Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Shutdown. A Debacle for Trump Based on Wrong Assumptions.

As we point out in The Buzz on January 17, “Is the Wall and Shutdown a Winner for Trump and Republicans?”:

And indeed, missed paychecks among military, such as the Coast Guard; law enforcement, such as TSA, FBI and others; and finally the looming shutdown of the air traffic control system, convinced a very stubborn president that he had a losing strategy.

Misjudging the ease by which he could sustain a shutdown in terms of lost popularity and allies, Trump also misjudged the impact of the midterm elections and the determination of the new Democratic House of Representatives to stop him. He was convinced (and still apparently is) that Democratic House members were going to break from their leaders in the face of constituent hardship and demand a counteroffer with wall funding. In fact, during the last days, it was vulnerable or independent Republicans who broke for opening the government.

While Trump may denigrate polls (and yet still tout those that make him look good – far and few between), it was a wave of polls after mid-January that convinced all of rational, or at least calculating D.C. denizen, that Trump’s third assumption was also wrong. His Oval Office address, visits to Texas borders and endless statements of the threat to national security failed to move public opinion. The wall was still unpopular with the majority of the public. He was being blamed for the shutdown, which was far more unpopular than any crisis on the border, and getting worse every day.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Ernie Bjorkman, A Great Newsman and Community Friend

Along with a distinguished career as a reporter and anchor, Ernie Bjorkman is always available to MC a charity or community event. I most recently presented a post-election political analysis to a group of Arapahoe County citizens. Ernie was the MC, who kept it feeling friendly and professional. 

Good luck Ernie on your next adventure.

Ernie Bjorkman | Photo: The Villager

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Nick Gradisar Wins Pueblo Mayor

Congratulations to Nick Gradisar, long-serving Pueblo civic activist, on his election as mayor of Pueblo, Colorado. Gradisar led the campaign to create a strong mayor form of government for Pueblo, which had been led by a city council-manager form of government, with a council-elected, mostly ceremonial president.

Promising change and not the status quo from insiders, Gradisar won with 58 percent over a former council president, Steve Nawrocki.

Pueblo business and other civic leaders have been concerned with the city’s slow job and population growth while the rest of the state has been booming.

Gradisar’s base of experience is serving on the Pueblo Board of Water Works for more than a decade, including two terms as board president. Pueblo Water has been the city’s most respected organization for decades. Alan Hamel, the water department’s long-time, now retired, executive director, chaired Gradisar’s campaign.

Pueblo’s mayor-elect Nick Gradisar celebrates his victory
 Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019 | Dan Boyce/CPR News

Read Pueblo Chieftain: Gradisar wins Pueblo mayoral race

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Denver Metro Counties’ Contribution to Colorado’s Economic Activity. Time for Regional Solutions?

A comparison of the seven-county Denver metro area’s economic contribution with their population shows the outsized economic dominance of the seven-county Denver metro region. A 2015 report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analyses shows the metro area has 68 percent of the state’s GDP with 55 percent of the population. Denver and Arapahoe counties have more than half the regional total (57%) and a 39 percent share of the state total. The economic activity of both counties exceeds their share of the population. Jefferson, Boulder and Adams counties each are producing from $20 to $24 billion in economic activity. Total Colorado GDP was $308 billion with a population of 5.5 million.

County and Municipal Regional Transportation Cooperation

The recent population and economic growth of the Denver metro area is beginning to focus the attention of county commissioners and mayors on joining together for regional solutions to congestion problems that anger voters and hurt businesses and jobs. Although state ballot initiatives to fund transportation failed, many metro counties win voter approval to invest some of their sales tax to add and improve roads and bridges. They frequently cooperate with their cities, the state transportation department and each other on larger projects.

Question: Should they end waiting for a state solution and initiate a regional sales tax for local and region transportation projects?

See Denver Post: Front Range towers over Colorado economy, new county GDP numbers show

Monday, January 21, 2019

Denver Metro Area Becoming Democratic Stronghold

With the collapse of Jefferson and Arapahoe counties as Republican strongholds, Democrats now dominate the Denver metro region with such majorities as to overwhelm Republicans’ historic strengths in El Paso, Douglas, Weld and Mesa and many smaller metro counties.

For several decades, the metro area provided about 55 percent of its vote to Democrats running statewide if they were a competitive candidate (Hickenlooper won 56% and Udall 53% in 2014). Jared Polis won the metro area by 60 percent. The seven counties gave Polis 65 percent of his vote, while providing 57 percent of the state total vote.

Denver, in particular, with its recent surge in population and density, turned out 239,000 votes for Polis in the 2018 midterm election and gave him 77 percent of its vote, or 18 percent of his statewide total. Denver, with its large population and overwhelming Democratic vote, is the biggest driver to Democrats gaining control of the state.

Polis, who won statewide with 53 percent, received 54 percent in Jefferson and 59 percent in Arapahoe, together providing nearly a quarter of his statewide vote (24%). In the midterm, Arapahoe went more Democratic than Adams and Jefferson, an amazing result.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Growth and No Growth – Top Issues in Colorado

Utah will get the Olympics, not Colorado. Who cares? The state wasn’t all that enthusiastic about getting Amazon’s second headquarters. Citizens are more concerned about traffic, housing prices and gentrification. But in spite of the lack of local enthusiasm, and some firm resistance, Colorado continues to grow. If not quite as rapidly as half a decade ago, it still was in the top seven states in growth from July 2017 to July 2018, with 79,000 new residents. The state was ranked with Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Florida and Washington. After Colorado, rounding out the top ten were Texas and North and South Carolinas.

Historically, just about the time anti-growth forces get motivated and organized for serious limitations, a recessions starts. Many economists now predict a recession during 2020. The last peak of anti-growth energy in Colorado was in 2000 with a statewide growth limiting ballot initiative. The bust began an economic slowdown the next year, which translated to a lower growth rate during the decade.

New Congressional District
The nearly 80,000 new residents is down slightly from the 101,000 mid-decade influx from July 2014 to July 2015. But this year’s increase contributes to the 666,000 additional residents since the last census in 2010, ranking Colorado one of the fastest growing states for the decade and likely to be the recipient of a new congressional district.

The state joins Arizona, Florida (2), North Carolina, Oregon and Texas (3) projected to pick up new districts. It’s not clear where the district will be located, but all the current districts will lose some population to create the new one. Also adding to uncertainty of location, a new commission will guide the process. With about 5.7 million residents, Colorado’s current seven districts have about 800,000 residents, with considerable variation among them. The new eight districts will have 712,000 each. All seven current House districts will see some geographic, demographic and political change. Like musical chairs when the music stops, the year 2022 will have new candidates searching and old incumbents scrambling for seats.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Is the Wall and Shutdown a Winner for Trump and Republicans?

A portion of the fence along the U.S. border with Mexico
 in Southern California | BBC World Service
President Trump is convinced his demand for wall funding and willingness to accept an extended government shutdown is a winner. In fact, the wall has never had much support beyond Trump’s core support and shutdowns are always losers due to the image of political incompetence and stories of hardship that are featured in the media.

When Trump said he welcomed blame for the shutdown, he was declaring he accepts no responsibility for the government operating and that his interest in the “wall,” which is largely political, was superior to any difficulties faced by federal workers, contractors and citizens missing services. That is a shift from the usual position of presidents and makes negotiating especially difficult. He has little urgency or willingness to compromise. Neither do the Democrats. They are convinced voters don’t want the wall and that the party in control of the government ultimately is blamed for shutdowns.

Confirming the problem for Trump and Republicans have been a host of new polls from NBC News/Wall Street Journal, CNN and Washington Post/ABC News showing the Republicans and Trump getting the blame and the wall still not popular. A PPP poll (Public Policy Polling) commissioned by a liberal interest group in states with Republican senators up for re-election, like Colorado, tracks the national polls. PPP, although a Democratic firm, has a good track record on election polling, including in Colorado. Question wording is the place to especially review for bias. Three questions reprinted at the end of the blog appear the most straightforward.
  • Trump had 40% approval (nationally he’s at 41% in
  • Who do you blame the most for the shutdown – Trump 54%, Democrats 43%
  • Support for Congress voting to re-open government without wall funding – 58%, oppose 37%
  • Keep government closed until the President gets funding for the wall – 38% agree, 58% disagree
At best, Trump’s wall has support in the low 40 percent in Colorado. When the wall is combined with the shutdown, support drops to 37 percent to 38 percent.

This political fight reinforces that Trump is mainly concerned with his base. It plays in some states, but not Colorado.

PPP Questions

Q1.: Do you approve or disapprove of President Donald Trump’s job performance?
Q3.: As you may know, the federal government is currently in a shutdown. Who do you blame the most for the government shutdown: Donald Trump and the Republicans in Congress or Democrats in Congress?
Q5.: Would you support or oppose congress voting today to re-open the government without funding the border wall?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Polis on Water

Newly inaugurated Governor Jared Polis had a low-key and positive start on water. His natural resource transition included Hickenlooper’s in-house water expert, John Stulp. Water policy in his State of the State address was only one paragraph, but it succinctly supported the State Water Plan and advocated getting it funded. He linked Colorado’s water to its agricultural needs, which is one of the key principles of the plan. That is, preserving agriculture in Colorado requires intelligent and prudent water management.

State of the State on Water

“The lifeblood of our agriculture industry is water – which is why we must commit to a bipartisan and sustainable funding source for the Colorado Water Plan. Governor Hickenlooper, along with the leadership of John Stulp, did extraordinary work bringing together a coalition of Coloradans from all corners of our state to create the Water Plan. Now we’re going to do our part by implementing it. State of the State address, Jan. 10, 2019

Gov. Jared Polis delivers his first State of the State address to a joint session of
the Colorado General Assembly, Jan. 10, 2019 | Colorado Channel screen shot

His heads of the departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture will bring new perspectives to the agencies. Dan Gibbs at the Department of Natural Resources has a long political track record associated with staff and appointed positions with Mark Udall and Bill Ritter. Most recently, he has been a Summit County commissioner.

Kate Greenberg, the new Agricultural Department commissioner, is less well known, but is the western field director of an organization called the National Young Farmers Coalition. She’s based in Durango.

Dealing with the water gap that is well identified in the State Plan is essential to protect irrigated agriculture and support the state’s quality of life and economy. The largest number of residential, business and agricultural water users are in the Arkansas and Platte basins. Their needs must be balanced with other users and uses, including recreation, wildlife and aesthetics.

Ken Buck Wants to Do What? KOA Interview

It’s a thankless job in a near impossible political environment, but Congressman Ken Buck has indicated he’s considering running for Republican State Party chairman. After the 2018 debacle, the party is facing a very difficult 2020 presidential election and re-election of Cory Gardner.

Buck would have many advantages that effective state chairman need. He knows the political landscape and is likely to get his calls answered. His high-profile and congressional experience should help in making the party’s case and managing the frequent crises. He should be effective on fundraising since much of the money is from out-of-state and specifically D.C.

Buck recognizes the key job is supporting Cory Gardner’s re-election with no static from the far right purists, who threaten a primary at any sign of independence. Colorado values independence, and Gardner is in a state that has shifted left. He will need a smooth run to re-nomination.

Buck’s main challenge is that an element of the party sees its main mission is to police deviation from 100 percent Trump loyalty. Donald Trump is a disaster in Colorado and will be lucky to get the 43 percent he received in 2016. Hence, the next state chair must deal with the animated base in a state dominated by unaffiliated voters, who, while persuadable, have already indicated they will not likely be Trump supporters. Developing a message in that environment will be a challenge.

Rep. Ken Buck during a meeting with constituents at the Southwest Weld County
Services Complex in Firestone, March 25, 2017 | Paul Aiken/Boulder Daily Camera

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Water Congress Examines Future Trends in Age of Disruption

The 2019 Colorado Water Congress (CWC) convention will examine major social, demographic and political trends that will affect water and natural resource policy in 2019 and the decade beyond. The presentation is titled, “Colorado Political Landscape.” At a legislative breakfast, the new chairmen of the legislative water committees will describe their 2019 agendas. Moderating the discussion will be the CWC longtime lobbyist Dianna Orf and public policy director Chane Polo.

Legislators and Committees

Senate Agriculture, Natural Resource and Energy Committee
Chair Kerry Donovan, Democrat
Jerry Sonnenberg, Ranking Republican

State House Rural Affairs Committee
Chair Dylan Roberts, Democrat
Marc Catlin, Ranking Republican

Rotary Club Takes on Mental Health Cause

At the Rotary State of the State Luncheon, Molly Bloom of “Molly’s Game” held the audience of 600 with her story of skiing, gaming and mental turmoil. As a motivational speaker and AA Step 12 participant, she encourages people to seek help.

The Rotary has taken up mental health as their major mission, partnering with some of the area’s largest medical organizations, such as the Colorado Health Foundation, HealthONE, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and the Mental Health Center of Denver.

I discussed with Channel 9’s Kim Christiansen, the event moderator, the midterm election and the new political environment. Specifically, I pointed out that although voters opposed statewide ballot issues that raised taxes, they were very generous with local requests, including mental health.

Kim Christiansen and Molly Bloom
Mental Health on Ballot. Mental health, alternative-sentencing and public safety were significant topics on the ballot in the 2018 election. Four Front Range counties offered proposals to fund new programs and facilities to address mental health, drug addiction and alternative-sentencing through increased or extended sales taxes.

In Boulder, El Paso and Larimer counties, county commissioners placed measures on the ballot. In Denver, a petition effort supported by advocates was used. The sales taxes range from a .185 extension in Boulder, which will raise $10 million annually for 5 years, to .25 increases in Denver and Larimer, producing $45 million a year for 10 years and $16.5 million a year for 20 years, respectively. The El Paso sales tax extension is for 10 years and goes into the general fund for use of the Sheriff’s Department. All four taxes passed substantially.

  • The sales tax is being used for public safety-type measures. In 2018, sales taxes are popular, with local sales tax increases proposed for various programs and facilities.
  • Sales taxes are being used to build facilities.
  • All four proposals have sunset provisions.
  • Three reference mental and behavioral health. El Paso County cites emergency response.
  • Three proposals include programs, especially aimed at diverting people from the criminal justice system and offering various treatments and educational and vocational programs.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Villager is Arapahoe County Legend

Bob Sweeney, publisher and editor of The Villager, promotes his paper, his state and his values every day in The Villager. He covered a post-election speech I gave to the Metro Club at the November Power Lunch.

Scottie Taylor Iverson is the social editor and person around town who takes pictures and gets the news.

Keynote speaker Floyd Ciruli (L), Bob Sweeney
and Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons | The Villager

Political analyst Floyd Ciruli was the keynote speaker when METRO CLUB held its “power lunch” to gain insight into the election results of 2018. Cleverly named “Exhale!,” the meeting gave attendees a chance to see graphics of the specific election results and a glimpse of future possibilities and challenges. The buffet was catered by Mangia Bevi Café. METRO CLUB is being organized to reinvent the former revered Metropolitan Club in Greenwood Village.

See The Villager: FLAIR! – METRO CLUB hosts “Power Lunch” at Madden Museum of Art

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hickenlooper’s Challenge

John Hickenlooper speaks in Des Moines, Iowa,
Oct. 19, 2018 | Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
As John Hickenlooper begins his presidential race, he’s perceived as a moderate Democrat dealing with a party that has become much more liberal. His replacement in Colorado would have been an inconceivable candidate just eight years ago when Hickenlooper first ran for governor. The change in Colorado politics and its Democratic Party is being reflected nationally.

In a new national Gallup poll, more than half of self-declared Democrats now call themselves liberals, up 16 points in the last ten years and double the number early in Bill Clinton’s presidency. Not surprising, the activist wing of the party is quickly moving left in its proposals for health care for all, beyond the ACA, a green New Deal and aggressive protections for immigrants.

All of this makes Hickenlooper appear out of sync with the party of 2019. But, he may be better positioned than it seems, and the party’s activist wing may be ahead of what many Democrats want. When Democrats were asked by Gallup in December if they prefer the party to be more moderate or liberal, 54 percent said moderate and only 41 percent said more liberal. Hickenlooper will offer an image and rhetoric that clearly is more toward the center-left and not the left edge.

Of course, the country is not as liberal as the Democratic Party. Most people claim in the same Gallup poll to be moderate (35%) or conservative (35%) and only a quarter (26%) of the population identify themselves as liberal.

If the party wants to be competitive, it should stay off the edge.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Two Republican Senators – One Entering, One Leaving – Warn of the Threat to Democracy

Mitt Romney and Jeff Flake, as they moved in and out of the Senate, both chose to publish warnings of the vulnerabilities of democracy, foreign and domestic.

Romney, in a high-profile opinion column in the Washington Post appearing as he was being sworn in as the new senator from Utah, argued the presidency shapes the public character of the nation, and at a time of division and stress, we need leadership of honesty, projecting comity and respect, but instead have one offering resentment and name calling.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), with wife Ann, is sworn into office
 by Vice President Mike Pence in the U.S. Capitol in Washington,
D.C., Jan. 3, 2019 | Cheryl Diaz Meyer/Deseret News

Further, he stated that the world looks to America for leadership and instead gets an America, the victim, angry, going it alone and offering no leadership at a time when autocratic powers, like China and Russia, work tirelessly to undermine democracy. He wrote that our strength is greatest when we have allies and our allies are most dependable when we project the essence of our creed of freedom, rule of law and equal justice.

Flake, in his final senate speech, without mentioning Trump, herald the need to defend democracy as he reminisced about his term. From new freedom in Namibia, to Czech President Václav Havel speech, to a joint session of Congress, Flake sees the dangers to democracy today and the need for American leadership.

Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) delivers his farewell remarks
on the Senate floor, Dec. 13, 2018. | Senate TV via AP

He stated: “We of course are testing the institutions of American liberty in ways that none of us likely ever imagined we would – and in ways that we never should again…I believe that we all know well that this is not a normal time, that the threats to our democracy from within and without are real, and none of us can say with confidence how the situation that we now find ourselves in will turn out.”

Flake worries the commitment to democracy could be lost:

“As the authoritarian impulse reasserts itself globally, and global commitment to democracy seems to now be on somewhat shaky ground, I have been thinking a lot recently about the American commitment to democracy – where it comes from and how, if the circumstances were right, it might slip away.”
. . .
“As we in America – during this moment of political dysfunction and upheaval – contemplate the hard-won conventions and norms of democracy, we must continually remind ourselves that none of this is permanent, and that it must be fought for constantly.”

The threat to democracy, foreign and domestic, will be a major theme in 2019 and the next presidential election.

Trump Likes “Acting” Cabinet Secretaries

Donald Trump stated he’s “in no hurry” to appoint replacements for his “acting” cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and staff. “My actings are doing all great.” He said “acting’ secretaries give him “more flexibility.”

Currently, Defense, Attorney General, Interior, UN Ambassador and Chief of Staff are acting.

There are many benefits for Trump:
  • As Trump recently explained, he knows more than most of his generals (Mattis) and secretaries (Tillerson). He also essentially runs the government from the White House, his ad hoc press briefings (shouted questions, etc.) and his Twitter feed.
  • He avoids the Senate confirmation process on most of them, eliminating the Article One oversight.
  • “Acting” makes it easier to fire them and it will produce less criticism.
Another anomaly for a future Congress to address.

President Trump speaks beside David Bernhardt, acting U.S. Secretary of Interior (L), and Patrick Shanahan, acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Jan. 2, 2019 | Al Drago/Pool via CNP

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Dow Ends Down Six Points

The American stock market shifted in the third quarter from the Trump rally to the Trump correction starting October 3, 2018. The worst December for stocks since the Great Depression (1931) is most likely a prelude to a very volatile 2019, with modest expectations for the upside, but considerable fear of the downside risk. This pullback is taking place in spite of a strong U.S. economy, low inflation, and continuing consumer confidence and spending.

For the year, the Dow was off six points, the first significant downturn since 2008 at the start of the Great Recession. Oil had a wild year, starting last January at $60 and ending at $46 in spite of restraints by OPEC and Russia.

The collapse of the Dow began after a high of 26828 registered at the beginning of the third quarter on October 3, 2018. The Dow dropped 3883 points before Christmas, recovering to 23327 on December 31 (down 3501 from the October high). It represented correction territory of 13 percent. (See The Buzz: The Trump Correction: Dow off 4000 points since October 3, Dec. 21, 2018)

The Dow has had an extraordinary run since it began climbing a decade ago, up from 10428 at the end of 2009, a 19-point increase for that year, to the 26828 peak at the start of the 2018 third quarter (157% increase),  a more than doubling in a decade. About 9000 of the improvement happened under the Obama administration’s management of the recovery and then the last about 4000 in a burst of energy since November 2016.

Much of the last two-year run-up was driven by investor enthusiasm for the President Trump-Republican economic program of tax cuts, regulatory relief and general business boosterism. As much of the benefits now appear in the immediate past, the next 12 months are much more susceptible to a myriad of risks, many of which are Trump induced:
  • The general chaos of Washington highlighted by its partial shutdown
  • A Fed still dedicated, if more tempered, at removing some monetary stimulus from the economy
  • A global slowdown highlight by China’s consumer pullback, no doubt exasperated by the trade dispute
  • Democrats re-taking the House with a hostile corporate agenda and the likelihood of more conflict with Trump as the 2020 presidential campaign ramps up
Since much of the market direction is future-oriented, the prospect of a global slowdown and American recession late in 2019 has investors much more risk conscious. I’m not sure 2019 is a down year for the Dow, but it will be volatile as recent 600-1000-point swings up and down have demonstrated.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Mueller is Political, Not Legal Challenge for Trump

The political environment of the Trump administration will change dramatically in 2019.
  • The new Congress has started and Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker. The Democratic majority was elected to restrain President Trump. They will have powers of appropriation, authorization, oversight and investigation. President Trump produced much of the political news during his first two years. But Congress and especially the House will now become a source of news and reaction. Mitch McConnell will have several more Trump-friendly members and two new Democrats from Arizona and Nevada. His larger majority should help on appointments, but as members face re-election in 2020, cracks already visible will widen (Cory Gardner and Susan Collins).
  • The Trump stock market (his claim) has given back half its gains since his election and appears to have a very volatile 2019 ahead of it. Interest rate increases and tariffs are major challenges.
  • Most importantly, the Mueller investigation is likely to end in 2019 with some additional indictments, pleas, sentencings and a report. There will also be a struggle over management of the Justice Department with a looming confirmation fight.
The President believes the Mueller investigation is not a legal problem, but a political issue to manage with his usual public relations tools. Although he could be indicted by the House, the Senate is unlikely to convict and the Justice Department will not charge him with a crime. Hence, his goal is to simply discredit it. However, after more than a year of political effort, he has not been successful in muffling, sidelining or damaging the credibility of the investigation. In fact, some polls indicate he’s losing ground in his effort to discredit Mueller personally, his staff and the investigation in general.

Trump’s main problem is that his believability has declined dramatically with all but his most committed supporters. His reputation for lying is now well-established and it makes his witch hunt claims against the investigation ring false with six out of 10 Americans. When asked in a USA Today/Suffolk University poll, 59 percent of the public offered “little or no trust” for Trump vs. 53 percent who said a “lot or some trust” for Mueller.

The major national polls asked Mueller investigation questions in their year-end polls and Trump did poorly: A majority approve of the investigation (56%, FOX News), a majority (58%, AP/NORC) believe he tried to obstruct the investigation.
The host of year-end polls also show the public believes Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election, 62 percent do not believe Trump has been honest and truthful with the investigation, and only 34 percent believe it should end.

Congressperson Tlaib Inspires Trump’s Re-election Meme

High-profile freshman Congressperson Rashida Tlaib, best known as the first Palestinian-American woman to serve, became a viral sensation in the meeting after her swearing-in saying: “We’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherf---er.”

She claims this is how people in Detroit talk. Most of her Democratic colleagues believe it was an embarrassment and just helped the Republicans and President Trump.

Republicans immediate piled on saying it showed that so-called Democratic “oversight” is just politics. Of course, Trump used it to reinforce the conservative talk shows’ position that impeachment is a Democratic coup d’état. Trump then launched his re-election meme in a tweet. His main points of typical hyperbole are:
  • Greatest election of all time
  • No collusion
  • Most successful two years
  • Most popular with his party

This early misstep may be a lesson to other freshmen that there is a serious cost for incivility and hyper-partisanship.

Read Politico: Dems livid after Tlaib vows to ‘impeach the mother---er’

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Frank Newport, the Dean of National Pollsters, Steps Back from Gallup After 28 Years at the Helm

Frank Newport, who has guided the Gallup poll since 1990, has transitioned to senior scientist, which means he will be active with analyses and survey methods, but will pull back from the management and lead published analyses.
Frank Newport

The Gallup poll was founded by George Gallup and made famous starting in 1936 previewing presidential elections (Roosevelt vs. Landon) with two colleagues, Elmo Roper and Archibald Crossley. All three founders had talent in scientific methods, politics and media. They were especially good at putting polls in the news. Newport shared their talents with one other – a profound respect for the ability of public opinion research and polling to further democratic values.

Gallup was especially conscious of the usefulness of polls to moderate the influence of special interests and to guide political leaders in between periodic elections. Newport, in his publications and broadcast materials for 28 years, was a source of some of the most insightful analyses available

In a report published in June this year titled, “Americans Oppose Border Walls, Favor Dealing With DACA,” Newport highlighted that:
  • 41% favor expanding construction of walls along U.S.-Mexico border
  • 83% approve of allowing DACA immigrants to become citizens
  • Republicans, Democrats agree on DACA, disagree on walls
He consistently made a balanced and intelligent contribution to our consideration of important public policy.

I have used Gallup polls and his viewpoints in my own analyses. We have been on panels together and his work has been important material in my graduate class on public opinion research at the University of Denver.

Thank you, Frank. Have a great next career.

See Politico: Gallup retreats from political polling again under new leadership