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Voters’ Mood up in 2004

Is State Going in the Right Direction
or on the Wrong Track?

Question: Overall, would you say things are generally going in the right direction or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track here in Colorado? Surveys were conducted with voters in September, October or November of year listed.

The mood of Colorado voters improved in 2004. A key metric in judging voters’ overall sense of well being for the state is the “right direction/wrong track” question. Ciruli Associates surveys have tracked voter opinion on the direction of the state since 1988. The most recent high point was 68% “right direction” in the fall of 1998 when the economy was deep in the stock market’s bull run and, of course, before 9/11. The recent low was in 2003 (49% right direction) as the recession lingered and the state suffered fires, drought and fiscal gridlock. Opinion shifted in 2004 when Coloradoans’ view turned sharply up; 58% now believe Colorado is “generally going in the right direction.”

Republican voters (81% right direction) are more upbeat than Democrats (31% right direction); men (62% right direction) more than women (55% right direction) and young (67% right direction) more than old (51% right direction).

Unlike Colorado, the national mood remained in the doldrums throughout 2004. The Gallup poll shows that more Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. The last Gallup pre-election survey reported that 44% of Americans believe the country is going in the right direction and 55% believe it is on the wrong track. Colorado voters are only slightly more optimistic about the nation. In the Ciruli Associates pre-election survey, 47% believed it is going in the right direction and 46% say it is on the wrong track.

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