Wednesday, November 17, 2010

That crazy Governor's Race

I had the inestimably valuable professional opportunity to listen to Floyd Ciruli, Colorado's top pollster, talking about what happened in the recent election. As always Floyd, a Pueblo native, offers us insights based on good solid evidence and speckled with good humor. Let me share with you some of his highlights and insights.

Floyd starts off his comments by telling us something we all already knew, "Hickenlooper is a lucky guy." Ciruli told the Denver Post in late October that Hickenlooper had "the benefit of not having to deal with just one Republican opponent and has kept a low profile, eliminating the chances of making and starting controversies."

Floyd's analysis of the polling figures showed how Hickenlooper kept rising in the polls. In August the mayor was at 43%, Tancredo, the American Constitution candidate, at 18%. And in September the mayor gained two points to go to 45%, while Tancredo jumped to 34% showing some considerable momentum. And on October 30th Hickenlooper was at 47%, another two point gain, and Tancredo peaked at 44%. Floyd's handout (available on his website) shows the final figures with the mayor finishing with 51% of the vote to Tancredo's 37%, down 7% from his polling figures. Polling figures for Dan Maes, the real Republican candidate, showed an August figure of 31%, and an over 50% drop in September to 15%. The October 30 poll showed Dan with 6% showing strength on the west slope. Maes ended up with a vote percentage of about 11% which means the Republicans will still be an actual political party for the next partisan election cycle.

Floyd's reporting of the top counties for the three candidates revealed lots. Hickenlooper carried Denver, San Miguel, Pitkin, Boulder and Costilla over 70%. Tancredo carried the high plains counties, Elbert, Washington, Lincoln, Morgan and Yuma at over 50%. Maes carrid Dolores, RioBlanco, Archuleta, La Plata and Baca by over 20 and 30%.

Ciruli told the Washington Times that "Tancredo is the best known Republican in the state." Floyd added that Tancredo "is the most easily nominated Republican in the state." Floyd believes Tancredo helped broaden his appeal in the race by showing up at the debates and letting voters know he can actually talk about topics other than immigration. But Floyd also points out that Tom had the highest negatives of those polled concerning their feelings about him. And it is clear that Tancredo is not going quietly into the good night as we see by his recent criticism of former Republican Bill Owens for betraying the Republican cause by serving on Hickenlooper's transition team.

For those readers who want to check our Floyd's more in depth comments, simply google: Ciruli Associates 2010 and you will get sites showing his encyclopedic details of what happened in this crazy election. Let me know what you think as to why people voted the way they did in this last election.

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