Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Josef Korbel School Receives $1M Gift for New Public Opinion Research Center

By Joanne Napper

A new survey research center has been created at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies with a $1 million gift from public opinion research pioneer and DU alumna Helen Crossley. The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research will be Colorado’s leading academic center for survey research. It will train students in American public opinion as well as international public opinion related to international policy issues.

Helen Crossley earned a master’s degree from DU in 1947 with an emphasis in survey research, and enjoyed a long career in public opinion research, mostly in the area of international affairs. The new center is dedicated to her and her father, Archibald Crossley, one of the founders of survey research.

The Crossley Center will be led by Floyd Ciruli, a well-known Colorado public opinion pollster. Ciruli is the center’s director and an adjunct professor of public opinion and international policy. Ciruli noted that the new center is part of the Josef Korbel School’s public policy initiatives that prepare students for management and leadership roles in international affairs professions.

“We are gratified with Helen Crossley’s generous gift and excited to launch the Crossley Center,” said Ambassador Christopher R. Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School. “As the center grows, it will become instrumental in helping students and the greater community understand American public opinion related to international affairs, as well as international public opinion. Both are key in developing international policy and working effectively with individuals in other countries.”

DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp says the Crossley Center and the gift from Helen come at the perfect time in DU’s history, as it unfolds its strategic plan: DU Impact 2025. “The University is continuously amazed at the generosity of its alumni,” Chopp said. “The Crossley Center will be able to apply this donation towards the incredibly important research needed for aiding in policy development and enhancing the student learning experience.”

Both Archibald Crossley and Helen Crossley were instrumental in establishing the field’s professional organizations and its ethical and scientific standards. They were founding members of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), the World Association of Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) and the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Immigration in the 2016 Election

Austin Klemmer, a graduate student at the Korbel School, wrote the following blog on immigration in the 2016 election for his American Public Opinion and Foreign Policy winter class taught by Professor Floyd Ciruli.

Trump Continues to Set the Tone for Immigration in the GOP Race

A day out from the New Hampshire primary, and frontrunner Donald Trump is still surging in the polls.  Real Clear Politics puts Trump 17 points ahead in New Hampshire, which likely has to do with his tough stance on illegal immigration. Republicans in the state take a hard line on illegal immigrants: according to a CBS poll from November, 86% of New Hampshire’s likely GOP primary voters feel illegal immigrants should be penalized or deported.

But New Hampshire is one state, and Donald Trump’s boldness could come back to haunt him. Nationally, few agree with Trump’s strict stance on deporting the 11 million immigrants currently in the country. On the contrary, a CBS and NY Times news poll found that 58% of Americans support a path to citizenship for those immigrants.

Regardless, others in the field have had to walk a fine line, trying to win over support from Trump’s right-wing base without undermining their appeal in the general election. In Saturday’s debate, for instance, Marco Rubio scaled back his support for the path to citizenship, focusing instead on the need to secure the border. Trump’s shifting of the narrative towards extreme platforms, especially on immigration, could jeopardize the Republicans come November.

But immigration for Syrian refugees is an altogether different story, and polls suggest that Republicans will have the edge on this in the general election. A recent Quinnipiac poll found that 51% of independent voters oppose providing asylum to Syrian refugees—support for Trump’s proposal to bar all Muslims, though, was far less favorable. If, over the coming months, the world sees more events like New Year’s in Cologne or the attack in San Bernardino, Republicans across the board can count on continued support for their closed-door policies.

For the current contenders to win the nomination while preserving their chances in the general, they should continue to measure Trump’s boldness with moderate stances on illegal immigrants and strong but level-headed opposition to asylum for Syrians in the U.S.