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,, 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. Rates are likely to come down slower than expected in the next 10 months but inflation appears subdued, if not reversing. Also, with near full employment, wage gains, and steady consumer spending, fear of a recession has receded.

It appears a good investment market.

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)

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Pueblo Mayor Gradisar Crushed in Reelection Bid

Heather GrahamHeather Graham | Photo: Jess Hazel / KRCC

Observers thought first term incumbent Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar was in trouble in the January 23 mayors’ runoff election but were surprised by the 62 to 38 percent result. In the nominally nonpartisan election, Gradisar, a high-profile old-line Democrat, was beaten by a young, very vocal Republican, Heather Graham, who started her political journey angry about the pandemic lockdown’s effect on her local restaurants – obviously a sentiment widely shared.

Pueblo, a mostly Democratic working-class city, has become less dependably Democratic in recent years. Voters became restless since the pandemic with frequent complaints about the city reputation for crime and the visible homeless population. Graham, city council president who came in first ahead of Gradisar in the November multicandidate election, presented a detailed plan for police recruitment and retention and was endorsed by the local police officer union. As president, she argued part of the city’s problem was the mayor’s lack of collaboration, producing conflict and gridlock, now she’s the mayor.

Nick Gradisar Wins Pueblo Mayor (January 24, 2019)
Pueblo Crushes Municipalization (May 8, 2020)

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Colorado Surprise: Congressional Battleground

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

With no statewide race, a strong blue tint to the presidential race, and other than the endless Boebert drama, it appeared a slow year for Colorado political news. Then the State Supreme Court removed Donald Trump from the ballot (14th Amendment ban on insurrectionists) and the entire (3) Republican delegation retired or switched districts. Add the new Democrat congressperson in the 8th district likely to have a competitive race and Colorado is now a hotbed of politics from border to border.

Colorado Congressional Race to Watch

As of now, half of Colorado’s congressional delegation is either in competitive primaries or could have a competitive general election. The Republicans should hold their three open seats (see table below) but the chaotic primaries and a dysfunctional party will likely make for considerable political drama.

Colorado Congressional Districts – 2024 Party Identity and Vote Margin

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Will a Change of Scenery save Boebert?

BoebertRep. Lauren Boebert | Photo: Stephanie Scarbrough/AP

Can seat switcher Lauren Boebert be denied a primary win in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District? “Money and more name identity against multiple opponents is a strong position to be in. Also, she will get endorsements,” said Floyd Ciruli to E&E reporter Jennifer Yachnin from POLITICO.

Boebert, who announced she was ending her race for reelection in the neighboring 3rd Congressional District to switch to the Eastern Plains’ 4th CD, has a war chest of $1.4 million, universal name identification (much of it highly controversial) and a close relationship with the frontrunner for president, Donald Trump, and she has already been endorsed by the Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson.

New District, Better Home?

Floyd Ciruli, a longtime Colorado pollster and director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver, noted that the 4th District is shifting and could become more welcoming to Boebert.

“It’s a seat that’s become very problematic. Buck quit because he was out of sync with the denial wing of the party that’s very strong,” Ciruli said, referring to individuals who dispute the results of the 2020 presidential contest. A lot of that district looks like rural Iowa, which just went overwhelmingly for Mr. [Donald] Trump.

Historically the seat hewed to the GOP’s establishment wing, electing lawmakers like Cory Gardner and Wayne Allard, before each would go on to hold Senate seats, Ciruli said.

The district could swing back to those roots, electing a candidate like Lynch and Sonnenberg, he noted, or it would shift to the conservative wing, with Boebert, Holtorf or Harvey.

“Whether or not they’re going to go with an establishment candidate, or someone like Boebert or somebody who raises as much Cain remains to be seen,” he said.

Moreover, a crowded field could benefit Boebert, Ciruli said.

“Money and name ID against multiple opponents is a strong position to be in,” he said. “She will get endorsements.”

But even if Boebert wins her reelection bid, Ciruli suggested that doesn’t mean she’s guaranteed a long career in Congress. He mused whether she’d even survive more than one more term.

“The reason why she’s getting driven out of the 3rd is not just that she probably would have lost it, but a powerful primary in which the state’s Republican establishment was giving Mr. Hurd money and accountability,” Ciruli said, referring to the endorsements Hurd nabbed.

Read Article:

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Colorado Politics in an Unprecedented Year

CO Water Congress

Colorado’s top political reporters will preview the state’s biggest races, the top legislative issues, and Colorado’s political personalities: Governor Polis, Mayor Johnston, and Lauren Boebert on Feb. 2 at the Colorado Water Congress Conference.

Pollster Floyd Ciruli will moderate the panel and lead the discussion through the national landscape, Colorado’s now myriad of Congressional open seats and primaries, and a legislative session that promises to deal with the high profile issues.

  • How will the Congressional delegation change? Who has the advantage, disadvantage? (3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th CDs in spotlight)
  • On March 5, Super Tuesday, will Colorado pick between Biden and Trump? If they are the presidential nominees in 2024, is a third party the winner? Does the presidential contest help or hurt local races?
  • After the loss of Prop. HH, what’s next for legislation/initiative on taxes?
  • Can Colorado Democrats unify their moderates and the far left to pass legislation on affordable housing, crime? Can the Republicans rebuild a legislative party?
  • How would you grade Governor Polis’s year? Will it get better or worse?
  • Whither the urban-rural divide: wolves, agriculture?

Political reporters:

  • John Frank – Axios
  • Marianne Goodland – Colorado Politics
  • Ernest Luning – Colorado Politics

The Colorado Water Congress Conference (January 31 to February 2) is hosting the panel. See the Colorado Water Congress website for more information:

Monday, January 22, 2024

Post Iowa: Is Nomination Contest Over?

Unless there is a major change between the January 15 Iowa Caucus and the March 5 Super Tuesday events, the race for the presidential nomination of the two major parties will be over. It may be over this week. Donald Trump’s Iowa landslide had the usual effect; also-ran candidates dropped out and candidates behind the frontrunner lacked momentum. If Trump is the nominee, does he help or hurt Colorado’s 3rd or 8th CDs, which may be close? Does he endorse Ms. Boebert in the 4th CD? If a third-party candidate/party such as RFK Jr. or No Labels is on the ballot, could they tilt the race away from the expected Joe Biden margin?

This blog posts a regular commentary and polling watch of the nominations – on to New Hampshire and South Carolina. It runs polling averages drawn from RealClearPolitics (RCP) with regular comparisons to FiveThirtyEight (ABC News) website, Gallop, and other credible polls.

January 2024 Favorability Poll

Trump and Joe Biden are closely matched in favorability and the general election.

KOA – Iowa and New Hampshire


Interview with KOA’s Marty Lenz and Jeana Gondek Wednesday after the Iowa caucus. We reviewed the results and what’s next in New Hampshire (January 23) and South Carolina (February 24).

  1. Donald Trump met the expectation to win but turnout was low (not unexpected given the freeze) and half of the votes went to other candidate. But he did do better with suburban, upscale voters.
  2. Nikki Haley needed to come in second (some polls had her ahead of Ron DeSantis) but barely missed it. So, she lost the positive press and momentum into New Hampshire. She is still seen as the strongest candidate to take on Trump. Between her and Chris Christie, who has dropped out, they have 42 percent of New Hampshire voters (Republican and Independents) and Trump 44.
  3. New Hampshire, due to its independent voters being able to participate and more moderate, less evangelical Republicans is seen as the best early state for Haley. It’s a must win for her.
  4. Early polls in South Carolina show Trump with 52 percent and Haley at 22 percent, in spite of being the former governor. The state’s Republicans are very conservative and Trump has been a longtime favorite.
  5. The end of the Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy, Asa Hutchinson campaigns was expected given the polls, results, and lack of new contributions. Called the winnowing of the process, it normally leads to a consolidation toward a frontrunner or the few remaining competitors.
  6. Colorado and 15 other states vote on March 5, probably the end of the competitive primary season and start of the general election campaign.
Marty Lenz and Jeana GondekKOA’s Marty Lenz and Jeana Gondek

Thursday, January 18, 2024

“Unprecedented” 2024 Race for President and Impact on Colorado

CO Water Congress

By the time Colorado voters weigh in March 5, the race for president will be over, unless something “unprecedented” stops the Trump vs Biden trajectory. A media panel will consider what that means for Colorado politics, for example, does it help or hurt Republican Congressional candidates? The Colorado Water Congress 2024 Convention will host the event February 2 at the Hyatt Denver/Aurora with Pollster Floyd Ciruli and a panel of Colorado’s top political reporters. He will be joined by:

  • John Frank – Axios
  • Marianne Goodland – Colorado Politics
  • Ernest Luning – Colorado Politics

See the Colorado Water Congress website for more information:
Best, Floyd

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Generation Z and Millennials Rate Climate Change Top Environmental Problem

In a 2023 Ciruli Associates survey in Orange County, wildfire was judged the top environmental threat by 51 percent of the public, with climate change third at 42 percent. Drought/water supply was rated second (49%). However, Gen Z and young Millennials (ages 18 to 29) were especially concerned about climate change (see table). More of them rated it the top county environmental threat (51%) compared to all other age cohorts and 9 points above the countywide average. They rated wildfire second (48%) and drought third (46%).

Table - Importance of Climate Change as an Environmental Problem and Age of Resident

The Pew Research organization has published the most broadly accepted breakdown of age cohorts into generations with descriptive labels. The generations chart shows Generation Z ranges from 11 to 26 years old, born after 1997. Gen Z and younger Millennials are the most diverse and liberal generation and are becoming the largest cohort, overtaking Boomers. Boomers are now over 58 years old to 77. Generation X ranges from 43 to 58.

Demographic groups rating climate change the top environmental problem, at least 5 points above the average of 42%, are people who moved to OC after 2000 (49%), Latinos (47%), and Asian (47%), self-labeled liberals (66%), and Democrats (65%).

Generations Table

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.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Media Panel on “Unprecedented” 2024

Members of the Colorado House of RepresentativesMembers of the Colorado House of Representatives | Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

The year begins with a Congressional district swirl, the legislature is already tense, much of it intra party, and a presidential race is encouraging a third party – 2024 is “unprecedented.”

A media panel on Colorado politics will close out the Colorado Water Congress 2024 Convention. Pollster Floyd Ciruli will moderate the panel of Colorado’s top political reporters to sort out the fast-start and describe the approaching discord as best possible. He will be joined by:

  • John Aguilar – Denver Post (invited)
  • Marianne Goodland – Colorado Politico
  • John Frank – Axios

The Colorado Water Congress annually hosts the state’s largest water conference which attracts water, environmental and policy professionals from around the state. The Governor, Attorney General, and other senior political leaders regularly attend.

See the Colorado Water Congress website for more information:



Wednesday, January 10, 2024

It’s Wide Open – All Three Republican Congresspersons Quit Their Districts

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

The entire Colorado Republican Congressional delegation has abandoned their districts due to retirement and seat swapping. Three open seats with primaries will become Colorado’s dominant political story in 2024.

Out of Colorado’s eight Congressional districts, the Republicans have held three for more than a decade. The last Democrat in any of the three districts was John Salazar in the 3rd and Betsy Markey in the 4th. Both lost in 2010.

All three districts remain likely Republican wins in 2024, but the party in Colorado is polarized between its Trump denial faction and the more moderate/establishment wing. The primaries, besides contributing to the party’s image of chaos, allows for the possibility a vulnerable, far right candidate could win.

Republican Congressional Districts

In a year that first appeared without much political action, Colorado now has contests from border to border.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Asian Americans Judge Wildfire & Climate Change Major Threats to Quality of Life

The Asian Garden Mall in WestminsterThe Asian Garden Mall in Westminster | Photo: Voice of OC

In a 2023 Ciruli Associates survey in Orange County, wildfire was judged the top environmental threat by 51 percent of the public, with climate change third at 42 percent. Drought/water supply was rated second (49%). Asian Americans were especially concerned about wildfire, and along with Hispanic citizens, judged climate change a greater threat than the average. Asian residents concern about wildfire (65%) was above the countywide average (51%) and the Anglo community (46%).

Importance of Wildfire & Climate Change as an Environmental Problem for Race & Ethnicity

Orange County’s race and ethnic makeup is highly diverse. The fastest growing demographic group is Asian Americans. The next largest minority group is Hispanics followed by Anglos (White alone). Asian Americans were 13 percent of the county population in 2000, 18 percent in the 2010 census and 22 percent now. The Anglo population dropped from 44 percent of the population in 2010 to 38 percent today. The Hispanic count is 34 percent today, up one percent from 2010.

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. The proportions of the race/ethnic community in the survey were White/Anglo 41 percent, Hispanic/Latino 32 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islander 22 percent. The survey had a margin of error of 4.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Boebert on the Run

Lauren BoebertLauren Boebert | Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Lauren Boebert was going to lose. Her primary opponent (Hurd) was getting widespread support in money and local endorsements, many from her former supporters. Boebert’s Democratic opponent was beating her in polls and out-fundraising her by 3 to 1. (He now has a problem without her but money and Republican chaos may help.)

The national party needs that seat (Speaker Mike Johnson already endorsed her). Did they help her shift to the Ken Buck district – which will be near impossible for her to lose in the general? Recall Buck got the seat after he was encouraged to get out of the 2014 Cory Gardner senate race. But could she lose the primary? Few Colorado Republicans have welcomed the move and the media has been relentlessly bad. The Republican Party would be better positioned statewide if she was gone but in a multi-candidate congressional primary, and with more than $1 million in her campaign account, Boebert has the advantage.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Year End Rally Continues?

Will strong consumer spending and the end of interest rate increases lead to a soft landing? Will the end of year rally continue? Does the public feel any better about the economy in 2024? Does it help President Joe Biden?

These are the questions as the latest market rally crosses old boundaries into the New Year.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Ten-Year Track Record: Bull Market Conditions

The last Dow high was before the pandemic on January 5, 2020, when it hit 36952. It just beat that peak on December 13 when it closed at 37090. And in 2023, the Dow was a lagging index with a 12 percent gain in mid-December. It closed up 14 percent for the year. The broader S&P up 24 percent and the tech-heavy NASDAQ up 43.

With the dampening of inflation, full employment, and the market surge, there is finally some indication the post-pandemic blues are lifting as consumer confidence is up. However, it’s still not clear if and when Biden will benefit.

Republican Nomination Race is About to Begin or Is It Over?

TrumpFormer President Donald Trump | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The 2024 Republican Convention will be in Milwaukee in mid-July. You may remember 2020. The Convention wandered around North Carolina, Florida, and D.C. Donald Trump finally gave his acceptance speech on the South Lawn. This year, the nominee needs 1,234 to win and the process will begin on January 15 in Iowa, will it wrap up on March 5, Super Tuesday?

  • Trump is leading his main rivals in polls by 30 points. But his favorability is still at record lows; he is under indictment and led the party to defeats in 2018, 2020, and 2022.
  • In Iowa, he’s ahead of a tied Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, and the January 23 New Hampshire lineup today is Trump, Haley, and Chris Christie.
  • Can Donald Trump be stopped before the July convention? Haley had momentum but stumbled on a question about the Civil War, and in any event the entire field is way behind in a party Trump has control of.

This blog will begin a regular commentary and polling watch of the nominations – On to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

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

Ciruli Polling Review 2024 Presidential Election - December 31, 2023

Like the contest in 2016, when the choice was between two candidates with high unfavorable ratings in 2024 both party frontrunners (Trump and Biden) have around 40 percent public approval and 55 percent disapproval. A recent AP/NORC poll (12-14-23) shows more than half of the electorate is dissatisfied with the choice of Trump or Biden.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Porter Drops to Third, Republican Garvey in Second

Steve GarveyPhoto: Steve Garvey

Two new end-of-year polls shook up the California U.S. Senate race putting Republican baseball legend Steve Garvey in second place before even starting a campaign and dropping liberal congressperson Katie Porter to third from a year-long first or second place. Adam Schiff is now in an increasing securing first place, two to one ahead of Porter and Lee, the far-left Berkeley congressperson.

CA Senate Race

Although Garvey has not started a campaign, his celebrity status and voter registration (Republicans are about 24% of electorate – PPIC) gives him room to grow into a solid second place. To the extent he has spoken, it has been common Republican talking points, the border, inflation, crime, taxes, etc. California Republicans are hungry for an alternative to the Democratic monopoly.

Porter must make a scene the next 60 days to try to get back in the game. She is furiously soliciting funds online and tried a weak break to the left on the ceasefire issue dividing Democrats. But her “bilateral ceasefire” proposal was so weighted down with unrealistic conditions (Hamas returns all hostages, gives up “operational” control of Gaza, etc.) that, as Lee said, it is just “politically expedient.”

Biden Starts Year Behind

President Joe Biden begins his re-election year in negative public opinion territory with a record low approval rating and behind in head-to-head polls with frontrunner Donald Trump. As the figure below shows, Biden’s problems began after the Afghanistan withdrawal, August 2021 and never recovered.

The National Dashboard is a platform showing the state of public opinion for the President and presidential election. It tracks key indictors on the economy, direction of the county, and competition for the U.S. House of Representatives.

National Dashboard
House and Senate Leaders

While Biden is in trouble, Republicans could lose their majority and narrow control of the House after months of chaos and a new Speaker. In the Senate Republicans have the advantage with fewer vulnerable seats up. Democrats already expect to lose the Joe Manchin seat in West Virginia. Incumbents in Montana, Ohio and Arizona are especially vulnerable.

The opening predictions on January 1st, 2024, Democrats win narrow majority in House, lose Senate and White House. But it's a long 11 months with many twists and turns.