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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: Colorado  (Read 10907 times)
Skill and Chance
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« on: November 09, 2010, 09:13:05 pm »
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The GOP took back the two rural districts and now holds a 4-3 advantage in the delegation for the 2011 session.  The Dems have Governor Hickenlooper and the State Senate, but the GOP took the State House (by 1 vote).  To make things even more contentious, they are probably due for a VRA Hispanic district after the 2010 Census.  What sort of map do you think they will agree upon?
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2010, 09:27:15 pm »
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My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2010, 09:38:13 pm »
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My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.

VRA doesn't have to toss either DeGette or Perlmutter. Unlocking the Hispanic vote may actually help the Democrats, as it forces the split of Denver, and white Denver is as Democratic as Hispanic Denver.
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Skill and Chance
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2010, 09:42:36 pm »
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My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.

VRA doesn't have to toss either DeGette or Perlmutter. Unlocking the Hispanic vote may actually help the Democrats, as it forces the split of Denver, and white Denver is as Democratic as Hispanic Denver.

Alternatively, they could try to get a GOP crossover vote to make CO-03 (Salazar's former district) the majority Hispanic district.  It would require some dealmaking, but it's certainly possible if the GOP is worried about Denver. 
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2010, 09:47:50 pm »
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My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.

VRA doesn't have to toss either DeGette or Perlmutter. Unlocking the Hispanic vote may actually help the Democrats, as it forces the split of Denver, and white Denver is as Democratic as Hispanic Denver.

Colorado isn't covered by the VRA.
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muon2
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2010, 09:56:17 pm »

My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.

VRA doesn't have to toss either DeGette or Perlmutter. Unlocking the Hispanic vote may actually help the Democrats, as it forces the split of Denver, and white Denver is as Democratic as Hispanic Denver.

Colorado isn't covered by the VRA.

All states are covered by section 2 of the VRA, they just are not subject to section 5 preclearance by the DOJ. If there has been a pattern of bloc voting by whites and Hispanics and there is a possible district with over 50% voting age population, then CO would have to make that district. However, it's not clear that it could be shown that there is bloc voting where Hispanics tend to prefer one candidate and the white majority prefers a different one.
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2010, 10:08:29 pm »
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My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.

VRA doesn't have to toss either DeGette or Perlmutter. Unlocking the Hispanic vote may actually help the Democrats, as it forces the split of Denver, and white Denver is as Democratic as Hispanic Denver.

Alternatively, they could try to get a GOP crossover vote to make CO-03 (Salazar's former district) the majority Hispanic district.  It would require some dealmaking, but it's certainly possible if the GOP is worried about Denver. 

I don't think that's even possible- I've tried it. There aren't as many Hispanics in that area as you might think.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2010, 12:23:16 am »
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The GOP took back the two rural districts and now holds a 4-3 advantage in the delegation for the 2011 session.  The Dems have Governor Hickenlooper and the State Senate, but the GOP took the State House (by 1 vote).  To make things even more contentious, they are probably due for a VRA Hispanic district after the 2010 Census.  What sort of map do you think they will agree upon?
1 and 7 have the largest minority populations, and are the most underpopulated.  So logically it makes sense to take the Arapahoe county portion of 1 out of the district, and replace it with the Adams County portion of 7.  Then take the Jeffco and Arapahoe portions of 7 combined with 6 add in the upper Arkansas (Lake, Chaffee, Fremont), and split into two districts.  Move all of the lower Arkansas Valley into 3, and shift Pitkin to 2.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2010, 12:24:54 am by jimrtex »Logged
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2010, 03:44:37 pm »
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My guess is they'll probably throw DeGette or Perlmutter under the bus to satisfy the VRA, and keep the status quo everywhere else.

VRA doesn't have to toss either DeGette or Perlmutter. Unlocking the Hispanic vote may actually help the Democrats, as it forces the split of Denver, and white Denver is as Democratic as Hispanic Denver.

Colorado isn't covered by the VRA.

All states are covered by section 2 of the VRA, they just are not subject to section 5 preclearance by the DOJ. If there has been a pattern of bloc voting by whites and Hispanics and there is a possible district with over 50% voting age population, then CO would have to make that district. However, it's not clear that it could be shown that there is bloc voting where Hispanics tend to prefer one candidate and the white majority prefers a different one.

I C. Thanks for the correction. Still, Colorado is quite different from the South, and it's questionable whether one could show that Hispanics and whites in areas with more Hispanics would vote differently enough to create separate districts.
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2010, 05:31:50 pm »
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Is it even possible to create a majority Hispanic Denver district? I went into Weld county and still got stuck in the 40s.
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2010, 07:06:06 pm »
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Is it even possible to create a majority Hispanic Denver district? I went into Weld county and still got stuck in the 40s.

Well, you do have to go into Weld County, and be rather selective of what precincts you put in, but it is possible. The district in the picture below is 51.14% Hispanic, and I'm certain there's room for improvement.

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muon2
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2010, 11:20:52 pm »

Is it even possible to create a majority Hispanic Denver district? I went into Weld county and still got stuck in the 40s.

Well, you do have to go into Weld County, and be rather selective of what precincts you put in, but it is possible. The district in the picture below is 51.14% Hispanic, and I'm certain there's room for improvement.



I posted a similar district sometime ago. In IL the Hispanic voting age population percent in a district is considerably smaller than the overall population percentage. It may be the case that the VAP doesn't support a Hispanic district once the census is released.
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 05:41:15 pm »
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http://www.coloradopols.com/diary/14455/dems-colorado-house-remains-in-play

The Dems might actually keep the State House. Unlikely, but possible.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2010, 10:57:03 am »
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http://www.coloradopols.com/diary/14455/dems-colorado-house-remains-in-play

The Dems might actually keep the State House. Unlikely, but possible.

Whistling past the grave.  Ramirez (R) did better in the election day voting than by mail.  And the provisional ballots are probably by-mail voters who have to vote provisional if they vote at the polls.  At least some will have voted by mail, but panicked that their ballot had not been received.

Benefield would need 65% of the outstanding ballots to go her way.  The percentage increases for each ballot that doesn't count.

Democrats are probably trying to get some late contribution $$$ to make up for their overspending before the election.

Since the Democrats are calling for a hand count of all the ballots in HD 61, they may have probable belief that they have lost that as well.
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2010, 04:15:46 pm »
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With some adjustments, I could bring the Denver Hispanic districts to 52.10% Hispanic. I am not sure, but I'd think 53% shouldn't be entirely impossible. More than that, though, would seem difficult.
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2010, 01:01:31 am »
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I actually have drawn such a map for Minnesota.

I think this Skill and Chance guy really doesn't understand the VRA (he's proven that in the previous posts too.) Colorado has no DOJ preclearance, so the only way it could end up with a requirement for a Hispanic majority drawn seat is for all the following to happen:

1-A map is drawn without a seat.
2-Some Hispanic advocacy group brings a lawsuit against a likely Democratic-drawn and Democratic-governor approved map.
3-A court rules that the Hispanic population of Colorado is "entitled" to such a seat and that the Hispanic populations' voting patterns are so different from the rest of the population that they can't be accurately represented in a non-Hispanic majority district. That's a tough sell in Denver.

Not likely. Now the second myth here is that drawing such a seat would hurt any incumbent Democrats. Drawing majority-minority seats only hurts the Democrats if the minorities are solidly Democratic and the white vote is solidly Republican. Since this is obviously true in the south where most such seats are, some people get the idea that's the case everywhere, but you are not throwing any Democrat under the bus by taking Hispanic areas out of their district and replacing them with white Denver liberals. It's not like the racially gerrymandered seats in New York City have resulted in any Republicans getting elected for example.
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Vazdul (Formerly Chairman of the Communist Party of Ontario)
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2010, 04:05:19 pm »
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Not likely. Now the second myth here is that drawing such a seat would hurt any incumbent Democrats. Drawing majority-minority seats only hurts the Democrats if the minorities are solidly Democratic and the white vote is solidly Republican. Since this is obviously true in the south where most such seats are, some people get the idea that's the case everywhere, but you are not throwing any Democrat under the bus by taking Hispanic areas out of their district and replacing them with white Denver liberals. It's not like the racially gerrymandered seats in New York City have resulted in any Republicans getting elected for example.

This is quite true. In my experience drawing Colorado maps with a Hispanic-majority district, it seems like such a map would actually benefit the Democrats, because of the split in Denver. Perlmutter can be shored up by removing the exurban parts of his district in favor of the white part of Denver. The same principle can be applied to weaken Coffman.
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2010, 01:34:39 pm »
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It's not like the racially gerrymandered seats in New York City have resulted in any Republicans getting elected for example.

Except for at the NYS Senate level, I would agree. Racial gerrymanders help Republicans at the state level significantly however.
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2010, 02:37:52 pm »

I am reading that the legislative leaders have reached some sort of agreement to create a bipartisan committee. There is a recognition that if there is no agreement the court will intervene, and as CO learned in the last cycle, the legislature cannot have a mid-decade remap after a court-drawn one. The impact of the governor elect's statement on competitiveness is also interesting, and it remains to be seen if he insists on that as part of any bill he signs.
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jimrtex
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2010, 01:25:14 am »
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I am reading that the legislative leaders have reached some sort of agreement to create a bipartisan committee. There is a recognition that if there is no agreement the court will intervene, and as CO learned in the last cycle, the legislature cannot have a mid-decade remap after a court-drawn one. The impact of the governor elect's statement on competitiveness is also interesting, and it remains to be seen if he insists on that as part of any bill he signs.
The addition of a new district in 2002 had ambitious legislators salivating.  In states that have relatively few districts, and where the number doesn't change much from election to election ordinarily don't have the opportunity or reason to propose a radical redraw.

Adding a 7th district requires a pretty radical redraw.  The least disruptive map would take 1/7 of the territory of the other 6 districts.  It is pretty unlikely that an agglomeration of fringe areas of the other districts will form an identifiable core.

The reason that the legislature failed to draw a plan in 2001 was that the Democratic senate wanted to split Denver, and refused to appoint conference committee members, because they realized that a more reasonable plan would have picked off individual members.  Most all of the senator leaders of that time, including Perlmutter, have gone on to seek higher office.

When redistricting got to the district court, the Democrats submitted the senate plan, and the judge threw it out as a non-starter because it split Denver.  He then took the Republican plan and let the Democrats tinker with it and that was the court's final plan.  The judge then went through an explanation and defined a theme for each of the districts.  When he got to the 7th, he admitted that there was none, but that at least the district would be competitive.

Had the legislature known that the Supreme Court would make a partisan decision that a local district court is a branch of the legislature, the boundaries would probably ended up being drawn by the Supreme Court or the legislature.

Hickenlooper as a former mayor of Denver who styles himself as an outsider rather than a political hack probably would veto a plan that split Denver.
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muon2
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2010, 09:47:12 am »


Hickenlooper as a former mayor of Denver who styles himself as an outsider rather than a political hack probably would veto a plan that split Denver.

If true, that would eliminate the possibility of a Hispanic-majority district, assuming that the census data supports one. Such a district relies on a Denver split, and based on the discussion in the thread it's not clear which party, if either, would benefit. However, if it isn't forced by the VRA, then a veto threat would take it off the table.

I think it would be difficult to force such a plan under the VRA, since that requires evidence that the majority votes against Hispanic candidates when there is a non-Hispanic choice. Given the success of the Salazars in the state, there would have to be specific instances of bloc voting in the Denver area to justify a mandated district.

There's also some doubt as to whether a Hispanic-majority district could exist. The best I've done with Dave's App is 51.8%, and Hispanic VAP is usually 6-8% less than in the population as a whole. In that case the best district for the Hispanic population would be a 40-45% influence district, but those are not mandated and would also require a Denver split. So I assume Hickenlooper would take that off the table as well.
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2010, 11:23:45 am »
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Hickenlooper as a former mayor of Denver who styles himself as an outsider rather than a political hack probably would veto a plan that split Denver.

If true, that would eliminate the possibility of a Hispanic-majority district, assuming that the census data supports one. Such a district relies on a Denver split, and based on the discussion in the thread it's not clear which party, if either, would benefit. However, if it isn't forced by the VRA, then a veto threat would take it off the table.

I think it would be difficult to force such a plan under the VRA, since that requires evidence that the majority votes against Hispanic candidates when there is a non-Hispanic choice. Given the success of the Salazars in the state, there would have to be specific instances of bloc voting in the Denver area to justify a mandated district.

There's also some doubt as to whether a Hispanic-majority district could exist. The best I've done with Dave's App is 51.8%, and Hispanic VAP is usually 6-8% less than in the population as a whole. In that case the best district for the Hispanic population would be a 40-45% influence district, but those are not mandated and would also require a Denver split. So I assume Hickenlooper would take that off the table as well.

Plus the real number for minority candidate success is adult citizens, not VAP, and as we all know a disproportionate number of Hispanics are not citizens. But under the VRA, Justice Kennedy said only VAP counts, and is only triggered at 50% plus one, when it comes to having to draw a majority-minority CD if it ties together communities of interest, assuming there is indeed a block voting pattern.
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 03:00:08 pm »
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Here's a map of Colorado, designed to return one of the two seats lost this year to the Democrats while making everyone else safe (although CO-03 is not so Democratic that its current incumbent would have to simply surrender). Seems like what the Democrats would probably do.

CO-04 is contiguous across Cameron Pass between Larimer and Jackson Counties. This should not be controversial. Cameron Pass is in fact easier and more often open in winter than the very difficult Berthoud Pass between Clear Creek and Grand Counties that is the only route connecting the two parts of CO-02 on the current map.

The map also minimizes county splits.


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« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2011, 04:31:00 am »
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It would of course be highly controversial anyways.
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I may conceivably reconsider.

Knowing me it's more likely than not.
Verily
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2011, 01:03:23 pm »
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It would of course be highly controversial anyways.

It would be if the current Rep for CO-03 lived in Grand Junction. He doesn't, though, he lives in Cortez. So he'd be annoyed about having his seat become very vulnerable, but the Mormons would probably prefer being with the eastern plains than with the ski bunnies and Hispanics, anyway, since it guarantees them a Republican representative.

Realized Perlmutter lives in Golden, though. WTF, move. That means Jefferson County has to have even nastier splits.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 01:23:34 pm by Verily »Logged
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