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Ciruli Associates Poll

New Poll Shows State's Mood Turns Down

Analysis by Floyd Ciruli
July 21, 2008

A new Ciruli Associates poll shows that less than half (47%) of Colorado voters now view the state as moving in the right direction – a drop from 63 percent in September 2007.  A recent high of 39 percent of voters believe the state is on the wrong track.

State’s Mood Turns Down
Right Direction or Wrong Track     


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

Ciruli Associates 2008

National surveys show that only about 15 percent of the public believes the country currently is moving in the right direction (during the last year, only about one-quarter of U.S. residents have been optimistic).  But Colorado residents have been more upbeat about the state until this latest survey.  The drop, no doubt, reflects a rise in concern for the economy and the price of gas, which affects people directly.  Recent national polls show the economy and energy prices have become voters’ top concerns.

The most recent survey was conducted June 3-9, 2008, with 806 likely voters. The margin of error is ±3.5 percentage points.

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The dip in state-level confidence during the election season in 2006 was reflected in the difficulty for the Republic Party.  The dip early in the century was during the high tech and telecom recession, accompanied by several seasons of fires and drought.


Baby Boomers More Concerned

Age is the characteristic that has the most variation in attitude toward the direction of the state, with people 34 years old and younger the most optimistic, and seniors and older Baby Boomers the most pessimistic about the state’s direction.

Age Relates to Concern About Direction of State

Age Cohorts




Millenniums/Gen X

18-34 years old



Gen X

35-44 years old



Younger Baby Boomers

45-54 years old



Older Baby Boomers

55-64 years old




65 years plus



Note:   Millenniums are less than 28 years old.  Generation X is aged from 28 to 44.  The “don’t know” category is not shown.

Ciruli Associates, N806, 2008

Current economic anxiety most affects older residents.  Property, land and portfolio values are most vulnerable, while employment, which most affects the young, has thus far been less affected by the economic turmoil.  Also, younger voters appear more unambiguously in favor of political change, whereas older voters are more ambivalent about the choices offered in the 2008 election.

African Americans More Upbeat

The political aspect of the “right direction” measure is reinforced when looking at race and ethnicity data.  Black Coloradans are especially upbeat about the direction of the state compared to Anglo and Hispanic residents.

Ethnicity/Race Relates to Concern About Direction of State










Black/African American



Ciruli Associates 2008

Polling Sources

The most recent Ciruli Associates statewide survey was conducted for Great Outdoors Colorado, from June 3-9, 2008 (N806, ±3.5 percentage points).  The September 2006 and 2007 surveys were conducted for the Colorado Economic Development Council (N500, ±4.4 percentage points).  The surveys were conducted with likely voters.  The 2004 and prior surveys were conducted in September and October pre-election years for Ciruli Associates’ media clients.

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Ciruli Associates is a non-partisan research firm providing polling, election analysis and political commentary to Colorado and national media organizations since 1976.

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