Friday, October 31, 2014

Media Narrative – Election 2014

The 2014 Colorado election has been intensely covered by both local and national media, plus some international coverage.

As the race closes out, stories have focused on the Democrats on the defense and media and party tactics (GOTV).

The following is a sample of coverage the last week.

Washington Post, Charles Lane, 10-29-14: In Colorado, Democrats struggle to tilt blue

According to Floyd Ciruli, a pollster with long experience in Colorado politics, most of the 411,000 new voters who registered during Udall’s term are independents. Consequently, instead of tilting Democratic, party registration in Colorado is still evenly split, with a slight edge for Republicans among “active” voters — the kind who participate in an off-year election. Says Ciruli: “The state is still in play.” Or, as any resident of a Denver suburb will tell you: It’s one-third, one-third, one-third.

The Christian Science Monitor, Amanda Paulson, 10-30-14: Senate elections 101: Colorado could come down to women’s issues

“The Democrats believed that the issue that would get them through this was reproductive rights, and they really poured money into it, probably too much,” says Denver-based pollster Floyd Ciruli. “The Republicans really have just one message: [Udall] votes 99 percent with the president.”

Rocky Mountain PBS I-News, Katie Kuntz, 10-29-14: Candidates woo Latino voters, ignore immigration reform

“Do you hear anyone talking about immigration reform anymore?” asked Floyd Ciruli, Denver pollster and political analyst. “They are targeting things talking directly to Hispanic voters – but there is too much downside on both sides to bring it into the general conversation.”

“I think the implication is that the issue is still controversial, there is no clear winner,” Ciruli said. Even issues related to immigration on the state level, such as the non-citizen driver’s license program, remains controversial for both gubernatorial candidates. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the law, but it has been underfunded and difficult to access, critics have charged.

Colorado Public Radio, Megan Verlee, 10-29-14; Ground game may hold the key to electoral victory in Colorado

Political analysts predict the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races will come down to a margin of just one or two points.

“That’s turnout-able,” says longtime Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli. “That’s a number you can manage by getting a few extra votes per precinct.”
But those few extra voters may need some nudging to make sure their ballots end up in the mail, not the trash.
This is the first general election when every registered voter got a mail-in ballot, no matter how long it’s been since they voted. No one seems quite sure what that will mean for turnout, but it does greatly expand the potential voter pool.

“All of those people are getting a ballot, and they’re on lists, and that list is accessible to the parties,” says pollster Ciruli.

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