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WS Poll – McConnell Continues Lead over Grimes in Kentucky

August 6th, 2014 by Fritz Wenzel

August 9, 2014-Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell continues to lead Democrat challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes in the latest Wenzel Strategies poll, winning 48% support, compared to 44% support for Grimes. The survey, conducted last week, reflects McConnell’s continued strength, as his favs remain above the break-even level of 50%. His favs now stand at 51%, compared to an unfavorable rating of 48%. Earlier in the year, McConnell had been underwater with his favs.

In a three-way ballot test including Libertarian David Patterson, McConnell leads with 47%, compared to 44% for Grimes and 4% for Patterson. Just 5% said they were unsure about whom to support in the race.

“McConnell benefits from his long-standing popularity in Kentucky and the overall national dissatisfaction with the direction in which the nation is headed, and specifically with their disaffection for President Barack Obama. There is no obvious scenario ahead of us this fall in which Obama will make a remarkable recovery in popularity, or in which the national mood will improve, and that all points to Kentuckians looking for someone they can count on to represent their views. In this particular race, that person is Mitch McConnell, our polling shows,” said Pollster Fritz Wenzel, President of the company. “In fact, it is most likely that Obama will grow even less popular, not only in Kentucky but nationwide, as poll after poll indicates that is exactly what is happening. In addition to having to run against a popular incumbent Republican senator, Grimes also faces the same increasing headwinds that are hammering Democratic Senate candidates across the nation.”

The WS survey also shows that about 80% of respondents consider themselves to be “firm” in their choice for U.S. Senator from Kentucky, which gives Grimes even less room to maneuver and more reason to worry. “With such a stable electorate so far from Election Day, this factor may well dissuade outside groups from getting too involved in this race when there are so many other races around the country that could at least provide more promise of success for left-leaning groups and Democrats in general,” Wenzel added.  “Democrats would no doubt love to try to knock off the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, but this survey indicates the effort to defeat McConnell in Kentucky would necessarily become a very, very expensive enterprise with less than even odds for success.”

Rand Paul On The Move!

March 27th, 2014 by Fritz Wenzel

MARCH 27, 2014-Kentucky Senator Rand Paul launches a national network of 200 advisors to help with input as he expands his role as a national leader of the American conservative movement. Here is the Washington Post story:


WASHINGTON – Sen. Rand Paul has become the first Republican to assemble a network in all 50 states as a precursor to a 2016 presidential run, the latest sign that he is looking to build a more mainstream coalition than the largely ad hoc one that backed his father’s unsuccessful campaigns.


Paul’s move, which comes nearly two years before the 2016 primaries, also signals an effort to win the confidence of skeptical members of the Republican establishment, many of whom doubt that his appeal will translate beyond the libertarian base that was attracted to Ron Paul, the former Texas congressman.


Rand Paul’s nationwide organization, which counts more than 200 people, includes new backers who have previously funded more traditional Republicans, along with longtime libertarian activists. Paul, of Kentucky, has also been courting Wall Street titans and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who donated to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, attending elite conclaves in Utah and elsewhere along with other GOP hopefuls.


For the rest of this year, his national team’s chief duties will be to take the lead in their respective states in planning fundraisers and meet-ups and helping Paul’s Washington-based advisers get a sense of where support is solid and where it’s not. This is especially important in key early primary battlegrounds, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, and in areas rich in GOP donors, such as Dallas and Chicago.


“A national leadership team is an important step, and it’s a critical one for the movement going forward,” said Fritz Wenzel, Paul’s pollster. “Rand has tremendous momentum, and the formation of this team will guide him as he gets closer to a decision and [will] serve as a foundation for a campaign.”


A growing number of Republicans have started to consider presidential campaigns. Aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are sketching out how possible bids could look and keeping tabs on donors and potential staffers. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rick Santorum, a distant runner-up to Romney in the 2012 race for the GOP nomination, have been wooing conservative leaders.


At this early juncture, Paul is consistently at or near the top in polling. A CNN/ORC International survey this month found that 16 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican were likely to support Paul, putting him at the front of the Republican field. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the 2012 GOP vice-presidential nominee, was second, at 15 percent.


Paul’s leadership team is set up as part of Rand Paul Victory, a group that pools donations. It is a joint committee that overlaps the fundraising efforts of Rand PAC, Paul’s political-action committee, and Rand Paul 2016, his Senate campaign, and it is described by Paul aides as the basis for a presidential campaign.


“There are people in every state who have joined Team Paul, with the money people ready to go,” said Mallory Factor, a consultant and South Carolina Republican who has worked with Paul to expand the senator’s footprint.


Kevin Madden, a former adviser to Romney and House Republican leaders, said the development of a national network was a notable moment in pre-primary positioning.


“This framework of supporters is an important building block in the architecture required to build a competitive national campaign,” Madden said. “What looks like just a name is often someone who knows local reporters, has a fundraising network or has an ability or history of organizing party activists.”


Democrats are closely watching Paul as he moves to become less of a fringe figure than his father, who struggled to resonate with Republicans beyond his fervent base.


David Axelrod, director of the Institute for Politics at the University of Chicago and a former strategist for President Obama, said, “He’s certainly creating buzz, and when I saw him at Romney’s donor meeting in Utah, it showed seriousness behind what he’s trying to do, beyond all he’s done from a message standpoint.”


Axelrod dismissed the criticism of those consultants in both parties who have said Paul needs to enlist more veteran hands and tap a well-known Republican strategist with deep presidential campaign experience.


“David Axelrod wasn’t David Axelrod until he was,” Axelrod said.


At the Romney retreat last year in Park City, Utah, Paul gained some fans among the GOP elite. Though few pledged to back him should he run for president, they did warm up to him.


“Going in, people weren’t sure. Most of them didn’t know him,” recalled Ron Kaufman, a Romney confidant. “But they had these one-on-one meetings with him and came away saying he’s a sharp guy. They were still in the grieving stage, not ready to think about 2016, but their opinion of him increased rather dramatically.”


Nevertheless, many Republicans question whether Paul can build a campaign that could win a national election.


“I think he’s dangerously irresponsible,” said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who is mulling his own presidential bid and has been critical of the GOP’s tea party wing, including Cruz.“I can’t believe responsible Republicans will support this guy, who’s a modern version of Charles Lindbergh.”


The decision to swiftly expand and announce Paul’s national political infrastructure — which will be fully unveiled this spring — comes after reports describing Paul’s operation as unready to compete nationally.


But it was finalized this month at a meeting at a Hampton Inn in Oxon Hill, Md., during the Conservative Political Action Conference. Speaking to more than 40 members of Paul’s circle, his strategists emphasized consolidating the sprawling support Paul has amassed into a coordinated apparatus.


Paul, who also spoke, said he will not make a final decision on a run until the end of the year, but he indicated that he is leaning toward getting into the race and wants a well-staffed political operation to move on all fronts — fundraising, advertising, Internet presence and volunteer coordination — if he does.


Paul’s national team plans to huddle once every quarter, with weekly calls between the meetings. Foreign policy advisers, such as former ambassador Richard Burt and Lorne Craner, a former State Department official, are expected to be part of the chain of command.


Joe Lonsdale, a hedge-fund manager, is also onboard, as is Ken Garschina, a principal at Mason Capital Management in New York. So are Donald and Phillip Huffines, brothers and Texas real estate developers; Atlanta investor Lane Moore; and Frayda Levy, a board member at conservative advocacy groups Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth.


From the state parties, outgoing Iowa GOP chairman A.J. Spiker and former Nevada GOP chairman James Smack have signed on, and a handful of Republican officials are preparing to join once their terms expire, including Robert Graham, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.


Drew Ivers, a former Iowa GOP chairman and Paul supporter, said Paul is “seriously building” a Hawkeye State network, but said much of the activity has gone unnoticed by Washington observers because it is mostly on social media. “In June 2007, Ron Paul’s name identification was zero,” Ivers said. “These days, 95 percent of Iowa Republicans know Rand Paul.”


Paul’s chief political adviser, Doug Stafford, and his fundraising director, Erika Sather, will manage the bolstered organization. Their challenge will be to construct a presidential-level operation that is able to court both the family’s long-standing grass-roots activists as and wealthy donors.


Sather, a former development director at the Club for Growth, spent much of the winter introducing Paul to donors beyond the rich libertarians who poured more than $40 million into Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign. Stafford, a former adviser to several conservative groups, has mined the donor lists of the Campaign for Liberty, FreedomWorks and other advocacy organizations.


Cathy Bailey and Nate Morris, two prominent GOP fundraisers from Kentucky, were also instrumental in bringing the group together.


Morris, previously a fundraiser for George W. Bush, has served as Paul’s guide as the freshman senator has navigated steakhouse dinners and tony receptions with Wall Street and Silicon Valley leaders.


“The bones for the network are there,” Morris said. “We’ll take that and bring in new talent, people who could be like Spencer Zwick was for Mitt Romney’s on finance. Among donors, there’s a fever out there, people are looking to rebrand the party and they haven’t yet been tapped.”


Last year, Rand Paul Victory raised $4.4 million, with nearly half of its fourth-quarter donations coming from high-dollar donors, typically those who give more than $500 and often contribute the legal limit.


Paul’s pitch at these gatherings combined his antagonism toward the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs with a discussion of issues such as drug-sentencing reform and what he calls “crunchy conservatism,” a focus on the environment and civil liberties.


In June, in a pilgrimage to Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Paul spoke with the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and wrote a Patrick Henry-inspired social-media message — “Give me liberty to post” — on a hallway chalkboard.


Nurturing relationships with Bob Murray, a coal baron and former Romney bundler, former Bush bundler Jack Oliver, who is aligned with former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and Blakely Page, an associate of billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, has been a priority.


Those big-name donors have yet to sign on with any potential Republican candidate, but Paul’s supporters believes the formation of a leadership team could entice them, or at least signal Paul’s seriousness to them.


Billionaire Peter Thiel, the cofounder of PayPal, is another looming figure in Paul’s constellation of friends, advisers, and possible bundlers. He stays in touch with Paul, occasionally meets with him, and is one of his top West Coast allies. Another is San Francisco businessman John Dennis, who once ran for Congress against Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the current House minority leader.


Jesse Benton, Ron Paul’s former campaign manager who is running Sen. Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign in Kentucky, and Trygve Olson, a Paul ally and an adviser to American Crossroads, a Karl Rove-affiliated super PAC, are two more Paul supporters who could join his camp after the midterm elections.



WS Poll: McConnell, Grimes Statistically Tied in KY Senate; McConnell Holds Enormous Lead Over Primary Challenger Bevin

February 13th, 2014 by Fritz Wenzel

FEBRUARY 13, 2014-A new Wenzel Strategies survey of likely voters in Kentucky shows Republican Senator Mitch McConnell leads Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 43% to 42% margin, which amounts to a statistical dead heat in a prospective General Election match-up. Another 15% said they were undecided in the McConnell-Grimes contest.

A subsample of GOP Primary Election voters shows McConnell is well on his way to winning his party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, as he leads largely unknown challenger Matt Bevin by a 59% to 17% margin.

With McConnell’s favorability rating improving a bit compared to other recent polling, and with an overwhelming fund-raising advantage, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which Bevin would be able to overcome the current deficit he now faces against McConnell.

In fact, while McConnell’s favorability rating and job approval numbers could certainly use some serious work, he is far from dire straits. He likely benefits from the recently improving fortunes of Senate Republicans nationwide, for which McConnell himself is apparently winning some credit at home.

McConnell wins favorable ratings from 50% of respondents, while 47% said they hold unfavorable opinions of him. By comparison, Grimes is seen favorably by 43% and unfavorably by 36%, which is not bad, but is by no means optimal. One in five likely voters in Kentucky do not yet know enough about Grimes to have formed an opinion about her.

A telling finding from the survey shows that cross-party support favors the Republican incumbent.  While McConnell wins 25% support among Democratic voters, Grimes wins just 12% of the support of Republicans.  The independent voters in Kentucky are badly outnumbered by the partisans, but Grimes does lead McConnell by a 40% to 34% edge among independents.

This contest is among the most-watched Senate races in the nation this cycle, and is bound to stoke partisan fervor on both sides of the aisle. While Grimes will need to grow her favorable name identification across the state, McConnell’s challenge will be to cement the Republican Party base into a solid foundation after the primary election. That he retains a massive lead over Bevin is an indication that this task is already well in hand. Our experience with these types of contests indicate his numbers are likely to improve once the primary election is over and voters focus on the general election contest and all that is at stake.   - FW

Topline Report here:  KY Poll Topline Report – US Senate 2-13-2014




SC GOP Senate Poll: Lindsey Graham Below 50%; Facing Runoff

February 6th, 2014 by Fritz Wenzel

FEBRUARY 6, 2014-A new Wenzel Strategies survey of likely Republican Primary Election voters statewide in South Carolina shows Lindsey Graham below 50% and likely headed toward a runoff election against state Senator Lee Bright for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The poll also shows that just 38% of GOP voters believe Graham deserves to be re-elected, while 49% said it is time for someone new.

While the ratio of those who say they have a favorable opinion of Graham to those who hold an unfavorable opinion is nearly 1:1, Lee Bright’s fav-to-unfav ratio is much more positive. Graham’s lead overall in the survey is due to his wide name familiarity among voters. As Bright becomes better known among the electorate, the race will very likely tighten.

Here is the link to The State newspaper’s account of this latest Wenzel Strategies survey.












New CBS Poll on Obama Actually Sugar Coats His Standing With Americans

November 21st, 2013 by Fritz Wenzel

NOVEMBER 21, 2013-The latest CBS poll on President Obama’s job approval rating was bad news for the White House, showing that just 37% gave him positive job approval marks. The truth is, the news is actually worse. This is because CBS went out of its way to soften the blow in its poll by weighting down – significantly – the percentage of Republicans who participated in the survey.

The raw data displayed at the very end of the CBS poll – their partisan weighting information is always the very last thing in their poll reports – shows that their sample actually included 28% Republicans, but the polling brain trust at CBS actually weighted Republicans down to 23% in their sample. That is a five-point reduction in the sample.  And it so happened that 90% of Republicans said they gave Obama a negative job approval rating. You could assume, therefore, that Obama’s raw job approval rating in the CBS poll was probably three points WORSE than reported after the weighting process.

So, consider CBS to have actually found that Obama has a 34% job approval rating.

Of course, this is far below where he has been in the past, and mirrors the mark at which, according to Gallup, President Bush stood as he was leaving office. Maybe this is why CBS is undertaking such gymnastics to keep Obama as high as possible.

The job is getting more difficult by the day for CBS, largely because Obama is showing dramatic weakness across the political spectrum.  Among his base of Democrats, just 73% gave him positive marks as president.  The really bad news comes from how political independents feel about Obama – just 29% give him positive marks as the nation’s leader.  And this survey includes a sample of 48% independents.  I personally think that is far too many independents to include in a survey about politics. 

CBS collected in its raw sample 42% who categorized themselves as independents, which one can understand, given the current political atmosphere. Just about everyone is upset with one aspect of leadership or another in Washington, and given the choice, I could see how 42% of a national sample would want to disassociate with D.C. But if your goal is to replicate the political make-up of the nation with the intention of replicating election-year circumstances, your sample should NOT have even 42% independents, let alone the 48% to which the CBS poll was weighted.

If you wanted to replicate a national election-year voter sample nationwide, your sample would include, at the very least, one-third Dems, one-third GOP, one-third independents. If you took the raw CBS sample of 1,010 respondents and applied this weighting, you might even find that Obama’s job approval could be as low as 32%.

But no matter. New polls come out every day, and the trend line is clear: Obama is in deep trouble, and it is very hard to construct a scenario in which he is able to recover. He has built an administration that is so scandal-ridden – or at best rife with incompetence – that actual recovery in public opinion is less likely by the day.  The problem with second-term presidents is that by the time they get past their second election, the American people have largely reached a final conclusion about them as leaders, and that impression is very, very difficult to change for the better. Americans are almost always disappointed with the second-term performance of their presidents, regardless of party, and the best presidents can do under the best of normal circumstances is to keep the downward glide path of public opinion from growing too steep.

But Obama is in free-fall, and he will have to work hard just to turn this public opinion plummet into a descent that approximates a mere glide path.

Another Wenzel Strategies Winner: Congressman-Elect Vance McAllister in Louisiana CD5!

November 17th, 2013 by Fritz Wenzel

NOVEMBER 17, 2013-Wenzel Strategies congratulates Vance McAllister, a businessman who won the seat in Louisiana Congressional District 5 in a runoff election Saturday. The win was a convincing defeat of state Senator Neil Riser, as McAllister won with 60% of the vote, compared to 40% for Riser. The national and Washington media was largely convinced that Riser was the prohibitive favorite in the runoff, since he won a 14-candidate primary election with 32% of the vote. McAllister won just 18% support in that primary, which was barely good enough for him to advance to the runoff.

            Wenzel Strategies discovered in polling for the McAllister campaign that many people were waiting to decide for whom to vote. Just one week before the election, we found that half of likely voters had yet to make up their minds. We also found that McAllister had the clear and substantial momentum, having used an outsider message to pull ahead of Riser by single digits.

            That was before a closing television advertising push by McAllister exploited what our polling showed was Riser’s weakness in this race – his career in politics.  At this time in LA CD5, political experience is a significant problem.  The television ad featured Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame endorsing McAllister, praising him for his lack of political experience, and it moved undecided voters hard into the McAllister camp. The outsider cruised victory.

            The Wenzel Strategies survey showed that voters were twice as likely as not to support a candidate for Congress who had nothing to do with politics. They told us they were very unhappy with what has been going on in Washington, and wanted to do their part to send a message – and messenger – to the nation’s capitol to make a difference.

            Oddly, Riser relied on strong endorsements from political insiders in Louisiana and Washington – including Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor – which, our polling showed, was exactly the wrong strategy for Riser. Voters in LA CD5 made it clear to Wenzel Strategies that the last thing they wanted in a candidate for Congress was someone who would go and be a part of establishment Washington.

            They made their voices clear on Saturday, sending McAllister to Congress in Washington, a city he has never even visited.

            We are proud to have been a part of your amazing campaign, Congressman-elect McAllister. Congratulations, and good luck!

Wenzel Strategies Polling Right On Target in Virginia!

November 5th, 2013 by Fritz Wenzel

Nov.5, 2013-With a narrow win tonight for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the race for governor of Virginia, Wenzel Strategies has again shown itself to be among the closest of all pollsters nationwide in pegging the race.

The Wenzel Strategies survey of likely Virginia voters, conducted down the stretch heading into Election Day, showed McAuliffe ahead by just 1 percentage point over Republican Ken Cuccinelli by a 41% to 40% margin (VA Governor Poll 10-24-2013 Topline Report). As the election moved through its final days, the issue landscape that was captured by the Wenzel Strategies survey was set, and never changed.

In the end, it was the government shutdown that faded as an issue and the debacle of the rollout of Obamacare that replaced it. But by the time polls closed Tuesday, voters had already drawn their conclusions about these issues and the men in the race.

 “Every political race is different, but the contest in Virginia featured two strong issues that were easy for voters to understand and digest,” said Wenzel Strategies President Fritz Wenzel. “The federal government shutdown had an obvious and negative effect on Virginia, which helped Democrat McAuliffe.

When Washington went back to work, the Obamacare mess replaced it and helped Republican Cuccinelli.  The effect of all this was that the race ended up very close to where one might have expected it to be all along – very, very close. We captured those dynamics perfectly, and properly modeled the electorate. The result was a very accurate result.”

The amazingly accurate Wenzel Strategies result in what was in many ways a tumultuous race comes after a similarly strong showing for the company in the 2012 election cycle, where Wenzel Strategies was on the mark in many races nationwide.


If you are looking for a pollster for your campaign or research project, then you must read this:

 From Wenzel Strategies – A Note to Our Friends 11-2013

McAuliffe Leads Cuccinelli in Virginia Governor Race

October 24th, 2013 by Fritz Wenzel

OCTOBER 24, 2013 – A new Wenzel Strategies poll of likely voters in Virginia shows the race for governor is a pretty tight contest, though Democrat Terry McAuliffe continues to enjoy a small lead. It all depends on what the turnout is going to be, and whether Democrats who turned out in big numbers last year for President Obama come out again for McAuliffe.

There is evidence in the new WS survey that that will not be the case, as both McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli are not held in high esteem in the minds of voters and more people are discouraged with the general direction of the state than are encouraged.  The Wenzel Strategies survey shows McAuliffe leading, 41% to 40%, with the balance of voters either favoring Libertarian Rob Sarvis (10%) or undecided.

 The Wenzel Strategies poll, using a turnout model that is closely balanced, includes a sample of 28% Democrats, 26% Republicans, and 46% independent voters. This reflects the swing-state tradition of Virginia that has lately leaned toward Republicans in statewide, non-presidential years, but has tilted to the Democrats in recent presidential elections.

Using a turnout model replicated by Quinnipiac University in its recent survey, weighting the sample to include 33% Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 42% independents or minor party supporters, McAuliffe leads with 43%, compared to 38% Cuccinelli, 10% for Sarvis and 9% yet undecided. This reflects a slight tightening of the race, compared to the Quinnipiac survey that showed McAuliffe with a 7-point lead.

The survey shows there is reason to believe the race may well be tightening going into the final stretch, as a key issue benefitting McAuliffe fades into the rearview mirror – the recent government shutdown, which hit some parts of Virginia hard.  As the shutdown fades, another key issue that benefits Cuccinelli – the expanding controversy over the bungled rollout of Obamacare – is bound to grab more attention among voters by the day.  It could well be that Cuccinelli has bounced off his low point and is headed up.   

Finally, the question of how many conservative voters who say now that they support Sarvis will actually follow through and vote for him is yet unanswered. Voters who are disaffected with the political establishment can say they are supporting a third-party candidate, but actually casting a ballot for a spoiler is quite another matter. Outsiders have won GOP primary elections in recent cycles, but my sense is it is less likely to happen in this instance, when Sarvis supporters know it could well lead directly to the election of someone whose political philosophy is completely opposite of their own.

Uncertainty on this question is further compounded by the fact that 53% of Virginians don’t even know enough about Sarvis to have formed an opinion about him. His support must be considered soft at best. In addition, a significant percentage said they were yet unsure about the race – 9% are yet undecided, yet are likely to vote.  

The Wenzel Strategies survey shows voters are split on both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli. While 45% said they have a favorable opinion of McAuliffe, 46% have an unfavorable opinion of him. For Cuccinelli, 47% hold a favorable opinion, while 50% have an unfavorable opinion of him.

 McAuliffe has done a better job locking down his political base, perhaps in part to recent campaigning in the state by both Clintons, who are longtime allies of McAuliffe. Among Democrats, McAuliffe wins 81% support. Among Republicans, Cuccinelli wins just 68% support. Among those who consider themselves political independents, Cuccinelli wins 44% support, compared to 33% for McAuliffe and 11% for Sarvis.


Fritz Wenzel to Moderate Toledo Mayoral Forum

October 16th, 2013 by Fritz Wenzel

OCTOBER 16, 2013 – Wenzel Strategies President Fritz Wenzel will moderate a mayoral forum tomorrow night featuring the two finalists in the race for Mayor of Toledo, Ohio.  Both incumbent Mayor Mike Bell and City Councilman D. Michael Collins have confirmed their attendance at the forum, which will be one of the last where the two will be together to answer questions directly from the voting public.

Also appearing to field questions from voters will be a handful of city council candidates.

The mayoral candidates will address issues ranging from police and fire protection to social services and reconstruction of one of the hardest hit central Toledo neighborhoods. 

The forum is sponsored by the Broadway Corridor Coalition, a group of non-profit organizations working to improve the lives of citizens in this central Toledo neighborhood.  It will be moderated by Fritz Wenzel, President of Wenzel Strategies, a national public opinion research firm based in Columbus and Toledo. Wenzel has more than 100 clients nationwide in politics, business, media, and the non-profit sector.

Questions from the audience will be encouraged.  All citizens are invited to attend what will be one of the last opportunities to talk directly to the candidates before the election.

Here are the details. News media with questions should contact Fritz Wenzel at the number below:

 WHAT:  Candidates Forum, City of Toledo.

 WHO:  Mayor Mike Bell, City Councilman D. Michael Collins and other city council candidates.

 WHEN:  6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013.

 WHERE:  South Toledo Community Center, 1141 Broadway, Toledo (a former church directly across Broadway from Taco Bell).



For more information, contact:

Fritz Wenzel

President, Wenzel Strategies LLC


WS Poll: Voters in Crested Butte, Colorado Want Town to Go Slow on Marijuana Rules

September 16th, 2013 by Fritz Wenzel

CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO-A significant majority of registered voters here said they believe marijuana legalization is good for the state, but are wary of rushing local rules governing retail establishments, a new Wenzel Strategies survey shows. The survey comes as the Crested Butte Town Council is set to vote this evening on an ordinance governing retail marijuana sales in this historic resort town.

A significant majority of 71% of registered voters in Gunnison County’s Precincts 3, 4, and 5 – which includes the small resort towns of Crested Butte, Mt. Crested Butte, and the surrounding unincorporated Gunnison County, said they believe last fall’s statewide legalization of marijuana is a positive thing for the state. Another 26% said it was a negative development.

            And, a majority of 55% said they agree with the Crested Butte town council’s proposal to allow the retail sale of marijuana along two historic streets in town.

            However, 55% of respondents said they disagree with the town council’s proposal to issue 17 permits for marijuana outlets that can be located in the commercial and national historic district of the town of Crested Butte.  Another 42% said they agreed with the proposal.

         And the survey shows there is significant concern over the details in the local ordinance, as a plurality of 41% said they are less likely to support the current ordinance under consideration by the council, knowing it includes only limited regulations governing signage for marijuana shops that might open in the historic shopping district. Thirty-eight percent were more likely to support the current ordinance.

            Importantly, a significant majority of 64% of local registered voters said they agree that the town council should not rush ahead with adoption of an ordinance on the issue, but should instead take its time to consider the possibilities of unknown and possibly harmful effects that it could have on the tourist haven. This response from registered voters comes as a reaction to a comment to Town Council Member Glenn Michel that, should this ordinance pass, “Crested Butte will have some of the most liberal marijuana laws in the nation, if not the world.”

            The telephone survey was commissioned by a group of citizens in Crested Butte and was conducted on September 15, and included 303 registered voters. The survey carries a margin of error of +/- 5.61 percentage points.


Wenzel Strategies is a public opinion research firm based in Columbus, Ohio. Established in 2005, its clients include political candidates, governments, non-profit agencies, media, and corporations across the nation. Among its hundreds of clients are nationally known civil libertarians Ron Paul, and his son, U.S. Senator Rand Paul.