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:
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

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

Françoise BerganAurora City Council member Françoise 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 |

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.