DEBATE PART II: The Indictment of a Failed Administration

Last night, despite all of the blustering and arguing between the two candidates, when reading the transcript, one theme jumps out.  The debate last night was an indictment of President Obama’s inability to lead and his failed administration, all spoken by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  Period.

As Romney pointed out last night: “This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he’d do.”  Below are just a few examples. continue…


FAILURE TO APPEAR: Why Exactly Was a Warrant Issued for Buckner?

Earlier this week, a loyal Peak reader alerted us that Democratic candidate for HD41, John Buckner, had a warrant out for his arrest, a failure to appear warrant, back in 1976.  (see right)

According to, “the most common FTA’s in the US occur when people neglect to show up in court regarding traffic tickets. Of course, anybody committed of any crime which requires a hearing is subject to receiving a failure to appear warrant. You can also receive a warrant for not showing up for jury duty when you are assigned to appear or not showing up for a civil lawsuit hearing. In some states FTA’s are actually treated as misdemeanors – this means that you can actually receive more charges for not bothering to show up for a hearing. Since most misdemeanors carry a maximum jail sentence of one year obviously this is something you should take very seriously.”

So, we took it seriously and sent Mr. Buckner an email asking if he would like to explain to readers why he had a failure to appear warrant out for his arrest.  It may have been as simple as a traffic ticket, which should be very easy to clear up.  But, that’s why his lack of response is so puzzling.

So, again, we ask John Buckner - was the failure to appear warrant for just a traffic ticket or was it for something more sinister?  Inquiring minds (and voters) want to know.



Public Policy Polling did an insta-poll (MoE: 4.7%) of Coloradans after last night’s debate. It showed Coloradans moved equally toward each candidate:
  • 37% said they were more likely to vote for Obama,
  • 36% said they were more likely to vote for Romney.

 If Obama’s team was hoping for a wipe out, they didn’t get it, even aided by the highly partisan moderator, Candy Crowley – who behaved like an NFL replacement referee, interrupting Romney three times more often than she interrupted Obama and denying Romney equal time.

But there is more here than a tie.

Independents Are Key

45% of Independents thought Obama did better and 31% said Romney did better. Since PPP didn’t ask who people were voting for, we can’t know Independents’ support for the candidates from this poll.

Three other pollsters reported Colorado results this month AND gave party breakouts of who Independent voters support. (McLaughlinARG, and WAA.) The average Independent result:

  • 45.8% for Obama and 
  • 45.8% for Romney.

Perhaps all Independents who support Obama thought he did better and most Independents for Romney thought the same thing. If so, pundit Michael Barone may be right that this debate reinforced existing voting decisions, but didn’t change many minds. 

Party Not So Faithful

PPP reports that 14% of Democrats were more likely to vote for Romney and 12% of Republicans more likely to vote for Obama. That’s well within the poll’s margin of error, and – again – it doesn’t say they actually changed their minds.

Debate Two Take Home

First two facts: Colorado’s 2008 exit poll gave Obama a 10% edge among Independents in a year when turnout by party was a near tie. Add in the polls’ tie between Romney and Obama among Independents, and things have changed – toward the Republican side. (Especially since, despite the Democrats’ registration drive, Republicans still lead in Colorado registered voters.)

Now a big, fat IF: If this debate didn’t change Coloradans’ minds and their minds stay made up, then – given 

  • the Republican registration edge, 
  • the tie among Independents between the candidates and 
  • the historic greater turnout percentages among Republicans than Democrats –

Republicans ought to see Colorado return to the Republican column this election.


SWING STATES: Will Women Deliver the Election for Romney?

Veteran political operative Karl Rove advises campaigns to ”attack the strength”, and it looks like the right has been listening… at least, as it pertains to women. A new USAToday/Gallup poll of swing states shows that women are becoming increasingly engaged and interested in issues that favor Republicans.

The poll was taken October 5 through 11 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

According to USAToday, “Romney has pulled within one point of the president among women who are likely voters, 48%-49%, and leads by 8 points among men.”  The chart below shows that Romney has wooed five percent more women in swing states than in non-swing states and D.C., positioning him neck-in-neck with Obama (49% Obama to 48% Romney) among likely female voters.

Chart by USAToday

Further, the USAToday/Gallup poll shows that women are increasingly citing economic issues as a top concern, which back what Colorado’s center-right women’s organization, Colorado Women’s Alliance, found.

Chart by USAToday

Citing the deficit and debt as a top concern, 52% of the population believes Romney would do a better job handling, giving him a 9% advantage over Obama.  The two candidates are even when it comes to unemployment.  Perhaps the pollsters felt that jumpstarting the economy was comprised of deficit reduction and unemployment, but they didn’t seem to ask directly about reviving the economy.

Nonetheless, the Colorado Women’s Alliance conducted a roundtable of pro-choice women talking about the 2012 election and found that “the participants felt they could prioritize their important issues, and jobs/economy should be the number one issue. In fact, one woman who participated in the roundtable noted, ’without a strong economy, we lose all of our choices.’”


MIA: BLS Fails to Include California in Odd Jobless Claims…or Something

You know when you finish paying bills and look at your bank account and are excited to see that you still have a lot of money left over.  Then, reality hits when you realize that you never paid your rent (or, mortgage for the grown-ups out there)?

Something similar happened last week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released weekly jobless claims that showed the claims as the lowest they’ve been since January 2008.  The gullible media’s collective high-five turned to confusion when the BLS admitted that some of the jobless claims from California didn’t make it into that week’s jobless report, or maybe it was the entire state.  Does anyone know?

According to business reporter Henry Blodget at Business Insider:

  • It is likely that some of the jobless claims in one large  state–California–were not included in the claims reported to the Department of  Labor this week.  This happens occasionally, the analyst says.  When a state’s jobless claims bureau is short-staffed, sometimes the state does  not process all of the claims that came in during the week in time to get them  to the DOL. The analyst believes that this is what happened this week.
  • California claims that were not processed in time to get into this  week’s jobless report will appear in future reports, most likely next week’s or  the following week’s. In other words, those reports might be modestly  higher than expected.
  • The analyst believes that the number of California claims that were  not processed might have totalled about 15,000-25,000. Thus, if one  were to “normalize” the overall not-seasonally-adjusted jobless claims number,  it would increase by about 15,000-25,000.

The California Labor Department denies these claims, but, honestly, this is squabbling over how bad of a situation we’re really in.  According to, California still had nearly 50,000 new jobless claims last week, and Colorado had nearly 3,000.  With over 37,000 people on continuing unemployment in Colorado, it’s tough to make the case that this recovery is going well.


COLORADO SLIPPING AWAY? 4 Takeaways From The Denver Post Poll That Should Scare Barack Obama

The latest Denver Post poll of Colorado showing Romney taking the lead 48%-47% has many reasons to scare the strategists at Obama HQ back in Chicago. The host state to Obama’s historically embarrassing first debate loss not only has shifted away from the President, but the Post‘s topline results likely mask a much larger Romney lead than the single point that hit headlines.

The Denver Post has set an admirable bar by posting the full crosstabs and question phrasing on their Colorado polls from SurveyUSA. That lets readers know what kind of biases are cooked into the results they release.

From the way questions are asked to whom they are asked of, this data affects the horserace numbers in the headlines. The numbers below — what different ethnic groups, genders, income levels, party members, etc think about candidates and issues — also give a much better sense of the direction of a race than do the top-line candidate A vs. candidate B figures.

In the case of The Denver Post poll released last Friday, and scooped by the Peak on Thursday, there are a number of issues that lead us to believe Governor Mitt Romney’s lead in Colorado is actually more than the one-point advantage the poll found. Here are 4 reasons Barack Obama has more to fear from the latest Post poll:



HATIN’ ON CONGRESS, WHILE LOVIN’ OUR CONGRESSMEN: Post’s Endorsement of Congressional Status Quo Bizarre

We gotta’ hand it to Colorado Pols. They are right about at least one thing these days. The Denver Post‘s decision to endorse all the incumbents in the state’s seven congressional contests is just bizarre.

We are quite certain that we and Pols would disagree on which incumbents deserve the boot, but it strikes us as just silly that any person from any political view point would go on record defending the status quo in Congress.

Congress has never been less popular. And the Post never misses a chance to wring its hands about Congress’ ineptness.

But do something about it? No way. The Post wants to keep things just the way they are, at least as far as our contribution to the U.S. House.

Bizarre, for sure.

The scribes over at Pols put it well:

Being the state’s newspaper of record, their endorsements can be significant (depending on the race), and will be used heavily by endorsed candidates in the election’s final weeks. It’s really too bad, then, that the Denver paper decided to waste the opportunity with milquetoast “play it safe” endorsements of every single incumbent member of Congress in Colorado.

It doesn’t happen often, but the Post’s peculiar decision to stick by the status quo has even Peak and Pols agreeing.


Colorado Newspapers to Obama: No More Years!

Colorado’s regional newspapers are lining up behind Mitt Romney for President…big time!

This weekend, arguably the state’s three most important regional papers said out with Obama and in with change…as in, Mitt Romney.

“No more years! No more years! No more years!” — seemed to be the collective chant of these influential media voices.

From the normally-liberal Longmont Times Call:


The Denver Post SurveyUSA poll has some interesting demographics that appeared in their marijuana story. Looking closely at them shows why Romney is highly likely to win Colorado.

Compare the Post demographics to other sources about Colorado’s demographic makeup – focusing on Anglos, Hispanics and all other racial/ethnic groups. Pundits and pollsters use previous elections’ exit polls and US Census data. Census itself has two analyses: a “Voting and Registration” report for 2008 and the American Community Survey 2011 report.

Post Poll Exit Poll 08 Census 08 ACS Citizens ACS Adults
Anglo 75.0% 81.0% 84.7% 78.1% 73.5%
Hispanic 17.0% 13.0% 8.5% 13.7% 17.7%
All Others 8.0% 6.0% 6.8% 8.2% 8.8%

Unrealistic Share of Hispanics

The Post poll substantially undervalued the Anglo share of its sample.



OBAMANOMICS: GDP Growth’s Woeful Tale

Voters have been bombarded with economic statistics showing the economy is growing, the economy is sinking, companies are hiring, companies aren’t hiring, but perhaps the simplest measure of economic growth is the Gross Domestic Product, which is the market value of all officially-recognized final goods and servies produced within a country in a given period.  Further GDP per capita is condered an indicator of a country’s standard of living.

Each quarter, the Federal Reserve revises its prediction for the year’s GDP.  If the economy were improving, one would expect that the Fed would revise the GDP higher, right?

Economist David Rosenberg presented at an investment conference in New York on October 10, 2012.  He used the following chart to show that the Fed has consistently downgraded predictions of U.S. economic growth over the past two years.  Remember, this chart shows predictions, not actual growth, which will not be announced until next year.  For example, the November 2010 prediction for 2012′s growth is 4.1%, which would be helpful, but growth predictions for 2012 have been revised this month to 1.85%.

According to a July 2012 article in BusinessWeek:

“Annual economic growth of 2.5 percent to 3 percent is needed to create enough jobs just to keep up with an expanding workforce. Healthier growth of 4 percent or more is needed to reduce the unemployment rate significantly.”

From the charts above, the economy is not predicted to keep pace with population growth in 2012 and is predicted to just barely keep up in 2013 with a projected GDP growth of 2.75%.  Of course, this could all be revised as November 2011′s predicted GDP growth was 2.7% and now, it’s predicted to be just 1.85%.  In Colorado, the story is much the same as GDP growth has stalled out at 2.2%, which is not even enough to keep up with population growth.

But, this is all just a part of the “recovery”, right?  This is usually how it goes, right?


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