Friday, January 21, 2022

Bennet Must Deal With Undertow

Barack Obama carried Colorado in 2012 by 5 points against Mitt Romney. But two years later, Obama’s Gallup approval rating in October and November 2014 was in the low 40 percent range, with more than a 10-point negative between approval and disapproval. Incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall lost in 2014 by 2 points to Republican Cory Gardner. Although Gardner was a popular incumbent congressman, he was helped by Democrats having a negative national political environment. Harry Reid lost his majority to Mitch McConnell in 2014. Control of the Senate switched to Republicans as Democrats lost seven seats Romney had carried in 2012 and two Obama had carried – Iowa and Colorado.

Bennet must also deal with a powerful national Democratic undertow. Democrats are expected to lose the House. All the major indicators are negative for the incumbent party. Biden’s low approval, the generic ballot test leans Republican, partisan identity has shifted Republican, and twenty-eight Democratic congressmen, including Ed Perlmutter, have retired.

However, the key question is: Can Colorado Republicans find a candidate that donors want to support with millions of dollars, unite Republicans and win a super majority of unaffiliated voters? A tall order, but Biden’s numbers are helping them.

Senator Michael Bennet speaks during the Senate Intelligence Committee,
 Washington, DC | Demetrius Freeman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Thursday, January 20, 2022

April 1968 – MLK and RFK

April 1968 was a tragic, but extraordinary moment in American history when the nation’s two most significant leaders offered elegant statements of belief – Martin Luther King, Jr. as he gave his final speech in Memphis, Tennessee, the evening before he was shot, and Robert F. Kennedy as he spoke to a nighttime crowd in Indianapolis, Indiana, and announced the assassination to the crowd of mostly Black residents.

MLK, April 3, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, Mason Temple speech before striking sanitation workers:

“And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

RFK, April 4, 1968, Rally at Indianapolis, Indiana, largely Black audience, said:

“I’m only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening, because I have some very sad news for all of you Could you lower those signs, please? I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to fill with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.”

Two months later, June 5, Kennedy was assassinated in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California primary.

Read MLK’s “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech here
Read RFK’s speech of April 4, 1968 here

The Political Landscape for 2022 Sponsored by Colorado Water Congress

Floyd Ciruli, longtime consultant for the Colorado Water Congress, will lead a panel of the state’s leading political experts on national political changes and impact on Colorado in 2022.

Well-known Republican commentator and former Republican Party state chair, Dick Wadhams, joins with Mike Dino, consultant with national lobbying firm Squire Patton Boggs, who led the host committee for the 2008 National Democratic Convention in Denver. The January 26-27 annual Colorado Water Congress statewide convention is especially interested in the impact of political changes in the federal delegation and state leadership for water infrastructure spending and forest and fire policy in the West.

  • Floyd Ciruli, moderator, director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research
  • Dick Wadhams, Denver Post columnist, CBS4 commentator, consultant, former Republican state chair
  • Mike Dino, commentator with CBS4, longtime principle with Squire Patton Boggs, organized host committee for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver

Inflation and Crime: Polis is Trying to Get Ahead of It

Voters are saying they are not happy with rising inflation and crime rates. Republicans have made them daily talking points. Democrats know they are vulnerable as the party in power in Washington and here.

Gov. Jared Polis delivers his State of the State address at the Colorado
State Capitol, Jan. 13, 2022 |  AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via AP
Governor Polis also knows it, and to blunt the criticism and slide to the center, he’s taken up lowering the costs of government as a cause. In an online interview with Jesse Paul of the Colorado Sun, he mentioned a myriad of cost lowering proposals, fees, etc. for state government. It was his priority issue. In his State of the State message, he said: “If it isn’t clear, saving Coloradans money and keeping our state affordable is my top priority this session.”

After criticizing TABOR refunds for years, Colorado Democrats are now fans. Inflation and a surfeit of state dollars has made giving money back to taxpayers a political asset.

Crime also made the list in Polis’ speech: “I’ve never been one to shy away from ambitious goals, which is why I want to spend the next five years making Colorado one of the top 10 safest states in the country.” After a spate of laws and rhetoric expressing concern on policing, prosecution and incarceration in the last two legislative sessions, Democrats are moving to the right as crime rates move up and reelection looms.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Predictions and Election 2022

WATCH: Colorado Political Experts Describe Trends and Predictions in Election 2022 

The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research and the Center on American Politics hosted an informed and lively discussion on the major changes expected in Washington and Colorado politics during 2022. One longtime congressperson has already retired. What’s next? Watch the panel review the expected 2022 contests.


The Crossley Center’s public engagement programs aim to attract thought-leaders and policymakers with diverse perspectives and backgrounds to participate in an informed and civil public conversation. The purpose is to give DU audiences and Coloradans an understanding of the major influences affecting their politics and policies.

Market Ends a Roaring Year, Then Turns Down First Quarter

A record stock market year ended with the S&P up 27 percent for the year, its third year of double-digit gains. But mostly due to the variant Omicron. a surging rate of inflation (up 7%), and supply and employment disruptions, the market has receded the first two weeks in what appears to be a weak first quarter.

The outlook improves over the entire year, but there is considerable uncertainty, with some forecasters predicting a down market in 2022 and others a more moderate continuation of the recovery. The politics of 2022 suggest support for higher rates as inflation has gained attention, but D.C. wants to avoid a recession 2023.

Stock Show is Back in the Saddle

As Ron Williams received the Citizen of the West award and Governor Polis worked the tables, 800 guests enjoyed a short rib during the dinner’s return after the 2021 cancellation.

The dinner is an opening event in the Stock Show run, which lasts until January 23. It was off to a strong start.

Cille and Ron Williams, center, cut the ribbon celebrating the opening of
the Cille and Ron Williams Yards at the National Western Center
in Denver. Right to left: Doug Jones, Ron Williams, Cille Willams,
Paul Andrews, Pete Coors | Scott Weiser/The Gazett