Political campaigns and politics have become more crazy, confusing and polarizing than ever before. What are political candidates and campaigns really thinking? Listen to an insightful and engaging discussion each week from the senior staff of Magellan Strategies. Each week veteran pollsters and campaign operatives David Flaherty, Courtney Gibbon and Ryan Winger talk about current events, politics, campaigns and how using voter data, technology and survey research leads to smarter politics.


  • S3 EP 1: Polling in the Time of Coronavirus

    S3 EP 1: Polling in the Time of Coronavirus

    30/03/2020 Duração: 01h59s

    In this episode we discuss the business of conducting polls in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic before reviewing some recent polls on President Trump’s handling of the crisis. We then discuss the government response at both the federal and state level, covering everything from the stimulus package being debated in Congress to local stay-at-home orders here in Colorado. Segment 1: To Poll or Not to Poll? In a typical election year, our political and government clients would be planning on fielding surveys to plan for November. This is not shaping up to be a typical election year. So what are the drawbacks to polling during the coronavirus pandemic? At what point is just regular old issue or campaign polling ok? Are there any actual benefits for the polling industry? Segment 2: A Review of Recent Polling A new round of recent polls show a bump for President Trump’s job approval, whether the question is general or specifically related to his response to COVID-19. Gallup shows a bump even among Democrats

  • S2 EP 6: The Politics of Gun Control

    S2 EP 6: The Politics of Gun Control

    28/08/2019 Duração: 01h21min

    Today we are going to discuss one of the politics of gun control. We will discuss the current state and federal gun control laws, some new gun control proposals coming from the Democratic candidates for President, and the ever-changing gun control positions of President Trump. We also discuss how Republican candidates and incumbents could communicate their more effectively.  Segment 1: David, Courtney and Ryan’s Backgrounds Segment 2: Current Rules and Regulations 1994 – Federal Background Check Requirement Requires all licensed gun sellers to perform a background check on a purchaser at the time of sale. Unlicensed sellers do not have to run a background check at this time. 22% of US gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without a background check. According to Giffords Law Center to prevent gun violence. State Laws- 22 states require some sort of background check/permit laws 12 States with Universal background checks- Background checks for ALL sales and TRANSFERS on all classes of fi

  • S2 EP 05: A Discussion About our TABOR Survey

    S2 EP 05: A Discussion About our TABOR Survey

    14/08/2019 Duração: 01h04min

    In this episode, our latest survey of Colorado voters on TABOR and Proposition CC, where things stand right now and what it means for this year and beyond. Segment 1: Proposition CC? Let’s start by discussing Proposition CC, before getting into TABOR more generally. As a reminder, here is the text of Proposition CC. The Colorado Sun had a helpful breakdown of the arguments in support of CC back in April, and here is a breakdown of arguments against CC from Mike Krause at Complete Colorado. Right now, support for Prop CC is at 54%, driven by solid support among Democrats (72%) and Unaffiliated voters (60%). Republican voters not surprisingly are far less enthusiastic at 32%. What does it mean over the next few months as each side makes their case? Segment 2: Key Takeaways on TABOR? We first asked respondents how familiar they are with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, also known as the TABOR Amendment in Colorado’s constitution. 59% are at least somewhat familiar, though only 20% are very familiar. Another 22% a

  • S2 EP 4: Discussing Round 2 of the Democratic Presidential Debates

    S2 EP 4: Discussing Round 2 of the Democratic Presidential Debates

    07/08/2019 Duração: 01h33min

    In this episode, we discuss last week’s second round of the Democratic Presidential Debates. How were they different from the first round? Who did well? Who did poorly? Who has a lot more work to do? Have the tiers moved, and is there anyone new that could actually win the Democratic nomination? Segment 1: What Issues Were Discussed and Not Discussed? Healthcare, Medicare for All, the Public Option, Private Insurance Immigration, De-Criminalizing the Border, Seeking Asylum vs. Breaking the law Gun Violence/Criminal Justice/Prison Reform/Police Reform/Law and Order/Rehabilitation The Racial Divide in the US/Trump’s Rhetoric Climate Change/Climate Crisis Tariffs, Trade Policy, NAFTA 2.0 Winning Michigan and the Midwest Student Loan Debt Wage Growth, Pay Inequality, Taxes on the Wealthy Foreign Policy, Afghanistan, Iran Nuclear Agreement, North Korea, Policing the World Impeaching Trump, Obstruction of Justice, Mueller Report Segment 2: How Was the Mood Different from the Miami Debates? Bernie, Warren, strong

  • S2 EP 3: Discussion of Our Poll of Likely 2020 Colorado Voters

    S2 EP 3: Discussion of Our Poll of Likely 2020 Colorado Voters

    31/07/2019 Duração: 38min

    In this episode, we discuss our Colorado 2020 General Election Survey that we released this week. Where does President Trump stand going into 2020? Governor Polis’ Approval and potential recall? Was there overreach during the 2019 legislative question? Colorado 2020 General Election Survey Methodology 500n – 250 online and 250 phone interviews Why online? Does it make a difference? Survey Demographics How we came to our final turnout forecast? Unaffiliated voters at 36% 18-34 at 27% How Republicans will be lower at the expense of unaffiliated voters. The Findings Voter Intensity Democratic voters have a slight edge in voter intensity heading into the 2020 elections, though Republicans and unaffiliated voters show a high level of interest as well. Biggest story here is unaffiliated voters and comparing them to past survey research. 9 & 10 Dem – 77% Rep – 73% Unaf – 68% Compared to October 8th – 10th, 2018 Magellan General Election Poll Dem – 75% Rep – 67% Unaf – 52% Compared to October 29th

  • S2 EP2: The Democratic Debates

    S2 EP2: The Democratic Debates

    10/07/2019 Duração: 01h08min

    In this episode, we discuss last week’s Democratic Debates. Who did well? Who has work to do? What are the tiers, and how many of these candidates could actually win the Democratic nomination? The Democratic Debates: Who “Won”? We’re starting to see some polling numbers that reflect what Democratic voters thought of the debates, and it seems clear that among the more top tier candidates, both Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris did well, while Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders failed to improve their numbers. If true, this certainly changes the dynamic of the race, with Biden and Sanders no longer a clear top two, resulting in a more wide open field. Still, before we get into the substance of the debates, let’s discuss just how wide open the field is. How many of these candidates could actually win the Democratic nomination? Ok, so if it’s clear that Warren and Harris did well, why do you think that is? What stood out about their performances? Who else caught your eye in these first debates? In the HuffPost/YouG

  • S2 EP01: What the Heck Happened in 2018?

    S2 EP01: What the Heck Happened in 2018?

    05/06/2019 Duração: 43min

    Smarter Politics is officially back for Season 2! In this episode, we discuss the extraordinary 2018 election in Colorado, and what it means moving forward to 2019 and 2020. We are glad you are back with us! Re-Introduction What have we been doing? Where has Magellan been? Why was the 2018 General Election Extraordinary? It was extraordinary because never has one political party, been so overwhelmingly rejected at every level of government by the voting electorate. Both Democratic and unaffiliated voters, participated at a level that has never happened before. For the first time ever in a Colorado mid-term election, unaffiliated voter turnout (918,091) and Democratic voter turnout (847,338) was higher than Republican turnout (810,143), and by a significant margin. By percentage of total vote, unaffiliated made up 35%, Democrats made up 33% and Republicans made up 32% of the total vote. As a comparison, in the 2014 mid-term election, Republican voter turnout was 774,923, Democratic voter turnout was 664,532

  • EP 41: What Happened in Virginia and What Does It Mean for 2018?

    EP 41: What Happened in Virginia and What Does It Mean for 2018?

    15/11/2017 Duração: 01h11min

    In this episode, we examine the results of Tuesday’s elections in Virginia and around the country and explore how they may impact the 2018 midterms. We also dig into the results for local races here in Colorado. Virginia Election Results On Tuesday night, Democrats finally got the post-Trump wins they’ve been waiting for, in Virginia and around the country. As reporter Gabriel Debenedetti notes for Politico: “Democratic leaders reset their expectations for the 2018 midterms. They’re now expecting a fundraising and candidate recruitment surge, powered by grassroots fury at the Trump administration.” Whether that surge materializes around the country remains to be seen. Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist has 5 Takeaways on Virginia’s Election Sweep for Democrats, pointing to the stark difference between Gillespie’s performance this year – 9 point loss – and his 2014 Senate race where he lost by less than a percentage point to Mark Warner. There are a few plausible explanations, but the simple fact is that

  • EP 40: A Look at the 2018 U.S. Senate Map

    EP 40: A Look at the 2018 U.S. Senate Map

    19/10/2017 Duração: 01h17min

    In this episode, we look at the 2018 U.S. Senate map and discuss current events as they relate to each state. We’ll focus on Steve Bannon’s efforts to recruit candidates to challenge Republican incumbents. 2018 U.S. Senate Map Today we are going to cover 19 states that have an election for the United States Senate. The 2018 elections for the United States Senate is heading up. Politico – Democrats see path to Senate majority in 2018 – where Senator Chris Murphy comments that: “The map feels a little different today than it did a few weeks ago. We might be playing a little more offense. At the same time, we don’t have a lot of bandwidth for offense given the defense we have to play.” At the same time, Senate Republicans are increasingly nervous, and are worried that if they fail to pass tax reform it would lead to further disgust among both donors and voters. Still, NRSC chair Cory Gardner notes that: “We run knowing the majority is on the line. There’s no doubt about it. But the fact is, they have 10 seats

  • EP 39: Redistricting is Coming

    EP 39: Redistricting is Coming

    31/08/2017 Duração: 38min

    In this episode we talk all about the art of redistricting, gerrymandering, what it is and why it matters. Segment 1: What is Redistricting? Simply put, redistricting is the process by which new congressional and state legislative districts are drawn. The reason redistricting is necessary is that population growth does not occur equally across states or districts, and so following the completion of the United States Census every ten years, the districts must be “redrawn” to ensure that districts have nearly equal populations. For the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, this means that every ten years, some states lose one or more congressional districts while others gain them. For the last round of redistricting, following the 2010 Census, ten states (IL, IA, LA, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NY, OH and PA) lost at least one district, while eight states (AZ, FL, GA, NV, SC, TX, UT, and WA) gained seats, with Texas gaining four. Looking at projections on who will gain and lose seats after 2020, a lot

  • EP 38: What Does Steve Bannon’s White House Exit Mean for the Republican Party?

    EP 38: What Does Steve Bannon’s White House Exit Mean for the Republican Party?

    24/08/2017 Duração: 01h04min

    In this episode, we examine the behavior and agenda of former White House Senior Advisor Steve Bannon. We discuss his politics, his influence on Donald Trump, and his self-described enemies list. Most importantly, what impact will Steve Bannon have on the thinking of Republican primary voters. Segment 1: Who is Steve Bannon and Why Does He Matter? Steve Bannon is 62 years old and has a very interesting background. He grew up in Virginia, served in the U.S. Navy, graduated from Harvard Business School in 1985, was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, was a documentary filmmaker and ran the conservative newspaper and website Breitbart News.  Some interesting side notes, he brokered a deal that landed him an ownership stake in blockbuster TV series Seinfeld. He also produced documentaries about the Tea Party called The Battle for America in 2010, and The Undefeated in 2011. In August of 2016 Steve Bannon was introduced as the CEO of Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. He was credited for sharpening Donald T

  • EP 37: GOP Congressional Agenda, Sen. Jeff Flake, Gov. Jim Justice and Walker Stapleton’s Super PAC

    EP 37: GOP Congressional Agenda, Sen. Jeff Flake, Gov. Jim Justice and Walker Stapleton’s Super PAC

    10/08/2017 Duração: 01h05min

    In this episode we discuss a grab bag of political topics, including the challenges facing the Republican Congress when they return from their August recess, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s criticism of President Trump, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s switch to the Republican Party and Walker Stapleton’s super-PAC. Segment 1: Congressional Recess • The basis for our first segment on the Congressional recess is a Wall Street Journal article (Congressional Recess, Full Plate Keep the Heat on GOP Lawmakers) from over the weekend. • The article highlights the desire of Congressional Republicans to shift their focus to tax reform over the next four weeks, but notes that as members return home and meet with constituents, they may find it difficult to move on from the contentious legislative fight over healthcare reform. • The problem for Congressional Republicans on healthcare is really twofold. For one, many voters in swing states and districts still support the ACA, and are therefore very critical of attempts t

  • EP 36: Reviewing the Fundraising Totals for Colorado Candidates

    EP 36: Reviewing the Fundraising Totals for Colorado Candidates

    04/08/2017 Duração: 01h06min

    In this episode, we discuss the latest fundraising totals for the Democrat and Republican candidates for Governor and other down ballot races. Segment #1 Fundraising Totals for Governor In the first segment we discuss how much money candidates raised in the election for Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer and Congressional District 5. Republican Victor Mitchell - $3 million, $2.7 million on hand Republican Doug Robinson - $208,000, personal loan of $57,000 Republican George Brauchler - $183,000, including $12,700 transfer Republican Lew Gaiter – Larimer County Commissioner - $6,270 Republican Steve Barlock – Trump supporter – just announced Democrat Mike Johnston, State Senator, $301,365, first quarter $632,721 Democrat Cary Kennedy, former Treasurer, Deputy Mayor of Denver - $339,680 Democrat Jared Polis, Congressman - $250,000 self-check Democrat Ed Perlmutter, Congressman - $340,000 Attorney General Republican Cynthia Coffman, incumbent - $8,050 Democrat Phil Weiser, former dean of CU Law School, - $355

  • EP 35: An Interview with Ian Silverii of Progress Now Colorado Part 2

    EP 35: An Interview with Ian Silverii of Progress Now Colorado Part 2

    27/07/2017 Duração: 01h08min

    In this episode, continue our discussion with ProgressNow Colorado’s executive director Ian Silverii. We discuss the most competitive State House districts in Colorado for the upcoming 2018 elections. Overview of Battleground State House Districts Following up on our discussion of the Colorado’s battleground Senate Districts podcast, we now take a look at the State House, where Democrats won back three seats that they lost in 2014 and now hold a 37-28 advantage. Republicans need to flip five seats, and so we narrow our discussion to five districts plus a bonus Pueblo County district. House District 3 – Dem Jeff Bridges, 52.5% in 2016 / Kagan 50.7% in 2014 This Arapahoe County district has long been elusive for Republicans. It is culturally and economically diverse, as it includes Cherry Hills Village and Greenwood Village to the east and Englewood and Sheridan to the west. Active registration shows a plurality of unaffiliated voters, 19,149, with 16,965 Democrats and 15,340 Republicans. In 2014, Republican

  • EP 34: An Interview with Ian Silverii of Progress Now Colorado (Part 1 of 2)

    EP 34: An Interview with Ian Silverii of Progress Now Colorado (Part 1 of 2)

    20/07/2017 Duração: 01h15min

    In this episode, we welcome our first guest on the show, ProgressNow Colorado’s Ian Silverii. Ian Silverii provides an experienced and informed Democrat point of view to our discussion about the national and Colorado political landscape. Topics that are discussed include Congressman Ed Perlmutter’s withdrawal from the Governor’s race, Donald Trump’s influence on our elections, and a wide range of state and national political trends. This episode is a good one. Segment 1: Introduction of Ian Silverii of Progress Now Colorado Congressman Perlmutter’s withdrawal from the Governor’s race, coupled with a seemingly ever-increasing GOP field for Governor, has made for an interesting start to the summer. What does it all mean for next year? With Perlmutter’s exit, will Jared Polis be able to easily lock up the Democratic nomination for Governor? Or are we still looking at a bruising primary? And in the age of Trump, how should each party approach the 2018 midterms? Ian Silverii biography, worked for state party an

  • EP 33: Five Insights From the Clinton Campaign Memoir, Shattered

    EP 33: Five Insights From the Clinton Campaign Memoir, Shattered

    13/07/2017 Duração: 48min

    In this episode, the Magellan team discusses five insights into the 2016 Clinton Presidential Campaign memoir, Shattered. It is a fascinating book, and delivers a well-documented, truthful story of what happened to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016.  Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign is a New York Times best seller that came out this past April. The book is co-authored by veteran journalists Jonathan Allen of Politico and Bloomberg News, and senior White House correspondent for the The Hill, Amie Parnes. These journalists were very familiar with their subject, having penned another book about Hillary Clinton back in 2014, called HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. That book told a mostly positive story of Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. Insight #1: It Was Never Clear Why Hillary was Running Ask yourself, what was Hillary Clinton’s message? Why was she running for President? The first chapter of the b

  • EP 32: Evaluating Jared Polis and the Democrat Candidates for Colorado Governor

    EP 32: Evaluating Jared Polis and the Democrat Candidates for Colorado Governor

    15/06/2017 Duração: 46min

    In this episode, we discuss the big announcement of Congressman Jared Polis’s entry into the Democratic race for Colorado Governor. The discussion also covers the impact on the other Democrat candidates in the race, and who is a perceived winner or loser. Jared Polis’s Campaign Priorities – To our surprise Jared Polis has joined the race for Governor! One thing that we find fascinating about the campaign is the Congressman’s top three priorities. These are education, the environment and the economy. You can view his bio video and details about his campaign at  Promises for Education – On the issue of public education, which is ALWAYS a top priority among Democrat voters in Colorado, Jared Polis pledges to establish universal full day kindergarten and preschool in every community across the state. This is a goal that has long been sought after by progressive Democrat groups. It is an issue that is also appealing to unaffiliated voters, primarily because it is a clear example of helpi

  • EP 31: An Analysis of the 2018 Senate Battleground Districts in Colorado

    EP 31: An Analysis of the 2018 Senate Battleground Districts in Colorado

    25/05/2017 Duração: 45min

    In this episode, we look ahead to 2018 at key State Senate districts in Colorado, and provide insight into how we view the fundamental demographics and the true competitiveness of each district. Key State Senate Districts Senate District 3 - Democrat Leroy Garcia won this Pueblo district with just under 55% of the vote in 2014. He defeated Republican George Rivera, who had replaced Angela Giron in the 2013 recall election following her support of new gun control legislation. Interestingly, Senator Garcia voted with Senate Republicans this past session on a bill that would have repealed the one piece of that gun control legislation – the limit on the size of ammunition magazines. Senate District 5 – Democrat Kerry Donovan won this mountain-based district with 49% of the vote in 2014, defeating Republican Don Suppes by 1,300 votes in a race where a Libertarian candidate also received 2,374 votes. Senator Donovan also voted with Senate Republicans on the magazine limit repeal, and she has also championed effort

  • EP 30: Colorado Legislative Session Wrap-Up

    EP 30: Colorado Legislative Session Wrap-Up

    19/05/2017 Duração: 54min

    In this episode, we discuss the end of the Colorado legislative session, which big issues were tackled, and where there still remains work to be done. We’ll refer back to our January 10thpodcast on which issues were top priorities – that podcast can be found here. Show Segments Fixing Colorado’s Crowded Crumbling Roads – Governor Hickenlooper, in discussing last week the potential for a special sessions, had this to say about transportation: “If we don’t invest in transportation, if we don’t invest and make sure we’re out ahead of this, growth in Colorado will stop.” Clearly the governor does not view the transportation provisions of Senate Bill 267 to be sufficient. So can lawmakers claim any success on transportation? Construction Defects Overhaul – After Republican Rep. Cole Wist and Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett agreed to take the lead and partner on the issue, the legislature was able to pass House Bill 1279, which eases builders’ legal burden for construction defects. Energy vs. the Environment – In

  • EP 29: Colorado Voter Opinion Survey Results Part 2

    EP 29: Colorado Voter Opinion Survey Results Part 2

    11/05/2017 Duração: 54min

    In this episode, we finish discussing the results of our Colorado survey. We cover the topics of repealing and replacing Obamacare and how well the Democrat and Republican parties are connecting with Colorado voters. We also discuss voter opinion of a building a wall along the Mexican border, the Trump administration’s temporary travel ban from seven Muslim countries and withholding federal funding from cities that do not enforce our nation’s immigration laws. Overview Among likely 2018 voters, 63% think that the Republican Party is out of touch and 60% think that the Democratic Party is out of touch. Respondents are split on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), as 48% oppose the legislation and 47% support it. When asked how they want Congress to handle Obamacare, a clear majority of 60% wants to keep what works and fix what doesn’t. That number is far lower among Republicans, as 40% would prefer that that law is repealed and that Congress would start over with new healthcare legislation. When asked about s

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