Thursday, September 19, 2019

DU Panel on 2020 Election: Presidential and Senate Primaries, October 8, 2019

On March 3, 2020, Colorado will hold its first presidential primary in twenty years. It will join fifteen others states on Super Tuesday to help sort out the race. What will the field look like? Who will win Colorado and who’s likely to be the frontrunner on March 4?

Also, Colorado has one of the U.S. Senate races that could decide which party controls the chamber. Will John Hickenlooper maintain his frontrunner status into the June 30, 2020 primary? Does Cory Gardner have a path to victory?

On October 8, 2019, the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research and the Korbel School at the University of Denver will assemble a bipartisan panel of political experts to examine and debate the political environment.

Panel Discussion: Colorado 2020 Presidential and Senate Primaries: 

Moderator: Floyd Ciruli, Director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research

Panelists:
Steve Welchert – Democratic consultant, campaign manager, congressional candidates, ballot issues
Sheila MacDonald – Democratic consultant, campaign manager, ballot issues
Kelly Maher – Republican consultant, 9KUSA commentator
Dick Wadhams – Republican consultant, campaign manager and former State Chair

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
University of Denver Campus
Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex
Room 1150
2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO

SAVE THE DATE
More details later

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Photo Op Diplomacy

John Bolton | Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Although there is near universal relief from American allies and adversaries with the departure of John Bolton, at least one of his positions that aroused the ire of Donald Trump was welcomed in foreign policy circles – criticism of photo op diplomacy.

Photo op diplomacy, like handshakes in Singapore, walks across the DMZ, smiles in Helsinki, and proposed Taliban meetings at Camp David and at the UN with Iranian leaders, all devoid of any planning, strategy or follow-up. Of course, Bolton’s opposition was to negotiating at all with the countries and leaders.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un cross the DMZ in Panmunjom,
South Korea, June 30, 2019 | Dong-A Ilbo/Getty Images

Hill and Ciruli: Countdown to the 2020 Election: What’s at Stake for the U.S. and the World?

Ambassador Christopher Hill and Pollster and Professor, Floyd Ciruli, have tracked the Trump administration from Election Night in November 2016 through its first 100 days, to its one- and two-year anniversaries with commentary and analyses. Now, as the administration approaches its re-election effort, Hill and Ciruli will preview the 2020 election, one year out. The presentation will include the Democratic presidential primary and Colorado senate race, review of the main issues and the impact the election could have on the U.S. in world affairs.

Join Ambassador Hill and Professor Ciruli in a night of political and public policy discussion on November 7, 2019, hosted by the Office of Global Engagement at the University of Denver and the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Korbel School. Save the date. More details later.

November 7, 2019
Maglione Hall
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex

University of Denver
2201 S. Gaylord St., 5th Floor
Denver, CO 80208


Monday, September 16, 2019

Denver Metro Area Continues to Prosper

Recent cautious state and private financial projections of 2020 Colorado tax revenue are incorporating the many factors that appear to be slowing down the U.S. and world economies. But, the Denver metro area continues to show considerable prosperity.

The year-to-date increase in sales tax in the metro area for July is 5.7 percent, a significant increase showing consumer and business activity in the area and a reflection of continued growth in the economy and population. The 2019 rate has held steadily at about 4 percent and not declined yet.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Castro Crosses a Line, Helps Biden

Julián Castro attacked Joe Biden on his age. The audience booed and his fellow debaters criticized it. Biden was helped, not hurt. He gained sympathy; Castro, from his one percent position, looked desperate. He tried to bail out in later interviews, but damaged his already negligible chance to move up.

Joe Biden at Sept. 12, 2019 debate | Win McNamee/Getty Images
Julian Castro at Sept. 12, 2019 debate | Getty Images
The exchange provided two main observations. Ageism is a dangerous strategy when the top three nominees are over 70. Secondly, the media establishment and Democratic-leaning commentariat are beginning to move toward Biden due to 1) his survival after three months of debate attacks, 2) the contrast his image and demeanor provide to Trump (highlighting Trump’s main weakness), and 3) polls that seem to confirm electability (the top nomination criteria).

Hickenlooper’s Position Strengthening

The most serious candidates running for senate in terms of fundraising and experience are dropping out and endorsing John Hickenlooper. Mike Johnston, John Walsh and Dan Baer have begun the consolidation behind Hickenlooper, which is reflected in the polls of the Democratic rank and file. As I blogged yesterday, Democrats want to beat Cory Gardner and Mitch McConnell, not engage in an intraparty fight.

John Hickenlooper, along with other contenders for the Democratic primary
 runoff,  at the Durango Public Library, Sept. 7, 2019 | Jerry McBride/Durango

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Hickenlooper in Trouble?

The mostly unknown group of U.S. Senate candidates is hoping that the Colorado Democratic Party is as divided between progressives and moderates as the national party appears.

Some local political observers seem to agree, but that viewpoint is countered repeatedly by polls. A just released poll makes it clear that John Hickenlooper is a 60-percentage point favorite for the nomination (PPP, 8-28, 30, 2019), and in a host of polls, he’s the ten-point leader over incumbent Republican Cory Gardner.

Even among very liberal Denver Democrats, Hickenlooper receives nearly half the primary vote. Why isn’t the progressive/moderate divide helping the arguably farther left candidates, especially Andrew Romanoff?

Answer: Because the overwhelming interest of Democrats isn’t the right-left contrast, but defeating Cory Gardner, who they consider far-right. In this calculation, Romanoff’s handicap is that he’s lost two high-profile races. He has little credibility that he can win statewide. The other candidates are mostly unknown and untested in the critical criteria of defeating a strong campaigner like Gardner, who will have millions of dollars available for negative advertising. A two-term gubernatorial track record is a huge advantage for Hickenlooper over lesser known candidates without similar political experiences.

Hickenlooper was a bust in the presidential race, but he’s going to be hard to beat for the senate nomination.

John Hickenlooper, along with other contenders for the Democratic
primary runoff, at a forum at the Durango Public Library,
Sept. 7, 2019 | Jerry McBride/Durango