Thursday, September 22, 2022

Combustible Issues, New Faces - Denver Post

John Aguilar profiles the contest in the redrawn 7th Congressional district which presents familiar but combustible 2022 issues of inflation, abortion, crime, and election denial with two new candidates in an open seat. Although Washington-based pundits rate the district “lean” or “likely” Democratic, it is still Colorado’s second most competitive race.

I offered that the Republican candidate will have to be aggressive on issues of crime and inflation. Democrat Brittany Pettersen has at least two big advantages over Republican Erik Aadland – 13,000 more registered Democrats and nearly 3 times more money to spend as of the end of June.

Congressional District 7 Democratic candidate Brittany Pettersen, center, speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Holidaily Brewing Company on Sept. 11, 2022, in Golden. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post) Congressional District 7 Democratic candidate Brittany Pettersen, center, speaks to supporters during a campaign event at Holidaily Brewing Company on Sept. 11, 2022, in Golden. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver, said Aadland will have to hit his opponent hard on the issue of rising crime.

"She has to deal with it – it will be one of the issues that every Democrat will have to deal with," he said.

Erik Aadland, GOP contender for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District goes door to door meeting with potential voters on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Golden. (Photo by Chet Strange/Special to the Denver Post)
Erik Aadland, GOP contender for Colorado’s 7th Congressional District goes door to door meeting with potential voters on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Golden. (Photo by Chet Strange/Special to the Denver Post)

The other big opening for Aadland in the race, Ciruli said, is inflation.

The New York Times reported that prices at the grocery store, where consumers feel it most, have soared 13.5 percent in the last year – the sharpest spike since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

“(Aadland) will need to go on the offense with his issues, especially inflation,” Ciruli said.

Read: https://www.denverpost.com/2022/09/18/brittany-pettersen-erik-aadland-7th-congressional-district-election-2022

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Colorado Senate Race Barometer

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, left, and Republican nominee Joe O’Dea

The Colorado senate race is being closely followed by the national media for indications of a Republican tide that could sweep even an incumbent out of a state that has been supporting Democrats since 2016.

In July, Mark Barabak wrote a column for the L.A. Times, “How bad could November be for Democrats? Watch this Senate race and see.” (7-26-22). I said it about incumbent Democrat Michael Bennett.

"He’s not in danger yet,” said Floyd Ciruli, a Denver pollster who has spent decades surveying Colorado voters. “But [President] Biden is in terrible shape and if that becomes a major factor, a lot of candidates we assume would be safe could be in trouble.”

The Denver Post updated the senate race in a weekend story by Nick Coltrain (9-10-22). He reported that mixed signals from polls still don’t show a Republican win and that the national party has not put much money behind their candidate, Joe O’ Dea. (Since the story appeared, McConnell gave $500,000)

Read:
How bad could November be for Democrats? Watch this Senate race and see
How close is Colorado’s U.S. Senate race? Campaigns ready for a ‘dogfight’

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Water Shortage Is a Top Public Concern

Three new public polls report that water supply and shortage is a top concern for the public. Although many parts of the country are dealing with drought and excessive heat, this summer the problem was especially acute in the western United States.

A recent YouGov poll shows that overall concern about water shortages among Americans is 44 percent, but concern rises to 63 percent among residents living in western states. The panel survey of 7,627 adults was conducted in August 2022.

YouGov Poll on Water Shortage 08-2022

New surveys in California indicate that concern about water shortage is even more intense among its residents. The latest Berkeley IGS poll reports that 71 percent of voters stated the current water shortage was “extremely serious.”

A Public Policy Institute of California poll conducted in July agreed. In it, more than two-thirds of Californians said that water supply issues were a “big problem” in their part of the state. Californians were also likely to say water supply and drought are currently the top environmental issues facing the state.

CA Surveys on Water Shortage 08-2022

The Berkeley IGS survey was conducted online August 2022 with 9,264 registered voters. The Public Policy Institute of California poll was conducted July 8-15, 2022, with 1648 adult residents by Ipsos with its online KnowledgePanel.


Berkeley IGS Poll – Seven in ten Californians describe the state’s water shortage as “extremely serious” https://escholarship.org/uc/item/49g699h5

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and the Environment https://www.ppic.org/publication/ppic-statewide-survey-californians-and-the-environment-july-2022/

Monday, September 12, 2022

Colorado Candidates Call for Water Solutions

Colorado Water Congress hears from Sen. John Hickenlooper at its summer convention in Steamboat Springs. Aug. 24, 2022
Fresh Water News/Courtesy photo

Jerd Smith, reporter for Fresh Water News, wrote the Colorado Water Congress summer convention (8-23-22) of the state’s water leaders heard from the top candidates for governor and U.S. Senate offer specific water solutions to the drought conditions and stress on Colorado’s water supply.

She quoted me saying, “Political pollster Floyd Ciruli said that so many candidates spoke at the water conference was an indicator of the national attention that Western water shortages are generating, and he gave the politicos credit for providing on-point suggestions for what could be done.”

“All four of these candidates were ready for today, Ciruli said. “All of them talked about water.”

Read: Water confab: Colorado politicos call for more water storage, smart growth

Friday, September 9, 2022

Why Was Priola Changing Parties a National Story – Koa Interview

August 24, 2022

State Senator Kevin Priola switching from the Republican to Democratic Party was in the Washington Post and covered nationally. Pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli suggests the story fit the major theme of national politics at the moment. The Republican Party, which was expected to win a landslide victory in November, has been losing momentum the last couple of weeks, noticeably in terms of news coverage, polling, special elections, and the assessment of political professionals. Even Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, expressed concern that they might not win the Senate due to candidate quality.

Priola, a moderate Republican, after more than a decade in the legislature declared election deniers should not be in power. He said, “We need Democrats in charge.” He also cited the refusal to address climate change as a primary reason to switch parties.

Colorado has been a difficult state for Republicans since the middle of the last decade and they were hopeful they would benefit this year from a national wave of support. Priola’s party change was an indication that Republicans were still struggling with the election denial controversy. 

Listen: Political analyst Floyd Ciruli on State Senator Priola switching parties


KOA Talk Radio


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Turnout Low and More Votes in Republican Primary

Credit: KOA
As opposed to the 2018 primary when more votes went to the Democratic candidates, the Republicans dominated the turnout in 2022 when they had the competitive primaries. It was also a quieter political year. Turnout dropped from 37 percent to 31 percent.

In 2018, 1.1 million voted, with 637,000 in the Democratic primary for governor (Jared Polis won), the top vote-getting race, and 503,000 voted for the Republican gubernatorial candidates (Walker Stapleton won). Today, the total vote with about 99 percent counted is the nearly the same at 1.2 million in spite of 500,000 more registered voters (3.3 to 3.8 million). The Republican primary attracted more voters (617,000 to 497,000).

High Unaffiliated Voter Turnout in Republican Primary

Unaffiliated voters broke two records – one for total turnout, 100,000 more than 2018, and another for voting in the Republican primary.

In 2018, 290,000 unaffiliated voted, with about two-thirds (200,000) voting in the Democratic primary and 90,000, or one-third of the total voting Republican. This year, 400,000 voted. It was 41 percent voted Republican and 30 percent Democratic.

Closest Race in State

The closest race in the Colorado primary was House District 6 in central Denver, expanding east along Colfax. Progressive Elisabeth Epps has won with 7,460 votes, defeating centrist Katie March with 7,087, with few votes left to count.

The race received extensive coverage as an example of the struggle in the Democratic Party between its progressive wing and more moderate forces. The district contest was also seen as a prelude to next year’s mayor’s race as Mayor Hancock retires.

Read: Crime, A Democratic Party Conflict. Denver Legislative and Mayor’s Races.