Monday, August 29, 2016

Ciruli Named to Denver Press Club Hall of Fame

The Denver Press Club Hall of Fame will induct Floyd Ciruli at a Press Club even September 9, 2016. Below is a reprint of a DU Newsroom news release.

DENVER—August 15, 2016—Political pollster and analyst Floyd Ciruli will be inducted into the Denver Press Club's Hall of Fame at a September 9th banquet. Mr. Ciruli heads a Denver-based research and consulting firm, Ciruli Associates, and has provided political commentary, analysis and polling for the past 35 years for both local and national media outlets. He hosts Colorado's leading blog for politics and trends with more than 4,500 followers at

Mr. Ciruli has served as a regular commentator for a number of media outlets, including on-air election night coverage for 9KUSA beginning with the 1988 Denver International Airport election. He also conducted election polling for several media outlets, and was cited as one of the country's most accurate pollsters on Nate Silver's 538 website. In addition, he regularly writes guest editorials on political topics.

In 2014, he helped create the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where he serves as director and teaches graduate courses in public opinion and foreign policy. He is past-president of the Pacific Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and an active AAPOR member. Mr. Ciruli also is past-president of the Georgetown Law Alumni Board.

He has led several local and statewide ballot initiative campaigns, including the Denver metro Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) from its inception in 1988, and each SCFD renewal – including on the upcoming 2016 ballot. He also led the Great Outdoors Colorado campaign, two successful bond issue campaigns for the Denver Public Library, and others.

A native of Pueblo, Colorado, Mr. Ciruli received a Bachelor's degree from the University of California Los Angeles, and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Founded in 1964, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies is one of the world's leading schools for the study of international relations. The School offers degree programs in international affairs and public policy and is named in honor of its founder and first dean, Josef Korbel. Follow the Korbel School on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Is the Race Over?

One of the best questions at the Arvada Chamber of Commerce Leadership Breakfast was could the debates change this race? Clinton leads by 5 points in national polls and 11 points in Colorado.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at first 
debate in Denver in 2012
Photo: US News

Possibly, but the general rule is that debates don’t change a race. However, this year doesn’t follow the rules very well. Recall that Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama four years ago in the early October debate here in Denver. But Obama went on to win the race by 5 points, largely because his strength in battlegrounds states was unshaken even while his national polling numbers slipped for a time due to the debate.

There are several reasons to be extra cautious about calling the race this year. People remain very unhappy about the direction of the country, they desire some amount of change, they’re worried about the future for their children and neither candidate is well thought of. In addition, as much of July demonstrated, this is an election highly effected by outside events, such as the Dallas shooting, the Nice terror, the Russian hacking, and unforced errors like the Comey testimony and the attack on the Khans.

The summer polls are still in pre-season. The first polls after Labor Day will be most important. If Clinton is ahead beyond the margin of error at that point after all the pollsters tighten their screen techniques to capture most likely voters, Trump is in trouble.

The first debate in late September is likely to have record viewership. Trump may need it to change the direction of the race. If Clinton is still in the lead, she will just need to demonstrate competence and confidence. She wins if it’s a draw.

Arvada Chamber of Commerce Leadership Breakfast, Aug. 19
Photo: Arvada Chamber

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Trump Back in the Weeds: Three Reasons This Distraction May Hurt Long-Term

Donald Trump simply can’t stay focused on the real job, which seems surprising for someone who has made millions in big real estate deals.
Donald Trump and Khizr Khan
Photo of Khan:

Once again, he is bogged down in a multi-day fight with someone peripheral to the Democratic campaign, the parents of a war hero. No one commenting on this election is confident in suggesting that his behavior may cause long-term damage, but the timing and the nature of the last six days of interviews and tweets appear more serious than attacks on Judge Curiel last June and his previous altercations.
  1. The public and media are more attentive, with the conclusion of the back-to-back conventions. They are looking for the bounce. And it appears Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are winning the early post-convention polls with significant margins (6 points CBS, 9 points CNN).
  2. One of the main goals of the Republican Convention was to provide a show of unity. Given Senator Cruz’s unwillingness to endorse and the absence of so many party leaders, the effort was a mixed success. Nonetheless, it put the party’s dysfunction in the rearview mirror and shifted the attention to Trump and his vice presidential nominee, Governor Pence. His newest fight with the Khan family has led numerous party leaders to distance themselves from him again. A fifth or more of the Republican Party is still not committed to vote for the ticket. His behavior is hurting, not helping the effort. 
  3. Party leadership desperately wanted Trump to “pivot” to a focused, disciplined campaign aimed at the Democrats and Clinton’s vulnerabilities. Instead, they got a repeat of his behavior that reinforces the Democrats’ claim that he simply does not have the temperament for national leadership. He appears thin-skinned, petty and obsessive about criticism. And, of course, he is being accused of frequently attacking minority populations. His family and friends claim he’s not prejudiced, but in these altercations, he often appears to be. 
Has the sheer number of fights damaged his reputation with wary Republicans and undecided voters? It’s early, but the target, length and timing of this fight make it a major distraction, and possibly the accumulation has hit a tipping point.
Professor Floyd Ciruli is blogging on the 2016 election. The Crossley Center and its classes in public opinion use the blog posts as a teaching tool. They also provide an online dialogue and material for speeches, presentations and media interviews.

The following are the latest election blogs with a Colorado perspective.

ISIS and Putin Drive Election Topics

Much of the conversation at both national party conventions was driven by foreign actors – ISIS and Vladimir Putin.

Part of the so-called “dark” aspect of the Republican Convention was the anti-terrorism rhetoric and speeches that were reinforced by near daily headlines of some terrorist atrocity: the Nice Bastille Day attacks, multiple Germany attacks, which along with the Normandy Church, overlapped with the Democratic convention. This list doesn’t include the Middle East and South Asia attacks during the two convention weeks.

Democrats uncomfortably tried to ignore the issue. But, they were also beset by a foreign intrusion in the form of a WikiLeaks release of DNC emails that boosted the anti-establishment hostility of the thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters. It took ending the DNC chair’s career and numerous symbolic actions to tamp down a mini insurrection. Bizarrely, it appears Russian hackers were the source of the purloined emails.

In the short-term, Republicans appeared to have been the beneficiaries. Although, Donald Trump with his pro-Russian remarks began to look like the “Siberian Candidate.”

The Forecasts Begin

National media outlets are beginning to publish daily forecasts, which combine national (and sometimes state) polling with other data (economic, historical, political trends) to offer a statistical prediction as to the winner of the presidential election. Also, several political websites provide an aggregate of the latest surveys, sometimes simply averaging the means and other times using a variety of factors to weight the polls before averaging the data.


On the Wednesday after the Democratic convention, aggregators of polling data published the head-to-head positions:

All three aggregators have Hillary Clinton up based on new post-convention polls favoring her. She is getting what looks like a bounce.


The major forecasters include not only statistical models, but also political experts (such as Charlie Cook and Larry J. Sabato) who combine data with judgement as to the strength of the candidates and campaigns,

As of August 3rd, Clinton is seen as having an advantage to win the election, and Colorado is consistently rated lean Democrat. The spread has widened since the end of the Democratic Convention due to a bounce and Donald Trump’s missteps.