Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Public Divided on Banning Sleeping in Public Spaces

Denver Mayor Mike Johnston visits homeless encmapmentDenver Mayor Mike Johnston visits homeless encampment
Photo: Kathryn Scott, The Denver Post

Although the public, especially in urban areas lists homelessness as one of their top concerns, they are divided on one of the main strategies cities use to manage the problem – namely a ban of sleeping in public space. A new Marquette Law School Poll on recent Supreme Court oral arguments found that Americans were divided 47 percent in support of a city being able to ban sleeping, in public space, and 36 percent opposed.

As expected, partisans disagreed. Only about a third of Democrats (36%) supported a ban whereas 63 percent of Republicans were in support.

Can Cities Ban Sleeping in Public Spaces?

But the biggest gap in opinions was seen between under and over 30 years old. More than half (58%) of Generation Z opposed a sleeping ban but among older Americans (60 years old plus), 59 percent support a ban and only a quarter (23%) oppose.

The challenge for urban Democratic leaders is the public’s demand to address homeless and the street population but the resistance of young Democratic voters to use a public sleeping space ban as a tool.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Western Leaders Face Unhappy Public

President Javier MileiArgentina's President Javier Milei speaks during a rally organised by the Spanish far-right Vox party ahead of the European elections, with various far-right leaders, in Madrid, Spain, May 19, 2024. REUTERS/Ana Beltran

With rare exceptions the public in democratic countries are unhappy with their top elected leaders. The few leaders with more approval than disapproval in a new Morning Consult poll in nominally democratic countries are populists in India, Narendra Modi, Argentina, Javier Milei, and Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Milei, the Argentine anarcho-capitalist who most recently insulted the Prime Minister of Spain and his wife, continues to command public favor by providing entertainment and nationalism in a crisis-ridden country.

Sample of National Leaders Approval and Disapproval

As embattled as President Biden is, he has the highest approval among US allies and Western European democracies. At 39 percent, he exceeds Scholz in Germany (26%), Sunek in the UK (25%), Macron in France (23%) and Kishida in Japan (15%). Centrist leaders are facing dour electorates and populist opponents.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Third Parties Could Have Big Impact in 2024

Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. kicks off petition drive to get on Colorado ballot at Aurora rally | Photo: Ernest Luning/Colorado Politics

National polls and history show that when the major parties nominate two unpopular presidential candidates, third parties become more attractive and can make a difference in the electoral vote. In 2016, third parties received nearly 6 million votes. In the three most closely contested states, the liberal third party candidate received more votes than Clinton lost by. Third parties were held to 2 percent nationwide in 2020 and 3 percent in Colorado (see table below). But they have 14 percent of the current national polling average (RealClearPolitics). RJK Jr. leads with 10 percent.

US and Colorado Presidential Election Results 2016 & 2020

Third party candidates represent a serious challenge to Biden, especially in battleground states such as Arizona and North Carolina. The first significant challenge a third party must overcome is ballot access. The Green Party has access to most states’ ballots.

Although RFK Jr. may get on the Colorado ballot, the state is not likely have a serious presidential contest. But, with a 48 percent unaffiliated voter registration, a record number of minor parties (8) attracting a fragmented electorate and a history of voter independence demonstrated in 1992 when Ross Perot received 23 percent of the vote, a third party candidate could expect considerable support. In the recent Super Tuesday primary, the two major party frontrunners lost a total of two-fifths of their fellow partisans (33% for Haley and 8% uncommitted).

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Waiting for the Federal Reserve

Markets shed points off their highs in late March. The DOW closed at 39,282, or up 5.6 percent on March 28, then sank more than 1,400 points through April but recovered by mid-May to nearly touch 40,000 at 39,908, or up 5.9 percent.

Fed Chair Powell and his board are not cutting interest rates but after the May meeting lower price pressure and a strong sense of a soft landing, the market was greatly relieved. Three rate cuts were expected beginning in June. Now, the market will be pleased with one before year end. However, market watchers are still optimistic and predict an up-DOW/year of 9 percent. Notice the tech heavy NAZ and broad S&P index are up nearly two times the DOW for the year.

The positive viewpoint reflected the amazing resilience of an economy that has faced a surge of post-pandemic inflation, aggressive rate-hiking and geopolitical turmoil from two wars and two hostile great powers. In spite of this, the GDP is up, consumer spending is strong, and unemployment is down.

Dow Jones May 2024

Some observers believe US stocks are overvalued, especially technology and the US is heading for a major slowdown with a market dip. But Jamie Dimon observes investment money from around the world believes the American market remains the safest, and its top companies are worth the pricey valuations.

Bull Market Continues to Run (February 29, 2024)

Monday, May 20, 2024

Nederland Repeals Rights of Nature Resolution as Harmful to Water Security

Middle Boulder CreekNederland diverts drinking water from Middle Boulder Creek. (Town of Nederland photo)

Gary Wockner (formerly Save the Poudre River, Save the Colorado, and now Save the World’s Rivers) is not happy. One of his first “rights of nature” towns, Nederland, with “guardians” appointed, has repealed the resolution because it is being used in ways that could jeopardize the town’s water security. The repeal is a major setback as Nederland was a high profile victory for the movement and the repeal is receiving major coverage in environmental press.

Michael Booth’s report of the controversy provides considerable evidence of the deceptive arguments made to local municipalities by advocates when campaigning for the resolutions. (Colorado Sun May 7, 2024, also Inside Climate News 5-7-24-Kate Surma and NPR Northern Colorado 5-9-24, Michael Lyle)

The so-called guardians said they just provide watershed information and are not policymakers. But Wockner made clear that he “fights dams”, and will do so regardless of the Town of Nederland’s interests or policy preferences. Mayor Giblin was an articulate advocate for the town’s interest in protecting its water rights and option for water storage. He pointed out that Wockner and Save the World’s Rivers filed legal objections against numerous projects, saying “I have major concern with an outside organization fighting to dictate conditions to local communities in our efforts to secure our water rights.”

Several other Colorado towns and cities have adopted or have been solicited to adopt Right of Nature resolutions. They should consider the Nederland experience.


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Trump Confident, Dems Stressed

TIME Cover Photograph by Philip MontgomeryPhotograph by Philip Montgomery for TIME

Six months out, Donald Trump and his campaign appear confident and Democrats increasingly stressed. Trump’s ebullient mood was showcased in his Time Magazine interview where he described his aggressive, authoritarian initiatives for the next term. Democrat nervousness is highlighted by the Administration trying to lock in Biden Presidential executive orders and Beltway cocktail chatter on countries to move to.

Polls are producing the current Democratic gloom. Joe Biden’s State of the Union address produced a brief surge, but the national polls are now deadlocked with little movement. Democrats’ main problem is the electoral college. Biden is losing most of the battleground states. Out of seven, Biden is only close in three.

Also ominous is Biden’s trailing Trump in trust to handle key issues such as the economy 46% to 32% (see table), inflation 44% to 30%, crime 41% to 33% and immigration 47% to 35%. Biden wins abortion 41% to 29% but it was judged less important. (ABC News poll Gary Langer)

Presidential Polls
Below is a polling average drawn from RealClear Politics (RCP) with regular comparisons to FiveThirtyEight (ABC News) website, Gallop, and other credible polls.

2024 Presidential Poll 05-06-2024

There are no credible national political analysts who believe Biden is on a winning trajectory. As Peggy Noonan opined in the WSJ on Saturday, “Mr. Trump is ahead in most if not all of the battleground states, and I’m struck by the number of political operatives, veterans and thinkers now asking, honestly, if there is anything the president can do to pull it out.” (WSJ 5-12-24)

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Law & Order Now Tops Police Reform as Public Concern

Joseph and WalshLeora Joseph and Jon Walsh | Photo Alex Edwards, Denver Gazette

A demand for more security in schools, downtown streets, and neighborhoods has intensified since the end of the pandemic. District attorney contests today tend to be battles between post-George Floyd police and legal reforms and newer, intense demand for law and order to stop a surge in high profile snatch and grabs, shootings, assaults, carjackings, and break-ins. And the reformers are on the defensive with even some DAs being recalled.

In Denver’s primary on June 25 for retiring DA Beth McCann’s open seat, both candidates claim to be tough on crime, so money, endorsements, and ability to attract voters attention in a likely modest summer primary vote will be important.

John Walsh, former Colorado US Attorney, is running against Leora Joseph, the director of the Colorado Office of Civil and Forensic Mental Health. Walsh has the advantage in money ($355,000 to $280,000) and endorsements from a host of former Denver DAs (including the retiring incumbent), mayors and both US Senators. Joseph has the police and fire fighters’ unions.

In describing the race, Denver Gazette reporter Carol McKinley wrote:

“The money helps turn out the vote,” said longtime Colorado pollster and commentator Floyd Ciruli, who predicted that the race would see “a pretty modest turnout” in Denver’s primary election.

“Both Walsh and Joseph have positioned themselves as law and order candidates, which Ciruli said is an important issue to Denver voters this year.

“You saw it in Denver related to the school district election, when voters were very concerned about violence in the schools. You saw it in the mayor’s election, when the public wanted to know the candidates’ positions with police and with the homeless,” the pollster said.

“So, we’ve had two major elections in which crime and the public’s security were big issues and it’s likely to be that again for the Denver District Attorney race,” Ciruli said.

“This year’s race promises to be much closer, Ciruli said that both candidates “have elements of law and order. My sense is that this is important in this political atmosphere.”

Read Article

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Pro-Palestinian Protests Lack Public Support

Remnants of the pro-Palestinian protest encampment at UCLARemnants of the pro-Palestinian protest encampment at UCLA on May 2, 2024. (KTLA)

Campus presidents and chancellors have another group to consider as they try to balance students’ free speech rights, engaged facilities and finishing the school year and commencements – an unhappy public.

New polls show pro-Palestinian protests are opposed by the public two-to-one over support. In fact, 47 percent of the public would ban them. The following table shows support and opposition for the protests from YouGov and Morning Consult polls.

Support and Opposition for Recent Pro-Palestinian Protests

Nearly one-third (30%) of Americans 44 years old and younger oppose the pro-Palestinian protests. Another 31 percent are “not sure.” Among 45 year olds and older, 62 percent oppose protests. Not surprising, Jews and Muslims are completely polarized on the issue.

Three quarters of the public (76%), including 67 percent of 18 to 34 year olds, support “asking police to protect campuses from violence.” A pro-Palestinian ban on demonstrations had support of 47 percent of voters, including 42 percent from 18 to 34 year olds.

Campus Protests Helped Elect Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon
Gen Z Bails on Israel

Monday, May 6, 2024

House Vote on Military Aid

Ukrainian soldiersUkrainian soldiers take part in a training exercise Photo: Kyodo via AP Images

The dramatic Saturday US House vote on military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan highlighted the division within the Republican Party and may presage more bipartisan collaboration.(4-20-24)

  • Israeli aid lost 58 votes, with the majority from Democrats, 37 refusing to endorse Israel’s Gaza campaign.

    The US House Vote on Military Aid
  • Ukraine aid lost 112 Republican votes, one more than 109 majority of the House Republicans. If far right dissidents want to remove Speaker Johnson, they have a substantial base of votes in the anti-Ukraine aid crowd but 101 Republicans voted for Ukraine aid. They would be unlikely partners in the removal. In addition, Mike Johnson’s victory has him widely heralded and the level of chaos and criticism would be substantial.

  • If the far right tries and fails to remove him, it will confirm their gadfly image; if they succeed, it will be a blow to many moderate Republicans up for reelection and candidates in competitive seats.

    Mike Johnson’s maneuvering on the aid package demonstrated political skill, was broadly praised as principled, and celebrated across many worldwide media platforms. Republicans have a hero.

  • Taiwan aid’s 385 yes vote shows that both parties have a substantial commitment to its defense.

All in all, a very good day for US national security and the defense hawk wings of both parties. A bad moment for Marjorie Taylor Green.

Switch: Americans Now More Supportive of Ukraine than Israel

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Will More Funding Be Directed to Colorado Water Projects?

Betting kiosk in Monarch casinoBetting kiosk in Monarch casino | Photo by Kevin Simpson, The Colorado Sun

Colorado voters may be asked to direct more sports gaming revenue to water conservation projects.

Jerd Smith of Fresh Water News reports on new legislation with bipartisan support including House speaker Julie McCluskie that will refer a ballot issue to voters in November. It will shift any gaming revenue over a $29 million cap in the original ballot proposition to water projects.

I said the measure should pass with leadership support and that voters are likely to be supportive.

  1. Voters are concerned about water conservation
  2. The measure would not expand gaming or increase taxes
    • Gaming interests (Fan Duel or DraftKings) are not opposed
    • Environmental interests appear supportive

“While the original sports betting ballot measure received tepid support, the tax question, if it makes the ballot, may win broader support due to ongoing voter concerns about water conservation and protection and the high-profile crisis on the drought- stressed Colorado River, veteran pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli said.

“I have not seen any polls that negate what we knew strongly back then, that water conservation and water protection are environmental issues that Coloradans care strongly about,” he said."

Link to article: Colorado voters may be asked to send more sports betting money to water projects

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Gen Z Bails on Israel

Anti-war protestors confront Federal troops in Grant park. Illinois, Chicago. USA. 1968. © Raymond Depardon | Magnum PhotosAnti-war protestors confront Federal troops in Grant park. Illinois, Chicago. USA. 1968.
Photo © Raymond Depardon | Magnum Photos
Riots helped elect Nixon in 1968. Can Trump benefit from fear and loathing too?

The latest New York Times/Siena poll reinforces the new political reality that Americans under 30 years old, or Generation Z, are more sympathetic to Palestinians than Israel in its conflict. By a three to one ratio, 18 to 29 year old voters favor Palestinians over Israelis. Adults, 45 years old and above (Generation X and Baby Boomers) are three to one in favor of Israel, the inverse of younger voters.

Gen Z Poll

The particular problem for President Biden is that Gen Z was assumed to be a part of the Democratic coalition. Biden needs this conflict to resolve soon and fade into background. If it doesn’t imagine Chicago.

Campus Protests Helped Elect Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon

Protesters at UCLA in front of Royce Hall
Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Republicans, led by Speaker Mike Johnson, know that campus protests are a law and order issue for many voters. And as protesters become more disruptive and aggressive, they can become as big an issue as urban crime and the border for Republicans.

In 1966, Ronald Reagan in his first gubernatorial campaign, blamed incumbent governor Pat Brown of being soft on crime (Watts Riots) and coddling radicals (UC Berkeley).

Richard Nixon presented himself in 1968 as the candidate of social stability in the face of national upheaval, highlighted by the youth counterculture, students anti-war protests, and urban riots.

Although the law and order issue helped elect Republican candidates, it didn’t stop the protests. Two years later, on May 4, 1970, a National Guard shooting at a Kent State campus anti-war protest ignited a national student action that closed many colleges, including in California, for up to six weeks.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Iran – A Threat

President Biden chairs National Security meeting with Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin, CIA Director Burns, and National Security Advisor Sullivan
Photo provided by The White House/Handout via Reuters

Iran has been considered a threat by Americans for decades. Along with imprisoning 53 Americans for 444 days in 1979, Iran expresses aggressive anti-Western ideology, actively supports and frequently applauds Islamic terrorist acts especially in the Middle East, and is now strongly aligning with Russia and China in anti-U.S. positions.

In a 2024 Gallup poll, 81 percent of Americans rated Iran unfavorably and 70 percent considered it having nuclear weapons a threat to U.S. vital interests.

Although U.S. policies have become more conflicted on helping Israel in its war with Hamas (two-thirds of Democrats-no weapons transfers to Israel for Hamas war), the vast majority of Americans (67%) support Israel in a confrontation with Iran. Only 32 percent would provide no support to Israel.

Iran Poll

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Wildfire – a Threat to Orange Counties’ Fire Vulnerable Areas

Laguna Hills fireLaguna Hills Brush Fire | Photo: CNN

Orange County has major wildfires on a regular basis. From the 1993 Laguna Fire that destroyed more than 250 homes and evacuated 24,000 residents of the city to the more recent Coast Fire in 2022 that destroyed 20 homes (see picture above), the county has a host of vulnerable non-urban areas next to canyons, mountain, and wildlands. County fire authorities have identified 10 high fire hazard areas that are endangered with larger, faster, more frequent blazes fueled by buildup of vegetation, the drying warmer climate and well- known Santa Ana winds.

In a 2023 Ciruli Associates survey of Orange County, more residents in high fire zones (59%) were likely to believe wildfire was the county’s top environmental problem compared to the countywide average (51%) or residents in non-high-fire zones (49%).

Not surprising, twice as many reported (30% to 13%) having been evacuated from their homes. However, similar percentages of county wide residents said their property would be damaged by a wildfire if there was a threat and high fire area residents were similar to overall county residents in believing additional response to wildfires was needed.

Opinion on Wildfire In High Fire Areas

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 1,000 residents was fielded from July 20 to August 27, 2023. Of these, a subsample of 135 were identified as residents of high-risk fire regions. Areas identified were in Laguna Beach, Irvine, Anaheim, Newport, San Juan Capistrano, Mission Viejo, and Coto de Caza. The entire survey had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence.

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

Monday, April 15, 2024

Independents & Climate Change

Orange County CoastOrange County Coast

Independent party identification is rapidly increasing nationally and in Orange County. Independents in the U.S. have risen from about a third of the electorate early in this century to 43 percent today while both Democratic & Republican identification declined from a third to 27 percent, according to Gallup’s latest poll.

Locally, Orange County voter registration historically Republican dominated, has also shifted to a near tie among partisans – Democrats 37 percent, Republicans 33 percent, with no party preference climbing to 28 percent from 15 percent in 2004.

In an Orange County survey conducted in August 2023, residents of different party preferences had similar views on top two environmental problems in the County (see table below) which were wildfire and water supply. However, their views divide dramatically related to climate change, the third most frequently rated issue. There was a 43 percent difference between Democrats and Republicans in the highly polarized issue, with Democrats much more likely to rate it a top problem (65%) and Republicans much less (22%). At 38 percent, No Party Preference are near the mean (42%) but leaned toward the Republican view (see table).

Three Top Environmental Problems

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

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Doug Kemper - Educator

Colorado River in Glenwood CanyonColorado River in Glenwood Canyon | Photo: PPIC

Doug Kemper, after 20 years of leadership of the Colorado Water Congress, has just announced his retirement. Kemper has been a tireless advocate for the state’s water rights. He skillfully managed Colorado’s always complex and sometimes fraught water laws, development and interests.

He was especially good as an educator, conducting highly interesting and thought-provoking statewide conferences twice a year in person and on Zoom. It has become the go-to event for water professionals to network and gain critical information.

The challenge of maintaining a sustainable water supply for Colorado’s citizens, economy and environment has been enhanced by Kemper’s effective leadership.

Good job Doug.

1984 Convention

Sherrie Wolff

Sherry Wolff managed the Colorado Democratic delegation at the historic 1984 National Convention in San Francisco, which put Gary Hart in nomination. She just passed away.

She was a tireless advocate for women’s rights, democracy, and Democrats.

She will be missed.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Three Open Colorado Seats – Could the Democrats Win One?

Boebert and Williams with TrumpBoebert and Williams with Trump | Images via Twitter

Republicans have abandoned the three congressional seats they held in Colorado. All three have a Republican registration and performance edge but the party is so divided and its MAGA wing so influential it could produce an election environment where voters say “enough,” it’s time for a change.

3rd CD New polls show Lauren Boebert is the least likable statewide politician (22% favorable/62% unfavorable). Voters in the 3rd CD may just vote for the Democratic alternative, Adam Frisch to express their disdain for Boebert’s behavior. Frisch nearly won in 2022 and has millions to spend. The Republicans will have a MAGA vs. Establishment primary.
4th CD Boebert is now trying to hang on to her Congressional job in the 4th CD. A poll shows she might win a multi-candidate primary even though she only has 32% support (likely at least 4 candidates). Most voters are undecided. Republicans gave the open seat from Ken Buck’s quick exit to a controversial ex-mayor, Greg Lopez. Democrats nominated unknown candidate Trisha Calvarese. Could a Democrat win it?
5th CD Dave Williams has managed to become one of the state’s most disdained politicians, not an easy task. Colorado Springs’ voters, especially its large unaffiliated contingent, appear tired of the Republican Party’s extreme positions and divisive politics. It has been breaking with Republican control. The new mayor, an Independent recent African immigrant, beat the Republican candidate. If Williams is the nominee, is there an alternative?

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

OC Congressional Races – A Battleground

OC Congressional MapOC Congressional Map via https://ocvote.gov

Both Democrats and Republicans recognize that the four main battleground seats in Orange County could help provide the margin to control the U.S. House of Representatives’ majority.

The March 5 primary has set the stage for a repeat of the contests in 2022 with the biggest battle in Katie Porter’s new open seat centered in Irvine and Costa Mesa. The following table shows the primary winners with their percentages. It also lists the 2022 general election winners and results.

OC Congressional Districts 2024 Primary Results

Young Kim, Michelle Steel, and Mike Levin won in 2022 and appear ready to repeat. Porter’s CD 47 is likely to be the most contested. She barely held it in 2022 (52% after spending $28 million), no doubt one reason to try the U.S. Senate race instead of re-election. Scott Baugh is making a second attempt and Democrat Dave Min survived a very fierce primary. Republicans will target this race.

Both candidates can expect significant outside funding. Porter had $9 million spent against her from independent sources in 2022. Min is Korean and as Kim and Steel demonstrate, an Asian background can be a voting advantage in Orange County. (CD 47 is 28% Asian.) Min may get a little help from national ticket. Biden carried the district in 2020 with 53 percent near his county average but may be weaker this time.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Switch: Americans Now More Supportive of Ukraine than Israel

Israel's deep political divisionsPhoto: Getty Images

In the latest Quinnipiac Poll, back-to-back questions on Ukraine and Israel shows Americans now support more military aid to Ukraine 53 to 43 percent, but oppose military aid to Israel 52 to 39 percent – a historic collapse of support for Israel.

military aid support poll

Do you support or oppose the United States sending more military aid to Ukraine for their efforts in the war with Russia?

Do you support or oppose the United States sending more military aid to Israel for their efforts in the war with Hamas?

Support for Israel among Democrats has been sliding for several years but as I wrote last year before leaving for a tour of Israel, the government’s shift to the right would increase anti-Israel sentiment in the U.S. It has, especially with Democrats (63% opposed to aid) and voters under 34 years old (68% opposed). Also, minority voters in the poll were highly opposed to Israel aid (Blacks 66%, Hispanics 65%).

Foreign policy and military aid specifically has become more partisan in the Trump era. Support for aid to Ukraine registered at 79 percent among Democrats but only 31 percent for Republicans.

Will Israel’s Move to the Right Increase Anti-Israel Sentiment in the U.S.? March 17, 2023
Israel – Flight Out of Ben Gurion Airport as Netanyahu Loses Control April 12, 2023

Thursday, April 4, 2024

KHOW Talk – Colorado Pollster: If Election Today, Biden Would Lose

Talk Radio 630 KHOW

In an interview on KHOW radio (630), longtime Colorado pollster Floyd Ciruli told host Ryan Schuiling that if the Presidential election was held today, President Joe Biden would most likely lose to Donald Trump, both in the popular vote and the electoral college.

The big highlights in a wide-ranging talk were:

  • Biden has tightened the popular vote since January but is still losing the RealClearPolitics average by one percent.
  • He’s losing even more when third parties’ candidates are considered and he’s not winning most of the battleground states with the most reliable polls available.
  • Neither candidate appears to be reaching out to swing voters. Biden hasn’t taken on one of his biggest weaknesses, immigration and the border, but Trump continues to play to his base and ignore Nikki Haley and suburban voters.
  • Although Robert Kennedy Jr. lacks a consistent message, he is trying to gather the disaffiliated voters from a base of old blue-collar voters who liked his dad and the family, and a long-established anti-vaccine constituency. He is now trying to add isolationists with criticism of Ukraine, NATO to a variety of anti-government, anti-corporate themes. At least some of these issues will compete with Trump’s messages just as his Kennedy background attracts some Democrats.

One Point Presidential Race April 4, 2024

One Point Presidential Race

Joe Biden has narrowed the 4-point gap he had with Donald Trump in January down to one point on the RCP average at the end of March.

In spite of the improvement, Biden is still in trouble and if the election were today he would lose. The pattern between Democrats and Trump since 2016 has been they win the popular vote substantially (3 million or 2% in 2016 and 7 million or 4.5% in 2020) and win or lose the electoral vote close. Today, along with not being ahead in the popular vote, local polling in battleground states shows Biden improving but still behind by 3 or more points in a 5 of 7 states.

The Presidential Polls
Below is a polling average drawn from RealClearPolitics (RCP) with regular comparisons to FiveThirtyEight (ABC News) website, Gallop, and other credible polls.

2024 Presidential polling average

Democrats’ other problem is the third-party candidacies of Robert Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Jill Stein. They are taking a more votes from Biden than Trump – a 2-point gap when third parties are included.

Democrats have made progress but have a long way to go to reduce pre-November anxiety.

Republican Nomination Race is About to Begin or Is It Over? January 3, 2024
Biden Narrows Gap February 27, 2024

Monday, March 25, 2024

Battle Between Republicans: MAGA vs Establishment

Boebert, Greene and CheneyLeft - MAGA Republicans Boebert and Greene (Photo: Evelyn Hockstein/Pool via AP)
Right - Establshment Republican Cheney (Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images)

The June 25 primary will be one of Colorado’s most important political events of the year and an all-Republican story. It will be a dramatic test between the Republican establishment and the MAGA wing. There are three contested Republican congressional district primaries and a special election for Ken Bucks’ 4th CD remaining term (June 2024 to January 2025).

3rd CD Will the candidates be Adam Fritch-D and Jeff Hurd-R, the anticipated frontrunners, or can a MAGA candidate (Ron Hanks) upset the result?
4th CD Who is on the primary ballot? Boebert is on by petition. Who does the party select? Does she win? Who is Republican nominee on the special election ballot? The campaign has started. She is attacking Buck as irrelevant and other candidates as establishment “Ukraine first.” Monitoring the Republican vacancy committee will be a drama as will the primary deliberations of the central committee.
5th CD The Republican battle in the Lamborn seat gets more interesting daily with the MAGA forces divided between super MAGA party state Chair Dave Williams endorsed by former President Trump, and conservative podcast host Jeff Crank with Speaker Johnson’s backing.

A victory of Williams and Boebert will continue the Trump takeover of the Colorado party and likely accelerate its slide with more Republican deflectors to unaffiliated and a persisting absence from statewide office.

Greene & Boebert Espouse Christian Nationalism (April 7, 2023)

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Don’t Write Boebert’s Obit


Lauren Boebert’s personal and political problems would finish a normal politician. But in spite of the failures of her business, her marriage, and having to switch districts to survive, Boebert remains a viable, even front running candidate in the June 25 Republican primary for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District.

In a widely reprinted interview Tal Axelrod (ABC News Digital 3-13-24-see Newsweek) asked, “Can you write her obituary?” My answer: “Her personal brand, it is terrible. Between not only the particular problem in the 4th [Congressional District], that is she’s a carpetbagger, but what she brings over with her is just terrible. Under no normal conditions would she be elected,” Ciruli said.

“She’s got the money, she’s got universal name identification, she has several other people running, so there’ll be a multi-candidate ballot. And she had initially Johnson’s support, and now she has Trump’s. And that’s a Trump district,” Ciruli said.

“Even though her personal brand is as low as you can go and damaged, she still would probably find a third of the vote,” he added. “And in a multi-candidate field, we assume a third of the vote is going to give her the primary.”

Lauren Boebert’s ‘Terrible’ Brand May Not Matter: Colorado Pollster - Newsweek 3-16-24

According to Floyd Ciruli, the congresswoman’s “terrible” brand may not matter in her primary race as she has been endorsed by Donald Trump.

Newsweek Article
ABC News Article

Monday, March 18, 2024

Colorado Election Scan on Super Tuesday

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

The following are observations from Colorado opinion leaders after a series of discussions during the week of the Super Tuesday primary election (March 7):

1) Boebert: She wins June 25 primary, Trump endorsement reinforces her advantage: money, multiple candidate field in strongly Trump leaning 4th CD. [Election now chaotic with Buck’s early retirement.]
2) Hurd: Fundraising and campaigning should win primary and the general for Hurd. Even with millions, Fritch has problem without Boebert. Trump wins district, moderate Republicans and MAGA go with Hurd. But lots of unaffiliated voters. Race should be a fight.
3) Fifth CD: Super denier Williams could win and become Colorado’s “Matt Gaetz.” Crank gets establishment support but Williams gets MAGA who have been winning local party contests. Could unaffiliated voters make a difference for Crank? [Crank just received Johnson endorsement. Williams, Trump.]
4) Caraveo She could be in trouble as new congressperson in year Biden does poorly but she has money and incumbency and large base of Hispanic voters. Challenger is inexperienced state legislator, but she is low key and border issue could help him.
5) Trump: Polling be damned. Many Colorado observers believe Trump will lose general election. Haley shows segment of Republicans don’t buy his return. She could get upwards of 40% of Colorado Super Tuesday votes. (She got 33%.)
6) Biden: Colorado Dems allowed a protest with “uncommitted” younger voters angry about Gaza, Biden’s age, and vulnerability (if he should step back), etc. (Uncommitted got 9%.) He wins Colorado but by half of his 2020 vote (14% in 2020).

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Porter’s Other Problems: Money, a Celebrity Republican, Trump and Low Turnout

Katie Porter Katie Porter (D-CA) March 5, 2024. Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG

Katie Porter’s problem was more than Adam Schiff’s campaign advertising. Her weak third place finish was foreshadowed, early in the race, with Adam Schiff’s superior fundraising and the entrance of a celebrity Republican last fall. But equally damaging was the emergence of Donald Trump and Joe Biden as two incredibly unpopular presidential nominees. Steve Garvey clearly was the Republican who could gather most of the Republican vote and turnout was depressed by the boring presidential contest dominated by unpopular candidates. Porter’s strategy depended on young voters turning out. They didn’t. Also, Schiff’s image as the Trump antagonist was greatly aided by the dominance of Trump since the Iowa and New Hampshire nominating events.

California Senate Race

Porter’s problems were:

  • Schiff fundraising puts him on TV, whereas Porter was mostly online, hoping for the youth vote.
  • Trump emerges as Republican nominee. Boring presidential race dampens turnout, especially among youth.
  • Garvey, a celebrity Republican, enters a weak field of Republicans.
  • Porter goes on the attack of candidates (Schiff) as tools of big corporations before any Schiff ads related to attacking Garvey were placed.
  • Schiff takes on Garvey as the preferred opponent, after seeing his weak performance in the first debate, raised Garvey’s visibility.

Schiff, Garvey Have Lead as Porter Stalls (February 26, 2024)

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Metro Denver Sales Tax Flattens Out


The seven county Denver Metro sales tax revenue increases of recent years (2020 was COVID year) have flattened out.

Sales Tax Revenue Table

Population growth declined dramatically except for Douglas County over the last census period (2020 July to 2023 July) after more than a decade of steady increase. What other factors may be impacting regional sales tax revenue have not been reported yet? This may be a return to a more common average of 3 to 4 percent annual increase.

Sales Tax Slowdown (October 20, 2023)

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Bull Market Continues to Run

The year-end rally that produced a nearly 14 percent increase in the DOW has continued. And the DOW is still the laggard. Its 3.8 percent improvement in the first two months of the year was exceeded by the tech heavy NAS (6.6%, 43% in 2023) and the broader S&P (6.7%, 24% in 2023). All three indexes hit new highs this year.

Only a handful of stocks have been the primary movers in this market. The so-called Magnificent Seven: Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon.com, Nvidia, Meta Platform and Tesla.

The Dow End-of-Year

Although there continues to be uncertainty related to interest rates (now about 5%), inflation (above 3%) and a possible economic slowdown in the remainder of the year, it still appears to be a good investment market. Rates are likely to come down slower than expected in the next 10 months and inflation appears subdued, if not reversing. Also, with near full employment, wage gains, and steady consumer spending, fear of a recession has receded.

Year End Rally Continues? (January 3, 2024)

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Biden Narrows Gap

In the last month, President Biden has narrowed his voter gap with former President Trump from 4 points to 2 points but he is still behind. (Down 48% to 44% on January 30 to 46% to 44% on February 27) As the month ended, Trump was able to revel in the South Carolina win and his designation as the presumptive nominee.

Also, national polls show Biden is still losing more support to third-party candidates than Trump. He’s behind Trump 4 points when third-party candidates are included (RFK receives 14%). (See figure below)

The Presidential Polls
Below is a polling average drawn from RealClearPolitics (RCP) with regular comparisons to FiveThirtyEight (ABC News) website, Gallop, and other credible polls.

Ciruli Polling Review
2024 Presidential Election - February 27, 2024

Democrats mostly remain optimistic if not confident that the race is winnable. Forty percent of South Carolina Republicans voted for Nikki Haley, preferring an alternative to Trump.

The economy is improving, Trump induced chaos in the House, the backlash from his provocative talk about NATO and various legal skirmishes were big February news, helping Biden and Haley and keeping Trump on the defensive.

Biden Loses Presidential Election Today. (February 14, 2024)

Monday, February 26, 2024

Schiff, Garvey Have Lead as Porter Stalls

Porter and GarveyDemocratic U.S. Rep. Katie Porter and Republican Steve Garvey, Jan. 22, 2024.
Photo by Damian Dovarganes, AP Photo

After two debates and millions in advertising spending, the California Senate race is taking final shape with Democratic Congressperson Adam Schiff in a growing lead at 28 percent followed by Republican Steve Garvey (22%). Now stalled in third place in the latest Emerson College poll is Democratic Congressperson Katie Porter at 16 percent. A PPIC poll also conducted mid-month has Schiff ahead with Porter and Garvey tied for second place.

In the final debate (February 20), Porter launched an all-out attack on Schiff recognizing her vulnerable position two weeks out from the March 5 primary. She is targeting younger voters, the most difficult to turn out, especially in what is likely a lower turnout primary (a lack of presidential contest).

California Senate Race

Porter Drops to Third, Republican Garvey in Second (January 2, 2024)
Schiff Starts Ahead for Final Senate Run (December 18, 2023)

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Biden’s Colorado Win Cut in Half

Nationally, the presidential election is nearly tied (Biden 44% to Trump 45%) but two recent statewide Colorado surveys have President Joe Biden ahead of former President Donald Trump by about half (8 points) his 2020 election win of 14 points (55% to 42%). Trump is still toxic in the state with a negative 26 percent favorability rating compared to Biden’s negative 12 approval.

CO State Polls

Generally it's good news for Colorado Democrats. In more competitive congressional and legislative districts, Biden appears to be not much help but also not have much negative effect. Republicans must still deal with Trump, who will probably carry the congressional districts he won in 2020 but be a burden in swing districts.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Five Biggest Takeaways from Media Panel

The Colorado Water Congress February 2 media panel analyzed the national elections’ impact in Colorado, the state’s four most contested Congressional Districts, and the opening turmoil in the state legislature.

Biggest Takeaways

National: As of today, Biden would lose the national election and win Colorado by about half his 2020 victory – 14 points. His smaller margin would likely affect turnout and possibly close races as would ballot issues.
Congressional Districts: Colorado has three open Republican House seats with primaries. One appears competitive in November. Democrats must defend their newest seat.
  • 3rd CD incumbent fled the district. Republican candidate Jeff Hurd has the partisanship advantage but Democrat Adam Frisch has the money ($11 mil) and the close 2022 election result. Hurd has a slight edge.
  • 4th CD will not be a picnic for the “carpetbagger” candidate Lauren Boebert, but she has all the advantage of the standard metrics, money ($1.4 mil), name identification, a likely multiple candidate opposition, and powerful endorsements. However, establishment Republicans would like to see her gone and her edgy behavior weighs her down.
  • 5th CD is an open field with Republican State Chair Williams’ representing extreme MAGAs and possibly Doug Bruce trying to revive his old anti-tax reputation. Establishment will have candidate.
  • 8th CD first term incumbent Yadira Caraveo is vulnerable in closely balanced district but she has money and more name ID. If Biden runs weaker and Republicans find a capable candidate, close race is expected.
Best projection with current data is no change in partisan arrangement but a lot of drama and turmoil, at least through the June primary.
Legislature: After brief fight, Republicans pick new leadership as legislature opens. Democratic leadership start session after disciplining outlier members. Representative Epps is MIA at capital and may add to the 29 record vacancies. The Democratic super majority can expect more sparks as progressive members push controversial legislation. Republicans are so far back as of today a couple of seats could change parties but not enough to shift control of either house.

Political reporters:

  • John Frank – Axios
  • Marianne Goodland – Colorado Politics
  • Ernest Luning – Colorado Politics
  • Floyd Ciruli - Pollster, Moderator

Colorado Politics in an Unprecedented Year

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Biden Loses Presidential Election Today. Colorado Win Likely Cut in Half

As the general election begins, national polls show Donald Trump ahead of Joe Biden by 2 points, as of February 13. While a few polls have Biden in the lead, the average has been negative for weeks. If third party candidate are included, Biden drops further and is losing by 5 points.

The Presidential Polls
Below is a polling average drawn from RealClearPolitics (RCP) with regular comparisons to FiveThirtyEight (ABC News) website, Gallop, and other credible polls.

poll feb 13 2024

Trump is still politically toxic in Colorado but Biden is hardly booming. A new Colorado poll shows Biden with a negative favorability of 12 points, 40% to 58% as Trump’s favorability rating was worse (62 unfavorable/36% favorable. (Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group). Biden still beats Trump but only by 8 points (49% to 41%), which would be about half his 14 point win statewide in 2020. The polling story appeared in Axios written by John Frank (2-7-24).

Friday, February 9, 2024

People are Voting with Their Feet – California Could Lose Four Congressional Seats

View of Los Angeles from Griffith Park Observatory Trails PeakView of Los Angeles from Griffith Park Observatory Trails Peak Nov. 14, 2022
Photo by Jae C. Hong, AP Photo

The latest census population estimates have been released and when analyzed with congressional reapportionment, there is a dramatic shift of residents from Blue to Red states. The Brennan Center for Justice analyzed the data and projected the potential congressional shifts if trends seen the first couple of years after the 2020 census continue.

California, New York, Illinois are among the biggest losers in the latest population trends and Texas, Florida and South Carolina among the biggest winners.

Congressional Seat Shift

California just lost the first congressional district in its history, so the possibility is not just speculation. But there are several mitigating factors to watch. These trends often change during the ten years, immigration could step up, and Texas and Florida could have social or economic problems or acts of nature that depress their current attractiveness. Also, some of the factors cited by people leaving California could be mitigated, for example, the cost of living and deteriorating quality of life.

California Population is Dropping (February 22, 2023)
California’s Losing Population and Power (January 6, 2023)
From Counties to School Districts, New Election Districts are in a Fight (February 14, 2022)
California Gains a Few People, But Loses Power (August 26, 2021)
California Sends a Congressional District to Colorado (January 3, 2020)