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December 16, 2020 06:48 AM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“We cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves, from ourselves.”

–John McCain


37 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

  1. I like this CD8 proposal, and the alternate one, too.:

    Wonder if there are any progressive rural hemp farmers looking to expand horizons? 😉

      1. CO-08 in that map would be Fort Collins plus Greeley, minus Denver suburbs that are in Weld County. Larimer County is pretty Republican, outside of Fort Collins, which is liberal but does have more conservative suburbs (McMansion type people).

        However, FTC is growing quickly, and Loveland is no longer the rock-ribbed fascist enclave of the 1990s. It's where CSU grad students and Poudre District school teachers can afford to live. If you want to be scared (or scarred), drive through NE FTC from the Budweiser plant through Wellington.

        Greeley is growing as well, and CO-08 as drawn also splits off all the Farm Country of Eastern Colorado.

    1. I can’t tell if that map follows county boundaries, which is something our districting is supposed to emphasize.

      One weird thing in that map is putting Denver’s NE, E, SE and S suburbs with the Eastern Plains. Diverse Denver suburban commuters with farmers? Of course that suburban population would perhaps make CO-04 evenly split D/R.

      Community of interest would really keep Greeley with the Eastern plains, and somehow keep Adams and Aurora with Northern metro cities like Frederick, Erie, Northglen & Broomfield.

      Looking at Wasserman’s other map, adding Pueblo to CO-04 might add more Ds there, if we still think of Pueblo as a Democratic bastion. Western Slope becomes more Red, dominated as it would be by Grand Junction.

      1. Wasserman’s second map incorporates Pueblo into CD4, which would make it more competitive. I was mostly just ribbing our resident hemp farmer, since both proposals leave Wray still stuck in CD4 ( and my old stomping grounds in Brush and Fort Morgan). 

        But both maps make CD5 and CD4 more competitive, which might allow Lamebrain and Buck to finally retire and find less dangerous hobbies. 

        The proposed CD8 would, as you say, incorporate some university town populations into Dumphuckistan. It would balance our Congressional delegation as a whole, making it more purple and less bleeding red meat. Both maps seem to have written off CD3 as a permanently Republican district- perhaps informed by the election of Calamity Jane.

        1. Ugh. We’re going to be stuck in CD-4 to infinity and beyond to quote my old friend Buzz Lightyear.  I do like the idea of Pueblo being inside 4. 

        2. I am sad to say I don’t think I will live to see a Democrat in the CD3 seat. There are powerful players who want the bright red enclave that is Mesa county, to remain so… forevah!

          1. I know, Duke. Gawd it’s depressing. DMB blew the best chance we had for a long, long time. Our only faint hope is the GOP powers-that-be tire of Calamity Jane quickly and nominate someone who at least won’t be a national joke. Is that too much to ask?

            1. Look on the bright side, Gertie. It’s pretty likely that Qbert will Q-uit  halfway through her term, like her role model, Sarah Palin, and for some of the same reasons ( ethics fines, boring job, need to be bipartisan, in way over her head intellectually, much more money to be made as spokesmodel, family responsibilities). 
              If so. I’m sure Jared Polis will do the right thing. 

              1. Thanks for the effort, KW, but she won't quit. The money is wildly better than she and her dirtbag hubby have ever made and she's an attention whore.

                The guv would have nothing to do with it, anyway. House vacancies are filled by special election, and Janet Rowland is raring to go.


                1. @gertie97: yep, Lauren is basking in the worship from the Parler, Newsmax, InfoWars, Breitbart, and the like, crowd. And she’ll be raking in the cash. The only unknown thing for us, as I posted elsewhere here earlier this month, is how long Jayson will want to be Mr. Lauren Boebert. 

                  I restrict my gambling to occasionally buying a few Colorado lottery scratch tickets, and driving on I-25. But I might wager that he will get a “buy-out” from the right wing between now and election day in 2022. As a mother properly should, Lauren will want to provide well for her boys, and “Truck Stop Jayson” won’t be able to do that.

      1. Amendment Y – Congressional Redistricting

        The final map requires the approval of eight of the 12 members, including at least 2 members that are not affiliated with any political party. It also requires approval by the Colorado Supreme Court. Under the amendment, districts need to be competitive. Competitive is defined in the measure as having a reasonable potential to change parties at least once every ten years. Measuring competitiveness entails evidenced-based analyses, voter registration data, and past election results. Upon the approval of a final map (redistricting plan), the commission is required to create a report demonstrating the extent to which districts are competitive.

        The map approved by the commission and by the Colorado Supreme Court would not be subject to legislative approval or the governor's veto or to veto referendum petitions.

        Amendment Z – State Legislative Redistricting

        The final map needs the approval of eight of the 12 members, including at least 2 members that are not affiliated with any political party. Under the amendment, districts need to be competitive. Competitive is defined in the amendment as having a reasonable potential to change parties at least once every ten years. Measuring competitiveness entails evidenced-based analyses, voter registration data, and past election results. Upon the approval of a final map (redistricting plan), the commission is required to create a report demonstrating the extent to which districts are competitive.

        The map approved by the commission and by the Colorado Supreme Court would not be subject to legislative approval or the governor's veto or to veto referendum petitions.


        1. Does Ammendment Y require that the city & county of Denver be cracked into multiple skinny districts (like Austin, TX) reaching out to the Eastern Plains and Colorado Springs in order to have some remote chance of being competitive?

          Or does it require that the Republican Party stop being white-supremecist gun-nut assholes?

          1. I doubt it. Doesn't the amendment allow for communities of interest to be considered in map drawing.

            If so, Denver will never be divided. Nor will El Paso County.


        2. The "competitiveness" requirement (which I like) might drive some interesting district lines. But how do we make CD3 competitive the way it needs to be – add Summit or ?? Really aren't a lot of non-gerrymandering options. I think it means the real work will be in getting the sane out to vote.

          1. I like the idea of adding Summit to CD 3. But are there enough voters there to make a difference? 

            Competitiveness always loses out to "communities of interest" when it comes to drawing districts.

        3. I shouldn't have relied on ballotpedia. Text of the amendments:

          and specifically (for Y):

          Section 44.3. Criteria for determinations of congressional districts – definition.









          More or less the same for Z.

          So 3 semi-competing criteria:

          – equal population size

          – retain compact, communities of interest

          – not all districts have to be competitive (allows some districts to be forever red and some to be forever blue?)



      2. Kickshot,


        Why are we throwing possible maps around if the commission members haven't even been picked yet?

        Because this is a political blog, and with the election over for two years except for GOP whining and tantrums, redistricting will be the biggest political question on the table? 

        I admit,I hope that some of the eventual Commission members read these discussions and consider the arguments.


        1. The intent of Y&Z was to take politics out of the process.

          I hope that they confine their considerations to the data and the data only, at least initially. From that they can entertain social and political considerations on the list of what they have that fits the criteria the best.

          1. I’m aware of Y and Z and voted for them. Further, Wasserman, as editor of the Cook Political Report and head US house district numbers cruncher, is aware of the criteria for numerically equal Districts, plus all the other considerations you’ve mentioned.

            I’m merely speculating on the political implications of an 8th CO district under all these criteria. And that’s a legit occupation for a political blog on a slow Wednesday. 

            Speaking of apportionment and redistricting:
            Trump might not be able to muck up the apportionment process post-Census to ignore areas with large non-citizen immigrant populations. Which is good, and yay for the Census bureaucrats for trying to do their jobs right. So even if  Trump pushes the Census to push out dubious numbers excluding all undocumented immigrants before he leaves Jan 20, Colorado and other states with redistricting agendas will probably wait for better data- until end of January at the earliest. 

            It impacts some of our reddest districts in Colorado.  CD3 has a 24% nonwhite population. Fort Morgan, in CD4 is the most diverse ( 50+ languages and cultures in schools, for example) city in Colorado due to the large refugee population working in the meat and dairy industries. Red districts rely on undocumented immigrants for cheap labor. That’s their dirty little secret. But those immigrants and their young adult children are registering to vote. Change is on the horizon. 


            1. A mathematical tool that can take politics out of the process.

              The example uses the same criteria as Y and Z. The tool allows for tweaks prior to generation of the maps.

              This would be my input to the commission:

              Develop criteria

              Let the tool do the rest

  2. WOTD from 538: “Why the Suburbs have shifted Blue

    Really interesting map showing change in diversity of suburban and urban counties from 2010 to 2018. There were significant increases in diversity in the swing states of the Midwest, East and South.

    The measurement is the likelihood of any two random people from the county meeting someone of a different race. Some counties in TX and CA became less diverse due to growth in the hispanic demographic.

    In Colorado, over half of these suburban/exurban counties grew more diverse or stayed even.

    They caution that increase in education levels is probably more important than diversity.

  3. WOTD2 from Ibram X. Kendi  at the Atlantic: “Stop Scapegoating Progressives.”

    Kendi calls for an end to the disinformation campaign against progressive candidates. Moderate Democrats are using Republican attack memes to discredit progressives.

    Neither moderate nor progressive candidates generally ran on socialism or defunding the police. Republican candidates, though, commonly ran attack ads declaring that all Democrats from Biden to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were far-left socialists seeking to defund the police. But instead of uniting with progressives to attack Republican misinformation after the election, some moderate Democrats attacked progressives, thereby spreading Republican misinformation.

    Note that Biden won the election on a moderate platform despite being a Democrat accused of being a radical socialist and defunding the police.

    Note that the Republican Party is actually defunding the police by holding up COVID aid to cities and states that are being forced to cut services.

    If the main line of Republican misinformation right now is voter fraud, then the main line of Democratic misinformation is that progressive policies are unpopular. Just as Donald Trump’s claims of fraud have proved to be a self-soothing delusion, moderates’ attacks on progressives are untethered from the reality of increasing support for progressive policies.

    Progressive policies succeeded in swing states and red states during this election cycle. Florida voters passed a $15 minimum wage. Voters in ArizonaSouth Dakota, and Montana legalized recreational marijuana. Arizona raised taxes on the rich to fund public schools. Colorado voters instituted 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

    Progressive policies, with the exception of defunding the police, are fairly popular. The majority of Americans and the majority of low-income Republicans favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15. The majority of respondents to an Ipsos poll this year, including 46 percent of Republicans and 72 percent of Democrats, said a $1,000-a-month “universal basic income” would make a difference in “their community in building a strong economy that gives everyone a chance to succeed.” A Fox News pollconducted the week before Election Day found that 70 percent of respondents were concerned about the effects of climate change; 77 percent said racism is a serious problem in U.S. society; 72 percent said racism in policing is a serious problem; and 67 percent said the criminal-justice system needs major changes or a complete overhaul. According to a Fox News exit poll, 70 percent of voters favored changing the health-care system to allow Americans to buy into a government-run plan. In another poll, by Climate Nexus, 59 percent of respondents supported the Green New Deal, while only 25 percent opposed it. Two out of three respondents in yet another recent poll supported some form of widespread student-loan forgiveness, including 58 percent of Republicans.

    But candidates in swing districts supporting progressive policies did win. “Every single swing-seat House Democrat who endorsed #MedicareForAll won re-election or is on track to win re-election,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. In the House, California’s Katie Porter, Josh Harder, and Mike Levin; Pennsylvania’s Matt Cartwright and Susan Wild; Oregon’s Peter DeFazio; and Arizona’s Ann Kirkpatrick all supported Medicare for All in swing districts and prevailed.* None of the Democrats who lost their reelection bids for the House supported Medicare for All. Among the 93 co-sponsors of the Green New Deal in the House, only one lost reelection. Four co-sponsors who represent swing districts ranging from very slightly Democrat to moderately Republican won reelection.

  4. Then why the hell didn't she run to be Dem candidate for speaker when the Dems caucus had its organizational meeting after the election?

    Ocasio-Cortez takes direct shot at Pelosi and Schumer – POLITICO

    She should have put together her own leadership comprised of the rest of the Mod Squad. Instead, all she does is complain.

    BTW, her complaint is that there is no generational succession happening. That's not true. Hakeem Jeffries (who was born in 1970) is in line to become the next minority leader or speaker, depending upon how badly or how well the Dems do in 2022.

    1. I'm guessing the AOC doesn't want to be leader. She sure as hell is a good Sisyphus pushing on the Overton window.

      Ocasio-Cortez has contributed immensely by serving as an advocate for certain extremely popular policies, including dealing with climate change, and expanding government health insurance.

      1. You can actually watch the AOC interview instead of reading the Republican talking points. In fact, she said personally that she isn’t ready for it.

        The discussion was about the lack of and the need to create a transition from the “old-guard”, Hoyer, Pelosi, Schumer, etc. Nurturing a new generation is important, and then, depending on what happens in 2022, Pelosi can retire as either the goat or the hero. Rachel Bitecofer points out:

        When/if this person emerges, god willing they realize that the power of the House Speakership is agenda setting control, narrative setting control & it is LEGION. It is also the power Pelosi ignores.

        Oh, that’s just what JohninDenver said, below.

    2. AOC's complaint is that there is "no plan" for transition.  I understand that as "I don't know what plans are being made, but I'm pretty certain I won't like them."

      I expect over the coming year, there will be growing clarity about a plan (or plans) for post-Pelosi. 

      I sort of expected a step-wise plan, with Hoyer and Clyburn stepping down sooner rather than later, and Pelosi not running for another term, setting herself up to be the hero or scapegoat for what may happen with the 2022 election.



      1. I think all three are going after '22 election, especially if it resembles what happened in '10 or in '94.

        Hakeem Jeffries is positioned to do the re-building after the debacle.

        1. Hakeem…..that's the dude I was thinking of, but didn't have the name quickly on top of my brain. His interviews are interesting. I also like Rep. Tom Malinowski from NJ. What about Diana DeGette?

  5. We might be seeing the start of the cleft between Trumpism and the Republican party. Not surprisingly, it will come down to greed. Trump Fundraises in GA – Nothing to Senate Candidates

    Trump never learned to share. He will need to fleece his cult members for everything they have to pay for his debts and legal defense costs. When Republican politicians realize that his rallies are exclusively fundraisers for him (and nothing for them) they may reconsider their ass-kissing strategy in the future. 

    1. That is why I cannot in good conscience criticize Trump's siphoning money out of Kelley Loefler and David Perdue's re-election campaigns. 

      In the perfect world, I'd rather he not receive the money either but I want to see Osoff and Warnock win those races. 

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