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December 29, 2011 10:28 PM UTC

Colorado To Add a New Congressional Seat?

  • by: Colorado Pols

According to Real Clear Politics, Colorado appears to be one of just 6 states poised to gain a congressional seat in 2020:

For those of us who follow congressional races closely, the Census Bureau granted us an early Christmas present when it released 2011 estimates for population in each state. Using these numbers, we can extrapolate changes in population from the 2010 numbers, and estimate what the population of each state would look like in 2020 if the trends hold true. This then enables us to determine what the next congressional apportionment could look like…

…Seat number 435 is projected to go to Oregon in 2020, meaning that if, instead, its growth slows down just a bit, it would not see any change in seats. Seats number 434 through 428 are, respectively: California’s 54th district, Texas’s 39th, Florida’s 28th, Alabama’s 7th, Colorado’s 8th, California’s 53rd, and North Carolina’s 14th.

(h/t to Phoenix Rising)


13 thoughts on “Colorado To Add a New Congressional Seat?

  1. I ran similar numbers two or three years ago and it didn’t look like Colorado would be getting a new seat until 2030 or 2040 at the earliest.  The 2011 numbers may have a temporary oil and gas industry boost in Colorado, but perhaps we are just starting to see the longer term impacts of the financial crisis on long term population trends in previously faster booming states like Florida and California, and perhaps industrial slumps in places like Michigan have speeded up.

    1. The big population growth areas in the state right now are around Greeley/Fort Collins and in the southern suburbs of Denver.

      With an extra seat, district boundaries will contract a bit.

      Compactness might favor a district that is 100% within the JeffCo borders.  That would push CO-01 back within the Denver borders (perhaps to ooze out somewhere else if it needs voters).  CO-02 would contract a bit on the south end, possibly ceding Broomfield and Lafayette to CO-07 while picking up Longmont from CO-04.  CO-04 would probably cede Castle Rock back to CO-06 as well, making the 6th a more Republican district once again while making CO-04 more competitive in exchange.  CO-03 would give some mountain communities back to CO-02.  CO-05 will remain little changed.  CO-06 will shift back south a bit toward Castle Rock, ceding the northeastern suburbs to a re-re-arranged CO-07.  CO-07 would then be the northern suburbs up to Lafayette and possibly sneaking down to the Aurora city limits.  The new district, CO-08, would be JeffCo plus or minus – plus Gilpin and/or Clear Creek if it needs more population, minus some of its border towns if it’s got too much.  That’s one scenario.  My guess is that makes CO-01 safe D, CO-02 lean D, CO-03 lean R, CO-04 toss-up, CO-05 safe R, CO-06 lean R, CO-07 safe D, and CO-08 toss-up.  (Lean being a broad term here, including strong lean…)

      It’s awfully hard to guess, though – this could be completely off as I’m SWAG’ing the numbers.

          1. something to play with as things stand now and are projected to be standing later. So you’ll have no need to be embarrassed. My Nene analysis of a only a couple weeks ago was completely off base and I’m delighted, not embarrassed. Nene rules! Maybe by 2020, demographics will be such that Dems will rule as far as the eye can see anywhere near any metro areas so your projections will prove overly optimistic for Rs.

    2. Last night, just for fun, I played around with the maps for a while to see if I could create an 8-seat Colorado congressional map that keeps the 8 most populated counties in Colorado whole and separate. And I had some success.

      The goal population of each district (if we were doing it based on the 2010 census) is 628,648. This doesn’t account for growth over the next eight years, of course, but this wasn’t meant to be practical.

      Obviously these would all need some tweeking, but I don’t have that software, so I just tried to get close. I used data from the reapportionment commission as well as census numbers from here:

      I also don’t have anything to predict the performance of these districts, but someone else might be able to make an educated guess on what a map like this would do for the partisan balance of the delegation.

      CD 1 – Denver County

      including the sections of Arapahoe County, like Glendale, that are intermixed with it’s borders.

      Est Pop 626,647

      CD 2 – Boulder County

      and the I-70 West Corridor, including Mesa, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Gilpen, Clear Creek, Moffat, Grand, and Rio Blanco counties.

      Est Pop 627,703

      CD 3 – Douglas County

      and the South West, including Montrose, Delta, Montezuma, Las Animas, Elbert, Freemont, Pitkin, Gunnison, Teller, Dolores, San Miguel, San Juan, Ouray, La Plata, Hinsdale, Mineral, Archuleta, Alamosa, Rio Grand, Saguache, Conejos, Otero, Custer, and Costilla counties.

      Est Pop 629,036

      CD 4 – Adams County

      and the East, including Pueblo, Crowley, Bent, Prowers, Baca, Washington, Yuma, Phillips, Sedgwick, Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Huerfano counties.

      Est Pop 629,349

      CD 5 – El Paso County

      and Lincoln County.

      Est Pop 627,730

      CD 6 – Arapahoe County

      and Elbert County (including the section of Douglas County currently in CD 6)

      Est Pop 628,748

      CD 7 – Jefferson County

      and Central Colorado, including Lake, Chaffe, Park, and Broomfield counties.

      Est Pop 631,748

      CD 8 – Larimer County

      and the North, including Weld, Morgan, Logan, Jackson and Routte counties.

      Est Pop 628,226

      1. that we’ve never approached redistricting this way and probably never will, but I thought it would be in interesting exercise to see what could be done if we tried.

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