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This is a new step in the series of maps finding the limits for a Democratic Gerrymander. Today's maps are about Colorado.

I recently published als maps for Minnesota and Iowa. It requieres a work to find the limits, and I have been doing alternatively the three maps until I have been convinced about them. It is the reason why all them come together at same time.

In the case of this map about Colorado, I was in the limits some time ago, but with so ugly maps. It required a time to find this way to be still in the limits but with a nicer solution.

The result of the work gives 6 Safe D districts that are D+5 according to Obama 2008 results, and one Safe R district that is R+22 and is very close to the reddest possible district that can be drawed in Colorado.

Go in to see the maps. I wish to remember you that the purpose of this series is to find the most Democratic map for Colorado. It means to have the maximum number of districts in a level that we can consider Safe for the Democratic party, and to make the rest of the districts as Democratic as possible. Sometimes ugly maps, not well done, are called unproperly Democratic Gerrymanders. I think it is necessary that the people see where are the real limits for a Democratic map. In this case the limits for a Democratic map of Colorado.

Overall map:

 photo CO6D0SD0SR1R_zps1d5a0e4c.jpg

CO-01: D DeGette (D)

 photo CO-01_zpsecb5b67e.jpg

CO-02: J Polis (D) and S Tipton (R)

 photo CO-02_zpsf259cae1.jpg

CO-03: Open by R

 photo CO-03_zpsfb1dfec7.jpg

CO-04: D Lanborn (R)

 photo CO-04_zpse7a85c18.jpg

CO-05: Open by R

 photo CO-05_zps8a3bd9ee.jpg

CO-06: M Coffman (R)

 photo CO-06_zpsf515bc7a.jpg

CO-07: E Perlmutter (D)

 photo CO-07_zpsf996e2c0.jpg

Note that the pink lines in some maps are the city borders.

In this case CO-02 is a little over the safety level. To make the ideal map for this safety level, CO-02 should be down until 57.5% Obama 2008 and CO-04 should up a little. But I wanted you see this version because here CO-04 is very close to the reddest district that can be drawed in Colorado. It was very low room to improve CO-04 after making safe D the rest of the districts.


01.- Hawaii 2D-0SD-0SR-0R map
02.- Vermont 1D-0SD-0SR-0R map
03.- New York 27D-0SD-0SR-0R map (28-0 then still)
04.- Rhode Island 2D-0SD-0SR-0R map
05.- Maryland 8D-0SD-0SR-0R map
06.- Massachusetts 9D-0SD-0SR-0R map
07.- California 53D-0SD-0SR-0R map
08.- Delaware 1D-0SD-0SR-0R map
09.- New Jersey 10D-0SD-0SR-2R map
10.- Connecticut 5D-0SD-0SR-0R map
11.- Illinois 18D-0SD-0SR-0R map
12.- Maine 2D-0SD-0SR-0R map
13.- Washington 10D-0SD-0SR-0R map
14.- Oregon
15.- Michigan
16.- New Mexico 2D-1SD-0SR-0R map
17.- Wisconsin
18.- Minnesota 6D-0SD-1SR-1R map
19.- Nevada 3D-0SD-1SR-0R map
20.- Iowa 3D-0SD-0SR-1R map
21.- New Hampshire 0D-2SD-0SR-0R map
22.- Pennsylvania
23.- Colorado 6D-0SD-0SR-1R map
24.- Virginia

From a total of 178 seats, the maps for these 19 states are showing a potential of:
- 168 safe seats for the Democratic party.
- 3 swing seats with a Democratic lean (SD) and Democratic incumbents.
- 2 swing seat with a Republican lean (SR) and Republican incumbents (except C Peterson).
- 5 safe seats for the Republicans.
Then 172 of 178 seats would be in Democratic hands taking into account that C Peterson would run as incumbent. It gives a potential improvement of 44 US House seats (all them from 11 of the 19 states).

When a 27-0-0-0 map for NY can be done, it means that every option under this level can be drawed (26-1-0-0, 26-0-1-0,...). Only it is necessary to define the requirements. With lower level of requirements nicer looking maps can be done.

Being a person that like the doable things, I'm looking first to the states where the Democratic party has better chance of being in control of the Redistricting process. While the maps for Oregon are ready in the DRA (David's Redistricting Application), the next step should be Michigan. It will take time until the following redistricting diary.

Originally posted to abgin on Fri May 23, 2014 at 08:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm in favor of minimizing boundaries and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    not allowing weird shapes.  I'm also in favor of limiting it to once every ten years, after the census (that means Texas sucks!).  So, even at 6-1, I'd still not like this for Colorado.  I can understand wanting to do mental gymnastics, but no - can't support or advocate for this as I could see us all too easily on the wrong end like so many folks are back East.

    •  It is nice in theory (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14, Jorge Harris, GoUBears

      The reality, is that the Republicans, with uglier maps than this, drived the median seat to R+2/3 winning the majority in the chamber despite losing the popular vote for the US House, and making very difficult for the Democratic Party to regain the majority.

      The Democratic Party, and the left need solutions to change this unbalanced situation.

      In this series I'm showing to the people the limits for Democratic maps. In some cases, like this, the maps are doable with a few little changes.

      I'm not calling to support these maps, there are enough good options without go to the limits, but it is necessary to be conscient of what the Democratic Party can do.

      The Democratic voters can not be criying all the day about how bad is the Republican majority in the US House when the own side is not doing what is allowed to change the things.

      •  What would apply to one should apply to both (0+ / 0-)

        The Republican gerrymanders with the atrocious shapes and the results where they get fewer votes but more representation should prove to all that they're not being democratic (small "d").  I'm not in favor of schemes to reverse that and be just as mean to the Republicans as they were to us.

        •  Why not? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They deserve it.

          I'd love to see North Carolina-style Democratic gerrymanders in as many states as possible. We shouldn't stop doing it unless they do.

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Sat May 24, 2014 at 01:11:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's a nice sentiment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      abgin, ColoTim

      But as long as redistricting is controlled by legislatures Dem legislatures ought to do their part to offset what the Rep legislatures are doing. To do otherwise is political suicide and dooms the Dems to irrelevance in the House.

      As far as being on the wrong end, if the Reps control CO redistricting after the 2020 census you will be on the wrong end, and it will be a long time before there is another Dem legislature or congressional delegation in CO. Reps take advantage of every break they're given, and if Dems play fair Reps just figure they're patsies who really don't care about winning.

      I understand that drawing really egregious gerrymanders feels like cheating, but if the other team is cheating and there's no ref or umpire to call them on it, you're going to lose as long as you play fair. Now in the world of football or baseball, you feel bad about it, but you get over it. In the world of politics there are real-world consequences for real people from losing.

      Now even in a world of non-partisan redistricting commissions, I'd allow a certain amount of weird shapes and splitting of communities of interest in the pursuit of competitive districts. At least here in Michigan, given the packing of Dem voters in the large cities and certain suburbs, strict adherence to shape or COI criteria would guarantee continued Rep domination of the legislature under everything other than a Dem wave election such as 06 or 08. Part of my charge to a commission would be to maximize the number of districts within, say, 2-3 points of the statewide average, with an equal distribution of districts on either side of that average.

      Born and raised in NJ-03, went to college in NJ-06, grad school in IN-04, now live in MI-09. Economic -6.12 Social -8.31 The Republicans turned me into a Democrat

      by Don K on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:45:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That isn't a good comment for a DKE diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProudNewEnglander, emilysdad

      DKE is where redistricting junkies hang out, and is a place for discussion about the impact or effectiveness of various proposals, not for theoretical discussions about gerrymandering itself. Take those to "regular" dKos.

      •  How about taking yourself to a different blog? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm a Kossack, and there's no reason I can't make a comment in a diary - especially when it's about my own state.  If you don't want to see comments like mine, get your own blog and have fun.

        •  DKE is a "Different Blog" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emilysdad, ProudNewEnglander, gabjoh

          DKE started out as s separate blog, the Swing State Project before it merged into dKos in 2011. As it was at SSP, DKE remains a place for data-driven analysis of electoral politics rather than a place for advocacy or policy discussions.

          •  Thank you for that note. I recall the Swing State (0+ / 0-)

            Project, but didn't recognize the DKE nor had I browsed through the various "family" titles down in the bottom masthead to see it there.  

            How could my reading of the diary (and I did note that it's my own state and I republished it to Colorado COmmunity) and then commenting on it be inappropriate and so I shouldn't post for the diary - at least not to give my opinion?  I feel spurned for nothing more than giving my opinion in a DailyKos diary - if your group doesn't like people posting, why write diaries that are able to be commented upon?  Or if only the "right" type of comments are to be allowed - maybe put something in the diary masthead or tip jar that says "only those of like minds may post"?

            •  Thank you for reposting the diary (0+ / 0-)

              Personally I do not think you do nothing wrong in this diary. There are some conventions in relation with DKE, but I welcome you to this diary and I appreciate your comments.

              Thank you very much for reposting the diary for the people from your home state.

  •  I love the finger into Grand Junction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's something even I haven't tried.

    It's ugly, but at least you have three nice-looking districts (1, 6, 7).

    Do you think you could draw a 7-1 D map, since it is quite likely that Colorado will gain an 8th district in 2020?

    (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

    by ProudNewEnglander on Sat May 24, 2014 at 07:26:54 AM PDT

    •  8 District map (0+ / 0-)

      In order to have one Democratic district more with the current census data we would need to take part of this CO-04. Exactly it would be 1/8 of this CO-04, that should be also 57.5% Obama 2008.

      This is not possible.

      In an 8 district map, the new district would be likely D+1 or D+2. The most likely option maybe D+2. This is what I can tell you without check strongly the map.

      But with the following decade census data, the things can change a little. It depend of the electoral behaviour of the new inhabitants. I would not rule out an 8 district map with 7 D+5 districts under the 2020 census data.

      •  This is my 6-1 map (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        abgin, ProudNewEnglander

         photo coloradomap_zps766b7ebd.png

        It's very neat. The 1st district is extremely Republican; gave McCain 65% of the vote. (Blue).

        The new green 2nd, is 55.7% Obama containing Pueblo, rural hispanic counties, and sky resorts, plus the southern, Democratic leaning area of Colorado Springs. The purple third, has Boulder plus Fremont and the northern half of Colorado Springs, and is around 56% Obama. The red forth has central Denver plus Centennial and parts of Arapahoe plus Elbert county, also sits at 55.3%. The yellow is Jefferson plus Western Denver and sits at 59.7% Obama. The teal is Fort Collins plus Greeley and hispanic areas of Weld, and east Aurora county, and also at 55% Obama. Then the senveth gray is Easteern Denver plus parts of Aurora and Arapahoe. It sits at 62.5% Obama.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Sat May 24, 2014 at 01:40:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just curious about your VRA approach in series (0+ / 0-)

    While you seem to have made efforts (obviously no need in Colorado), at least in MD, NJ, CA, IL. That's going to become harder as you progress to more racially polarized states. Just curious how you'll approach that.

    Also, just so you know, it's possible to do Maryland with 2 50.0% VAP AA districts while holding the others to 60.0% Obama.

    ME-01 (college) ID-01 (home) -4.75, -2.10

    by GoUBears on Sat May 24, 2014 at 09:19:49 PM PDT

    •  Maybe possible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The map drawed for MD was with the 2000 census data, and I think it was not possible to reach this level with the 2000 data. In 2011 the 2010 census data was not ready still. Also in this case there is a bid of doing a nicer map, when it is assured the safety level for all the districts of the state.

      About the VRA, I always try to respect the VRA rules. Without the VRA the map for NJ would be a 12D-0R map, conceding even less districts to the Republicans. I'm not a lawyer and it is not easy for me to see what are the exact requirements of the law.

      As example it will take me some time to find the VRA restrictions for Michigan.

  •  A Masterpiece! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I particularly love your west Denver to Colorado Springs CO-05 57% Obama ('08) district; that's obviously the key to this map.

  •  Okay stop showing us blue states (0+ / 0-)

    Show us what could be accomplished in a red state.

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