Friday, June 9, 2023

Democracy and Capitalism Frame California Senate Race

Porter Lee and SchiffKatie Porter, Barbara Lee, and Adam Schiff | Photos via AP Photo and CalMatters

The latest Berkeley IGS Poll shows Adam Schiff and Katie Porter in a close race for Feinstein’s California senate seat. Schiff tends to emphasize the dangers to democracy in DC from former President Trump and Porter points to economic inequity and the impunity of big corporations.

Porter is slightly ahead today in the California top-two primary scheduled for March 2024, with one declared Republican candidate, Eric Early, winning 15 percent of the vote. Porter received 18 percent, Schiff at 14 percent, and Barbara Lee in third with 9 percent.

The Democrats have some distinct constituencies with degree of liberalism and geography significant. Table shows groups at least 4 points beyond the candidate’s overlap support.

CA Poll

A third of the voters (32%) did not have an opinion on the candidate sufficient to make a choice, with the largest percent among 18 to 29 year olds (42%).

Two candidate surveys confirm this race is wide open with the candidates running close.

CA Poll

Berkeley IGS Poll was conducted May 17-22, 2023, with 5,236 registered Republican voters (±2.5 percentage points).
Release #2023-05: March 2024 Senate primary election remains wide-open affair:

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

California Republicans are Volatile

2024 Republican Presidential CandidatesDonald Trump, Nikki Haley, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Glenn Youngkin, Chris Sununu, Kristi Noem, Greg Abbott, Larry Hogan, Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson, Mike Pompeo, Liz Cheney and Will Hurd. Photo: Getty Images

DeSantis ahead in February, Trump in May, with Cheney in third tied with Pence.

This should be an interesting primary to watch. It’s ten months out so expect the voter swing recently reported by the Berkeley IGS poll to continue. Examining the data, political commentator Floyd Ciruli describes the shift between Ron DeSantis ahead of the field in February to Donald Trump taking an 18-point lead in the latest May poll as showing a still open field where further change could happen quickly.

Republican Presidential Nomination Preferences

Many new candidates are entering the race and Governor DeSantis has started campaigning in Iowa, the first Republican nomination state. Mike Pence went to Iowa and then filed to run. Also in Iowa last week was Tim Scott, who just joined the race with his fellow South Carolinian officeholder, former Governor Nikki Haley. Liz Cheney, former Wyoming congressperson, often shows up in Republican primary polls!

Berkeley IGS Poll was conducted May 17-22, 2023, with 1,853 registered Republicans (± 3.5 percentage points). Done in partnership with the LA Times.

Release #2023-07: Trump opens up big.

ALSO READ: Trump Republican Support Collapses in California

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Denver Mayor Race Leadership Preferences and Winner

Denver Mayor CandidatesKelly Brough and Mike Johnston May 18, 2023 Photos: Timothy Hurst/Denver Gazette

A series of conversations were held the week prior to election day with Denver business, nonprofit and political leaders. They expressed their preferences for mayor and who they thought would win.

While conducting the 16 interviews, the campaigners turned very negative. Obviously with most of the vote coming on the last couple of days, this snapshot of the final week may be superseded.

Leadership Interviews

The leaders preferred Kelly Brough but thought Mike Johnston would win.

The majority of leaders believe both candidates can do the job and Denver got lucky in the first round of voting. Also, many Denver leaders interviewed were very concerned about the damage a super left wing city council will do.

Brough on Attack

Brough Aims at Billionaires for Final Attack

Because more than half of the vote will come in the last two days, Kelly Brough is betting her final counter offensive on attacking Mike Johnston’s funders. But even without public polls, most political observers have concluded as of the last week the race was probably close but that Mike Johnston had a lead similar to the April 4 primary of about 4 points.

Social Media Campaign Targets Billionaires

Denver is not for sale!
Alert! Billionaires Double Down!
Negative Attacks!
Denver is not for sale!
Coastal Billionaire

Will Brough media conferences, social media and advertising move weekend and election day voters? Will her older, more Anglo voters dominate?

We will know 7:00 PM tonight.

Friday, June 2, 2023

Mayor’s Race Started Slow and Close. Ends Negative and with Little Passion

Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston at a Feb. 23 forum. Photos: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston at a Feb. 23 forum. Photos: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post

The Denver mayor’s race seemed a polite and quiet affair until the last two weeks when Kelly Brough, apparently behind, began attack ads and public relations. But compared to recent elections in L.A., Chicago and Baltimore, it is still calm. The Nuggets have gotten more publicity and interest as they get to their finals.

The lack of public polling has made observations difficult. The only poll from early April showed a close race, with Mike Johnston slightly ahead as he was in the runoff vote. He still dominates the money race but both candidates have enough to be on television.

Looking at the endorsements, the race appears close, with each candidate drawing some conservative and liberal-appearing groups.

Brough Johnston
  • The Webbs
  • Hansen
  • Ministerial Alliance
  • Police Union
  • Denver Gazette
  • Realtors
  • Various Unions
  • Ritter
  • Pena
  • Herod
  • Calderon
  • Denver Post
  • Labor Federation
  • IBEW

Friday, May 26, 2023

Colorado Springs Election Another Sign GOP Losing Ground, Hill Newspaper

Joe O’Dea and his familyDavid Zalubowski/The Associated Press
Joe O’Dea, his wife, Celeste, far right, daughter Tayler and son-in-law David Freund, far left, June 28, 2022

Washington, DC Hill newspaper journalist Coraline Vakil chronicles the decline of the Colorado Republican Party through its many recent defeats and internal divisions.

The loss of the Colorado Springs mayor’s race after the GOP held the seat for 45 years, the lost U.S. Senate election (Joe O’Dea), the near loss of congressperson Lauren Boebert and the recent divisive state party chair race were each data points of the collapse of the party in Colorado.

Observers blamed much of the problem on new voters coming to the state, party divisions and Donald Trump. I stated the problem was related to brand damage, which has led to a loss of party loyalty and trust.

I said to Vakil:

“The Republican brand in this state has been so damaged by not just Trump, although he’s very toxic in the state, but beyond that, just by their sort of taking extreme positions on previous nominees, on ballot initiatives that were often soundly defeated on abortion and some of the other issues that O’Dea couldn’t get out from under the brand,” said Denver-based pollster Floyd Ciruli.

Source: Colorado GOP fears it’s ceding ground to Democrats, Caroline Vakil – 05/20/23 6:00 AM ET

Thursday, May 25, 2023

We are Two Nations on Abortion

Hundreds of abortion ban veto supporters turned out to watch Gov. Roy Cooper sign a veto of the on Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh Saturday, May 19, 2023. Cooper affixed his veto stamp to the bill. The veto launches a major test for leaders of the GOP-controlled General Assembly to attempt to override Cooper’s veto after they recently gained veto-proof majorities in both chambers.Photo: Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP

In an in-depth analysis of the status of abortion legislation in the states, journalist Valerie Richardson in the Washington Times describes a “starkly divided” country between extreme positions banning most abortions in more than a dozen states and no or few gestational limits in a similar number.

My comment to Richardson:

“We are essentially two nations, particularly on cultural issues like abortion,” said Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver.

A big reason lies with the rise of one-party rule. Thirty-nine states have “trifectas,” meaning the same party controls the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature. Of those, 22 are led by Republicans and 17 by Democrats.

Those 39 trifectas are “more than at any other point from 1992 to 2002,” according to Ballotpedia.

“When the Supreme Court lifted Roe v. Wade, they made it quite clear that [abortion] was now up to the politics of the states. And the politics of the states right now are polarized,” Mr. Ciruli said. “There are about 15-20% on each side who want absolutely no restrictions or absolutely no abortions unless it’s for the life of the mother. But those two groups have control of the political parties in these states.”

Polls show most Americans are on the middle ground on abortion restrictions with it legal the first trimester and accepting restrictions later. And most people were opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade. But there is no interest in political compromise.

Whatever polls say about abortion, expect both sides to remain locked in their positions at least through the November 2024 elections, Mr. Ciruli said.

“Abortion is not going to go away in terms of its politics because the Democrats do think it’s useful,” he said. “And Republicans, their problem is that they have a constituency that’s so committed to it and so observant and so engaged, I don’t see how they can possibly walk away from it.”