Colorado A Battleground for politics-Progressive 15-Sept 2008

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Ciruli Associates

C
olorado: “
A

B
attleground

for
P
residential
P
olitics”

Progressive 15

Northeast Colorado


September 17, 2008



Floyd Ciruli

Ciruli Associates

1

78%
76%
55%
10%
15%
25%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Good for State
Bad for State
Democrats
Unaffiliated
Republicans
Convention


Good for Colorado

38 Million Watch

Ciruli Associates 2008

Ciruli Associates, N550 voters, August 6, 2008

Democratic National Convention “Good for Colorado”


Hickenlooper/Denver are winners


State Democrats exposure


Reinforces state is battleground

Question:

Do you believe that holding the Democratic National Convention in Denver the third
(fourth) week of August will be good for the State of Colorado or bad for the state?

2


Friday morning bounce, Gallup
8 points


Party unity


Economic focus/plan offered


Frame choice: Bush/McCain vs.
Obama/Biden

McCain vs. Obama

Bounce Meets Bounce

Ciruli Associates 2008

Democrats Have Good Convention


Palin effect


37 million
watch


National security focus


Character, independence,
reform


Now ahead in polls

Republicans Gain Momentum

3

Ciruli Associates 2008

Ciruli Associates from Real Clear Politics, Rasmussen 2008

RCP Average

9/5
-
9/15

45.3

46.1

McCain +0.8


Gallup Tracking

9/13
-
9/15

46

47

McCain +1

Rasmussen Tracking

9/13
-
9/15

47

48

McCain +1

Fox News

9/8
-
9/9

42

45

McCain +3

Gallup Tracking

9/7
-
9/9

43

48

McCain +5

NBC/WSJ

9/6
-
9/8

46

45

Obama +1

ABC/Washington Post

9/5
-
9/7

47

49

McCain +2

CBS News

9/1
-
9/3

42

42

Tie

Gallup Tracking

9/1
-
9/3

49

42

Obama +7

Rasmussen Tracking

8/28
-
8/30

47

43

Obama +4

Gallup Tracking

8/27
-
8/29

49

41

Obama +8

CNN

8/23
-
8/24

47

47

Tie

USA Today/Gallup

8/21
-
8/23

48

45

Obama +3




Obama

McCain


Poll

Date

(D)

(R)

Spread

The Race to the Finish

The Debates


Sept. 26
: 1
st

presidential debate, Oxford, MI

Oct. 2
: Vice presidential debate, St. Louis, MO

Oct. 7
: 2
nd

presidential debate, Nashville, TN

Oct. 15
: 3
rd

presidential debate, Hempstead, NY

Nov. 4
: Election Day

4

65%
25%
39%
45%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
18-34 Years Old
65 Years Old and Older
Right Direction
Wrong Track
Ciruli Associates 2008


47% said right direction, 63% in Sept. 2007


African
-
American


63% right direction

Younger Voters Upbeat, Older Worried

Age of Anxiety

State’s Mood Turns Down

Ciruli Associates, N500, July 2008

Question:

Overall, would you say things are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel
things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track here in Colorado?

5

Colorado Remains on Battleground List

Ciruli Associates 2008

Colorado: McCain vs. Obama

RCP Average

9/11
-
9/14

--

47.3

46.7

Obama +0.6


Fox/Rasmussen

9/14
-
9/14

500 LV

46

48

McCain +3

Fox/Rasmussen

9/7
-
9/7

500 LV

49

46

Obama +3

CNN/Time

8/24
-
8/26

670 RV

46

47

McCain +1

Quinnipiac

8/15
-
8/21

1060 RV

46

47

McCain +1

Denver Post

8/13
-
8/15

400 LV

46

43

Obama +3

Rocky Mtn News/CBS4

8/11
-
8/13

500 RV

41

44

McCain +3





Obama

McCain


Poll

Date

Sample

(D)

(R)

Spread


Obama leads most of June and July


Then lead exchanges in late July and
August


In first September polls race remains
close

“We’re talking presidential gridlock here,”
Floyd Ciruli, Rocky Mountain News, 9
-
13
-
08

6

Colorado Politics Shifts to Blue

Ciruli Associates 2008


Colorado economic downturn shifts agenda to left and away
from social issues. Economy changes to high tech and
service.


Rapid growth of new voters in suburbs, exurbs and I
-
70
corridor split tickets, register more independent (1,023
Republicans, 1,021 Unaffiliated, 945 Democrats)


Colorado Republicans divided on fiscal and social issues. Face
tough primaries.


Growth of Democratic bench and support infrastructure
(money, think tanks, blogs). Candidates position in the
middle.


National Republican fortunes decline


Gary Hart: Manifesto: Democrats and the West, Fall 2006


Fred Barnes: The Colorado Model, Weekly Standard, 7/21/08


Ryan Lizza: The Code of the West, New Yorker, 8/22/08

7

The Code of the West

One Theory of Colorado Electorate

Ciruli Associates 2008

New Yorker, Ryan Lizza, July 10, 2008


Core conservatives and liberals don’t shift


Government pragmatists pro
-
choice and want solutions


Moral pragmatists like limits, but minimum conflict

Moral
Pragmatist,
14%
Government
Pragmatist,
37%
Very Liberal,
20%
Fox News
Conservative,
16%
Moral
Conservative,
13%
Gary Hart


“We are now at the
cusp...of the end of
the Nixon
-
Reagan
-
Bush era. Obama is
poised, if he is bold
enough, to be a
transformational
president...”

8

RCP Average

8/5
-
8/24

--

45.0

38.0

Udall +7


Suffolk

8/21
-
8/24

450 LV

39

31

Udall +8

Denver Post

8/13
-
8/15

400 LV

47

37

Udall +10

Rocky Mtn News/CBS4

8/11
-
8/13

500 RV

44

38

Udall +6

Rasmussen

8/13
-
8/13

500 LV

50

42

Udall +8

PPP (D)

8/5
-
8/7

933 LV

47

41

Udall +6

Quinnipiac

7/14
-
7/22

1425 LV

44

44

Tie


Ciruli Associates 2008

Ciruli Associates from Real Clear Politics, Rasmussen 2008

Colorado Senate





Udall

Schaffer


Poll

Date

Sample

(D)

(R)

Spread

U.S. Senate Race

“The real test for Democrats will
be if they pick up a senate seat,”
Floyd Ciruli

9

Ciruli Associates 2008

Public Opinion Shifts on Energy Supply

More exploration/mining/drilling


and power plants

35%

47%

+12%


vs.

More conservation/regulation

55

45

-
10%


Develop new energy sources

54

60

+6%


vs.

Protect the environment

36

34

-
2%


Favor drilling in ANWR

42

50

+8%


Questions

Feb. 2008

June 2008

Change

Ciruli Associates reformatted Pew Poll 2008

Pew Poll Shows Americans Shifting Toward Traditional Sources

“We are a completely committed recreational state and by and large,
we recreate with gas. We load up the SUV and go to the mountains,”
Floyd Ciruli, pollster, MSNBC Tom Curry, 8
-
2
-
08

10

Ciruli Associates 2008

In Colorado, Offshore Drilling

Attracts the Independent Voter

Support

59%

82%

34%

57%

Oppose

37

15

60

40

Don’t know/NA


4


3


5


4


Total

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Quinnipiac, July 24, 2008

Question:

To help solve the energy crisis and make America less dependent on foreign oil, do you
support or oppose drilling for new oil supplies in currently protected areas offshore?

Offshore Drilling in Protected Areas


On July 24, gas prices become top issue, and
Obama and McCain tied (33% each) on who
has best program to solve energy crisis now


Republicans finally find an issue with some
traction; McCain up by 2, Senate race tied

“We had begun to think there was a very significant Democratic
advantage, but ($4
-
per
-
gallon gasoline) shows us how quickly an issue
can energize and change the dynamics of a race,”
Floyd Ciruli, pollster, Rocky
Mountain News, 7
-
25
-
08

11

Ciruli Associates 2008

But Colorado Voters Still Like Renewables

Renewable energy

54%

Drilling

21

Nuclear power


9

High mileage cars


5

Strategic Reserve


4

Don’t know/NA


7

Question:

Which is the best way to help solve the energy crisis and make America less dependent on
foreign oil


A) building new nuclear power plants, B) drilling offshore and in Alaska, C)
developing renewable energy sources like solar power, wind power and biofuels, D)
releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or E) mandating higher mileage
standards for cars?

Quinnipiac, July 24, 2008

Majority of Public Wants Balanced Approach


Obama says energy compromise is necessary,
Washington Post
, 8
-
3,08


Udall energy plan includes offshore drilling,
Rocky Mountain News
, 8
-
14
-
08


Salazar pushes offshore drilling,
Denver Post
, 8
-
22
-
08

12

31%
49%
21%
44%
34%
22%
49%
27%
24%
0%
20%
40%
60%
Republican
Unaffiliated
Democrat
Support
Oppose
Don't know
Ciruli Associates 2008


41% support/37% oppose/22% don’t know

Increase State Severance Tax

Ciruli Associates, N500, July/August 2008

Question:

Increase the state severance tax $321 million dollars annually by removing the local
property tax exemption. The increased tax funding would go to college scholarships,
wildlife programs, alternative energy research, and local transportation and water
projects.


Amendment 58

“I think its success will,
indeed, give him
bragging rights and
momentum. If it loses, I
think he will be
weakened by the loss,”
Floyd Ciruli, pollster, Grand
Junction Sentinel, 8
-
2
-
08

13

37%
37%
17%
51%
26%
23%
59%
21%
20%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
Republican
Unaffiliated
Democrat
Support
Oppose
Don't know
Ciruli Associates 2008


48% support/32% oppose/19% don’t know

School Fund, Suspend TABOR Spending
Rules, Eliminate Amendment 23

Ciruli Associates, N500, July/August 2008

Question:

Create a fund for preschool to 12
th

grade education from revenue that the State of
Colorado would have refunded to taxpayers by permanently suspending the TABOR
amendment rules related to limited government spending. Eliminate the requirement that
statewide per
-
pupil funding grow at least the rate of inflation and create a savings account
for education.

Amendment 59

14

32%
38%
29%
38%
24%
38%
37%
23%
41%
0%
20%
40%
60%
Republican
Unaffiliated
Democrat
Support
Oppose
Don't know
Ciruli Associates 2008


35% support/29% oppose/36% don’t know

Increase the Number of Signatures

for Constitutional Amendment

Ciruli Associates, N500, July/August 2008

Referendum O

Question:

Increase the number of signatures required to place a constitutional measure on the ballot
and require signatures on constitutional measure to be gathered from each of the state’s
congressional districts. It reduces the number of signatures to place a state statute on the
ballot and restricts any changes by the state legislature for five years.

15


Amendment 47: Right to work


Private


Amendment 49: Prohibit paycheck deduction


Public


Amendment 54: Prohibit sole
-
source contributions


Public

Labor Peace Ends

Ciruli Associates 2008

Business/Government

Will There be any Winners?


Amendment 53: Criminal liability


Private


Amendment 55: Just cause


Private


Amendment 56: Health insurance


Private


Amendment 57: Safe workplace


Private

Labor

16

Ciruli Associates 2008


92% of voters believe a “dependable supply of water”
very important to strong economy.


Referendum A loses. Carries no county, but started
ahead.


In a telephone interview with the
Pueblo Chieftain

“...the water compact that Colorado and other upper
basin states have with California and a region should be
renegotiated,” U.S. Senator John McCain said, 8
-
15
-
2008


Senator Salazar, “...only happen over my dead body.”


“My recent remarks may have been mistakenly
construed...Let me be clear that I do not advocate
renegotiations of the compact.” 8
-
20
-
08

Water, the Third Rail of Colorado Politics

Divisions among water stakeholders keep Colorado in policy gridlock.
Is Colorado vulnerable because it does not claim its Colorado River
entitlement?

17

Ciruli Associates 2008


Record turnout


Aggressive and expensive campaigns


Independent voters key target


National advertising


Energy and environment major issue


Close election


Repeated presidential visits

Impact on Colorado