Friday, October 23, 2020

The Nov. 3rd Election: What Happened? Why? What’s Next?

The public believes November 3 will be the most important election in a generation. On November 4, Dean Fritz Mayer and Professor Floyd Ciruli will review what’s known and unknown in the presidential and senate results. Was it decisive or a muddle? What is expected next from election officials, candidates and campaigns – concessions, lawsuits, demonstrations?

This discussion is sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Korbel School of International Studies and the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy.


3:00 PM MDT

November 4, 2020


Wolf Blitzer on Election Night 2016 | CNN photo

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Colorado Election Experts – Two Weeks Out

The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research presents a Zoom conversation on October 21 at 3:00 pm MT with a panel of top political, policy and media experts discussing the competitive races in Colorado: presidential, senate and congressional, legislature and ballot issues. Will Colorado finally end the Gallagher Amendment after the previous failed attempts? Does the state want to join the popular vote and leave the Electoral College behind? Is the public about to move away from reproductive choice?

Join Professor Floyd Ciruli and the panel as they provide their opinions on the state of the election.

  • Dick Wadhams, former Republican Chair, consultant, CBS4 commentator and Denver Post columnist
  • Sheila MacDonald, veteran consultant to leading Democratic campaigns and numerous local and statewide ballot issues
  • Joey Bunch, editor, senior writer, columnist for Colorado Politics and the new Denver Gazette


3:00 PM MDT

OCTOBER 21, 2020


Monday, October 19, 2020

A Biden Administration Will Face a Changed World

If Biden wins, America First is gone, but American workers will be a touchstone. Those policy initiatives in Trumpism that feature manufacturing and U.S. workers may be modified, but the goals remain. A Biden administration will shift focus and rhetoric to alliances, democracy, human rights, climate change and internationalism, like the UN and WHO, but it will have to adjust to new realities outlined below.

Considering U.S. and world trends, reflected in public opinion and political actions, several policy aspects of the last four years will still be around if the administration changes:

  • Populism and polarization. Intense ideological division and charismatic-style leaders able to exploit it are a feature in western democracies.
  • Hard borders. Nationalism that is leading to hostility to immigrants and refugees has worldwide appeal.
  • Free trade. Globalism is in retreat and protectionism, tariffs and other barriers to free trade are in accedence.
  • Isolationism. Reducing America’s international military and financial commitments are supported by both parties, but with different philosophies and emphasis.
  • China conflict. Rivalry between China and the U.S. is not likely to dissipate and could intensify and expand.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

REGISTER NOW! Election Night 2020: Long Night, Long Count – October 16

With early and mail-back voting underway, join Professor Floyd Ciruli and a panel of media and election experts on October 16 at 3:00 pm MT for a virtual conversation on what the election night will look like across the country. 

The panel:

  • Tim Ryan, veteran 9KUSA assistant news director and now director of content
  • Shaun Boyd, CBS4 political reporter
  • John Frank, Political reporter, Colorado Sun and formerly Denver Post
  • Amber McReynolds, former head of Denver Elections Department and now CEO of National Vote at Home Institute


OCTOBER 16, 2020

3:00 PM MT


Crossley Center Adds New Fall Election Programs

In a political year with multiple surprises, the Crossley Center is adding new programs. We’ve included a panel on political forecasting, especially the presidential and senate races, to be led by a national expert. Also, with the voting process in question, a panel on the counting and reporting of election night results with Colorado media and election experts has been scheduled. The implications of the election for foreign policy will be reviewed a week after the election with top experts in international affairs. To stay current on this tumultuous election, join our Zoom programs in the Crossley Center Election Central. 

Forecasting and Who Wins the Presidency and Senate – October 13

Jessica Taylor, editor of the Cook Report senate and governor section, details the science of forecasting and the predictions on the presidential and U.S. Senate races, including Colorado. Korbel School Dean, Fritz Mayer, will participate. Join the Zoom program at 3:00 pm on October 13. REGISTER HERE

Election Night 2020: Long Night, Long Count – October 16

What will election night look like in a state with mail-back voting? When can we expect results and how will they be reported? Join Colorado election officials and media leaders to hear the plans and concerns. Mark your calendar for October 16 at 3:00 pm on Zoom. REGISTER HERE

Colorado Political Experts Election Panel: Presidential, Senate and Third Congressional – October 21

Colorado’s best political analysts – Sheila MacDonald, Democratic consultant; Dick Wadhams, former Republican Chairman; and Joey Bunch, Colorado Politics editor – will share their assessments of the major races and ballot issues as early voting starts. They will also discuss Election Night and what they expect as the returns roll in. Zoom, October 21 at 3:00 pm. REGISTER HERE

Election 2020: What Happened? Why? – November 4

On November 4, Dean Fritz Mayer and Professor Floyd Ciruli will discuss the available results and lead a conversation of what happened and why. Zoom, 3:00 pm, November 4. SAVE THE DATE

Foreign Policy Impact: U.S. and Japan – November 11

Join Ambassador Christopher Hill from Columbia University and Toshihiro Nakayama from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, for our update on the U.S. election results and the foreign policy implications for the U.S. and Japan alliance from the elections in both countries (Japan just changed Prime Ministers through a parliamentary party selection). The relationship with China will also be discussed. Zoom, 3:00 pm, November 11. SAVE THE DATE

Podcast: Political Polls: Can We Trust Them? 

For those of you who want to know more about what happened with the 2016 presidential polls and if it could happen again, tune into a DU RadioEd podcast for a discussion with Professor Floyd Ciruli on the subject. LISTEN HERE

The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election – A New Cold War?

Professors Floyd Ciruli and Suisheng “Sam” Zhao discussed the issues to 200 friends of the Crossley Center. Is China an issue in the 2020 election? Will the next administration inherit a new Cold War regardless of who wins? WATCH VIDEO

Voting Starts, Trump and Gardner Down. Time Running Out.

The latest 9KUSA-Colorado Politics poll ends the faint speculation that Cory Gardner’s final advertising and debate performances might close the senate race to within striking distance. The survey of 1,021 likely voters out of the field on October 6, three days before Colorado’s mail-back ballot voting started, showed Gardner behind John Hickenlooper by 9 points, about his average deficit since the race formerly began after the June 30 primary. Unfortunately for his senate career, Gardner is trailing President Trump, who has been spectacularly unpopular with a majority of Coloradans since he lost the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 5 points. Gardner was never able to break out the twin challenges Colorado Republicans must deal with: the growth of a younger, more liberal electorate since his election in 2014 and Donald J. Trump.

The poll confirms all the trends that have been burdening the Colorado Republican Party, especially since the 2018 landslide against their candidates. Gardner is losing women by 19 points, but only winning men by 2. He breaks even with voters 50 years old plus (44% R to 45% D), but loses voters under 50 by 17 points. He almost ties the Anglo vote (43% R to 45% D), but is crushed by Hispanic voters by 27 points, and they represent 17 percent of the estimated voting population. And importantly in Colorado, he’s losing voters who label themselves independents by 15 points and self-identified moderates by 19.

Gardner will carry Colorado rural votes 46 percent to 42 percent for Hickenlooper (16% of the statewide vote), but lose the suburbs by 4 points, which is more than half the vote (56%), and be crushed in the urban areas by 23 points.

This poll indicates that the senate race hasn’t changed yet, voting has started and there are less than three weeks left.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Xi, Putin and Trump Not Trusted Among World Democracies

In a Pew Research survey, the publics in 13 democracies – primarily in Europe, but including Japan, South Korea and Australia – rated presidents Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Donald Trump at the lowest levels of trust and confidence that they would do the “right thing in world affairs.”

Mr. Putin would not be surprised or too concerned. He mostly controls his domestic opinion and his propaganda efforts (e.g., RT – formerly Russia Today) targets and undermines Western European and American democracies.

Although Mr. Xi’s gestures to woo democratic publics with well-crafted speeches appealing to democratic values and policies at the UN and Davos, he’s actually mostly interested in winning friends among the world’s autocracies for economic and strategic advantage. His primary argument is that China’s one-party dictatorship and authoritarianism is a success to be envied and emulated.

Of course, Mr. Trump has made clear his view that America has been a victim and has mostly been taken advantage of by its democratic allies. He’s not surprised by his lack of popularity. But as a reality TV star, hospitality entrepreneur and world brand manager, he must be concerned at some level at the impact of his American First, transactional approach to world affairs. This poll has an ominous message for his post presidency options. More importantly, it signals America is at the nadir of its respect and soft power influence in the world.

The Ciruli Associates Poll That Launched John Hickenlooper’s Career

In 2001, the name of Mile High Stadium was a controversy and I conducted a metro poll for then LoDo restaurateur John Hickenlooper to determine if the stadiums’ name should be sold to a business or kept as “Mile High.” Two-thirds said keep the name. As Hickenlooper describes in his book, “Opposite of Woe: My Life in Beer and Politics,” that was the beginning of his interest in politics and his first success in changing a public policy. 

Soon, he’s likely to join the U.S. Senate. It’s “been quite a ride.”

Read: Naming Rights Starts John Hickenlooper’s Career

Friday, October 9, 2020

Senate Leadership – Who Wins Nov. 3rd?

Is it Mitch or Chuck? They each lead dramatically different teams and agendas. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been in charge since Republicans won a majority in 2014, which included the election of then Colorado Congressperson Cory Gardner. His top deputies are senators John Thune (South Dakota), John Barrasso (Wyoming), Roy Blunt (Missouri) and John Cornyn who recently rotated out of Majority Whip position (up for reelection in Texas).

Charles “Chuck” Schumer has been Minority Leader since Harry Reid (Nevada) retired in 2016. His top deputy is Dick Durbin of Illinois with Patty Murray (Washington) and Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts).

Also, voters in November will select a vice president who can vote to break a tie.

Currently, President Trump’s election difficulties are endangering McConnell’s majority. Cory Gardner’s fate may be the one that decides the Senate leadership in 2021.

The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election – A New Cold War?

Is China an issue in the 2020 election? Are presidential campaigns likely to affect China policy? Will the next administration inherit a new Cold War regardless of who wins?

Professors Floyd Ciruli and Suisheng “Sam” Zhao discuss the issues to 200 friends of the Crossley Center.


Ciruli Family Reunion – Ten Year Anniversary

Ten years ago, the Ciruli family organized a reunion of several generations in their home county of Pueblo, Colorado – more than 150 family members, from their 80s down to those enjoying a bounce house.

Several members born in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s have since passed away, but the family thrives throughout Colorado and nationally, especially in the West. Today, I spend much time on the California coast, and my cousin, Charles “Chuck” Ciruli, is with his family south of Tucson, Arizona.

We had two young cousins from the family in Rome and they are doing well. We miss seeing all the family, but as the times improve, hopefully we can be together again before long.

Buena fortuna!

Read: From the Apennines to the Rockies

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Forecasting and Who Wins the Presidency and Senate

Jessica Taylor, editor at the Cook Political Report, one of the most followed forecasting publications, will join the Friends of the Crossley Center and the Korbel School to discuss the process of forecasting and why a candidate’s ratings may change. She will also describe the Cook Political Report’s latest presidential and U.S. Senate race predictions, including Colorado.

Join Professor Floyd Ciruli and Korbel School Dean Fritz Mayer on October 13 at 3:00 pm MT for a virtual conversation on the 2020 election as early voting is underway in Colorado and other states around the country. 


OCTOBER 13, 2020

3:00 PM MT


Cook Political Report, Sept. 30, 2020

Americans Say Russia Will Attempt to Disrupt the Election

Most Americans (75%) believe “Russia or other foreign governments” will attempt to influence our election this November. The percentage of the public concerned about Russian or other interferences has increased by 8 percentage points the last two years, up from 67 percent in the 2018 election.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified September 17 before the Homeland Security Committee that indeed Russia is actively interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign. As CNN reports:

According to Wray, Russia is using social media, proxies, state media and online journals to sow "divisiveness and discord" and "primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment."