nominee, Hickenlooper’s race to defeat Senator Cory Gardner takes a major blow. Hickenlooper, recognizing his weakness with the Democratic Party’s activists and special interest groups, decided early to use a petition route to the nomination.

And, although he will show up at the Saturday, March 7 caucus, he won’t be popular. Sanders’s supporters, who are likely to dominate the March 3 presidential primary, are one of the most powerful forces in the party today, and Hickenlooper is one of their least favorite politicians. Recall, he specifically criticized Sanders’s socialism in debates and called him a loser at the 2019 California Democratic convention and got booed for it by the party’s left wing and Sanders accolades.

The caucus, convention and primary processes from now to June 30 will provide a perfect platform to endlessly criticize Hickenlooper. And, of course, they will be joined by the anti-fracking activists that have already disrupted the State of the State speech and have specifically targeted Hickenlooper with their anger and aggressive tactics.

If Hickenlooper survives the primary because a majority of the party still wants to win in November, he may then have to run with the most vulnerable Democratic nominee since George McGovern in 1972, who only carried Massachusetts and D.C. (even Vermont voted for Nixon). Candidate Trump will assail him as an extremist. Cory Gardner will be the major beneficiary as moderate Republicans stay with the President and moderate Democrats abandon the ticket.

Read The Buzz:
Sanders Surging. Now Leading in California. Will Sanders Win Colorado?
Is Bernie Sanders the George McGovern of 2020?

Nomination Contests Just Starts - Only 64 Delegates Selected

A huge wave of publicity has engulfed the Democrats. After two nomination events with only 0.3 percent of the delegates needed for the Democratic nomination, the pundits are beginning to declare the contest over.

Iowa and New Hampshire Muddle the Field

The impact of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have been well documented, but it’s still impressive to observe, especially since the Democratic Party’s goal has been to winnow the candidates through debates (another Feb. 19) and early events, and there are still seven in the field, not counting Michael Bloomberg who won’t enter until March 3.

Nevada’s (36) and South Carolina’s (54) 90 delegates will add slightly to the total (155), but the main events don’t begin until Tuesday, March 3, from Maine to Texas, to California to North Carolina, when 1,357 delegates are selected, or nearly 30 percent of the total convention-pledged delegation

Will Colorado Have Record Turnout? 

Colorado’s modest 67 delegates could attract 500,000 mail-back ballots from Democratic and unaffiliated voters. Turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire has not been exceptional – will Colorado set a record?

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Super Tuesday Twelve Days Out

After one more debate and two more preliminary events, 14 states, one territory and a group of Democrats abroad will weigh in on Super Tuesday with 1,357 delegates, or more than 8 times the first four caucuses and primaries.

Thus far, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg – the frontrunners in votes and delegates – have been attracting about a quarter of the votes, which has translated into a third of the delegates. Unless the field clears soon, Sanders, who has a national base of previous supporters and young people, will collect around 1,400 delegates, but needs 1,991 to win in the first round at the convention.

If the convention goes to a second round, 771 super delegates – mostly appointed elected officials and party leaders – will be allowed to vote. They will be inclined to try to balance the issue and candidate passion of the primary voters with the goal of winning the general election, especially in swing states. That will be an interesting process to watch.

Since the last contested Democratic convention in 1952, the party has shifted most of its discretion and deliberation to the caucus and primary voter. To attempt to shift it back to the delegates in a deliberative process will be a major change and no doubt be accompanied by a major war on the floor of the convention.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Sanders Leads in Two Largest Super Tuesday States – California and Texas

A new poll in Texas now has Bernie Sanders ahead of Joe Biden by 2 points (UT/Texas Tribune – Sanders 24%, Biden 22%, Warren 15%, Bloomberg 10%). Older polls, when blended together, have Biden ahead by 5 points. But, it’s fading fast. Several California polls in early 2020 placed Sanders ahead by 5 points (4 polls average – Sanders 26%, Biden 21%, Warren 20%, Buttigieg 7%, Bloomberg 4%). In neither state does Sanders exceed his quarter of the Democratic electorate, but the still multiple centrist candidates are dividing the opposition.

Eight Left on Valentine’s Day. How Many Make March 3?

The list of Democratic dropouts is long (18) and grew by three within hours of the New Hampshire primary results.

Actual election results have a way of instilling reality into the most wildly optimistic and aggressive vanity campaigns. The lack of measurable polling support can be rationalized away with various longshot theories and the lack of funds is less severe for the millionaires and online fundraising experts, but few votes and no delegates end the show. The media packs up, the staff moves on, and in the case of Michael Bennet, you start to worry about the judgement of Colorado voters who just got their March 3 ballots.

There are at least two candidates who are unlikely to gather much support beyond the 1 or 2 percent they currently have. Tom Steyer is proving that money alone does not buy the nomination. Tulsi Gabbard has a miniscule support base and is mostly being ignored, except online.

Will Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom have lost more than a third of their support (10 points) in a few weeks, make it until March 3? As of today, Michael Bloomberg may be the frontrunner to take on Bernie Sanders. But, the continued muddle is making a fight all the way to the convention likely.