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

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

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

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