Friday, April 29, 2016

And Then There Were Two (Three)

Congratulations to Jon Keyser, who just made the primary ballot by way of a court challenge. (See 9News: Jon Keyser makes primary ballot via court challenge) The following blog was posted just minutes before the news.
The Republican U.S. Senate primary is, as of today, a two-man race between Darryl Glenn, a county commissioner from El Paso with little money in the bank for the June 28 primary, and Jack Graham of Larimer County. Graham, a former CSU athletic director, has nearly $1 million in the bank.
Three candidates failed to turn in sufficient petitions to make the ballot: Rob Blaha, Ryan Frazier and Jon Keyser. Keyser is protesting his exclusion since it only involved 86 signatures in the Third Congressional District. Is Graham now the frontrunner? How does he match up against the incumbent Michael Bennet?
See The Buzz: Up to Five Candidates in Colorado Republican Primary

And Then There Were Two

The Republican U.S. Senate primary is, as of today, a two-man race between Darryl Glenn, a county commissioner from El Paso with little money in the bank for the June 28 primary, and Jack Graham of Larimer County. Graham, a former CSU athletic director, has nearly $1 million in the bank.

Three candidates failed to turn in sufficient petitions to make the ballot: Rob Blaha, Ryan Frazier and Jon Keyser. Keyser is protesting his exclusion since it only involved 86 signatures in the Third Congressional District. Is Graham now the frontrunner? How does he match up against the incumbent Michael Bennet?

See The Buzz: Up to Five Candidates in Colorado Republican Primary

Is Trump the Presumptive Nominee?

Major elements of the Republican power structure and the national commentariat are beginning to believe that Donald Trump, barring a self-induced debacle the next month, will have his 1,237 delegate votes after California or be so close as to make it possible for him to pick up a handful of uncommitted.

What happened to change the widespread view that a contested convention was likely and that Trump would not win it? Wisconsin was the primary that produced the sanguine view of Trump facing a contested convention. The loss was mostly unexpected, combined with more than a week of bizarre Trumpisms on abortion and foreign policy.

What happened to turn his campaign around?
  • Even Trump realized he was in trouble, which is not easy given his exalted view of his “common sense” and off-the-cuff speaking talent. Paul Manafort brought in a team to focus on delegates and professionalize the campaign.
  • Trump shut up. He stopped the long interviews. It was the Washington Post and New York Times interviews before Wisconsin that caused huge trouble with political and policy elites.
  • He bought a teleprompter and got some speech writers. His son-in-law has had a positive influence on forcing Trump to do what his family has repeatedly requested – be more presidential.
  • Finally, the next round of primaries was in his backyard where his celebrity status and politically incorrect rap is known and popular.
It didn’t hurt that his main opponent, Ted Cruz, has no real base in New York or the region. His Texas “super conservatism” is simply not a New York value.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer Seminar for University of Denver OLLI

Professor Floyd Ciruli will offer the lead-off summer seminar for the University of Denver’s OLLI program. The seminar is titled “The Outsiders: The Year Voter Anger Upended the Establishment.”

The OLLI summer seminar flyer states:
Floyd Ciruli will handicap the U.S. presidential nomination and its effect on American foreign policy. He will discuss voter anger in America, citizen dissatisfaction with the global economy, and how politics in Europe affect the U.S. Ciruli believes the 2016 election will bring significant change to America and its foreign policy. 
Presenter: Floyd Ciruli, Colorado’s leading pollster and director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver. Floyd is a well-known political commentator, lecturer and blogger. 
The Ciruli seminar is one of eight that take on interesting and current topics from DU and other local experts. See flyer here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Trump and Sanders Affect Colorado’s Congressional Races

Regardless if they get their respective party’s nomination, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have already affected Colorado’s congressional elections.
  • The Democratic super delegate controversy helped get Diana DeGette her first primary in 20 years.
  • Gail Schwartz was strongly encouraged to run against well-positioned Republican incumbent Scott Tipton because Washington operatives believe Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz) could produce a Democratic tidal wave.
  • Congressman Ken Buck helped engineer the Ted Cruz sweep of Colorado Convention delegates, but the group was challenged in Cleveland due to a Trump protest.
  • Morgan Carroll’s fundraising is surging. Her tough race against incumbent Republican Mike Coffman now appears more competitive due to the Republicans’ bitter fight and weak prospects for president. Democratic perennial speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi has targeted this seat for years.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Save the Caucus

Caucus advocates extol the deliberative nature of the town hall meeting concept. Unfortunately, the ideal is far from the current reality; hence, the presidential caucus is on life support.

The Democratic crowd overwhelmed the volunteers (120,000) and the Republicans more private event (60,000) was opaque, and when the results were announced nearly two months later, they were not accepted by many and immediately challenged.

The Republican caucus delegates’ seating was challenged in the Cleveland Convention, not because the participants didn’t follow the rules, but because the process appeared so undemocratic. As polls show, people who participated in primaries expect the mass of voters should rule, not the small regular party-dominated events (see Colorado Caucus – A Republican Football).

Colorado state primaries for governor (2010 and 2014) and Senate (2010) have attracted upwards of 40 percent of the parties’ membership whereas the caucus system is lucky to get 10 percent, and primary results are immediate and verifiable. Current primary proposals would also include Colorado’s one million plus unaffiliated voters as possible participants.

The theoretical advantage of caucuses is that the party participants come together and deliberate, reflecting not just the passion or issue of the moment, but also party traditions and values and the desire to field a winning candidate. However, the caucus process is often overwhelmed by too many passionate participants or dominated by too few party insiders. The primary, which offers the democratic idea of mass participation in a transparent process, is hard to resist.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The New York Primary Suspended Bernie Sanders’s Campaign – He Doesn’t Know it Yet

Bernie Sanders’s loss in New York brought the already remote possibility of victory to an end.

He now would need 72 percent of the remaining delegates, and he’d be lucky given the demographics of the upcoming states and the Democratic proportional rule to get 50 percent of the remaining delegates.

Arguably, he will continue to represent the leftist cause and his liberal constituents in Philadelphia, but he will not be the nominee, and if he doesn’t tone down the attack on Hillary Clinton’s credibility, he will be vulnerable to the charge of further damaging the Democratic ticket in November and purposely harming the first serious woman nominee.