#Denver Election: Ballots Drop; Where’s the Race? — The Buzz

Click the link to read the article on The Buzz website (Floyd Ciruli):

I just spent last week in conversation with a dozen leaders in business, media (retired), campaign consulting (none working the Denver Mayors race), former Denver officeholders, and other sectors (water, culture, nonprofits). Also, I assembled the latest polling and public campaign finance contributions.

I have the following observations:

1) There is a front line — Brough, Johnston, Herod, Calderon, and Hansen — but no front runner. However, Hansen doesn’t seem to have momentum yet from his early media. Councilwoman Ortega appears to be stuck in a second tier.

Brough and Johnston are the two strongest establishment candidates, according to polling and contributions, including dark money. Johnston just received the Denver Post endorsement, which should provide a boost. Advertising quality and quantity will be important since the candidates don’t appear to have generated much grassroots passion. Total contributions: $1.7 million Brough to $1.6 million Johnston. The table shows contributions matched by the Fair Election Fund.

2) Calderon and Herod have strong progressive identities and ethnic constituencies, and have been local candidates. Assuming one progressive makes the runoff, ethnic turnout and money will help. Herod has a money advantage, but Calderon sounds angry and many in the electorate are ready to shake up the system.

3) Crime dominated the race in Chicago and L.A. Although Bass, the progressive, won in L.A., she had to adapt to it. Crime is also big in Denver but complicated. Blending tough love and some new ideas isn’t easy with vigilant advocates, not many ready proven programs, and an ambivalent electorate.

4) For all the effort to control campaign spending and level the playing field with tax payers’ dollars, dark money is flooding into preferred apparent leaders and giving Brough, Johnston and Herod a big final push. Mostly the government money encouraged a record field of candidates (17).

5) Why no breakout? No personality or grassroots upsurge has pushed a candidate into the front. Mostly it appears to be a lack of any dominant idea or look within the campaigns. There is no “Imagine a Great City.”

Brough in Lead – Most Voters Undecided — The Buzz @FloydCiruli

First debate in race for Denver mayor: Candidates give their views on affordability and the cost of living in Denver Photo: 9news.com

With only three weeks until ballots go out, 59 percent of Denver voters have little idea as to who they will vote for on April 4th, election day. Kelly Brough appears to be the front runner (8%) in a field of candidates few know. Her lead is less than the margin of error over second place Leslie Herod (6%).

Brough is the last name on the ballot, but first in fundraising. The March financial reports will likely show her in an ever more substantial lead. Expect media advertising to begin shortly.

The poll was sponsored by a business political committee, no doubt concerned that voters are not yet engaged.