Colorado State Senate Districts

For a more interactive user experience, look for your district on Google Earth:

The surveyed districts are in dark blue and marked with a star.

Thesis Rationale:

As a graduate student studying political communication my interest lies in the intersection between politics and new media, and in particular social media. I am intrigued by the potential of social media to engage the public in a way that is both useful to our democratic system of government in general, and yet more relevant and meaningful for the individual citizen. At the same time I am struck by how little is known regarding the nexus between constituent opinion on specific issues and decisions made by elected officials on policy questions related to those issues.

Since 2012 my academic study has centered on literature involving new media and its emergent role in political communication, and how constituent opinion influences voting behavior and policy decisions of elected officials. For the past two years I have focused my research to elucidate the question: in the age of social media how much does constituent opinion really matter in political decision making?

Fulfilling the mission of Regis University requires an endeavor to discover the truth and contribute to the improvement and transformation of society. The ‘Citizen Survey Project’ serves as the cornerstone of an ongoing research effort that began with the exploration of scores of scholarly works detailing an interconnectedness of public opinion and new media with political systems and policy decisions of elected officials, and culminates in a Master’s Thesis that synthesizes the relationship between all four.

- Ron Tupa
former CO state senator
graduate student, Regis University

The 5 legislative issues registered voters were polled on:

Q1 Palisade peach: state fruit?

The state legislature is currently debating a bill that would designate the Palisade peach as the state fruit of Colorado. Would you say you support or oppose that measure?

Q2 State support for Amtrak service

The state legislature is currently debating a bill that helps ensure Amtrak will continue to provide passenger service to southeast Colorado, including Pueblo, but may end up costing the state $4 million annually. Would you say you support or oppose that measure?

Q3 Tighten child immunization exemptions

The state legislature is currently debating a bill that makes it harder for parents to exempt their children from being immunized if they attend Colorado public schools. Instead of the current ‘opt-out’ provision, if passed, parents would be required to show proof that they received additional information about the benefits and risk of immunization. Would you say you support or oppose that measure?

Q4 Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits

The state legislature is currently debating a bill that would cost $4 million a year, for a total of $12 million over three years, to provide enhanced unemployment insurance compensation benefits for eligible individuals enrolled in approved job training programs and entering into new occupations. Would you say you support or oppose that measure?

Q5 Oil companies and eminent domain

For 100 years, oil companies assumed that they had the power of eminent domain to take private property for purposes of installing oil pipelines; however, the Colorado Supreme Court recently said that was incorrect. In response, the state legislature is currently debating a bill that would grant oil companies the ability to take private property through eminent domain when they cannot come to an agreement with the property owners in order to install their oil pipelines. Would you say you support or oppose that measure?

Poll Results