Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Happy Holidays

Friends of the Crossley Center,

We are all looking to a very different 2021 – safer, calmer and brighter.

The 2020 election created a sense of purpose for the Crossley Center in organizing a program of informed conversations about the functioning of our democracy. And as our program and panels described, in spite of the chaos most of the election results were quickly reported and disputes amicably resolved. For the rest, I remain confident we are going to arrive at the constitutionally prescribed results.

The Crossley Center is planning a busy program next year with online events as we begin a national political transition and Colorado continues to address a myriad of important issues. We hope you continue to join us for the conversations and thank you for your support.

Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year.

Our last in-person DU program was March 3 in Maglione Hall. It’s been on Zoom ever since. Education has become very adaptable and resilient.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Video Now Available on the United Nations' Relevance in a Turbulent 21st Century

Hear a presentation from Professor Akiko Fukushima and Professor Tim Sisk discuss the U.S.’s recent antagonism to the UN’s purpose and if the U.S.’s reentry into supporting the UN’s goals and affairs help rejuvenate multilateralism and international cooperation. A video of the session follows.

The Dec. 9 program was supported by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.

WATCH VIDEO

See blog post on the presentation:

Can the UN Gain Relevance in the Turbulent 21st Century?

Year-end Political Wrap-up: What’s Next? - Video

The December 15 year-end conversation with Colorado political experts Republican Dick Wadhams and Democrat Steve Welchert is now available on video. With moderator Floyd Ciruli of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the 2020 election results and transition was deconstructed and the next round of federal and state Colorado 2022 elections reviewed.

The program was sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the University of Denver.

WATCH VIDEO

See blog post on the presentation:

Colorado Election: What’s Next? 

Colorado Election: What’s Next?

More than 100 friends of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research joined Colorado political professionals on December 15 in a Zoom discussion of the dominance of the state by the Democratic Party, the decline of the Republican Party and what could reverse the trend.

Democrat Steve Welchert made the case for Colorado as “officially blue, not purple, not periwinkle, not power blue.” But Republican Dick Wadhams said trends cycle and Republicans would be back if they significantly upped their game.

Although 2020 felt like the wildest election year in most people’s lifetimes, 2022 will be significant for politics in Colorado with the reelection of Senator Michael Bennet, Governor Jared Polis and all the state constitutional offices, many benefitting from the state’s voters being adverse to Donald Trump, who won’t be in office or on the ballot.

Republicans have not held statewide federal positions since early in the century, with the exception of Cory Gardner’s election in 2014. The party has been without a governor since Bill Owens’ term-limited service ended in 2004 and other statewide constitutional offices; i.e., attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, ended in the Democratic sweep of 2018.

A video of “Colorado Election: What’s next?” can be linked to at the end of this blog post.

This session ended the Election Central program for 2020, which tracked the national and state elections in a series of nine panels and presentations, beginning with an overview provided September 1 through the day after the November 3 election analysis and closing with final observations December 15. It included foreign policy panels on China and Japan, and programs on polling and forecasting, media coverage, and the best predictions by political experts.

The program was sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research; the Josef Korbel School of International Studies; on several sessions, the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver; and, of course, the University of Denver.

WATCH VIDEO

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Can the UN Gain Relevance in the Turbulent 21st Century?

On December 9, professors from the U.S. and Japan reviewed the relevance of the United Nations after four years of the Trump administration’s antagonism to the organization’s purpose and specific agencies. The Zoom audience was assembled by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver. 

A recap of President Trump’s four UN speeches since September 2017 introduced the discussion. Trump’s rhetoric provided four years of relentless opposition to the UN’s purpose to promote peace, friendly relations, multilateral decision-making, human rights and relief.

In 2017, he debuted at the UN with an aggressive, hostile speech in which he threatened nuclear destruction of North Korea and labeled its leader “Rocket Man” in language that international media coverage compared to Khrushchev, Castro, Qaddafi and Chavez for its belligerent tone and substance. He used his subsequent three speeches to attack globalism, Iran, China, international borders, multilateralism and UN agencies, such as health (WHO), human rights and criminal justice.

Among the questions addressed by panel members Professor Tim Sisk of the Korbel School, Professor Akiko Fukushima of the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, and Professor Floyd Ciruli of the Crossley Center was: Can the U.S.’s reentry into supporting the UN’s goals and affairs help rejuvenate multilateralism and international cooperation? A video of the session follows. 

WATCH VIDEO

Monday, December 14, 2020

Election Central – Colorado: Blue or Not?

Is Colorado Still Competitive? What’s Next?

Join the dialogue for the last of the Election Central programs to examine what happens next in Colorado’s politics. The following are a few of the recent articles on the topic and on prospects for Colorado in 2022.

Professor Floyd Ciruli and a panel of Colorado political professionals will analyze the future of the two parties and the next series of elections.

  • Dick Wadhams – former Republican Chair, consultant, CBS4 commentator and Denver Post columnist
  • Steve Welchert – Veteran consultant to Democratic campaigns and local and statewide ballot issues, political commentator and analyst

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

3:00 PM MT

December 15, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Election Central – Colorado: Blue or Not? – Dec. 15

Is Colorado Still Competitive? Will 2022 Produce a Backlash?

Join Colorado’s election experts for the last of the Election Central programs to examine what happens next in Colorado.

  • Is Colorado still a politically competitive state?
  • Will 2022 be a backlash year that Republicans can stage a comeback?
  • How did nine of the eleven 2020 ballot issues pass?
  • Does the new congressional seat change the political landscape?

Professor Floyd Ciruli and the panel will analyze the future of the two parties and the next series of elections.

  • Dick Wadhams – former Republican Chair, consultant, CBS4 commentator and Denver Post columnist
  • Steve Welchert – Veteran consultant to Democratic campaigns and local and statewide ballot issues, political commentator and analyst

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

3:00 PM MT

December 15, 2020

REGISTER HERE


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The United Nations: Japan and U.S. in the Suga, Biden Era

The United Nations was sidelined for the U.S. the last four years by the America First policy. On December 9, two experts on the United Nations will discuss its importance in foreign policy and the opportunities and challenges the new administrations in Japan and the U.S. face to use the agency effectively.

Professor Tim Sisk of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and director of the Institute of Comparative and Regional Studies will be joined by Professor Akiko Fukushima, a Senior Fellow of the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, to discuss their latest work as it relates to the UN’s potential contribution to addressing a host of global problems. Professor Floyd Ciruli will moderate the discussion.

The program is supported by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

2:00 PM MT

December 9, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Video Now Available on Foreign Policy Impact of Election: U.S. and Japan

Hear Japan’s leading political analyst and television commentator, Professor Toshihiro Nakayama, describe the U.S. election night results from Japan’s perspective. He was joined in the conversation on the election’s impact on U.S.’s and Japan’s foreign policy by former Ambassador Christopher Hill.

The Nov. 11 program was supported by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.

WATCH VIDEO

As President-elect Joe Biden selects his foreign policy team, hear an analysis of the challenges and opportunities for a new policy in Asia.

See blogs:

Japanese TV Political Analyst Compares 2016 and 2020 Election Nights

President-elect Biden Warns China in First Talk with New Japanese Prime Minister 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

President-elect Biden Warns China in First Talk with New Japanese Prime Minister

In his first diplomatic conversation with the new Japanese Prime Minister, President-elect Joe Biden committed the U.S. to Japan’s defense of its disputed islands with China. It was a clear and early warning to China that a new team is in charge. As a part of the transition, Biden spoke to his counterparts in Japan, South Korea and Australia, establishing relationships and setting priorities.

The Japanese government recently underwent its own significant transition as record-serving (8 years) Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź Abe resigned on October 10 and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party selected Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga.

The Associated Press (11-13-20) reported Biden and Suga hit the key diplomatic points, considerably different than reported phone calls with foreign leaders from President Trump early in his term. It was clear Biden had been well briefed on the issues.

  • Importance of U.S.-Japan alliance and how to strengthen it
  • Focus on climate change, promote democracy, and work for a prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific region with like-minded countries that share concerns about China
  • Shared view that China’s influence and North Korea’s nuclear trust are prime challenges. Most importantly, he offered a strong U.S. commitment to support Japan’s territorial rights to islands disputed with China.

Suga doesn’t have much foreign policy experience, but has been assisting Abe and his agenda for many years. Biden is not known for his relationship with Asia and Japan beyond his broad foreign policy experiences in the Senate and White House. So, the initial conversation was closely examined. Japan’s foreign policy senior officials were pleased with the alignment of values. Also, they believe Biden wanted to send a message of reassurance to other allies and a warning to potential adversaries that existing treaties are lines not to be crossed.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Japanese TV Political Analyst Compares 2016 and 2020 Election Nights

“It’s not the chaos, but the dark and hostile tone.”

Toshihiro Nakayama, one of Japan’s most famous TV political commentators, has covered America’s two Donald Trump elections. In 2016, in surprise, he stopped commentary for more than a minute when the race was called for Trump – a major pause for national television.

Wolf Blitzer on Election Night 2016 | CNN screenshot

His discussion of election night 2020 at a recent Korbel School Zoom forum was illuminating. A guest of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at DU, Toshi Zoomed in from Japan.

  1. The Japanese election night audience and commentators expected Trump to lose after mishandling the coronavirus and the normal election intelligence; i.e., polls, forecasts, etc., but the closeness, especially early in the evening, was a surprise.
  2. But the bigger difference with 2016 was not the chaos of the election because American democracy is chaotic, but the dark and hostile tone – the uncivil language; the conspiratorial and aggressive social media, tweets and retweets; the bullying first debate; and the hostile rhetoric at rallies.
  3. If you had a child watching in 2008, it was a celebration of democracy and America’s social progress. You wanted them to miss 2020.

John King on Election Night 2020 | CNN screenshot

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Election Central – Foreign Policy Impact: U.S. and Japan – Nov. 11

On November 11, join the conversation of the U.S. election results, the recent change in government in Japan, and their foreign policy impacts on the U.S.-Japanese alliance and policy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Returning is frequent Korbel School speaker, Ambassador Christopher Hill, now at Columbia University, joined by Japanese political and election television commentator, Professor Toshihiro Nakayama of Keio University in Tokyo. Crossley Center Pollster and Professor Floyd Ciruli will review the latest election results and moderate the discussion.

The program is supported by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

2:00 PM MT

November 11, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Post-Election Day Video Now Available

The Nov. 4th post-Election Day video on “What Happened? Why? What’s Next?” is now ready for viewing. On Nov. 4th, Korbel School Dean Fritz Mayer and Pollster and Professor Floyd Ciruli reviewed the results, the final polling and the political implications.  

The program was sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy.

WATCH VIDEO


Friday, October 30, 2020

Election Central – Foreign Policy Impact: U.S. and Japan – Nov. 11

On November 11, join the conversation on the foreign policy impacts of the U.S. election results and its effect on the U.S.-Japanese alliance and policy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Returning is former Dean and frequent Korbel School speaker, Ambassador Christopher Hill, now at Columbia University, joined with Japanese political and election television commentator, Professor Toshihiro Nakayama of Keio University in Tokyo. Crossley Center Professor Floyd Ciruli will review the latest election data and moderate the discussion.

The program is supported by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

2:00 PM MT

November 11, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Crossley Center Election Coverage Continues

The Crossley Center with the Korbel School and University of Denver are committed to a program that informs the electorate about the issues and political environment and provides opportunities for public engagement. The Friends of the Crossley Center have been in the front row of a series of election-related programs on media, polling and forecasting; Colorado issues and campaigns; and China’s role in the election. Video archives of all the programs are available here.

The program continues through Election Day, and as the final results become clearer, we will shift to foreign policy on Nov. 11th.

Next, the Results – The Nov. 3rd Election: What Happened? Why? What’s Next? – Nov. 4

Is November 3rd the most important election in a generation? Most voters believe it (77% Gallup). On November 4th, Pollster and Professor Floyd Ciruli and Korbel School Dean Fritz Mayer will review what’s known and unknown in the presidential and Senate results. Was it a blue wave or a mixed outcome? What is expected next from election officials, candidates and campaigns – final counts, concessions, lawsuits, demonstrations? 

This discussion is sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

3:00 PM MT

November 4, 2020

REGISTER HERE


Election Central – Foreign Policy Impact: U.S. and Japan – Nov. 11

Frequent Korbel School speaker, Ambassador Christopher Hill, now at Columbia University, joins Professor Toshihiro Nakayama, national media commentator from Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli for an update of the U.S. election results and discussion of the foreign policy implications for the U.S. and Japanese alliance from the elections in both countries (Japan just changed prime minister through a parliamentary party selection). 

This program is sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the Consulate-General of Japan in Denver.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

2:00 PM MT

November 11, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Election Central Videos Are Now Available

Many Friends of the Crossley Center have requested the videos of the election Zoom programs held this October. They are now ready for viewing. Join Professor Ciruli as he hosts Election Central programs. 

Forecasting and Who Wins the Presidency and Senate – October 13

Jessica Taylor, an editor of the Cook Political Report, one of the most followed forecasting publications, described the Cook Political Report’s latest presidential and U.S. Senate predictions, including Colorado. WATCH VIDEO

Election Night 2020: Long Night, Long Count – October 16

A panel of media and election experts on what the election night will look like in Colorado and across the country. The panel:

  • Tim Ryan, veteran 9KUSA Assistant News Director and now Director of Content
  • Shaun Boyd, CBS4 political reporter
  • John Frank, political reporter, Colorado Sun and formerly Denver Post
  • Amber McReynolds, former head of Denver Elections Department and now CEO of National Vote at Home Institute

WATCH VIDEO

Colorado Political Experts: Two Weeks Out – October 21

A panel of top political, policy and media experts discussed the competitive races in Colorado: presidential, senate and congressional, legislature and ballot issues. The panel:

  • Dick Wadhams, former Republican Chair, consultant, CBS4 commentator and Denver Post columnist
  • Sheila MacDonald, veteran consultant to leading Democratic campaigns and numerous local and statewide ballot issues
  • Joey Bunch, editor, senior writer, columnist for Colorado Politics and the new Denver Gazette

WATCH VIDEO

The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election – A New Cold War? – Sept. 30

Will the next administration inherit a new Cold War regardless of who wins? Professors Floyd Ciruli and Suisheng “Sam” Zhao discussed the issues. WATCH VIDEO

Election Central: Pre-Labor Day Update – Sept. 1

Join Professor Floyd Ciruli in a pre-Labor Day review of the major issues, such as the pandemic, race relations and the economy, and the position of the campaigns and the major questions related to polls and forecasts. WATCH VIDEO

Podcast: Political Polls: Can We Trust Them? 

For those of you who want to know more about what happened with the 2016 presidential polls and if it could happen again, tune into a DU RadioEd podcast on the subject. LISTEN HERE

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Nov. 3rd Election: What Happened? Why? What’s Next?

The public believes November 3 will be the most important election in a generation. On November 4, Dean Fritz Mayer and Professor Floyd Ciruli will review what’s known and unknown in the presidential and senate results. Was it decisive or a muddle? What is expected next from election officials, candidates and campaigns – concessions, lawsuits, demonstrations?

This discussion is sponsored by the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, the Korbel School of International Studies and the Scrivner Institute of Public Policy.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

3:00 PM MDT

November 4, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Wolf Blitzer on Election Night 2016 | CNN photo

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Colorado Election Experts – Two Weeks Out

The Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research presents a Zoom conversation on October 21 at 3:00 pm MT with a panel of top political, policy and media experts discussing the competitive races in Colorado: presidential, senate and congressional, legislature and ballot issues. Will Colorado finally end the Gallagher Amendment after the previous failed attempts? Does the state want to join the popular vote and leave the Electoral College behind? Is the public about to move away from reproductive choice?

Join Professor Floyd Ciruli and the panel as they provide their opinions on the state of the election.

  • Dick Wadhams, former Republican Chair, consultant, CBS4 commentator and Denver Post columnist
  • Sheila MacDonald, veteran consultant to leading Democratic campaigns and numerous local and statewide ballot issues
  • Joey Bunch, editor, senior writer, columnist for Colorado Politics and the new Denver Gazette

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

3:00 PM MDT

OCTOBER 21, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Friday, October 9, 2020

The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election – A New Cold War?

Is China an issue in the 2020 election? Are presidential campaigns likely to affect China policy? Will the next administration inherit a new Cold War regardless of who wins?

Professors Floyd Ciruli and Suisheng “Sam” Zhao discuss the issues to 200 friends of the Crossley Center.

WATCH VIDEO

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Americans Say Russia Will Attempt to Disrupt the Election

 Most Americans (75%) believe “Russia or other foreign governments” will attempt to influence our election this November. The percentage of the public concerned about Russian or other interferences has increased by 8 percentage points the last two years, up from 67 percent in the 2018 election.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified September 17 before the Homeland Security Committee that indeed Russia is actively interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign. As CNN reports:

According to Wray, Russia is using social media, proxies, state media and online journals to sow "divisiveness and discord" and "primarily to denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment."

Forecasting and Who Wins the Presidency and Senate

Jessica Taylor, editor at the Cook Political Report, one of the most followed forecasting publications, will join the Friends of the Crossley Center and the Korbel School to discuss the process of forecasting and why a candidate’s ratings may change. She will also describe the Cook Political Report’s latest presidential and U.S. Senate race predictions, including Colorado.

Join Professor Floyd Ciruli and Korbel School Dean Fritz Mayer on October 13 at 3:00 pm MT for a virtual conversation on the 2020 election as early voting is underway in Colorado and other states around the country. 

JOIN US ON ZOOM

OCTOBER 13, 2020

3:00 PM MT

REGISTER HERE

Cook Political Report, Sept. 30, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Ambassador Christopher Hill Joins Columbia University Faculty

Chris Hill was just appointed the George W. Ball Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. The announcement from SIPA Dean Merit Janow follows:

I am also pleased to share that Ambassador Christopher Hill will serve as the George W. Ball Adjunct Professor at SIPA in Spring 2021. As the George W. Ball Adjunct Professor, Ambassador Hill will teach a course on diplomacy and also deliver the annual George W. Ball lecture, among other activities. His extraordinary foreign policy experience will be of tremendous benefit to our students and intellectual community, and we look forward to welcoming him to SIPA this spring.

Chris was the Dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies for 7 years, professor of diplomacy and head of a DU Center of Global Engagement. Chris and I frequently presented on politics, elections and foreign policy.

Congratulations Chris on your Columbia appointment.

Floyd Ciruli and Chris Hill present a post-election event,
Nov. 2016 | University of Denver photo


Monday, September 21, 2020

Crossley Center Fall Election Program

The Fall Election Program has begun with virtual presentations, which started with pre-Labor Day Zoom update on the status of the election and a podcast commentary on the accuracy of polling. China and its impact on the election is the first virtual conversation. A panel of Colorado election experts is next in October and November 3 results discussed post-Election Day. YouTube, podcasts and virtual events are adjusting to the pandemic. Join us for the most important election in the century.


Election Central: Pre-Labor Day Update
The recording of the “Election Central: Pre-Labor Day” session is available. Join with the 140 Friends of the Crossley Center who participated in a review of the major issues, such as the pandemic, race relations and the economy, and the position of the campaigns on September 1, the major questions related to polls and forecasts, and what Election Night will look like.


Podcast: Political Polls: Can We Trust Them? 
For those of you who want to know more about what happened with the 2016 presidential polls and if it could happen again, tune into a DU RadioEd podcast I did on the subject. LISTEN HERE

The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election: A New Cold War?
On September 30, our opening program “The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election – A New Cold War?” brings together Professor Sam Zhao of the Center for China-US Cooperation and Professor Floyd Ciruli of the Crossley Center in a conversation addressing the questions around the U.S.-China relationship’s effect on the election and whether the campaigns are ensuring a new Cold War regardless of who wins. Plan to join the program on Zoom at 3:00 pm on September 30. REGISTER HERE

Colorado Political Experts Election Panel: Presidential, Senate and Third Congressional
Some of Colorado’s best political minds will share their assessments of the major races and ballot issues as early voting starts. They will also discuss Election Night and what to expect as the returns roll in. Zoom, October 21 at 3:00 pm. REGISTER HERE

Election 2020: What Happened? Why?
On November 4, Dean Fritz Mayer and Professor Floyd Ciruli will discuss the available results and lead a conversation of what happened and why. Zoom, 3:00 pm, November 4. SAVE THE DATE

Thursday, September 17, 2020

National Dashboard: 50 Days Out – Little Movement

With less than 50 days to November 3 and only a few weeks until ballots arrive in Colorado (October 9), the National Dashboard of Donald Trump’s and Joe Biden’s positions have not moved significantly since mid-April. Biden still leads in the head-to-head and Trump still maintains his mid to low 40s approval rating as he has for most of his term.

As of September 15, post the two conventions and more than a week after Labor Day, polls continue to range around the same averages in spite of a variety of astounding news with The Atlantic article accusing the President of denigrating the war dead, the Bob Woodward book accompanied by tapes of interviews with Trump, and more protests and violence in American cities. Also, both candidates are now going into battleground states – the President with his raucous rallies and Biden with masks, small groups and Zoom.


The President’s current disapproval at 54 percent and a negative 9 points is slightly better than two weeks ago, but the head-to-head spread remains a similar 7 points, down from 8 to 10 during the summer, but still substantial.

Trump is betting, as the virus recedes in the news and some level of normalcy gains traction, that his law and order theme and the economy will work with swing voters and late deciders for the final advantage. The numbers remain close enough to make the theory plausible, but early voting is starting and the numbers have been stubborn.

From Left to Right, Social Issues to Taxes, Colorado Voters Face Eleven Ballot Issues

In a Colorado Politics report. Marianne Goodland (9-8-20) describes the impact, sponsors and opponents of the 11 ballot issues Colorado voters will sort through this election.

I predict massive turnout because of the presidential race. I did not believe the ballot issues would influence it, but will have to deal with it.

As University of Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said recently, there’s something on the ballot for everybody this year.

The 11 measures approved for the Nov. 3 ballot touch on social, fiscal and electoral issues and represent diverse political views, Ciruli told Colorado Politics.

As a result, it's a wash for either side to think a particular ballot question would drive turnout in their candidates' favor. Voter turnout in Colorado is likely to be record-setting, regardless, Ciruli said.

The major protagonists include: environmental groups interested in introducing grey wolves and the farm and ranch community in opposition; long-time opponents engaged in an abortion limit; conservative tax groups are active for tax reduction and the placement of fees under TABOR; and liberal interests are backing paid leave with business interests in opposition. More than $10 million has already been raised, mostly from out-of-state funders. 

As Vaccine Becomes Politicized, a Majority Won’t Take It

 Preparation, introduction and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine have become politicized, and now two-thirds of the public say they won’t take it. Another blow to President Trump, who saw it as a game changer for his come from behind Election Day strategy.

With Trump’s frequent insistencies that the vaccine would be ready before the end of the year and the recent order from the CDC that local distribution sites be ready before Election Day, the vaccine is now part of the political landscape and its utility to containing the virus is compromised.

A new poll shows that only a fifth of the public (21%) would get vaccinated as soon as possible. The majority (58%) would wait to see what happens. Two-thirds (65%) say “if there is a vaccine this year” their “first thought would be” it was “rushed through.” The YouGov panel poll was conducted September 2-4, 2020 for CBS News.

In another indicator of the politicization of the vaccine: in March, 86 percent of voters trusted information from the CDC. Today, only 54 percent.


In fact, there is an across-the-board decline in the credibility of authorities and sources of information about the virus, but the CDC took the brunt of the loss.

The More Trump Campaigns, the More Democrats Benefit

Joe Biden’s supporters are more likely to say their support is based on dislike of Donald Trump than support for Biden. A majority of Democrats (56%) say dislike of Trump is the main reason for their support of Biden. Only 19% of Trump supporters say their main motivation is dislike of Biden.

Observers have suggested that this is one of the origins of the enthusiasm gap between Biden and Trump (20% difference between “strong support” for Trump – 66% over Biden – 46%). But, it also reflects the contradiction in Trump’s basic strategy. The more he campaigns, especially on his instinct and with his aggressive rhetoric, the more he strengthens Biden’s base and alienates independent voters.

For example, the thrust of the Trump convention and post-convention strategy is law and order. And indeed, Americans oppose the violence they see and read about on the news and newsfeeds. But, when asked if what the candidates are saying about protests is making the “situation better, worse or doesn’t have much of an affect,” 55 percent say Trump makes it worse, including 26 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of Democrats, and importantly, 53 percent of independents. Only 13 percent of the public believes he’s helping.


In a follow-up question, Trump lost out to Biden by nearly two-to-one on questions of uniting vs. dividing America (64% Biden vs. 33% Trump), doing a better job of handling race discrimination (64% Biden vs. 34% Trump), or doing a better job handling protests (59% Biden vs. 39% Trump).

Gardner Hits the Final Run Still Off the Pace

The August 30 poll from Morning Consult, the second in the last six weeks, brought bad news for Cory Gardner. He was 9 percentage points behind his Democratic challenger, John Hickenlooper, just as the race led into the final 60 days. An even more recent poll from AARP offered better news, but still showed Gardner down 5 points (51% to 46%) (9-5-20).

Gardner’s campaign and financial allies have been pouring money into advertising, much of it negative, in the hope of realigning the race. It has had a mixed result. In the Morning Consult’s July poll (7-12-26), the race had tightened to 6 points from a presumed 10 or more points in several previous polls before and after the June 30 primary. But then, they reported it as 9 points just before Labor Day.

As I commented recently, Gardner needs to show the race is closing or the party may begin to shift support to Republican incumbents in closer races, such as Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Steve Daines in Montana and Joni Ernst in Iowa.

The collective problem the entire Republican senate field faces is that the presidential campaign is stalled and 6 to 7 points behind nationally. Both of the latest Colorado polls have Donald Trump 10 points behind Joe Biden.

All the commentators on the poll mention that a Republican must win the unaffiliated voters to survive a statewide race in Colorado, and in the Morning Consult poll, Gardner is 23 points behind Hickenlooper by self-declared independent voters. He was 13 points behind in the earlier poll. The AARP poll reported voters 50 years old and older were 2 points in favor of Gardner (49% to 47%), a good, but not unexpected figure. However, it’s not good enough to make up for the difference among under 50 years old voters (52% Hickenlooper, 44% Gardner).


Read blogs:

Election Central: Conversation on Election 2020

 Is there a Silent Majority? Will the polls tighten? Where’s the Colorado senate race now?

Watch the Crossley Center video, “Election Central,” which reviews the candidate polls and the major election questions, including Election Night, as the campaigns go into their final runs.

August Economic Report Shows Slow Recovery. Bipartisan Public Support for More Stimulus Payments.

 The Senate defeated an economic stimulus proposal just as the American people reported it as their top priority and as the August economic report showed the pace of the recovery has slowed. In its top political issues for voting, Pew reported on August 13 that the economy was the most important issue for voters it tested, attracting 79 percent.

Although the overall unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent from 10.2 percent in July, the biggest news was an increase in reported layoffs and furloughs becoming permanent. Announcements of planned corporate layoffs has mounted with United Airlines – 16,000, American Airlines – 19,000, MGM – 18,000, Coca-Cola – 4,000, Marriott Hotels – 100,000 and Boeing – 6,000. The Federal Reserve confirmed the need for more stimuli, from Chairman Jerome Powell, to numerous board members, such as Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, who said: “Partisan politics threatens to endanger additional fiscal relief…a very significant downside risk to the economy today.”

Gallup reports a bipartisan majority support more stimulus. Seventy percent of U.S. adults support more federal stimulus payments, including 82 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans.


Both parties need to find a compromise. The public was also generous on the size of the payment, with majorities of both parties supporting payments of at least $600 per week.

Courts and Judges are Important to Both Parties

 President Trump in his long interview with Bob Woodward revealed the names of people on his shortlist of possible Supreme Court nominees. It included conservative Republican Senators Ted Cruz (Texas), Tom Cotton (Arkansas) and Josh Hawley (Missouri).

In a recent poll on the most important issues in the election, Supreme Court appointees were third on a list of 12 items asked of voters in early August 2020, with 68 percent of voters making it a “very important” issue. It ranked ahead of the coronavirus and violent crime, but behind the economy and health care. Both Democrats (61%) and Republicans (66%) believe it is very important, each from their own perspectives. 



Early Polls – Still Biden Advantage

 Donald Trump needed a bounce from his convention. In fact, he needed a leap. He was losing on average 7.4 points before the event and is losing this week by 7.2 points according to the RealClearPolitics average posted yesterday, Wednesday, September 2.

Today’s results aren’t much better in the battleground states. A new Fox News poll conducted in Arizona, North Carolina and Wisconsin through September 1 shows Trump losing to Biden by an average of 7 points. All three Republican senate candidates are also on the defensive.


Political Polls: Can we trust them?

I just did a political podcast for the University of Denver online radio on the accuracy of polls:

  • What happened to the polls in 2016?
  • Are they better today?
  • Biden’s ahead, but Trump has strengths
  • Is there a Silent Majority being missed in the polls?

Listen to the podcast here

Are National Republicans Giving Up on Gardner?

 In the online paper, the Colorado Times Recorder, reporter Sean Price puts together a story on speculation that since Donald Trump’s campaign hasn’t targeted Colorado, the national Republicans funding sources may be walking away from incumbent Senator Cory Gardner.
Sen. Cory Gardner | Getty Images


I doubted it, although I agreed it doesn’t appear Trump’s chances in Colorado, as of now, are very good.

Floyd Ciruli, a Colorado pollster and political analyst, does not believe Republican donors are going to back away from Gardner. He argues that Gardner is too close to leadership to forsake, but Ciruli can’t ignore the difficulties that Garner will face in his campaign.

“If you look at Arizona, the presidential race is close,” Ciruli said. “Same with Montana. The president may well carry North Carolina. It will be close in Maine. Nobody thinks Colorado is going to be close at the moment. There’s no way the Trump campaign is going to spend big in Colorado because you can’t find a poll that has Trump within ten points. And that is Cory’s problem.”

If Trump was investing in Colorado, it might help, but Gardner’s challenge is to be ahead of Trump by sufficient votes to defeat John Hickenlooper – today, polls have that number at least six points. Trump may lose by twice that amount. Finally, I argued that in late September/early October, the D.C. Republican funders of campaigns will make a decision as to where to put their final money.

Not until mid-September or early October will national Republican groups, like the NRSC, decide whether to desert Gardner, according to both Welchert and Ciruli “It’s important to note that McConnell’s PAC is pulling away,” Ciruli said. “That’s an important factor. But there is still quite a lot of other dark money in this race. Maybe on October 1, if Gardner is down 6-8 points, you’ll start to see them give up on him, but not yet.”

Could Hickenlooper Lose?

 As of mid-August, polls and political prognosticators suggest that Democratic Senate candidate, John Hickenlooper, will have to work very hard to lose to incumbent Senator Cory Gardner. But, if anxious Democratic activists are any indication, it could happen. Hickenlooper’s campaign is judged as weak and his strategy overly dependent on Donald Trump.

Polls suggest he’s at least 6 points ahead of Gardner and President Trump’s down at least ten to Joe Biden. Political science suggests the linkage between voters’ preferences for president and senate is very strong in the age of polarization.

But, the feedback from many media observers, political consultants and just activist Democrats desperate to win the senate is that Hickenlooper’s campaign is disorganized and losing ground. He appears to be trying to avoid engagement with Gardner and it’s creating an issue. He is also not interacting with local media, which wants calls answered. According to numerous activists, the campaign is depending purely on online and media advertising, but many are criticizing the ads as poorly produced and boring, which reflects the opposite of many of his previous campaigns. Hickenlooper appears remote and still without a short, clear message as to why he is running. Maybe it won’t matter – his handlers seem to think so. But, the negative feedback is loud.

Democratic senate candidate John Hickenlooper | AP photo


Friday, September 11, 2020

Ciruli: Podcast – Are the Polls Accurate?

Poll Skeptic
“I’ll bet $100 that the polls on 1 October will be off by MORE than the margin of error from the results of the presidential election in early November. I’m interested to see if indeed polling has improved in the past 4 years from the dumpster fire it was in 2016.”

I pointed out that polls on October 1 will describe the election on that day within the margin of error, not the result on November 3. Polls in 2016 weren’t a “dumpster fire.” Tune into my DU podcast to get the full discussion.


Political Polls: Can we trust them?

Since Donald Trump's upset victory in the 2016 election, skepticism of political polls has grown steadily. After all, the numbers showed Hillary Clinton in the lead from start to finish. Pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli talks to us about what happened four years ago, the likelihood of the president eking out a similar victory on Nov. 3, and what it all says about the state of the country and democracy worldwide. Listen here 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

The U.S. and China in the 2020 Election – A New Cold War?


China is a topic in the U.S. presidential election. President Trump and the administration regularly speak of it in disparaging terms. Public sentiment and many members of the U.S. foreign policy establishment have turned against it decisively. Does the next U.S. administration inherit a new Cold War with all of its costs and dangers?

Professors Suisheng (Sam) Zhao and Floyd Ciruli will lead a conversation on China as a presidential election issue and the alternatives for China policy in the next administration.

Join the talk on September 30 at 3:00 pm MT

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Election Central: Pre-Labor Day Update

The Democratic Convention is done and the Republicans are underway. Join us September 1st when the conventions are over to preview the race before the campaigns start in full force. The Friends of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research have organized a session to have a conversation as to where the campaigns stand.

We will have two highly watched races in Colorado – one for U.S. Senate, and after the upset primary, the 3rd Congressional District. But, of course, most importantly and powerfully influential on local races will be the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The following topics will be discussed on September 1st at 11:00 am MT:
  1. Where’s the election today? Who’s ahead, who’s behind? U.S. Presidential, Colorado Senate, Third Congressional?
  2. Are the polls accurate? What about the Silent Majority (secret Trump vote)?
  3. Will the race tighten? What are the underdog’s strategies to win and will they work?
  4. Who’s going to vote? How many? Problems?
  5. What will election night look like? When will we call the race?


Former VP Joe Biden (L) and his wife Jill Biden (2nd left) and Sen.
Kamala Harris (2nd from right) and her husband Doug Emhoff (R) wave
to supporters after Biden spoke during the fourth day of the Democratic
Convention, Aug. 20, 2020 | Andrew Harnik/AP

Friday, August 21, 2020

Election Central: Pre-Labor Day Update

With one convention completed and the second about to begin, the election is poised to start in full force. Before the onslaught, the Friends of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research have been invited to a session to present a status report and have a conversation as to where the campaigns stand.

We will have two highly watched races in Colorado – one for U.S. Senate, and after the upset primary, the 3rd Congressional District. But, of course, most importantly and powerfully influential on local races will be the contest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

The following outlines topics we will discuss on September 1st at 11:00 am MT:
  1. Where’s the election today? Who’s ahead, who’s behind? U.S. Presidential, Colorado Senate, Third Congressional?
  2. Are the polls accurate? What about the Silent Majority (secret Trump vote)?
  3. Will the race tighten? What are the underdog’s strategies to win and will they work?
  4. Who’s going to vote? How many? Problems?
  5. What will election night look like? When will we call the race?

SEPTEMBER 1st ZOOM EVENT

Crystal Ball
Electoral College Rating
July 14, 2020

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Battlegrounds: Millions are Being Spent in Battleground Advertising. Are the Numbers Starting to Move?

In the last month, there has been little movement in the battleground numbers, even with millions in advertising expenditures from the Trump campaign. The state polling numbers in 2020 are more reliable with multiple polls conducted by national media outlets.

The President improved his position by a point in Arizona and Michigan, two points in Florida, and his biggest gain of four in North Carolina, going to three points for Biden to one for Trump. He lost a point in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. I’ve added Ohio to the watch list. Trump won it by 8 points in 2016 and is now behind by 2 points.


Out of the seven states on the battleground list, three are within the margin of error (typically ±3 points). This remains a close race that will likely be fought through Election Day, and this year, like 2000, possibly after Election Day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

National Dashboard: Democrats in Strong Position as Convention Begins

Examining the National Dashboard from the last post on July 28 shows little change in the presidential race. As the Democratic National Convention begins, the Democratic presumptive nominee, Joe Biden, is 8 points ahead of Donald Trump. The convention appeared to get initial good reviews. The polls have been frozen in a narrow range and it will be surprising to see much of a bounce. And, of course, the Republican Convention begins next week and may receive its own bounce.

Trump’s approval rating remains at 42 percent in spite of repeated polls showing he has lost the COVID-19 management and the race relations issues by more than 20 percent. He does win approval on the economy, but it hasn’t helped yet. His highest approval this year was after impeachment and before the virus. It’s not clear how he gets back to that number.

Most professional pollsters and campaign consultants believe the race will tighten, especially after Labor Day. In fact, the race has closed by one point if July 1st is used as the baseline.

Third Congressional Now a Competitive Race

A top Democratic polling firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQR) just released a Third Congressional District poll that showed the race is tied (43% Mitsch Bush to 42% Boebert). It was a bit of a surprise. The district was judged to lean Republican because of recent wins by the incumbent Congressman Scott Tipton and Donald Trump’s 12- point win in 2016. The recent history would likely still give Republicans an edge in the district. But, the fact President Trump is also tied with his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden (43% each), this becomes a race.

Neither candidate is well-known, except for extreme images argued by partisans. Diane Mitsch Bush is labeled a “socialist” due to having support for Medicare for All and Democratic positions from her 2018 run. Lauren Boebert is a gun-toting, strong Trump supporter who’s made reference to QAnon. If the presidential race is close in the Third Congressional District, an “extremist” label is unhelpful. If Boebert avoids it, she’ll have the advantage because of her public relations skills and Trump-like positions. But, in a Democratic dominated House, having a pragmatic Democrat may be the preferred choice. Expect major campaigning with millions spent.


Read blog
Tipton is Gone. Can the Republicans Hold the Seat?

Economic Recovery Stalls as Deaths rise: Twin Towers – Part Nine

Since the last Twin Towers report on July 13, California, which had been fifth in COVID-19 fatalities, moved to third, and Texas leapt over a host of states to become fourth, with Florida following it at sixth, and likely to move up the next 30 days as total deaths have kept a steady pace of increases. Fatalities were up 22,000 from mid-June to July and 26,000 since mid-July to August 12 to a total of 168,000.


Although treatments are improving and fatality rates declining, the sudden flare-up after re-opening has spread anxiety about controlling the virus and undermining the confidence of individuals, business and government decision-makers on gauging the safe path to pre-COVID-19 activities. Reconvening schools and athletics and restarting the hospitality and recreational industries have been especially affected.

The unemployment rate in July compared to June went down to 10.2 percent from 11.1 percent in June. That remains a record high, near the top rate in the Great Recession of 2008-09 (10.0% Oct. 2009). Although 1.8 million jobs were added, that was lower than the 4.8 million in June and very few were in goods producing manufacturing.

The recovery was slowed in Florida, Texas and Arizona due to their spikes in COVID-19. The nationwide recovery is now being affected by the growing view that major labor market growth will depend on businesses having confidence that consumer demand will be steady and employees will feel safe. The spikes have reduced confidence, required some rollbacks, and extended the time required for the recovery. The most commonly heard comments are about the lack of national leadership, including the recent failure to extend unemployment payments and federal funding for schools, and state and local governments.

See blogs:
The Twin Towers of Pain: Part One
The Twin Towers of Pain: Part Two
The Twin Towers of Pain: Part Three
The Twin Towers of Pain: Part Four
The Twin Towers of Pain: Part Five
The Twin Towers of Pain: Part Six
Recession Starts, COVID-19 Continues: Twin Towers – Part Seven
Surge in Infections and Deaths Threatens Jobs: Twin Towers – Part Eight

Friday, August 7, 2020

Trump is a Problem for Gardner, But Also a Great Benefactor

Donald Trump is losing Colorado today in the presidential race and may drag Cory Gardner down with him. But, it is also a great boon having a friend in the White House worried about Gardner’s re-election.

Much of Gardner’s campaign message will tout what he accomplished for Colorado, including passing the Great American Outdoors Act, moving BLM, securing the Space Force, etc. Gardner is also very adept at working with the Senate leadership. Very impressive record for a freshman, but is it enough?

President Donald Trump signs the H.R. 1957, “The Great American
Outdoors Act,” at the White House, Aug. 4, 2020 | Alex Brandon/AP