Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wictory Wednesday.

For our conservative and/or Republican readers, go to this link. Hugh Hewitt is on the ball when it comes to the races for control of the United States Senate.

For a look at the competitive Colorado State Senate seats that Senate President John Andrews is targeting go to

Joe is still working on his Ottoman Empire book, but don't be discouraged my liberal readers, I'm certain he'll have a post for me to send to you shortly.

Technology Tuesday.

If you don't know what VoIP is, now is the time to learn. This article is the place to start.

In the past we thought that we would have video-phones. Instead, it appears that the PC is taking the place of the telephone. We now have a functional video phone, only it does so much more.

Telephone companies are slowly learning that they have a commodity, not a monopoly. Look for a shake-up in that industry in the near future. I suggest, if any of you are investors, that you place some bets on the companies that are pioneering VoIP today. Chances are that most of them won't be around in a decade, but you'll make a handsome profit off of those that are.

And as a extra dividend, they are finally putting the squeeze on the "baby bells" which effectively screwed their customers for a generation.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Update on the Colorado senate race.

Update: 10/11/2004

Our new update for the Coors vs. Salazar Senate races comes from the three most recent polls. The Gallup Poll from 10/03-10/06 Gives Salazar a 11 point edge, Salazar 54, Coors 43. Mason/Dixon had a poll from 10/04-10/06. It gave Salazar a 2 point lead, Salazar 46, Coors 44. The most recent poll shows a dead heat. SUSA's poll from 10/05-10/07 had the race at a dead heat. Coors 48, Salazar 48.

As such our new prediction is Coors (((43+44+48)/3)+4)= 49; Salazar ((54+46+48)/3)= 49.33.

Ken Salazar is now our predicted winner. Our old figures were Coors 53.2%, Salazar 46.6% on 9/28/2004 and Coors 50.33%, Salazar 48.66% on 10/08/2004.

Original Post: 9/28/2004
Our most recent projection for the Coors vs. Salazar senate race is Coors 52.3% and Salazar 46.6%.

We looked at several factors in constructing this projection.

Firstly, and surprisingly, there seems to be no strong correlation between the funding advantage that one senate candidate has and the percentage of the vote that that candidate received. For example, in 2002 the Republican candidate got 50.5% of the total campaign donations and 51% of the vote, the Democratic senate candidate got 49.5% of the total campaign donations and received 46% of the vote. In 1998, a similar correlation existed, with the GOP candidate getting 62.5% of the financing pie and 62% of the vote and the Democratic candidate getting 37.5% of the financing pie and 35% of the vote. However in 1996 and 1992 the correlation was reversed. The GOP candidate in 1996 got 43.5% of the total campaign donations and received 51% of the vote, while the Democrat got 56.5% of the campaign donations and got 46% of the vote. In 1992 the Republican got 58% of the financing pie and 43% of the vote, while the Democrat got 42% of the funds and 52% of the vote.

The most recent fundraising numbers that I have seen show that Salazar has out fundraised Coors by a margin of 6-4. If that margin reaches 7-3, then I will take the fundraising advantage into account in the equation, until then, I have to stick to the step wise regression that says that it is not statistically significant.

Throwing out the fundraising numbers, I’m left only with past polls and final election results (registration numbers also are not statistically significant, but we are looking into a “strength of primary win” variable). No Democrat has ever won with over 52% of the vote in a Colorado senate election. Ben Campbell won with that amount in 1992. A Democrat has won a senate election in Colorado two other times since 1978. In 1980 with 50.3 of the vote and in 1986 with 50%.

I also looked at the periodicity of the vote. Maybe Dems scored better during Presidential election years (the big turnout argument). Since 1978 there have been nine senate elections in Colorado. The average Democratic vote percentage during midterm elections was 42.6%, during Presidential election years it was 45.825%. So we can estimate that during an average Presidential election year the Democrat should see a 3% bounce from the higher voter turnout.

As for the polling. There seems to be a consistent polling error of about 7 % against the Republican. In 1998 a Cirulli poll showed Campbell (R) beating Lamm (D) 54%-33%. 2002 showed a similar pattern, the average of two Zogby polls and a USA Today/Gallup poll showed Allard (R) getting 45.6% of the vote and Strickland winning with 47.6%. On election night Allard won with 51% to Strickland’s 46%.

As such, we simply adjust the poll numbers to give the GOP candidate a 4% bump, this should correct for the polling error seen in the last two elections (which were both midterm elections) and the increased voter turnout.

This formula is the most efficient one we have now, however, it is subject to change before election day.

For our calculations we used the three most recent polls, which you can access here.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Coming up this week.

This is going to be a busy week at Mile High Delphi. After a long Yom Kippur break, from which we wish that all of your names shall be added to the book of life, we will dive into some serious modeling.

On Monday we will add a "Current Projections" area to the top right of the screen.

On Tuesday we will continue our technology series and we will update the Senate race between Coors and Salazar.

On Wednesday we will focus on the competitive House races and we will continue the "Wictory Wednesday" series.

Thursday will see a recap of the state legislative races.

Friday we will issue our projections on all of the state wide referenda plus FasTracks.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sorry for the delay.

Hey everyone, I couldn't get to a PC today, and my Mac won't support these graphs, so I'll try and post some more graphs tomorrow.

Some food for thought as you wait.

In 2002 the polls predicted (an average of the last three taken) that Allard (R) would get 45.6% and Strickland (D) would get 47.6%. The final results were 51% for Allard and 46% for Strickland.

In 1998 the polls showed Ben Campbell (R) defeating Lamm (D) 54%-33%. The final results were 62% to 35%.

Something to think about when looking at this elections polls.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Delphi on Colorado: FasTracks.

As promised I will begin to unveil how I come up with my projections, starting first with FasTracks.

If you click here you will be taken to a graph that shows the original graph that I did using just the Guide the Ride poll data from 1997 and the final election result.

Why even look at a referendum that failed 7 years ago. Well, in business you access things, such as how much you should pay for a company, or what the fair price of an IPO stock is by looking at comparables. FasTracks is, in most ways, a repackaged Guide the Ride. Therefore, Guide the Ride is the most apt example we have of a FasTracks like referendum.

A word on reading the graphs. At the top is the actual regression equation. In all cases C2 refers to the percentage vote in favor of Guide the Ride and C1 refers to the number of days before the election. The equation that I produced explains about 90% of variation in the expected vote percentage based simply upon how far the referendum is away from election day. It also predicted that Guide the Ride would fail with 46.67% of the vote.

As we have begun to look at FasTracks, one thing is certain, it, like other referendums before it, will lose support before election day. The question is, will the decrease in support level off before election day, or will it increase? And will it matter if the support for FasTracks is in the 60s. The regression that I had built using the same quadratic equation as the Guide the Ride equation proved unsatisfactory to me. If you click here you can see why. I can only explain about three quarters of the variation in the model, and the points are not very well defined around the regression line.

This lead to the most recent incarnation of the FasTracks model, which is a cubic equation. As such it fits the data more exactly, explaining almost 80% of the variation in the model.

Some questions remain unsolved. Should I weight the election result in '97 more heavily than other poll results. I probably should since an election should have a much higher statistical significance than a poll. However, I haven't weighted the 42% vote in 1997 more heavily than any other poll. The reason is that I have heard much criticism over 1997 being an off year election, and that more pro FasTracks people will show up in an presidential election year. While that isn't what the Guide the Ride supporters were saying in 1997, I can respect that today. So I figure that by not weighting the vote in '97, I am in fact, correcting for the increased voter turnout in this presidential election year.

So now the Mile High Delphi prediction is that FasTracks will lose with 47% of the vote. However, three or four more polls in the 60s could swing the model around to predicting a narrow victory.

Hope you enjoy the graphs, tomorrow I will put up our graphs for the Senate race and for one or both of the US House Districts.

Wictory Wednesday!

While this blog trys to stay non-partisan six days a week, on Wednesdays we will devote some time to encourage everyone to donate or volunteer with a campaign.

I think that Joe is going to be doing a "Move On Monday" or he may post links to the "Texas Tuesday" liberal version of Wictory Wednesday. Since he hasn't piped in on the subject this week, I will start with recommending a liberal website that is a great place if you want to put $25 bucks to work, Markos over at DailyKos has a link to his Kos Dozen. If you want to donate to a Democratic campaign this seems to be as good a place as any to start.

I myself would like to use this first Wictory Wednesday to urge every Republican (or if you are unaffiliated, register as a Republican, or at least a Democrat, join a party and make a real difference from the inside) to register at least two people (that's what I've done so it seems like a fair challenge) and to sign up for the 96 Hour Victory Team. It may come down to GOTV this November, and we don't have any time to waste.

Also, let me add, why isn't there a Republican version of Act Blue, what a great website. The Democrats are pushing the efficient frontier, we have some catching up to do.

In the coming weeks I'll try to coordinate with some other GOP Bloggers so that we can amplify our voices and focus on the make it or break it races here in Colorado and across the nation. Who knows, maybe the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Bloggers will create the Conservative version of Act Blue, and get rich in the process.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Technology Tuesday

As a new feature here we will be rolling out daily "topical" posts. Tuesday's we'll try and bring a new technology article or subject to Mile High Delphi.

As Technology Tuesday makes its maiden voyage, lets look at an article from last week's Wall Street Journal.

Walter S. Mossberg, who does a weekly "Personal Technology" article wrote a piece on Thursday last week on "how to protect yourself from vandals, viruses. If you use windows".

In short Mr. Mossberg has eight suggestions.

Firstly, you can opt out of using a windows PC. This post comes to you via an iMac. Newer Macs can operate MS Office, and the files that it produces are compatable with MS Office for Windows.

If your turned off by Macs, you can always follow option two, Halting Hackers with software. Mr. Mossberg recommends that the first thing you do is buy a software firewall. Hopefully one that doesn't just stop hackers from getting in but that stops suspicious programs already on your PC from sending out info. Zone Labs offers a free firewall available here. Use the Zone Labs firewall instead of the wimpy one you probably have on your PC.

If you have a broadband connection or a home network, Mr. Mossberg recommends that you make sure that your modem or router has a NAT. A NAT, or Network Address Translation makes it harder for hackers to even find your PC on the internet. Even with a NAT make sure you have a firewall, it won't protect you from all attacks and the firewall is your second line of defense.

Thirdly you need a strong antivirus program. Try Norton AntiVirus ($50), not the lame security suite but the stand alone progam.

Fourth, stop that spyware. Antivirus programs don't stop spyware. Try Spy Sweeper($30) from Webroot software. It not only will stop all spyware you encounter in the future, but it will clean out the stuff that is already infesting you PC now.

Fifth, stop spam. No anti-spam program is perfect, but MailFrontier Desktop($30) is the best. If you are sick and tired of spam then turn on the "challenge" feature. It forces unknown senders to pass a simple test that baffles spammers.

Sixth, browse safely. Dump MS Internet Explorer web browser. Try Mozilla Firefox(free). More secure, more modern, more advanced, ie. tabbed browsing and a better pop up blocker than MS IE.

Seventh, be careful. Never download software unless you are sure of the source. If a website requires a special plug in, be careful. Common viewer software, like those from Real Networks, Apple or Macromedia should only be downloaded from those companies' offical sites.

Lastly, stay current. Install MS's new SP2 update. and install all the "critical updates" MS issues for Windows.

I highly recommend the Wall Street Journal. I started reading my bosses copy during lunch when I was 18. The editorial page changed my life and made my professors miserable.

If you want, you can contact Mr. Mossberg at

Monday, September 13, 2004

Current Projections for Colorado and The United States.

U.S. President: Bush
U.S. Senate 52 Republicans, 47 Democrats and 1 Ind.
U.S. House 234 Republicans, 201 Democrats (including Sanders of Vermont).

U.S. Senate Coors (R) 49%, Salazar (D) 48%.
U.S. House HD 1 Dem. HD 2 Dem. HD 3 See below. HD 4 GOP. HD 5 GOP. HD 6 GOP. HD 7 See below.

HD 3 Salazar (D) 52% Walcher (R) 45%.
HD 7 Thomas (D) 47% Beauprez (R) 46%.

State Senate 20 Republicans, 15 Democrats.
State House 39 Republicans, 26 Democrats.

Amendment 36 - Reforming Colorado's Electorial College Vote - For 41%, Against 59%.

FasTracks - For 46%, Against 54%.

Rocky opens attack on FasTracks.

The Rocky Mountain News has taken the lead in the attack on FasTracks, the multibillion dollar transit referendum facing metro Denver voters this November 2nd.

In the first of a three part editorial series. This editorial entitled “Transit Plan Won’t Improve Our Mobility.” In this editorial the Rocky argues that while Fast Tracks will cost $4.7 billion, even The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), one of the biggest proponents of FasTracks, admits that FasTracks will have little to no impact on highway speeds in the metro area. The thesis of this editorial is that “[I]n short, FasTracks will have no perceptible impact on highway speeds - even at rush hour”.

Part two of the attack , “Bill For FasTracks Should Derail It” examines the staggering cost of the planned build out. The Rocky points out the staggering cost of adding riders to each line, this on top of the fact that the supporters of FasTracks cannot guarantee that it will significantly reduce traffic congestion. “According to the Denver Regional Council of Governments - and remember, DRCOG is a FasTracks fan - the cost per rider on the proposed rail lines will range from a low of $4.83-$5.65 in the west corridor through Lakewood to Golden to $16-$18.79 on the diesel commuter train that would run from downtown Denver up U.S. 36 and on to Longmont. That's each way in a daily commute, and those estimates include a significant proportion of riders - in some corridors, easily half - who already are taking mass transit. In other words, the cost for each new daily transit rider on the train to Longmont will certainly top $60, and most likely be substantially more.”

The Rocky closes its assault on FasTracks with this editorial. In it they close the circle by stating that FasTracks, like Guide the Ride before it, is a flawed plan that will take too many resources, over one half of all transportation dollars, and allocate those resources to at best 4% of the transportation mix, mass transit. The Rocky argues for voters to reject FasTracks, and for RTD to come back with smaller regional programs such as T-Rex.

The Rocky may be right. T-Rex won at the ballot box. Guide the Ride, a plan stunningly similar to FasTracks lost by a huge margin. It to was ahead in the polls better than 60-40 this time in that election cycle. Surely more will be written on this subject as we approach election day.

Cross posted at Polstate .

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Battle for Colorado Part Three. Overview of the State House.

In my last update I gave a predicted makeup for the Colorado State Senate, Democrats can expect 15-18 seats, the GOP can hope for 17-20. Since the State Senate has 35 members, a majority is 18 seats. The Democrats had an incredible year in 2000, the last time this batch of seats was up for election, so they are playing defense this time around. The odds on them retaking the State Senate are 4-1. However, since these districts have been redistricted some uncertainty has been added to the equations.

Today I would like to focus on the State House. Ohwillek did an excellent piece on the races for this house a few months back. Little has changed since. These races are much easier to figure out since the 2002 races were in the same districts as today. I have a map entitled Colorado House Districts Wide View. It covers House Districts 65-53, 50, 49, 46, 45, 43, 40 and 19. Of these twenty districts two are safe Democratic seats, fifteen are safe Republican seats and three are competitive.

If you click here you can go to my map entitled “Northern Front Range House Districts.” This map covers House Districts 10-13, 31, 33, 48, 51 and 52. Of these nine races four are competitive.

If you click here you can go to my map entitled “Southern Front Range Pueblo to Hampden.” This map covers House Districts 14-18, 20, 21, 25, 28, 36-39, 44 and 47. Of these 15 seats two are competitive.

If you click here you can go to my Map entitled “Metro Denver North.” This map covers House Districts 1-9, 22-24, 26, 27, 29, 32, 34, 35, 41 and 42. Of these twenty districts four are competitive.

Updates on the fourteen close races will be coming up in the next week.

The Democrats need to pick up five seats to take control of the House. They are defending seven competitive seats, the same as the Republicans. Currently the Republicans are projected to maintain control of the House.

Cross posted at Polstate.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Battle for Colorado part 2: Focus on the Metro Area State Senate Races.

Here is a look at the Denver Metro area State Senate districts that have elections this year. If you would like to see an interactive map of the districts, click here.

Senate District 17, Eastern Boulder County, features Republican Sandy Hume facing Democrat Brandon Shaffer. Shaffer has a fundraising advantage, $17,689 to Hume’s $10,095. He also has the advantage of this district electing term limited Democratic State Senator Terry Phillips by a 54% to 41% margin in 2000. This district is basically the same as it was before redistricting, and as such, it leans Democratic.

Senate District 18, the City of Boulder (or People’s Republic as some call it here) and some of central Boulder County. This is a Safe Democratic Seat. Ron Tupa is running for re-election. Since the GOP failed to even get 25% of the vote last time, look for them to lose this time around also. But if you are interested in who will be losing to Senator Tupa, click here.

Senate District 19, North Eastern Jefferson County, a toss-up. Senate District 19 is featuring what is probably the showcase battle this year. Incumbent Sue Windels (D) is looking to win a second term. She beat the very conservative Jim Congrove (R) in 2000, but the margin of her victory was smaller than the votes that the Libertarian candidate got. Also of note, this district hardly changed during redistricting. Look for a barn burner as GOP upstart Jessica Peck Corry, a 25 year old community activist and a Director at the Libertarian Independence Institute looks to take the district back for the GOP. Last time Windels won by the skin of her teeth, 49.35% to 47.5%. This time she has little choice; she can either increase her razor thin margin, or go into retirement.

Senate District 21. Incumbent Deanna Hanna (D) represents the heart of Lakewood. She is challenged by former School Board member Tori Merritts (R). Deanna Hanna beat the very conservative State House Representative Penn Pfiffner (R) in 2000. The GOP won back his old house seat last year, and they are targeting this seat this year. It is commonly accepted that if Republican moderate and former mayor of Lakewood Linda Morton would have won the primary against Pfiffner in 2000, she would have beaten any Democrat. Tori Merritts avoided a primary (as did Jessica Corry in SD 19) through some back room deals at the GOP headquarters. She seems to be the moderate that is needed to beat Deanna Hanna. However, Hanna had a convincing victory last time, 54% to 46%, and until more information becomes available, I have to say that this district leans Democratic.

Senate District 23 is an open seat, and also looks to be a featured race this election season. In 2000 Republican Ken Arnold won by .8% against Michael Massarotti, and that was with him running as an incumbent. However, this district has changed dramatically with redistricting. No longer just the south east corner of Boulder County, SD 23 now encompasses the City and County of Broomfield (which broke off from Boulder County not so long ago) and much of south west Weld County. Now in 2004 Republican Shawn Mitchell is facing off against Democrat Kurt Williams. I’m keeping this one in the toss-up category. But I have the feeling that the redistricting could change that prediction before October.

Senate District 25. Democratic incumbent Stephanie Takis should sail to an easy victory against her Republican challenger Kevin Blount. She won in 2000 with 55% of the vote. While the GOP has been making gains in Adams County, this Senate Seat is safely in Democratic hands. It would take an incredible GOTV on the part of the Republicans to win this seat. Maybe in 2008, with the completion of some more suburbs, the Republicans can make Adams County more competitive.

Senate District 26, Safe GOP. In 2000 the Democrats didn’t even field a challenger to now incumbent Jim Dyer. This time they’ve sent Jared Ingwalson to be defeated by Dyer.

Senate District 27 makes up the lions share of Arapahoe County. In 2000, before redistricting, this was a competitive district, since it was centered on the I-25 corridor near the Denver Tech Center. However, look for this race to be nowhere near as close as the 52% to 46% race in 2000. This seat leans GOP. The Democrats have Lisa Love, who has raised less than $1,000. She is facing Republican Nancy Spence, who has raised over 25 times that amount.

Senate District 28. Republican incumbent Bruce Cairns is looking to keep his seat which he won in 2000 with 52.6% of the vote. He should benefit from getting some of SD 27’s Republican parts. The Democrats have sent Suzanne Williams against Senator Cairns. This race is a target for a Democratic pickup. Suzanne Williams has raised over $40,000 (mainly from labor unions). Senator Cairns has only raised about $22,000. Until I have determined how much of a factor that extra money is in this race, I’m keeping this race in the leans GOP column.

Senate District 29. Safe Democratic. Look for Bob Hagedorn (D) to increase his margin of victory from the 11% that it was in 2000. His Republican opponent Mike Martin doesn’t have much of a chance.

Senate District 31. Safe, but open, Democratic seat. This is the Central Platte Valley. If the GOP gets more than 25% of the vote it is a victory. Look for Jennifer Veiga to enjoy her term in the State Senate as she moves up from the House. The Republicans have no one running.

Senate District 33. North East Denver, Safe Democratic seat. Peter Groff (D) is heading to an easy election since he has no opponent.

Senate District 35. Safe Democratic seat. Ken Gordon (D) is seeking re-election, this time against Ron Olson (R).

Projected make-up of Colorado State Senate: Democrats 15-18, Republicans 17-20. Structurally, since the Democrats are defending two tossups and the GOP is defending only one, it is highly unlikely for a repeat of the year 2000 when they won control of the state senate. I need to look at some more current fundraising numbers and I need to look at the new registration numbers, but I put the odds of the Democrats winning the State Senate at 4-1 subject to some changes before election day.

Cross posted at Polstate.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Upcoming posts.

Wednesday 9/8/04 Metro Area State Senate plus map. All 65 State House Seats plus one to five interactive maps.

Thursday 9/9/04 Preliminary prediction on 3rd CD (Walcher vs. Salazar).Preliminary prediction on 7th CD (Beauprez vs. Thomas).Map of Congressional Districts. All predictions will be added to top right of main page. Preliminary prediction of Senate Seat (Coors vs. Salazar).

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Map of Colorado's State Senate Districts.

I've finally done it. If you want to see a map of the Districts that I posted on earlier today, click here.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

A look at the State Senate Elections outside of the Denver Metro area.

There are five State Senate races outside of the Denver metro area.

Two of the districts, 10 and 12, both encompass parts of Colorado Springs, and the Republican incumbents, Ronnie J. May of District 10 and Andy McElhany of District 12 will face no Democratic opposition and will win re election.

District 4, the central Colorado front range, is an open seat. In the 2000 election the GOP took 59% of the vote. After redistricting more GOP areas were added to the district. However, don’t look for the Democratic candidate, Jim Miller, to go down without a fight. According to the Rocky Mountain News he has raised $24,400. Tom Wiens, the Republican has only raised $6,295. However, this race looks like a safe Republican seat.

District 8 makes up the north eastern corner of Colorado. In the 2000 election the GOP took 49% of the vote, with the Democrats trailing with 47%. After redistricting some of the more Democratic parts of the district were peeled off. Republican Jack Taylor is an incumbent and is looking to improve his margin of victory against Jay Fletcher (D). However Fletcher and the Democratic Party will not go quietly into the night, Fletcher has raised over twice as much as Taylor, $33,967 to $15,525 respectively. This race leans Republican, thanks mainly to the redistricting, which made Senate District 16 a safer district for the Democratic Senate Leader, who does not face election this year.

Lastly is Senate District 14, the truest tossup of the bunch. An open seat that is centered upon the city of Ft. Collins this race features the Republican mayor of Ft. Collins, Ray Martinez, against Bob Bacon. Bacon has amassed a $52,552 war chest which could make the difference in this close race. In 2000 The Democrats received 52% of the vote. The GOP got 45%. Redistricting makes this district larger, and more competitive.

In my opinion, Senate Districts 4, 10 and 12 are all safe GOP seats. SD 8 leans Republican and SD 14 is a very competitive tossup.

Ohwillek has done a great series on the races for the Colorado State Senate. For a look at who is running unopposed click here. For a look some of Ohwillek's early handicapping click here. We have some disagreements on what races are safe vs. leans, but only a few and he gives some great analysis.

Cross posted at Polstate.