Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DU Panel Looks at Who Has the Money in Governor’s Race

The January financial filings made clear to Tom Tancredo – he’s out. The latest campaign filings provide a wealth of information as to who should be able to get to the June 26 primaries and who else may drop out.

On February 22, a DU panel of experts will debate the frontrunners and their chances. Money counts in politics, and Republican Dick Wadhams and Democrat Steve Welchert will analyze the race with Tom Tancredo out, a still full field of candidates and $13 million already raised. They will be joined by lobbyists Melanie Layton and Zoey DeWolf and former Denver Post editorial editor, Vincent Carroll.


The panel will be moderated by Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. The panel begins at 4:00 pm, Thursday, February 22. The panelists:

  • Dick Wadhams – Republican political campaign manager and senior staff with elected officials from Senator Bill Armstrong to Governor Bill Owens, including a stint as State Republican Chair
  • Steve Welchert – Democratic consultant for candidates, such as Mayor Federico Peña and Congressman Ed Perlmutter. He has worked on numerous ballot issue campaigns.
  • Melanie Layton and Zoey DeWolf – Leading lobbyists with the firm Colorado Legislative Services
  • Vincent Carroll – Former political editorial director of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post

Colorado Politics in 2018: Transition in the Age of Polarization
4-6 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018
Reception: 6-7 pm
Korbel School at DU
Ground Floor, Room Sie 1150*
Ben Cherrington Hall (old building)
2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO
*please note room change

RSVP to: Jane Bucher-McCoy at jane.bucher-mccoy@du.edu or 303.871.2882


Panel is cosponsored by Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research and Institute for Public Policy Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Is Colorado Now a Blue State? DU Panel Describes the Possibilities and Results.

Colorado is in a major political transition with an open seat for governor and the State Senate held by the opposing party by only one seat.

A Democratic governor with both houses of the legislature under Democratic control could revive the 2013 lurch to the left. On the other hand, a Republican governor with even one house of the legislature could move the state to the right.

Lobbyists and political observes, Melanie Layton and Zoey DeWolf, will describe the key legislative races, this year’s legislative action, and what a new governor and legislature portends for 2019. They will be joined with Republican analyst Dick Wadhams and Democrat Steve Welchert. Providing the media overview will be Vincent Carroll, former editorial editor of the Denver Post.

  • Dick Wadhams – Republican political campaign manager and senior staff with elected officials from Senator Bill Armstrong to Governor Bill Owens, including a stint as State Republican Chair
  • Steve Welchert – Democratic consultant for candidates, such as Mayor Federico Peña and Congressman Ed Perlmutter. He has worked on numerous ballot issue campaigns.
  • Melanie Layton and Zoey DeWolf – Leading lobbyists with the firm Colorado Legislative Services
  • Vincent Carroll – Former political editorial director of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post

Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center, will moderate the panel.

Colorado Politics in 2018: Transition in the Age of Polarization
4-6 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018
Reception: 6-7 pm
Korbel School at DU
Sié Center, Room 1150
2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO

RSVP to: Jane Bucher-McCoy at jane.bucher-mccoy@du.edu or 303.871.2882

Panel is cosponsored by Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research and Institute for Public Policy Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tancredo is Out; Shakes Up Both Parties. DU Holds Forum With Political Experts to Discuss the Race.

With former Congressman Tom Tancredo out of the Colorado governor’s race, both parties begin to focus more on winning and less on sending a message. Who are the frontrunners today? Has Colorado moved so far left that the Democrats could sweep the governorship and both houses of the legislature? Or, is Colorado still independent enough to pick and choose between candidates of both parties?

Ask the experts.

The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research is hosting a panel of top Colorado political experts on the status of the governor’s race and the legislature. The panel, called “Colorado Politics in 2018: Transition in the Age of Polarization, includes:

  • Dick Wadhams – Republican political campaign manager and senior staff with elected officials from Senator Bill Armstrong to Governor Bill Owens, including a stint as State Republican Chair
  • Steve Welchert – Democratic consultant for candidates, such as Mayor Federico Peña and Congressman Ed Perlmutter. He has worked on numerous ballot issue campaigns.
  • Melanie Layton and Zoey DeWolf – Leading lobbyists with the firm Colorado Legislative Services
  • Vincent Carroll – Former political editorial director of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post

Colorado Politics in 2018: Transition in the Age of Polarization

4-6 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018
Reception: 6-7 pm
Korbel School at DU
Sié Complex, Room 1150
2201 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO

RSVP to: Jane Bucher-McCoy at jane.bucher-mccoy@du.edu or 303.871.2882

Floyd Ciruli, director of the Crossley Center, will moderate the panel. It is cosponsored in conjunction with the Institute for Public Policy Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Ciruli Dashboard: One Year Into First Term

President Trump is consistent. He may shift topics and tone for special occasions, such as Davos and State of the Union, but mostly his style and rhetoric is set and it is reflected in the near unwavering 40 percent approval rating he has had for his first term. He continues to hold 75 percent of self-identified Republicans, but he has failed to expand his base, and as the November 2018 midterm elections loom, losing the House of Representatives becomes more of a possibility.

Trump and the Republican leadership are hoping the roiling economy and tax cut benefits will shift opinion in their direction. And there is some evidence it may, even as Trump’s personal demeanor undermines the good mood. Trump’s approval rating for his economic performance is up 5 points since the new year, even as his overall approval has varied around 40 percent and his foreign policy approval lingers at 36 percent (data from RealClearPolitics.com).


Hickenlooper Water Legacy: Durango Herald and Colorado Politics

Governor Hickenlooper answered questions for a half-hour at the Colorado Water Congress annual convention in his likely last presentation before the group. In a dialogue with me, he focused considerable attention on the need for new money for projects.

A key point was that if the water community doesn’t claim the right to the state’s severance tax, it will be lost to others.

Hickenlooper has a water legacy from appointing Prowers County farmer and rancher, John Stulp, as his water counselor and members of his senior staff to completing the state’s first water plan in November 2015.

Covering the question and answer session was Marianne Goodland for Colorado Politics and the Durango Herald:

Gov. Hickenlooper touts severance taxes to pay for state water plan
Gov. John Hickenlooper, on another stop on his farewell tour, talked to the water community Thursday that largely backed the development of the Colorado water plan in 2015 and what the future holds for Colorado water.

Hickenlooper was initially expected to talk about his water legacy during the Colorado Water Congress luncheon in southeastern Denver, but instead, he addressed how he regards water and how the state ought to pay for the water plan’s estimated $20 billion price tag.

Before the start of Hickenlooper’s remarks, the Water Congress took the pulse of those in attendance about what the next governor should do with the water plan. Seventy-three percent said “use it,” 8 percent said the next governor should ignore it and 19 percent said the state should embark on a different path with regard to its water future.

Pollster Floyd Ciruli said the results show the new governor has to make sure the water plan and its issues remain a top priority, along with rural broadband, transportation and public education funding. Read more…

Governor John Hickenlooper | AP

The USS Carl Vinson Visits Da Nang

No, it’s not the beginning of the liberation of Vietnam. It’s just a friendly port call for one of the U.S.’s most formidable carrier battle groups – the USS Carl Vinson.

USS Carl Vinson battle group | Getty
It is ironic the carrier is visiting Da Nang, the busiest base in the Vietnam War 40 years after the most celebrated military action that changed the course of the war – the Tet Offensive.

But where a country stands depends on where it sits. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is on the eastern edge of the Indochina Peninsula facing the South China Sea, an area it shares with a newly aggressive China. Vietnam has been realigning itself with allies on the Pacific Rim and especially the U.S. The USS John McCain, a destroyer named for Senator McCain’s father and grandfather, both U.S. Navy admirals, has already visited (2016 Cam Ranh Bay), but the Carl Vinson is an even bigger signal that competition is the South Pacific will be a geopolitical hotspot for the foreseeable future.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Marijuana Panel Brings National and State Polling and Policy Experts to Colorado at National Conference

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver (DU) will sponsor a panel on marijuana, public opinion and legalization at the AAPOR national conference at the Denver Sheridan on May 15.

National and state pollsters will join legalization and regulatory experts and policymakers to describe how public opinions shaped the passage and implementation of marijuana legalization in Colorado and other states. They will also focus attention on the changed political climate from Washington D.C. and how it could affect public attitudes and the future of marijuana legalization in Colorado and around the country.

AAPOR, the national association of public opinion researchers, was founded in Central City in 1946 and first headquartered at DU. This will be their first national conference in Denver.

Floyd Ciruli, the director of the Crossley Center, will be the local organizer of the panel. The Crossley Center at DU is named for Archibald and his daughter, Helen Crossley, two pioneers of survey research and founders of AAPOR.

More information about the panel will be available as the agenda is finalized. Find information about the AAPOR conference here.