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Please begin with an informative title:

For my home state of Colorado, I drew a Democratic gerrymander, a Republican gerrymander, and a fair court-style map.  The Democratic gerrymander would provide the possibility of a 6-1 delegation in 2012, including 5 districts that went for Obama, 4 with a Democratic PVI, and 3 that are at least 57% Obama.  The Republican gerrymander would make 3 safe Republican districts, another that is likely Republican, and it would slightly weaken Ed Perlmutter.  The court-drawn map would basically preserve the current map, but it would make the 4th (Cory Gardner) a couple points more Democratic.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Democratic Gerrymander:

Denver Metro Area:

CO-1 (blue): Diana DeGette (D-Denver)
It sheds the Democratic cities of Englewood and Sheridan, while adding the Republican-heavy suburbs of Littleton, Columbine, and Ken Caryl in order to help out the 6th district.  Maybe being stuck in a district with Denver for a decade will make Littleton rethink its absurd 11 pm curfew law.  Although some may suggest unpacking Denver, I believe that if it fits into one CD, it should stay in one CD.  Adding some Republican suburbs is as far as I am willing to go.
White: 57.2%, Hispanic: 28.4%; VAP: White: 62.7%, Hispanic: 23.7%
Obama: 69.4%, McCain: 29.1%
Safe D

CO-2 (green): Jared Polis (D-Boulder)
Polis's district gets 6% more Republican, as it is used to split Douglas County three ways, and also adds Republican Fremont, Teller, Park, and Custer Counties.  There will undoubtedly be some close elections due to the fact that Polis is a gay Boulder liberal who makes legalizing pot one of his key issues, which I personally like a lot, but is not too popular in Douglas County.  Ironically, Boulder and Douglas County are pretty similar demographically in that they are both wealthy and heavily white, but that's where the similarities end. Luckily for us, Polis is a billionaire who had no problem dropping a couple million to win the 2008 primary, so he should be able to hold this seat for the next decade.  This will be pretty sweet to stick those rich douche bags in Castle Pines with him as revenge for giving me a decade of Tom Tancredo.
White: 82.4%, Hispanic: 10.9%; VAP: White: 84.5%
Obama: 58.0%, McCain: 40.4%
Likely D

CO-3 (purple): Scott Tipton (R-Cortez)
It adds Chaffee and Lake Counties from the 5th, while shedding Custer and Jackson Counties, as well as a few precincts in Otero County, but this doesn't really affect the partisanship at all and keeps it as a marginal district that the Democrats have a shot at.  Pueblo's stagnant population will cause this district to trend Republican over the course of the decade.  However, Tipton will be vulnerable in 2012 since he, unlike Cory Gardner, is inept at articulating Republican talking points and has continually flip-flopped on a whole host of issues, so he may well lose to State House Minority Leader Sal Pace (D-Pueblo), who then may be able to survive due to incumbency until another GOP wave year, even as the district reddens.
White: 71.7%, Hispanic: 24.0%; VAP: White: 75.2%, Hispanic: 20.9%
McCain: 50.1%, Obama: 48.2%
Tossup vs Tipton, Lean R otherwise

CO-4 (red): Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)
In order to achieve population equality, it sheds the rural counties in southeastern Colorado and adds the remainder of Weld County.  However, all these areas are so sparsely populated that it only makes the district about 1% more Democratic.  However, the main idea behind it is that the growth of the Democratic-leaning cities of Fort Collins and Longmont, as well as Hispanic growth in Greeley, will make this district trend Democratic over the course of the decade. This district was actually proposed by the Democrats, and the Republicans accused them of drawing a "safe" seat for State Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont), who is running against Gardner in 2012.  Except, it actually has a 10% GOP registration advantage, and only gave a narrow plurality to Obama in a huge Democratic wave year, clearly the qualities of a safe Democratic seat.   However, Gardner is an excellent campaigner, raising boatloads of money and winning by 11% against Betsy Markey in 2010.  He will be a formidable statewide candidate in the future, so Democrats will make knocking him off a priority.
White: 75.5%, Hispanic: 19.7%; VAP: White: 79.4%, Hispanic: 16.2%
Obama: 49.6%, McCain: 48.6%
Lean R for Gardner, Tossup otherwise

CO-5 (yellow): Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs)
Per their request, Chaffee and Lake Counties are moved to the 3rd district, while prison-heavy Fremont, Park, and Teller Counties are placed in the 2nd, as they belong in a district with other mountain counties.  It then adds all the rural areas in southeast Colorado that the 4th must shed to achieve population equality.
White: 72.8%, Hispanic: 15.3%; VAP: White: 76.3%, Hispanic: 12.9%
McCain: 59.6%, Obama: 38.9%
Safe R

CO-6 (teal): Mike Coffman (R-Aurora/Greenwood Village)
Now for my district! After shedding most of Douglas County, keeping only Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree, as well as Littleton, Columbine, and Ken Caryl, it adds the rest of the Arapahoe County portion of Aurora from the 7th and the Democratic cities of Englewood and Sheridan from the 1st.  Despite the bipartisan support for screwing Mike Coffman, as State House Speaker Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) wants this district for himself, he could be able to hold on, as Coffman still managed to get elected Secretary of State in the huge Democratic wave year of 2006 and he outran McCain by 8% to win this open seat in 2008.  Part of that may be that many Obama voters perceived him as moderate, just because he wasn't Tancredo.  Although he is reasonable and isn't batshit crazy, he's still pretty conservative and could lose this now-competitive district.  However, it is no secret he is likely to challenge Sen. Udall in 2014, so even if he does win in 2012, a Democrat could win this seat.  State Rep. Joe Miklosi (D-Denver) is challenging him in 2012 despite the fact that he doesn't live in the district, but he will be the most formidable Democrat to run here in a long time.
White: 68.3%, Hispanic: 15.7%; VAP: White: 72.0%, Hispanic: 13.1%
Obama: 53.9%, McCain: 44.6%
Tossup/Tilt R for Coffman, Lean D otherwise

CO-7 (gray): Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden)
Perlmutter's district gets slightly weaker, due to losing most of Aurora to the 6th, but it is still Democratic-leaning and Perlmutter will be fine here, especially after his dismantling of Ryan Frazier in 2010, which should scare off any serious challengers.
White: 62.0%, Hispanic: 30.6%; VAP: White: 67.3%, Hispanic: 25.8%
Obama: 57.0%, McCain: 41.0%
Likely D for Perlmutter, Lean D otherwise

Republican Gerrymander:

Denver Metro Area:

CO-1: DeGette
This is largely taken from a Republican proposal that packs the 1st by taking a slice of Aurora that voted 69% for Obama and 62% for Bennet in order to weaken the 7th.  In addition, extremely wealthy Cherry Hills Village is liberated from the 1st into the 6th.
White: 51.0%, Hispanic: 32.4%, Black: 10.2%; VAP: White: 57.3%, Hispanic: 27.0%
Obama: 73%, McCain: 25%
Safe D

CO-2: Polis
The 2nd adds the remainder of Boulder County, removing Longmont from the 4th in order to help out Cory Gardner.
White: 70.8%, Hispanic: 21.9%; VAP: White: 75.0%, Hispanic: 18.3%
Obama: 64%, McCain: 34%
Safe D

CO-3: Tipton
Pueblo is drawn into the 5th, where it is drowned out by Colorado Springs, which makes the 3rd a safe Republican seat.  From the 5th it adds conservative Park, Fremont, and Teller Counties, as well as Chaffee and Lake Counties.
White: 77.9%, Hispanic: 17.8%; VAP: White: 80.7%, Hispanic: 15.3%
McCain: 54%, Obama: 45%
Safe R

CO-4: Gardner
By losing Longmont, rather than the rural areas, to balance out the population, it becomes more favorable for Gardner.  Drawing out Longmont kills two birds with one stone: it removes a fast-growing Democratic-leaning area, leaving only Ft. Collins and Greeley, which won't be enough to balance out the large number of Republicans, and it draws out Brandon Shaffer, Gardner's 2012 challenger.  Since Gardner is a strong incumbent, he should be able to hold it even if Larimer and Weld Counties continue to trend blue, and he would be a strong statewide candidate as well.
White: 74.4%, Hispanic: 21.0%; VAP: White: 78.1%, Hispanic: 17.5%
McCain: 51%, Obama: 47%
Likely R

CO-5: Lamborn
The 5th adds Pueblo to shore up the 3rd, but it won't be a threat to Lamborn, as it will be drowned out by Focus on the Family, err... Colorado Springs.
White: 68.2%, Hispanic: 19.9%; VAP: White: 72.0%, Hispanic: 17.2%
McCain: 55%, Obama: 43%
Safe R

CO-6: Coffman
It keeps Douglas and Elbert Counties, allowing it to remain Safe R.
White: 83.7%; VAP: White: 85.8%
McCain: 52%, Obama: 47%
Safe R

CO-7: Perlmutter
The Obama percentage goes down 4% thanks to the packing of CO-1.  In addition, it would now have gone for Bush in both 2000 and 2004, as opposed to the previous incarnation, which Gore and Kerry won 50-49 and 51-48, respectively.  This new version is basically a microcosm of the state as a whole and would be more prone to flipping in a GOP wave year, but Perlmutter would likely still hold it, although not nearly as comfortably as the current version, which he won by 11% even in 2010.
White: 64.0%, Hispanic: 23.6%; VAP: White: 69.0%, Hispanic: 19.7%
Obama: 54.6%, McCain: 43.6%
Lean D, Tossup Otherwise

Fair Map:

Denver Metro Area:

CO-1: DeGette
In this map, it still adds Littleton because, first off, I want to punish Littleton for being an awful city, and secondly, because the 6th keeps Douglas County, so it will still be safe Republican regardless.
White: 54.7%, Hispanic: 30.1%; VAP: White: 60.7%, Hispanic: 25.1%
Obama: 70%, McCain: 28%
Safe D

CO-2: Polis
The People's Republic of Boulder doesn't really fit with any other part of the state, community of interest-wise, so you have to consider who it would alienate the least by pairing it with.  In other words, don't put Boulder in a district with the rural plains areas or with Grand Junction, as the Democrats did in their map.  As in my Democratic version, it adds Park, Fremont, and part of Teller County. Boulder fits relatively well with the ski areas, as they are both largely composed of wealthy, white pot smokers. Park, Fremont, and Teller Counties, although conservative, are also in the mountains, so they can be paired with the ski areas, which are probably a better fit than with Colorado Shitkickerland/Springs, even if they don't fit too well with Boulder.  And, based on some loosely-interpreted community of interest guidelines, we have a district!
White: 75.1%, Hispanic: 17.6%; VAP: White: 78.4%, Hispanic: 14.8%
Obama: 62%, McCain: 36%
Safe D

CO-3: Tipton
Stays pretty much the same as currently.
White: 72.0%, Hispanic: 23.7%; VAP: White: 75.5%, Hispanic: 20.6%
McCain: 50%, Obama: 47%

CO-4: Gardner
This is basically the same as the Democratic gerrymander, but it also makes the most sense.
White: 75.4%, Hispanic: 19.8%; VAP: White: 79.3%, Hispanic: 16.3%
Obama 50%, McCain: 49%
Lean R for Gardner, Tossup otherwise

CO-5: Lamborn
This is also similar to the Democratic gerrymander, but any district with Colorado Springs can't be made very competitive and is going to be heavily Republican, as evidenced in the Republican gerrymander map.
White: 72.8%, Hispanic: 15.4%; VAP: White: 76.2%, Hispanic: 13.0%
McCain: 59%, Obama: 39%
Safe R

CO-6: Coffman
Although it loses Littleton, it keeps Douglas County, so it is still Safe Republican, much more-so than the Obama/McCain numbers suggest, as its portions of Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties will still vote Republican locally.
White: 81.3%; VAP: White: 83.7%
McCain: 52%, Obama: 47%
Safe/Likely R

CO-7: Perlmutter
Perlmutter's district stays pretty much the same as well.
White: 58.7%, Hispanic: 29.1%; VAP: White: 64.2%, Hispanic: 24.3%
Obama: 58%, McCain: 40%
Likely D

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to skibum59 on Sun Jul 31, 2011 at 09:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity and Community Spotlight.

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