Colorado Pols/RBI Poll: Anti-Tax, “Personhood” Measures Failing Badly

The third in a series of poll results for key Colorado races, released by Colorado Pols and conducted by Denver-based RBI Strategies & Research. Wednesday, we examined the U.S. Senate race in Colorado. Yesterday, the gubernatorial race. Today, we take a look several ballot initiatives: Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101, as well as the “Personhood” birth control and abortion ban initiative, Amendment 62.

Colorado voters are highly skeptical of the “personhood” and anti-tax initiatives on the ballot this year. Over 60% of voters are currently opposed or leaning towards opposing each of the anti-tax measures, Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. Further, Colorado voters appear likely to again reject the personhood measure, Amendment 62, with only 29% currently supporting and 62% opposing.

A large bloc of voters are planning to vote no on all four of these ballot measures. 42% of voters indicated that they opposed or were leaning towards opposing all of the personhood and anti-tax ballot initiatives. In contrast, only 7% of voters said they supported all four measures. This “no on everything” bloc of voters are disproportionately registered Democrats, women, and highly educated. They are also disproportionately located in Denver and the Metro regions. The “yes on everything” bloc are disproportionately registered Republicans, men, younger, and located in the Eastern Plains, South Front Range, and West Slope.

Disclosure of Interested Parties

The ballot initiative questions, data and results contained within this memo, survey toplines and survey crosstabs were commissioned by parties that have taken a public position in opposition to one or all of these initiatives. Colorado League of Responsible Voters commissioned all questions pertaining to Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101. The No on Amendment 62 campaign commissioned all questions pertaining to Amendment 62.

RBI Strategies & Research is a former research consultant for the No on Amendment 62 campaign and a current media consultant for the Colorado League of Responsible Voters.


RBI Strategies & Research conducted a telephone survey of 501 Colorado voters who indicated it was likely that they would vote in the 2010 General Election. Interviews were conducted October 24 – October 26, 2010 by Standage Market Research of Denver, Colorado, a market research firm specializing in telephone survey interviewing. Respondents were randomly selected from a list of Colorado voters, purchased from Voter Contact Services, who voted in the 2008 General Elec9on or registered to vote at any 9me following the 2008 General Elec9on. The margin of error for a survey of 500 interviews is +/- 4.4% at the 95% confidence level.

The margin of error is higher for subsamples within the full sample. Other sources of error not accounted for by the stated statistical margin of error include, but are not limited to, question wording, question order, refusal to be interviewed, and demographic weighting.

Summary | Crosstabs | Toplines

As he has the last two days, Kevin Ingham of RBI Strategies will join us today in this thread from 1-3PM to answer your questions about this poll. In order to keep things as orderly as possible in what is likely to be a popular discussion, we’d appreciate it if our readers held their questions for Mr. Ingham until 1PM when he arrives to answer them. In the meantime, you’re welcome to comment on the poll results themselves.

As always, please be respectful in your comments and questions for Mr. Ingham. We appreciate the time that he is making for this Q&A session, and whether you agree or disagree with anything he says, there is NO reason you need to voice your opinion in a rude or disrespectful manner.


66 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. The Ghost posted similar results the other day.

    Unlike the fantasy world that BJ, H-man and some of their buddies live in, everyday Coloradans are pretty well grounded in reality and understand the huge negative impact each of these measures would have on the State.

    I hope that this “no on everything” bloc extends to Amendment 63 and Prop 102 as well.

  2. Kevin_Ingham says:

    Talk to everyone soon!

  3. Interlocken Loop says:

    John Salazar is the 25th most likely and Betsey Markey the 11 Most Likely House Member to lose their seats.  Perlmutter seems to have stabilized and should win going away.  

    The only question for the Salazars is whether Ken will be fired and join his brother back home for Christmas. A weak staff and poor campaign seems to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory for John.  


  4. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    no moving the state capital

    no moving the bingo

    no aliens in Denver

  5. Kevin_Ingham says:

    Assuming you have any.  Results are pretty clear…

    • Is there any indication on how that might affect the rest of the I&R questions?

      • raymond1 says:

        … do you think that if the other numbered amendments are landslide flops, that might drag down 63? In other words, do ballot initiatives and amendments exhibit coat-tail effects?

      • Kevin_Ingham says:

        But I will say we have done various polls on some of these ballot initiatives privately for about a year now and the trend has been clearly in one direction – no.

        Whether this applies to everything on the ballot, I have no idea.  

        The no voting bloc I referenced in the memo only applies to 60,61,62 and 101.  That bloc increases to 52% of voters if you are only looking at 60,61 and 101.  I think if we included 102 and 63, you’d see that no on everything bloc decrease significantly.  So I can’t really say that there is a big group that is going in there full steam “no” because we don’t have all the ballot measures to look at.

        But these numbers would seem to indicate a “no” mood, even among Republicans who you would think might be more likely to support some of these initiatives based on the fact they are “conservative” issues.  See 2008 for the last time we had a strong “no” mood.

  6. Aaron says:

    Based on current polling do you expect the Personhood amendment to out-perform or under-perform it’s 2008 results?

    If you expect it to outperform 2008 results, what factors would you use to explain the change? Additional funding, shift in national attitudes, or something else completely?


    • Kevin_Ingham says:

      My sense is that in terms of turnout, 2010 will be more Republican and less Democratic than in 2008.  Given that Democrats are most likely to oppose and Republicans are most likely to support (even though a plurality oppose), I’d say it would be surprising if it DID go down as hard as it did in 2008.

      Also, this is different ballot language.  The proponents obviously looked at what happened in 2008 and decided that they needed to change a few things, starting with ballot language.  I’d say this is definitely better ballot language than in 2008 but that’s not saying a whole lot.

      Of course, even if this thing goes down with 67% of the vote (I’m picking a random number), my expectation is that the proponents will claim momentum based on the fact they did better this year and “only” two-thirds said no as opposed to nearly three-in-four.

      Frankly, comparing the 2008 electorate that voted on A48 to the 2010 electorate that will vote on A62 is completely ridiculous but spin is spin.

  7. blythesspirit says:

    Your summary says young, I gather young men, are more likely to be for the amendments.  Any other age impact?  Any idea why the young are more likely to be for these amendments?

    • Kevin_Ingham says:

      And the answer is I have absolutely no idea why young people are more supportive than older voters.  Let’s be clear – a majority of under 45 voters oppose every measure.  However, they definitely show greater support than older voters.  Without trying to sound ageist, it could be easier for younger voters to understand the complex ballot language so they are more comfortable voting yes.  But that is just a wild guess.  I have no idea.

      What is interesting when looking at the young voters is that while under 45 men are more likely than women to support 60, 61 and 101, there is no difference between under 45 men and women on Amendment 62.  Under 45 women are more supportive of the anti-abortion measure than the anti-tax measures.  This might seem counter intuitive but its not the first time we have seen this result on Personhood.  Again, I have no idea why.

      Why is usually better answered in a focus group than a poll.  Maybe that’s what we should do next: the ColoradoPols/RBI focus groups. 😉

  8. cadenv says:

    Is there a reason your series of polls, and many other pollsters, survey a seemingly strange number of people.  Why 501 as opposed to an even 500?  The most recent Survey USA poll of the CO senate race polled 621 people, why not 620 or 625?  Is this just the number of people who happen to participate or is it a calculated decision to poll 501 people instead of just 500?

    • Kevin_Ingham says:

      1) Imagine you are a survey interviewing firm that has a target of 500 interviews.  You have multiple interviewers making calls at the same time.  You are right in the middle of an interview when the guy next to you finishes number 500.  So you finish the interview and tada! 501.

      2) Weighting. Sometimes you get the data back and you have, say, 600 interviews.  But you need to weight to include more younger voters and more western slope voters.  Weighting deals with odd decimals (if you have 150 under 45 interviews and need 175, you multiply every under 45 record by 1.17) so its possible that once that weighting is done, it doesn’t add up perfectly to a round number.

      3) Likely voters.  SurveyUSA started that survey with 800 adults.  They determined that 702 were registered to vote and that 621 were likely voters.  CNN did the same thing in their recent poll.  The interviewed 1506 adults, 1356 were registered, 829 were likely to vote.

      4) Who likes even numbers?  Seriously.  They’re boring.

      • ardy39 says:

        4) Who likes even numbers?  Seriously.  They’re boring.

        And, numbers that are multiples of 3 (like 501) are most interesting of all.

      • cadenv says:

        A quick follow up if you don’t mind.

        Many Rasmussen polls show 750 respondents.  Do they just keep calling until they get a predetermined amount of acceptable responses then?  Maybe because it’s automated they can set it up in that way?

        • Kevin_Ingham says:

          I’m not entirely sure bow they run things.  However, I’m assuming they decide on a number of interviews they want to complete and then run the program until they have filled their sample quota, as you said.

  9. Awen says:

    Why didn’t you look at prop 102 or Amendment 63? Any sense of how they’re doing?

    Also – I appreciate that you disclosed that RBI got their questions from organizations that oppose the amendments you surveyed – how were those questions worded?

    • Kevin_Ingham says:

      Our firm is a consultant and pollster for the No on 63 campaign and we have done polling on the no side of Prop 102.

      I’m not able to give out those numbers.

      However, SurveyUSA did poll A63.  They had it at 24% yes, 36% no.  Among people who had already voted, it was 32% yes, 50% no.

      We did not get the question wording from those organizations.  Those organizations simply commissioned us to poll these questions.  Organizations generally defer to their pollster about how to get the information they are interested in.  In this case, you can see the full question wording by downloading the toplines from the link above.

    • ohwilleke says:

      63 has at least been polled by the Denver Post/9 News/Survey USA poll.  Nobody, to my knowledge, has polled 102 yet.

      And in the absence of the vigor of the campaigning on each side for 60-61-101 and 62, and because 102 has less obvious implications at face value (although it has been unanimously opposed by all but bailbondsmen upon closer examination), it is harder to know how it is viewed by the larger public.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        it wouldn’t make sense to vote Yes on 102.

        I would bet it is going to fail also.

        All the numbered amendments and propositions were terrible this year.  What a bunch of stinkers.

  10. caroman says:

    Kevin, you noted the other day that there is a professional association for pollsters (AAPOR?) that shames pollsters for bad practices.

    1) Are you a member?

    2) Is Rasmussen a member?

    3) Do they ever audit a pollster, like a CPA would (ie, visit the firm, randomly select a poll, look at raw workpapers, etc.)?

    4) Are you aware of any “shamings” of a major pollster?

    5) I’m really on a kick about Rasmussen’s GOP bias that, in my opinion, attempts to promote a GOP strategic message.  Every one of its polls is reported, without qualifier, by media outlets (and many GOP commenters on this site).  What are your thoughts?

    Thanks to you and Pols for a great three days.

    • Kevin_Ingham says:

      They recognize those who are open and transparent.  See here:

      Nate Silver is much better at shaming.  However, AAPOR did censure a firm that Nate Silver went after recently for allegedly cooking their numbers.

      I don’t think that Rasmussen cooks their numbers.  I believe that they have a house effect that bends Republican but that could be as much methodology as anything else.  See below:


      We haven’t joined the transparency initiative because we usually don’t usually release publicly.  However, I think I’m going to look into it.  I like what they are trying to do with the TI and its something worth encouraging.

  11. Gilpin Guy says:

    Do you ever go “Wow I didn’t see that one coming”?

    • Kevin_Ingham says:

      Two words: Alvin Greene.

      • raymond1 says:

        Especially this year?! Just to name two recent ones in CO: (1) the first poll that showed Tancredo in the 40s (remember he was stalled around 20, plus or minus); (2) Frazier basically being tied w/ Perlmutter. And outside Colorado, numerous of the 2010 R senate primaries, like the first polls that showed: (3) O’Donnell catching up to Castle; (4) Miller catching up to Murkowski; (5) Paul catching up to Grayson; (6) Lee catching up to (Utah’s) Bennett … weren’t all those winning nominees first seen as silly fringe nobodies, until the first polls led people to realize, “holy crap, these tea party dudes could win?!”

  12. dawoffman says:

    I am sure there has to be some way to lump things together but I am wondering why you have Chaffee County as West Slope?

    I have a home there and can assure you we are on the East side of the devide.

  13. Kevin_Ingham says:

    It’s been great chatting with everyone these last few days.  I want to thank Colorado Pols for hosting us and giving us the opportunity to engage with y’all.

    You guys had some great questions and I hope I was able to answer some of them in a way that makes sense.

    Have a great weekend!

  14. faux_american says:

    The resurgence of the personhood amendment, as well as the other amendments and initiatives are a symptom of the problem: i.e. the iniatiative and referendum process.  

    If the equivalent of 60, 61, and 101 get proposed enough times, they’ll probably eventually pass, in which case Colorado’s screwed. The same goes for the person-hood amendment, propose it enough times and it will pass. Reigning in the initiative and amendment process is long overdue.  

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