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.”


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Ciruli Brothers are the Mango Kings

Champagne Mango Website

Ciruli Brothers Produce, founded in Pueblo, Colorado, and now based out of Rio Rico, Arizona, has created and markets the unique Champagne Mango through Whole Foods and other stores.

The family has been in farming and produce sales for more than 80 years and four generations of the Ciruli family. Originally from the beautiful Abruzzi region of Italy east of Rome, the family came to Colorado in the 1880s. It expanded to Phoenix and the southwest in the 1950s.

They just introduced a new website on the Champagne Mango.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Mid-Year Political Report: Ciruli
Colorado Cooperation Conference

Floyd Ciruli

Colorado Cooperation, a statewide association of political and business leaders, meet for a conference at the National Convention Center June 2nd.

Floyd Ciruli will present a mid-year recap of the legislative session, the Denver mayoral election, and national politics.

A few of the topics:

  • Legislative chaos, what it means for Polis and Democrats.
  • Denver mayor election, council goes left, Denver still in middle?
  • Biden vs. Trump or DeSantis. Will it make a difference?
  • Republican Party brand recovery? Boebert’s last term?

See blog posts and topics on the Ciruli Buzz:

To get more information and register: conference-2023-attendee-registration-registration-611518647737

National WesternNational Western

Monday, May 22, 2023

Legislative Chaos – Not a Good Sign for Democratic Party and Governing Denver

The Colorado state Senate on the last day of the legislative session. May 8, 2023.
Photo: Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Although much has been written about the chaotic final days of the 2023 legislative session, the major impact of the session may be in the stress it causes the Democratic Party. The party’s progressive wing did not accept several defeats quietly.

The left turned against moderate party members, their leadership, and even Governor Polis. The loss of two renter bills and a high-profile gun bill was especially stinging. They questioned the value of bipartisanship believing the voters handed them (i.e., progressives) a super majority.

Their anti-establishment rhetoric and attitude indicate the Democratic Party big tent unity could be in danger as it approaches the 2024 election cycle.

Many of the progressive members of the legislature represent Denver. The city council, that is already progressive, will likely shift even more far left as declared socialist enter after the June 6 municipal election. Good luck to Denver’s next mayor. Both candidates, Brough and Johnston, are from the Democrats establishment liberal wing.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Sales Tax Revenue Growth Stalls

After two years of double digit increases, the Denver 7 county metro area sales tax revenue dropped to 6 percent during the first three months of the year, half of the 12 percent increase recorded in 2022 and a third of the 19 percent in 2021.

Denver Metro Taxes

The brief recession of the summer of 2020 was ameliorated by the Denver area’s strong population growth in the previous decade. That growth is now flat or declining in many metro counties including Denver. As the national economy begins to slow due to higher interest rates and more constrained national spending, Colorado could see a recession, even if mild, and less sales tax revenue in 2023.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Colorado Has Two Battleground Congressional Races

Boebert and Caraveo

Lauren Boebert, Colorado congresswoman from the state’s Western Slope, is considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country. Democrats have already targeted the race. And she faces the opponent, Adam Fritch, who came within 554 votes of defeating her in 2022.

Also on the list of likely targeted seats is Democrat Yadira Caraveo, who only won by 1632 votes last November. The north Denver-Weld County district was designed to be competitive, but it remains to be seen if Colorado’s chaotic and divided Republican Party can ramp up a challenge.

Colorado Races

Given the four seat Republican majority in Congress, every close race with a new congressperson after redistricting will be watched closely.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Ciruli Speaks on Colorado Politics 2023

National WesternNational Western

Four days before the Denver mayoral election (June 6) and shortly after the Democrats’ supermajority legislative session, pollster and commentator Floyd Ciruli will present Colorado Politics 2023 at the Colorado Cooperation Conference June 2 at the National Western Center.

Among the topics:

  • What to look for in Denver mayor’s race?
  • Biden vs. Trump – What does it mean for the West?
  • What was left on Legislature’s table and floor?
  • Boebert’s last term?
  • Can Colorado Republicans find a path back?
  • Denver’s losing population, heading for a recession?

See blog posts and topics reported on the Ciruli Buzz:

Monday, May 8, 2023

Trump Became Frontrunner After NY Court Case

Donald Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal poll of mid-April, gained 24 points among Republicans from December to April against Ron DeSantis. DeSantis, who was at 52 percent in December, dropped to 38 percent while Trump added 12 points from 38 to 51 percent by the first week of April.

Shift in Rupublican Support for Trump and DeSantis

There were several factors involved in the shift, but first and foremost was the New York DA Alan Bragg’s criminal charge against Trump that was formally announced on April 4, with the arrest and arraignment. It culminated in saturation media coverage. But coverage began in January with witnesses interviewing and testifying with Bragg’s team of prosecutors and before the grand jury.

Trump surged in the polls during this period. He won sympathy in being attacked by New York Democrats. Many party leaders rallied to him and he ignited his supporters with social media.

DeSantis was lost in the coverage and had to support Trump. The WSI poll showed Trump and DeSantis were both running close to Joe Biden for the presidential contest, costing DeSantis his argument Trump was a loser. Also Trump’s base was unaffected by a possible conviction. Finally, Trump’s allies began running attack ads which weren’t countered. Can DeSantis recover? Yes, it’s many months until a primary but Trump has demonstrated his strength.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Education Not a Topic in Mayor’s Race

East High School, Denver, Colorado Photos: Ken Lund, East High School, Denver, Colorado

In conversations about the Denver mayor’s race people volunteer that the biggest problem in Denver is the operation of the school district. Its board meetings are frequently a chaotic embarrassment. Those anecdotal views are backed by a recent district-wide poll that reports two-thirds of parents (66%) have an unfavorable view of the District board. (Chalkbeat 4-20-23)

Poll of Denver Voters

In the Chicago mayoral runoff, education and crime prevention were top issues. Both candidates had backgrounds in the city’s public school system and recognized its influence on the city’s reputation, economy and crime. In Denver’s recent election not a word. The city’s hands-off history has allowed the District in recent years to be controlled by its unions and groups with various, mostly left agendas.

The system is systemically dysfunctional. It lacks accountability, and its governance model is a failure. It needs an overhaul.

Poll results:

  • Keeping students safe A or B 14%, D or F 48%
  • Put police back in schools 73%
  • Don’t return dangerous children to classroom 74%
  • Board only interested in its own political ambition 63%

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

South Korea and American Pie

President Yoon Suk Yeol Sings American PiePresident Yoon Suk Yeol Sings American Pie Watch video on

In an unbelievable performance, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol sang Don McLean’s “American Pie” a cappella at the White House State Dinner.

The Crossley Center’s Japanese Diplomacy Program has featured the importance of South Korea as a strategic partner in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. Fortunately, President Yoon has shifted Korean policy rapidly toward a more collaborative and global direction.

  • Negotiations with Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida.
  • Strengthening nuclear deterrence in partnership with President Biden and the U.S.
  • Increased diplomacy and military activities with southern Indo-Pacific nations.
  • Attending G7 in Japan with commitment to democracy and rules based international order.


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Arizona and Nevada, the Southwest Battlegrounds

Rosen and SinemaJackie Rosen and Kyrsten Sinema

The four southwestern states, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, only represent a total of 32 electoral votes, whereas California has 55, Florida 29, and Texas 28 out of 270 needed to win the U.S. Presidency. But two of the states are battlegrounds: Arizona (11) and Nevada (6), and in an expected razor thin presidential race they will get maximum attention.

Southwest States Table

Both states are also having what is expected to be close Senate elections. In Nevada, incumbent Democrat Jackie Rosen will be running in a presidential battleground state carried by Joe Biden by about 3 points in both 2016 and 2020. She won by 5 points in 2018 and the seat is rated lean Democratic / battleground by the three main political rating journals (Cook, Sabato, and Inside Elections).

Arizona’s Senate race is complicated and will be one of the most watched in the country. First term Kyrsten Sinema was a Democrat and as of December became an Independent. She won by 2.4 points in 2018. Biden barely won in 2020 (11,000) and Trump carried the state by 3 points in 2016. Sinema, if she runs, will be in a three-way race as an Independent with Republican and Democratic opponents. All three rating agencies call it a toss-up election.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Colorado River – Drought, Floods, Climate Change and Very Tough Politics

The shortage of water in the Colorado River is the top environmental issue and political tension point in 2023.
  1. The politics of the Southwest has shifted Democratic the last decade. With only one Republican governor, both the governors and senators in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico are Democrats. Will the new political orientation effect Colorado River policy and politics?
  2. The condition of the Colorado River is front page news regularly across the nation. The post drought/floods of the last few years have been like the transition in policy and politics after the Two Forks’ early 21st century drought periods. We are in a new era for water policy with a boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  3. Negotiations with downstream water uses are the focus of attention. Tribes are new players and water justice themes are at the table. Colorado’s east-west divide is still a factor as is a lack of trust of state government.
  4. A question in Colorado for major providers is what’s next? Northern, after NISP, Denver Water after Gross Reservoir, Aurora Water, Douglas after Prairie Waters- WISE projects, El Paso post-Southern Delivery and whatever the Western Slope finally settles on (if anything). What is the next round of projects, policies, procedures? Where does the State Water Plan go next?
Map of the Colorado River basinMap of the Colorado River basin