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Colorado has a Democratic governor and Senate, a (barely) Republican House, and no system for nonpartisan redistricting save for one: the courts. So, what happens if Democrats can't pick off the one Republican state representative they need to pass their maps?

(Before I go any further, allow me to express my abject frustration that Colorado Democrats fell short of the trifecta by one legislator: AAAAUUURGH.)

Okay. Sorry about that. Well, it goes to the courts! But who knows, maybe this map could also serve as a compromise. I don't know. Actually, I'm going to find out what havoc I've wrought with this rectangular beauty of a state as I go, and I would appreciate it if Boulder State DKEnalysts can help me out if I get something ridiculously wrong. This, like my recent endeavors in drawing New York and Minnesota, is an exercise in teaching myself about a state. And hopefully it also ends up having some predictive value, since that damn trifecta was denied by the voters of just one HD. But I digress.

Unfortunately, just to get this out of the way, I have no idea which district Greendale Community College is in. Colorado doesn't actually have a Greendale County. It's made up. Oh well.

Okay, let's see what I've done here.

CO-01 (blue): Rep. Diana DeGette (D)

This district doesn't change much. It continues to include all of the bizarrely shaped Denver County, but it trades Engelwood for Lakewood. The PVI of the current district is D+21, and under this drawing, it doesn't change much (if at all). I definitely feel secure in rating this one. Safe Democratic.

CO-02 (green): Rep. Earl Perlmutter (D)

Now here's one that does change a lot. Instead of being based in Boulder, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Jared Polis lives, it wraps around northern and western Denver, centering on Westminster and Arvada. It also takes in Perlmutter's home in Golden. Consequently, it becomes a lot smaller and more urbanized. In 2008, then-Sen. Obama won Jefferson, Adams, and Broomfield counties, carrying the latter two by double digits; I'm guessing the PVI of this district, currently at D+11, drops several points on the loss of Boulder but stays pretty strongly Democratic, maybe around D+6 or D+7. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. Likely Democratic.

CO-07 (orange): Rep. Mike Coffman (R)

Perlmutter's current district loses most of the northern suburbs in Adams County, as well as most of its rural areas, and takes on the southern suburbs in Arapahoe County, thus drawing in Coffman from CO-06, as well as Columbine in Jefferson County. This new territory is split between cessions from CO-01 and CO-06, so I expect it's rather swingy all combined. If I were to guess, I'd say this makes this district, currently a D+4 in PVI, closer to D+2 or so. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong. Tossup.

CO-03 (purple): Rep. Scott Tipton (R)

The big change here is that this district loses Pueblo County and picks up a few Rocky Mountain counties in central Colorado, as well as a couple of southeastern cow counties to help make up the difference. Since Obama won Pueblo County by 15 points, I'd say that shifts the district a bit redder, though he also won big in Eagle, Lake, and Summit counties, which this district gains, and barely lost Grand and Chaffee counties, also gained. It might come out to be a wash, though I think it probably shifts this R+5 district to an R+6 or so. Likely Republican.

CO-04 (red): Rep. Cory Gardner (R)

This is probably the district that changes the least. It gains the rural eastern halves of Adams and Arapahoe counties, along with Elbert County and part of El Paso County, and loses Crowley County and most of Baca County, along with its territory in Otego and Boulder counties. It's an R+6 now, and I doubt it changes much. Likely Republican.

CO-05 (yellow): Rep. Doug Lamborn (R)

Well, this district changes its profile a bit. It now comprises most of El Paso County and all of Pueblo and Crowley counties. It's still definitely a Colorado Springs-based district, and that gives Lamborn the advantage in a serious way, but I'll wager Pueblo drops this district from being R+14 to being more like an R+6. That means Lamborn might actually have to do some work against a strong conservative Democrat with a military background. Likely Republican.

CO-06 (slate blue): Rep. Jared Polis (D)

And just when you were starting to despair! This district changes dramatically from its current incarnation, which Tom Tancredo held down not so long ago. It goes from being an R+8 to probably a D+7 or so, mostly thanks to ultra-liberal Boulder County. Polis should hold this pretty convincingly. Likely Democratic.

So, it turns out it's a pretty good map for the Republicans, unless I'm mistaken about those southern Denver suburbs in CO-07 - in which case this map would be a wash. But it looks like it gives them a 3-4-1 map instead of the current 4-4.

Thoughts? Complaints?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, Earth Ling, MichaelNY

    Independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 05:33:03 AM PDT

  •  I wouldn't be so bearish on CO-03. (0+ / 0-)

    I doubt the district changes. If anything, the district might actually become a touch MORE Democratic by having Routt, Eagle, Summit, Lake, Pitkin, and Gunnison Counties, which all voted over 60% Obama. I wouldn't call this any more than Leans Republican, and it will probably be a Tossup if the right Dem runs.

  •  I had no idea Community was set in CO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hmm, learn new things every day now

  •  The main thing I am hoping for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is that they break up the current CO-07 in a big way.  Currently Perlmutter's district earmuffs around Denver to include both Aurora and Arvada, which basically limits us to just two Dem districts in the greater Denver area.  If instead they based his district purely in Jefferson County (where he's from) and the western parts of Adams County, that would allow Aurora to anchor another entire district.

    That entire district would end up being Mike Coffman's of course, as all variations of that plan end up putting his house in that Dem-leaning district.  Send the Colorado Springs-based district up the I-25 instead and have it eat up Douglas County and Coffman gets screwed even further without his best county.

    That's basically what the Democratic plan would have been and would have guaranteed a 4-3 split in our favor, while still giving us a shot at the rural districts for a potential 6-1 split in a good year for us.

    •  Yeah, this map does the CO-02/CO-06/CO-07... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Split that way in Metro Denver.

      I think the best case for Democrats with this map is actually 8-0 (with at least four of those Democrats needing to be centrist enough to win in districts with Republican PVIs in the mid-single digits) and the best case for Republicans is 2-6 (CO-02 is technically gettable, but it would require a horrible Democratic candidate who generates utterly no enthusiasm in Boulder).

      Independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 07:10:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Denver County isn't that "bizarrely shaped." (0+ / 0-)

    That appendage to the northeast is Denver Airport, which, of course, is virtually unpopulated.

  •  Wasting Pueblo (0+ / 0-)

    I like your Denver layout, but you're wasting Pueblo by throwing it in with CSprings. The communities have very little in common, and Pueblo is really the only way to keep the W. Slope district competitive. It's also historically remained in that district, something the Courts (if 2002 is any indication) will consider when making their ruling. Additionally, our candidate for that seat, Rep. Pace, is smack dab in your new yellow district, and wouldn't be able to try and take out Rep. Tipton.

    With how crazy the El Paso GOP is, there's a SLIGHT chance a R+6 district including Pueblo could elect a Blue Dog (former Rep. Buffie McFayden, perhaps).

    I don't think the courts will push Pueblo out as the southern anchor of Co-03, but it would be a shame if they did, and definitely would hurt our chances.

    24, DKElections Gay Caucus Policy Chair; CA-14 (law school), CO-05 (home)

    by Kretzy on Thu Jun 16, 2011 at 09:09:12 AM PDT

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