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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesCrossley Center for Public Opinion Research

Crossley Center

Conferences and Events

From Speakers' Series and events on campus, to participation in regional, national and international conferences, the Crossley Center provides opportunities for students to learn from experts, present research and network.


Summer Seminar for University of Denver OLLI

Professor Floyd Ciruli will offer the lead-off summer seminar for the University of Denver’s OLLI program. The seminar is titled “The Outsiders: The Year Voter Anger Upended the Establishment.”

The OLLI summer seminar flyer states:

Floyd Ciruli will handicap the U.S. presidential nomination and its effect on American foreign policy. He will discuss voter anger in America, citizen dissatisfaction with the global economy, and how politics in Europe affect the U.S. Ciruli believes the 2016 election will bring significant change to America and its foreign policy.

Presenter: Floyd Ciruli, Colorado’s leading pollster and director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Denver. Floyd is a well-known political commentator, lecturer and blogger.

The Ciruli seminar is one of eight that take on interesting and current topics from DU and other local experts. See flyer here

Foreign Policy is a Major Issue in the 2016 Presidential Election

Foreign policy has already become a major topic in the 2016 presidential election.

Both parties’ debates, a cascade of events and polling results have placed America’s position in the world and specific topics, such as the Middle East, terrorism, Iran and the South China Sea, into the public and candidates’ consciences. But regardless of foreign policy topicality, the next president will have significant influence on policy. And the signs are policy could change dramatically.

A panel at the American Association of Public Opinion Research conference in Austin this May has been organized by Floyd Ciruli of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research on foreign policy as a significant issue in the 2016 campaign. Three nationally known researchers will join Ciruli to examine the impact of events, partisanship, elections, media and public opinion on the foreign policy of the next president.

papor presenters

Conference and the Year of the Outsider

Mark Baldassare, public opinion researcher and President and CEO of California’s leading public policy think tank – the Public Policy Institute of California – joined a group of public opinion pollsters to analyze the 2016 presidential campaign at the Pacific Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research in December 2015. And excerpt from Mark’s presentation:

Californians’ Views of Political Outsiders

One of the early surprises in the 2016 presidential election is the strength of polling support for primary candidates who have never held elected office. A recent Pew national survey also found that Americans chose "new ideas and a different approach” by a wide margin over "experience and a proven record” when asked what was more important in a presidential candidate (57% to 36%). What are the political ramifications of this emerging national trend for the 2016 California elections?

Californians have a storied history of choosing political outsiders, electing movie stars Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger as their governors. But in the past five years, career politicians have won by wide margins over political outsiders with business credentials. Voters chose Jerry Brown over Meg Whitman and Barbara Boxer over Carly Fiorina in 2010 and Jerry Brown over Neel Kashkari in 2014.

PPIC’s recent polling does not show a swing toward political outsiders among Californians this year either. When we repeated the Pew survey question in a recent PPIC Statewide Survey, California adults were less likely to say they favor new ideas over experience than their national counterparts (51% to 41%). More importantly, California likely voters are closely divided on new ideas versus experience (46% to 44%).

papor panel 2

Crossley Scholars Present Poster Session at PAPOR Conference

Chelsea Bartholomew and Gina Jannone, Crossley Scholars at the Korbel School of International Studies, presented a poster at the Pacific Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research in December 2015 on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on U.S. and European public opinion and its political and policy impact. An excerpt from the Crossley Scholars panel presentation:

Western Europe:

Although they have faced nowhere near the volume of Syrian refugees as Middle Eastern states that surround the war-torn country, European nations have experienced a significant increase in 2015. Western European leaders and publics, with the exception of the far-right wings of each, have largely been welcoming of these refugees, viewing it as a humanitarian duty to aid them. However, the combination of more and more refugees continuing to pour across borders and last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris appear to be increasingly calling this welcome into question.

United States:

While the disturbing images and stories of refugees fleeing Syria generated notable interest from the American public from a humanitarian perspective, the attacks in Paris, France, and subsequent terror attacks appear to have dominated the debate over increasing the number of Syrian refugees allowed to resettle in the United States. This environment differs in some ways from that of Europe, where the debate over refugees is certainly framed in security terms by far-right political parties, but is also driven by issues of humanitarianism and integration.

chelsea and gina


Beyond 2016: American Global Strategy in a Changing World

OLLI Symposium featuring Korbel School Dean Chris Hill: "America's Post Cold War Foreign Policy," and Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli: "The 2016 Presidential Contest and Its Impact on American Foreign Policy"

9:30-2:30, December 3, 2015, Sturm Hall. OLLI members: $40; guests: $60 (includes lunch and parking). To register: 303-871-3090

Speaker's Series on the Middle East

"American Public Opinion and the Middle East: From the Arab Spring to the Iran Nuclear Agreement to the Russian Escalation," presented by Chicago Council on Global Affairs Public Opinion Expert Dina Smeltz, Dean Chris Hill, and Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli. 

The Middle East has been a cauldron of change and crises since the first manifestation of the Arab Spring in 2010. How do Americans now view the Middle East in light of the most recent developments: ISIL, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and Russia in Syria?

Noon, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Room SIE 150, Korbel School of International Studies.

Preview the Debate: The 2016 Presidential Contest and Its Impact on American Foreign Policy

On May 19, 2015, the Crossley Center sponsored the first in its series of programs tracking the 2016 presidential election and its potential impact on American foreign policy. The Crossley Center joined with the Korbel School to present a review of the status of the presidential election and candidates, the foreign policy positions of the leading candidates, and general direction of public opinion on the major foreign policy issues in the Middle East, Cuba, Central Europe and the Far East.

Professor Floyd Ciruli, Director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, joined Former Ambassador Christopher Hill, Dean of the Korbel School, in a panel discussion moderated by Brandon Rittiman, 9News award-winning political reporter.

The PowerPoint used in the presentation can be found here.

The issues reviewed highlight a series of public opinion tensions that are shaping today's foreign policy debate, including:

• Foreign policy is growing in importance to the public in the 2016 election, but a majority is still more concerned with the economy and general failures of government. However, events, media coverage and elite conversations continue to keep foreign policy in the public's awareness.

• The general view is that America has grown weaker and less respected, and that President Obama is "not tough enough." But the majority still want the U.S. to mostly focus on domestic problems and not deal with other countries' problems. Republicans are more concerned with foreign policy than Democrats, and are much more likely to view Obama as weak.

• Americans believe ISIS is a threat and support current policy, but also believe the policy is not working. They are still reluctant to put "boots on the ground" and very leery of casualties in Iraq.

• Also, they see Iran's nuclear ambitions as a threat and prefer negotiations over conflict. But they don't like the regime or its behavior towards its neighbors. And, they don't trust Iran to live up to any agreement.

• Russian behavior is viewed as a threat, but Americans are hesitant to escalate conflict. They want the EU and Germany to handle it. However, the EU and Germany are even less likely to take on Russia.

• The world perceives China as a leading global power. The U.S. sees it as a serious competitor and is worried about possible conflict. Americans like Japan, but are ambivalent about encouraging its military build-up.

Although public opinion provides many mixed signals, Republican candidates are moving to a more interventionist and militaristic posture. Democratic candidates, for the most part, avoid the issues and blame President G.W. Bush as often as possible. Examining a scatter plot, which estimates the positions of the candidates based on their statements regarding foreign policy, the next president is likely to be more inclined to intervene and more likely to use force than President Obama, but, of course, governing is different than campaigning. 

scatter plot


2015 Pacific Chapter of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (PAPOR) Annual Conference, San Francisco, Dec. 9-11, 2015

Crossley Scholars Gina Jannone and Chelsea Bartholomew have been selected to present a poster at the 2015 PAPOR annual conference. The poster is titled "Syria Rising: Has the Syrian Refugee Crises Shifted U.S. Public Opinion?"


Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli has organized a panel on the 2016 presidential election at the 2015 PAPOR conference: "2016 - The Year of the Outsider."

Panelists will examine the trends effecting national- and state-level American politics that have culminated in the significant challenges within both parties, in Congress, and the presidential nomination process that extols non-politicians and denigrates established politicians. John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, Hillary Clinton, and Jeb Bush are the highest profile targets of the phenomena. Beneficiaries are the Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House and the list of outsider-type candidates excelling in the presidential race: Trump, Carson, Fiorina, and Sanders.

The phenomenon is not new in American politics, from Ross Perot in 1992 to the 1994 Contract with America and the 2010 rise of the Tea Party. The panel will examine some of the historical and state-level origins and factors and likely implications for the 2016 national and state elections.

Panel members:

  • Chair: Floyd Ciruli, Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, Colorado
  • Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey, California
  • Mark Baldassare, Public Policy Institute of California, California
  • Stuart Elway, Elway Research, Washington
  • Anthony Salvanto, CBS News, New York (invited)

Ambassador Mamet Welcomes Crossley Center to Argentina

U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, Noah Mamet, welcomed Floyd and KK Ciruli to the beautiful ambassador residence, the Bosch Palace, in June. Floyd Ciruli, Director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research, was in Argentina to join polling colleagues from around the world for the World Association of Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) conference. The WAPOR meets yearly for presentations, panels and papers on major public opinion topics.

Professor Ciruli presented a paper on the historical, political and public opinion context concerning the U.S. change in policy toward Cuba. Ambassador Mamet pointed out the positive effect the policy changes have had for Latin American diplomats.

The Crossley Center is a part of the University of Denver's Korbel School of International Studies. Professor Ciruli also participated in a panel with international public opinion experts titled: "Polls, Media and Elections," organized by Kathy Frankovic, former polling director/CBS News.

Ambassador Mamet (below left) is a California resident and a UCLA graduate.

Argentine Ambassador Residence

Argentine Ambassador residence

WAPOR 2015 World Conference - June 2015, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Crossley Center was  represented in a plenary session, "Polls, Elections and the Media," at the World Association of Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) conference held in Buenos Aires in June 2015. The session moderator was former CBS News public opinion expert, Professor Kathy Frankovic.

Panel participants included:

  • Marjorie Connelly: 33-year, recently retired polling editor of the New York Times
  • Alejandro Moreno: Pollster for Mexican newspaper, Reforma; immediate past president of WAPOR; professor at ITAM
  • Luis Eduardo Gonzalez: Longtime pollster in Uruguay; founder of polling firm CIFRA
  • Manuel Mora y Araujo: Pollster in Argentina with own firm
  • Sir Robert Worcester: Pre-eminent pollster in Great Britain; leading the 800-year celebration of the Magna Carta
  • Floyd Ciruli: Colorado pollster; director of the Crossley Center for Public Opinion Research at the Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

This panel discussed polling, especially election polling, in its international context. Main topics included the quality of polling, its reporting, and the impact of changes in technology and techniques.

Other plenary panels concerned recent Latin American elections and their continent-wide trends, and the coming presidential election in Argentina.

PAPOR 2014 Western Conference – December 11-12, 2014, San Francisco 

Faculty and students from the Crossley Center participated in the Pacific Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research's annual conference in San Francisco. Crossley Scholars Kevin Stay and Aaron Schonhoff presented a poster, "Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in Colorado, A Political Milestone: Outpost or Tipping Point." Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli organized a panel, "Midterm elections and the Forecast: Accuracy and Impact" on December 12, 2104. He presented a paper "Nationalized Colorado Election: Forecasts and Polling."

2014 WAPOR Conference – September 4-6, Nice, France

Two papers originating in the Crossley Center were accepted by the World Association of Public Opinion Research's (WAPOR) 2014 conference. 

The Obama Policy of Restraint – What's Next in American Foreign Policy?

Syria: Public Opinion Cul-de-Sac

AAPOR 2014 National Conference – May 15-18, Anaheim, California

Crossley Scholars assisted Crossley Center Director Floyd Ciruli with the panel presentation, "2014 Wave or No Wave: Mid-Term Election Review." Panel participants included:

  • Jon Cohen, Survey Monkey
  • Anthony Salvanto, CBS News
  • Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners
  • Mark DiCamillo, Field Research California
  • Mark Blumenthal, founder of; now with Huffington Post