Monday, December 18, 2023

Schiff Starts Ahead for Final Senate Run

Porter, Schiff and LeePorter, Schiff and Lee | Photo: Richard Vogel, AP

A PPIC poll of mid-November has Democrat Adam Schiff up 5 percentage points over Katie Porter in the March 5 primary. Republican Steve Garvey is third with 10 percent and Oakland Democrat Barbara Lee in fourth with 8 percent.

California Senate Race

The pattern of Schiff and Porter leading has held since public polling started a year ago. Garvey now appears to be in a solid third place with Lee slipping to fourth.

In the new year there will be about 8 weeks to election day. The massive advertising will likely begin slowly and then build into February. Will it go negative? Expect movement in the numbers. About 30 percent of voters are undecided or weakly backing various long shots. They are likely to shift around but as of the end of the year, Schiff has a lead.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Chicago Deja Vu

The 2024 Democratic Convention will be in Chicago. Democrats have mostly avoided Chicago as a convention site since the 1968 disaster. Although there won’t be Yippies and it’s unlikely to see a police riot, there are a number of parallels under way.

  • The Democratic incumbent president is in deep trouble. Approval is at record low; polls show he loses general election.
  • An anti-war movement with youth demonstrations is dividing the party.
  • The likely Republican nominee Donald Trump is considered by Democrats many times worse than Richard Nixon.

Can Joe Biden get to the August 19 convention? Could there be a March 31 (1968) speech: “I shall not seek, and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your President?” Although the Democratic Party’s leadership as of December is holding strongly for Biden, there is a daily onslaught of negative polling and bad political news.

This blog will begin a regular commentary and polling watch of the nominations starting with the Democrats – On to Chicago.

The Presidential Polls
The figure below shows the current running polling average drawn from RealClearPolitics (RCP) with regular comparisons to FiveThirtyEight (ABC News) website and other credible polls.

2024 Presidential Election - December 2023

On Saturday, December 9, the Washington Post published its latest poll that had Biden’s approval at 37 percent; he’s losing to Trump by 4 percentage points (47% to 43%) and all third-party and independent candidates take 17 percent.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Confidence in Government in Orange County

Firefighters in Orange CountyPhoto: www.ocfa.org
Trust in government has been measured for decades and a number of general tendencies have been repeatedly documented. The trends are noticeable in a recent survey by Ciruli Associates among Orange County residents concerning confidence in governments’ response to wildfires.
  • The farther away a government is from citizens, the lower the level of confidence. Local government is nearly always more trusted than state or especially federal government. As the table below shows, strong confidence in the government’s responsiveness to wildfire declined from 27 percent (“very confident”) in local government to 13 percent for federal, a 52 percent drop.
Level of Government and Partisanship Influences Confidence in Government Wildfire Response
  • Partisanship is another influence in peoples’ trust in government with Republicans usually showing less trust. In this poll at each level of government, partisanship has significant sway. For example, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is less at the local than at the state and federal level but still significant. High levels of confidence in local government drop from 34 percent among Democrats to 25 percent for Republicans or 9 points, and the drop off at the federal government level is nearly twice as large at 17 points.
  • Familiarity with the level of government personnel and activity influences the amount of trust as does the partisan identity of the level of government. In California, local government is perceived as more nonpartisan, whereas the state and federal government are perceived as partisan, currently Democratic.
  • The survey concerning wildfire was conducted for an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups by Ciruli Associates with YouGov America. The survey of 1000 residents was fielded from July 20 to August 27, 2023. It had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Wildfire is Threat in All Five County Supervisors’ Districts

Orange County Supervisorial Districts Map

Wildfire is especially threatening to areas that interface with natural areas and indeed a new Orange County (“OC”) poll by Ciruli Associates shows the east side residents closer to canyons, open spaces and mountains believe wildfire is the county’s top environmental problem (51% countywide and 66% in District 3). But more than two-fifths of residents, county wide believe wildfire is a major problem and the smoke and pollution it produces are threats of major concern.

Countywide Impact of Wildfire

Although OC is a mostly suburban county, the interface with open space, forest areas, and ravines is widespread. And, of course, smoke and pollution during wildfire season impacts the entire county.

The survey concerning wildfire was conducted for an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups by Ciruli Associates with YouGov America. The survey of 1000 residents was fielded from July 20 to August 27, 2023. It had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Colorado’s 2024 Congressional Battles from Border to Border

Colorado Congressional Districts, 118th CongressTwotwofourtysix, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Although the presidential campaign will skip over Colorado, one state Donald Trump’s toxicity is well established, there will be a host of contests in its eight congressional seats. Lauren Boebert’s 3rd CD is a national target, the newly open 4th CD will be a Republic primary battleground and several other seats will be in play. The following is a rundown as of mid-December 2023.

Colorado Congressional Race

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Wildfire and Drought Evade Partisan Differences

Orange County CoastOrange County Coast

A new survey in Orange County (“OC”) shows that the public’s rating of wildfire and drought as the two most important environmental problems in the county is not impacted by partisan identification. Not surprising, climate change, which is rated third, displays a 43-point difference between Democrats and Republicans, with OC registrants of “no party preference” (NPP) positioned in between the partisans.

Orange County Table

As the mayor of San Clemente, California, said, loss of sand and wildfire brings our community together. Extreme weather events are creating conditions for policy makers to invest in prevention and mitigation strategies.

The survey concerning fire prevention and mitigation was conducted for an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups by Ciruli Associates with YouGov America. The survey of 1000 residents was fielded from July 20 to August 27, 2023. It had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

For more information contact Floyd Ciruli at fciruli@aol.com

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Lahaina Raises Wildfire Awareness

Waiola Church in LahainaWaiola Church in Lahaina, Photo: Matthew Thayer/The Maui News via AP, File

Wildfires in California, due to their scale, duration, and frequency, are high in the public’s awareness. In a late July early to August survey in Orange County, wildfires were second among the three top-rated environmental problems identified by residents. After the news reporting of the Lahaina fire in Maui on August 8, the wildfire response jumped 11 percentage points and moved wildfires ahead of drought/water supply, as the top environmental problem.

Wildfire Table

If extreme weather events such as drought and wildfire continue, public concern and desire for action will increase.

The survey concerning fire prevention and mitigation was conducted for an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups by Ciruli Associates with YouGov America. The survey of 1000 residents was conducted from July 20 to August 27, 2023. A total of 573 interviews were conducted before the fire was reported on August 8, 2023, and 427 after. It had a margin of error of ±4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Next Governor

Gov. Jared PolisGov. Jared Polis | Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

It’s early in Jared Polis’s term. He was just reelected in a landslide in 2022 but it is his final term and Democrats will be considering who next. This year will not be considered Polis’ best. Democrats must have some concern that their legislative super majority is beginning to produce a noticeable split between the far left and more moderate wing of the party. Of course, a mostly disabled Republican party may not recover by 2025. A brief, early review of potential candidates for the Democratic nomination:

Attorney General Phil Weiser
Assumed to want the job. Considered a frontrunner. Won with an 11-point spread in 2022. Hardworking and good fundraiser. Has had some high-profile cases. More low-key personality. Moderate left image. Good for general election, not for primary.

Secretary of State Jena Griswold
National profile as democracy defender and foil to Donald Trump’s election denialism. Won reelection with 13 percent spread. Greatly disliked by Republicans but would be strong in Democratic primary.

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston
Probably too soon, 2025, to consider a run for statewide office. Has a full plate of difficult issues.

Congressman Joe Neguse
One of Colorado’s two 2018 congresspersons with election prowess and a broader aspiration. Already a part of House Democratic leadership. Would be formidable candidate.

Congressman Jason Crow
Served as House impeachment manager. Got a national profile during the January 6 attack on the Capitol. Represents powerful south Denver suburbs.

Senator Steve Fenberg
Top legislative leader as majority leader and President of the Senate. However, 2023 was a disaster with the failure of Polis’ land use legislation and Prop. HH. Not a moment for a step up.

Far Left Party
Social justice and socialist wing of the party is demanding attention and will likely be active in the 2025-26 primaries. Who will be its candidate?

Proposition HH Still Bedevils Democrats

Fran├žoise BerganAurora City Council member Fran├žoise Bergan | Photo: Timothy Hurst, The Denver Gazette

Appreciating property values feels good until assessments are adjusted and tax bills come due. After a period of record appreciation, Governor Polis and the Democratic legislature proposed Proposition HH, offering some tax relief and a lot of funding to K-12 public education from TABOR refunds. The public said no by 20 points on November 7. However, shortly after the election, a repackaged Prop. HH (WSJ 11-28-23) was passed by the legislative majority in a special session.

Will a new version have political consequences? The original did last November. Article by Pam Zubeck for CSIndy, November 14, 2023.

“Floyd Ciruli, a political consultant based in Denver, tells the Indy that Proposition HH was basically a gift to Republicans to draw out voters who historically oppose tax hikes. Those voters (Republicans voted in greater numbers in El Paso County than did unaffiliated voters and Democrats) then impacted down-ballot races and ballot measures.

“The governor helped the Republicans find an issue they could all rally around and ignore some of their recent divisions,” he says. “It was a TABOR tax election.”

“While debates over how to deal with crime dominated the election in Denver and Aurora, it’s more difficult to find support for criminal justice facilities, including courthouses, jails and, in Colorado Springs’ case, as police academy,” Ciruli says.

“The public wants to be protected, but they really do hate to pay for it,” Ciruli says.”

Nov. 7 election sees tax measures fail, more right-wing school board candidates installed | News | csindy.com

Monday, December 4, 2023

California Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Katie Porter, Adam B. Schiff and Barbara LeeKatie Porter, Adam B. Schiff and Barbara Lee | Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Schiff Starts Last Three Months with Edge

The latest polls confirm a tight race among three powerful congresspersons for Diane Feinstein’s U.S. Senate seat. Adam Schiff has several advantages as the race enters the last three months. Somewhat surprisingly, his main challenger, Katie Porter, came in a weak third in the Democratic Party’s state convention behind Barbara Lee, the very liberal Berkeley congressperson and Schiff.

Democratic State Convention Poll

The latest polling shows Schiff and Porter trading off frontrunner positions. However, Schiff has a multimillion dollar fundraising advantage with $32 million cash on hand to $12 million for Porter and $1.3 for Lee.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Three of Colorado’s Congressional Seats to Watch In 2024

Colorado Congressional Districts, 118th CongressTwotwofourtysix, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Colorado will likely not have much of a presidential race and no senate seats are up, but the state’s eight U.S. House seats will provide action. The trials, tribulations and bizarre behavior of Lauren Boebert will be closely followed in the 3rd congressional district. Ken Buck’s retirement creates a far-right super primary in the very conservative 4th CD and Yadira Caraveo can expect a strong challenge in the new 8th CD.

Colorado CDs to Watch

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Trump Can’t Lose

Netanyahu and BerlusconiBenjamin Netanyahu, right, meets with then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on June 13, 2011. (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO/FLASH90)

Like Silvio Berlusconi in Italy and Bibi Netanyahu in Israel, Donald Trump can’t lose. If he does, he likely goes to prison. The 2024 presidential election, if it follows recent patterns, will be close and decided in a handful of states: Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona, and a few others. Not only will Trump fight to the last vote, but if 2020 is an early indicator, election officials and counting systems, especially in those key states, will be under tremendous pressure to produce him a victory. As Mr. Trump said in 2020 to the Secretary of State in Georgia, “I just want to find 11,700 votes… There is nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Voters interested in an honest election, including those in states without a serious presidential contest like Colorado and California, should focus their attention on states where both politics and the integrity of the count will be pushed to the limits.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Third Congressional Race in Reshuffle

Map of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District

The election landscape in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional district is in a major reshuffle.

Lauren Boebert has begun an apology tour since the “Beetlejuice” incident but the damage simply highlights her already fringe lifestyle and viewpoints. She only hung on in 2020 by 546 votes, the closest race in the nation.

The state’s Republican establishment want her gone and are backing attorney Jeff Hurd of Grand Junction with a plethora of endorsements and $500,000 in early donations. Initially, he was seen as positioning himself as the nominee in 2026 after her likely loss in 2024. But could he beat her in the primary?

However, Democrats are not without internal controversy in the race. Democratic frontrunner Adam Frisch, who almost beat her and has already raised $4 million in donations, including millions online from national donors, now faces a primary opponent also from Grand Junction, the largest and very Republican county in the district. Town mayor Anne Stout announced and has attracted some high-powered consultants and Democratic liberal and women’s donor groups. Stout will likely divert money and attention to a primary and could pull Frisch to the left, making him more vulnerable in the general elections against Boebert or Hurd.

A lot to watch in the 3rd Congressional District.

Third Congressional District Table
RELATED: Boebert in Collapse

Friday, November 17, 2023

KOA RADIO: Tuesday’s Election Revives Conservatives

Colorado legislature at the Colorado CapitolLawmakers in the Senate work during a special session of the Colorado legislature at the Colorado Capitol in Denver on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

KOA’s Marty Lentz and Jeana Gondek interviewed me on the Colorado Election results.

Observations:

  1. Governor Polis and the Democratic legislature suffered major damage to their credibility with the massive loss of Prop. HH.

    Taxes will now be a big issue in the next session. A special session is possible (has been called) but will be hard to manage. The issue rallied the Republican Party. Former Governor Owens, pillar of the establishment, helped the opposition and spoke at their victory party.

  2. Crime is on the Colorado agenda. Mayor Coffman won a decisive victory in Aurora campaigning as “tough on crime.”

    The Denver School Board was swept from office, accused of not prioritizing student safety and being dysfunctional. The momentum for change was so strong all 7 members, not just 3, would have been removed if they had been on the ballot.

RELATED:

Republican Debate: KOA Morning Report
COFFMAN or MARCANO

Monday, November 13, 2023

Republican Debate: KOA Morning Report

The presidential hopefuls seemed content to aim for second place behind former President Donald J. Trump and deliver digs at President Biden.Credit...Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

Marty and Jeana interviewed me on Wednesday’s GOP debate in Miami. Observations:

  1. The debate was the best of the three so far. Time is short; it’s only two months to the Iowa caucus. Candidates’ answers were sharper, crisper, a smaller group helped with good moderators.
  2. Lots of foreign policy but just after Israel terrorist attack so issue is top of mind. For a party with isolationist tendency, candidates were for military involvement in host of areas; Israel, Iran, Mexico (border and drug dealers), China, and for some, Ukraine. Vivek Ramaswamy, who said he wanted to be “unhinged;” worried about the Canadian border and would defund Israel.
  3. Tuesday’s election night was bad for the GOP because of abortion and on that question debaters had no new approach. They are all pro-life. Haley advocated realism and tolerance, DeSantis blamed the Evangelicals for the loss, and Ramaswamy, the RNC.
  4. The winner was Nikki Haley. She took the most incoming fire without losing composure and fired back on several occasions, including calling Vivek “scum.” Ron DeSantis improved but it didn’t appear to make a difference. The losers were Chris Christie and Tim Scott. They were left out of the cross conversations and may not make the next debate as the criteria to join gets more difficult.
  5. Polling shows Trump wins about 45 percent of both Iowa and New Hampshire Republican voter, and DeSantis and Haley split about 30 percent. They are competing to become main alternatives to Trump. Both states have a history of shaking up the expectations.
KOA ColoradoThursday's CMN rundown with @MartyLenz_KOA and @KOAJeana

Friday, November 10, 2023

Denver Post: Voters Send Message to DPS - Change

John Youngquist and Marlene de la RosaJohn Youngquist and Marlene de la Rosa (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
“It was pretty divisive,”said pollster Floyd Ciruli of the results, adding, “What you could feel was the momentum and the passion was on the side of change.”

Union-backed members will retain their majority on DPS’s board after the election, but the newcomers will have an edge when it comes to establishing board leadership, priorities and potential future policies because Tuesday’s election made it very clear that a significant portion of the electorate supports a shake-up of the status quo, Ciruli said. - Denver Post 11-9-23

Denver voters swept all three union-supported members, two of which were incumbents, and replaced them with a new team focused on student safety and ending board chaos. The newcomers represent a school reform non-union background.

Although the new members do not have a majority, they have momentum from an electorate that wants change.

The teachers union is already very concerned any shift toward reform issues such as merit pay, school closures, and neighborhood vs. charter schools, would threaten union work rules and benefits. The union and their allies appear on the defensive.

People voted for less dysfunction on the board. That may be a challenge to achieve.

See Jessica Seaman’s front page article: Voters Send Resounding Message of Change

RELATED: DPS Election Critical for Denver’s Reputation

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

COFFMAN or MARCANO

Mike Coffman, Juan Marcano and Jeff SanfordAurora 2023 Mayor Candidates, clockwise from top left, Mike Coffman, Juan Marcano and Jeff Sanford. Photos by PHILIP B. POSTON

The contest between Mike Coffman and Juan Marcano pits law and order versus prison industrial complex - the two slogans attached to their views on crime.

Coffman is in a tough re-election with an Aurora electorate he barely carried in 2019 that is more than 50 percent minority. If he wins is the "crime denial" wing of the new left in retreat?

Monday, November 6, 2023

CIRULI ELECTION SPOTLIGHT

Mayor Nick GradisarMayor Nick Gradisar Feb 16, 2023 | Photo: Cheiftain/Josue Perez
Top issue in metro area; crime. Denver (DPS and Union) and Aurora (Mayor Coffman and Marcano).
Statewide; credibility of Democratic legislature and Governor Polis (Prop. HH).
Pueblo; Mayor Gradisar faces 8 person field in tough re-election. Runoff likely.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Colorado Business Committee for the Arts 2023 Study-Better News

Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture

One of the themes the SCFD since the beginning (1988) has been the positive economic impact of arts and culture in the metro area. The issue is most important with political, business and civic leaders. On November 3rd, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts will release its most recent report on impact of culture post the pandemic.

Ciruli Associates conducted the first economic impact study in the early 1990’s by examining the annual reports of Tier I and II organizations. There were only 11 at that time. In 1995, CBCA began to sponsor the study working the Deloitte Consulting using a survey of more than 200 organizations.

We produced a brief report for the 2016 campaign (see blog SCFD- An Economic Powerhouse). The 2023 report will hopefully show the level of improvement since the devastating reductions in attendance and income during the pandemic.

SCFD/CBCA REPORT OF 2020

Monday, October 30, 2023

DPS Election Critical for Denver’s Reputation

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education meets at DPS headquarters in Denver August 2023. Photo by Andy Cross / The Denver Post

“Many people believe the DPS election is as important as the last mayor’ race for Denver’s reputation and future” said pollster Floyd Ciruli, Denver Post 10-28-23

In the recent Denver mayor’s race, a frequent refrain was “Denver has problems, but DPS is a complete embarrassment.” Denver’s 2023 school board election has become a test between the incumbent union favored board versus parent and reform-minded group.

DPS incumbents are on the defensive because of their dysfunctional meetings and lack of transparency. But the salient event that may end their tenure is the shooting of two East High School administrators by a troubled youth who likely should not have been in school. The deans were performing security service, because no security professionals were on site which reflected the Board’s policies on expulsions and presence of police in schools.

A grass roots “Resign DPS” movement quickly started. Now a full-blown race is on with significant contributions for challengers and both the Denver Post and Denver Gazette endorsing change.

See Jessica Seaman’s Denver Post front page article: https://www.denverpost.com/2023/10/30/kwame-spearman-school-board-election-mailer/

Monday, October 23, 2023

Sabato Lists Proposition HH “on the Defensive”

In a scan of statewide ballot measures, Sabato’s Crystal Ball describes Proposition HH as “on the defensive” despite the state’s “Democratic leanings in recent elections.”

It cites the Colorado Municipal League’s opposition as an important sign of Prop HH trouble.

Proponents’ TV ads feature Governor Polis. Can he sell the complex proposal?

SOURCE
https://centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/

RELATED
Prop HH in Political Trouble
Water Districts Concerned About Proposition HH

Friday, October 20, 2023

Sales Tax Slowdown

Map

Sales tax revenue in the metro area has been amazingly robust in good economic years and resilient in the recent COVID downturn of 2020. Revenue increases over last year have fallen sharply during the most recent 8 months of reports.

Denver Metro Area Sales Tax Revenue Growth

This may be a short-term economic slowdown reflecting a drop off in migration to the metro area and other local and national factors or the harbinger of a longer-term trend.

RELATED:
Denver Metro Area Tax Revenue Slows Sharply

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Boebert in Collapse

Boebert and FirschBoebert and Firsch | Photos by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

Lauren Boebert’s brief congressional career is in a serious political crisis. The last election was razor thin in spite of having ample funding and a “lean” Republican district. Her opponent from 2022, Democrat Adam Frisch, is out-raising her by 4 to 1. He just beat her in online fundraising $3.4 million to her $854,000.

But an even bigger problem is a new primary opponent from the largest Republican county in the district, Mesa. Jeff Hurd raised $412,000 in just weeks, mostly from the state’s Republican establishment (Benson, Foster, Suthers, Richie). He is now receiving numerous endorsements from local Republican legislators and county commissioners.

Could she lose the primary? If she survives it, Boebert is even a weaker candidate in 2024 than 2022.

RELATED:
Boebert In Trouble with Independent Voters
Boebert Reelect Becomes Less Likely

Monday, October 9, 2023

Water Districts Concerned About Proposition HH

Jared Polis with Joe Lloyd MedinaGov. Jared Polis May 24, 2023 | Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

Jerd Smith reported in Fresh Water News that the state’s water districts are concerned about the possible impact of Proposition HH on their property tax revenue base.

The complex proposition is on the November ballot and campaigns for and against are just starting. Polling has indicated it could go either way depending on the persuasive influence of the protagonists.

Smith quoted me, writing "political pollster Floyd Ciruli said it’s not clear how the ballot measure will fare Nov. 7. But he said it likely faces an uphill battle to win approval."

"'It got off to a bad start in the legislature because there wasn’t a clear consensus on what to do,' he said. 'Proponents are going to need a really good campaign. This is complicated.'"

READ ARTICLE: Fresh Water News

RELATED READING:
Prop HH in Political Trouble
Polis at Political Risk with Proposition HH

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Schiff Jumps Ahead of Porter in PPIC Poll

Lee, Schiff and PorterReps. Barbara Lee, Adam B. Schiff, and Katie Porter | Photo AP/Los Angeles Times

In the latest PPIC statewide survey (July 25-Sept. 5), Adam Schiff moved ahead of Katie Porter in the U.S. Senate primary scheduled next March. Schiff added 4 points since the July poll and Porter lost 4. The PPIC poll also reports he led Porter by 28 percent to 22 percent among Democrats and 21 percent to 16 percent among independent voters. The latest IGS Berkeley poll showed similar results with Schiff at 20 percent and Porter 17 percent.

Voter Preference in March 2024 Senate Primary

The death of Dianne Feinstein roiled the California political waters. The Senate now has a new member added by Governor Newsom. Schiff lost a likely ally, but her passing will reinforce his argument that the state is losing seniority and needs people who can work with leadership and colleagues to get things done. Also, Donald Trump at the California State Republican Convention last week continued to keep Schiff in the headlines with his attacks.

READ: Schiff Moves Up

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Prop HH in Political Trouble

Colorado Gov Jared PolisColorado Gov Jared Polis Photo: Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado/AP

Although the Wall Street Journal editorial page has minimal influence in local elections, it piled on Governor Polis’s tax proposal on the November ballot. Proposition HH has managed to unite the Republican establishment with the MAGA denier activists into a highly vocal and increasingly organized opposition.

Polis, the unions, and Democrats just started campaigning, but the message and money available for communications better be persuasive and plentiful.

READ: Colorado’s Back-Door Tax Hike | Wall Street Journal

Monday, October 2, 2023

Denver Metro Area Tax Revenue Slows Sharply

Map

Although the seven county Denver Metro economy appears robust, sales tax revenue growth has been contracting all year, and in July dropped under 2 percent above last year.

Denver Sales Tax Table

Sales tax is a key element in local government funding (60% of Denver’s tax revenue) and will likely begin to be reflected in more modest tax revenue spending plans although not yet. Denver’s latest budget shows a 4 percent sales tax growth projection in 2024.

READ:
Denver Metro Economy Slows
Sales Tax Revenue Growth Stalls

Friday, September 29, 2023

Wildfires are a Threat

image of wildfire
Photo: OC Firewatch @OCFireWatch

Orange County residents are concerned about wildfire, its smoke and pollution and the impact on their personal and economic well-being. In a new survey conducted in August, more than 80 percent said they were concerned about wildfires (81%) and smoke and pollution (85%). Seventy percent felt wildfires were a serious threat to their “personal and economic well-being.”

wildfires are a threat

The heightened concern about the environment in this poll is a reflection of the extreme weather events of the last two years that have shifted the perception of climate change. Its impact was seen in the future, “problems for grandchildren” and far away affecting “polar bears or glaciers”. Now the problems appear immediate and near home. The drought and impact on the Colorado River is here and now. The wildfires of the last two years were brought home by the abandonment of California by property insurers.

The Lahaina devastation in August dramatized human impact. Even last year’s snow and rain providing drought relief was extreme, bringing floods. The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Climate Change Major Factor in Frequency of Fires

Lake MeadLake Mead | Photo: Patrick T. Fallon, AFP via Getty Images

Orange County residents believe drought, the frequency of wildfires and climate change are strongly connected. Extreme weather and events such as the Lahaina fire have increased climate change belief nationally and in California. The problem appears more immediate and localized.

People believe a “major factor” (68%) in the frequency of wildfires is drought. More than seventy percent (71%) believe climate change has contributed to the drought and is a major factor in the frequency of wildfires (62%).

climate change and wildfires survey

The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Do More to Respond to Wildfires

Firefighters controlling wildfirePhoto: www.ocfa.org

Orange County residents believe wildfires are a threat to their health and wellbeing. Although they have confidence in local and state fire authorities, they believe not enough is being done by state and local government “to respond to wildfires in California” (52%).

government response poll

The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Protect Orange County Open Space

Irvine Ranch Open SpaceIrvine Ranch Open Space | Photo: ocparks.com

An August survey conducted in Orange County shows 94 percent of residents rate “protecting conservation areas and open space” important or very important.

open space table

The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.

Monday, September 18, 2023

California and Orange County Rate Wildfire, Water and Climate Change Top Environmental Problems

Newport Beach | Photo: D Ramey LoganNewport Beach | Photo: D Ramey Logan

After a year of extreme weather, two new surveys show wildfire, water supply and climate change the top environmental issues in Orange County and statewide. A statewide PPIC survey was conducted in June and the Orange County survey in August. Using different methods, they show similar results.

Both surveys asked respondents to name their top environmental issue. PPIC responses are top of mind and COAST responses are reactions to a randomized list. They both rated water supply, drought and wildfires in the top two positions with climate change and air pollution the next most important environmental issues.

top environmental problems poll

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll with 1724 adults conducted from June 7–29 included several questions comparable to the county-wide COAST survey in Orange County two months later. COAST is an organization of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in prevention and mitigation of wildfires. The PPIC survey was conducted by telephone and the COAST survey, conducted by Ciruli Associates and YouGov from July 20 to August 27 with 1,000 Orange County residents, received responses from an online panel and email.