Colorado Redistricting

I am worried about the Colorado Governorship but the Democrats should still control one part of the State Legislature. They have large majorities in both houses. This calls for an incumbent protection plan even though I already expect one because the Democrats want to protect Betsy Markey and John Salazar. Salazar seems pretty safe but I decided to protect him anyway because eventually, the Republicans will find a strong challenger. The two other Republicans should have no problems under this plan. Here are the maps:

Northwest Colorado

Northeast Colorado

Southeast Colorado

Southwest Colorado

District 1 Diana De Gette (D) Blue

This district resembles Betsy Markey’s current district a bit because I extended it out into the heavily Republican prairie. Even though these counties are heavily Republican, they have barely any people. Since Denver is so Democratic, Republicans have no chance at this district. To satisfy minority politicians, this district is also minority majority. Obama probably won 69% of the vote here. Demographics are 8% Black, 38% Hispanic and 48% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 2 Jared Polis (D) Green

Okay, I did not make everyone stronger. I sent Polis’s district out to the Utah border to include Mesa County (Grand Junction) which McCain won by 20,000 votes. Polis should not worry because Boulder County (Boulder) went for Obama by 80,000 votes. Excluding the slice of Jefferson and Adams Counties, the vote results for the new 2nd district were Obama 174,567 and McCain 116,890. I estimate Obama won about 56% of the vote in the Jefferson and Adams County portions so Obama probably won 59% of the vote in the district.  Polis is a Boulder Liberal and the district should be Democratic enough to protect him. Demographics are 13% Hispanic and 81% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 3 John Salazar (D) Purple

I removed Grand Junction and nearby Republican counties in return for more ski resort counties in the Rocky Mountains like Eagle County. The Jefferson County part I added should not interrupt the district because it only has about 14% of the district’s population. Overall, Obama probably won 55% of the vote here. Salazar won here easily but now, I am sure he will win reelection here until he retires. Demographics are 22% Hispanic and 72% White. Status is Safe Democrat.

District 4 Betsy Markey (D) Red

Obama barely lost the old district because it had most of the heavily Republican counties to the east. I took those out and exchanged them with some Democratic territory in Adams County. The 4th district still has Republican Weld County but its votes should be offset by Adams County. Obama probably won 53-54% of the vote here, enough to protect Freshman Betsy Markey. Demographics are 19% Hispanic and 75% White. Status is Safe/Likely Democrat.

District 5 Doug Lamborn (R) Yellow

This district was already heavily Republican, even though Obama did much better here than Kerry. Those eastern counties needed to get into a district so I chose this one. Since it retains its base at Colorado Springs, Lamborn should be here indefinitely. McCain probably won 61% of the vote here. Demographics are 5% Black and 14% Hispanic. Status is Safe Republican.

District 6 Mike Coffman (R) Teal

Coffman gets a boost too under the new map. He loses small portions of Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties which lean Democratic. Since Douglas County is the fastest growing county in Colorado, the 6th district does not need much new territory to balance population. I also added heavily Republican Teller County. Overall, the district becomes more Republican. In the later part of the 2010’s, the district might become shaky as more Democrats move into the suburbs. For now, Coffman is safe unless he faces an extremely hard challenge. McCain probably won 55% of the vote. Status is Safe/Likely Republican.

District 7 Ed Perlmutter (D) Gray

I kept the district mostly the way it was. The changes I made were taking out Republican parts of Adams County, a bit of Jefferson and I added a touch of Denver. These changes should make the district even more Democratic, ensuring Perlmutter’s safety. I decided it was too risky to try to swap some territory with the 6th district to weaken Coffman. It would not be worth it because there will be Republican years. The Democratic incumbents need to be as safe as possible. Obama probably won 62% of the vote here. Demographics are 7% Black, 23% Hispanic and 62% White. Status is Safe Democrat.  

By what margin will Bob Shamansky win?

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7 thoughts on “Colorado Redistricting”

  1. So, yes, an incumbent-protection plan is likely. It will probably look something like this.

    BTW, it would be helpful if you could include a detailed map of metro Denver.

  2. You definitely accomplished your goals of protecting Markey and Salazar–I’m just not sure they need quite as much protection as you gave them. I can understand doing this for Salazar’s district–his is the most conservative district in the state held by the Dems and a Republican could win it if he moves on. But Markey won by the biggest margin of any freshman and ran up big numbers in Larimer (2-to-1 margin) and even won Weld by six points. So she’s not just safe, she would slaughter her challengers in her new district (I’d guess she could probably hit 65% with this map). But hey, your stated goal was protecting incumbents, so mission accomplished.

    The only problems with this map that I could see are pragmatic ones–Diana DeGette may not like this arrangement and she’s the dean of the delegation. Depending on where you shifted the borders of Perlmutter’s district, you may not have made it as strong as you think. Folks in metro Denver may not appreciate being split among 6 of the state’s 7 districts. Overall, though, a very interesting map … it’s totally gerrymandertastic!

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