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Author Topic: US House Redistricting: Colorado  (Read 10900 times)
jimrtex
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« Reply #100 on: September 27, 2011, 07:20:19 pm »
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Sure you protected the mountains, but at the cost of shifting Pueblo out of CO-03 which is a big population transfer (and thus a negative - see below). Indeed, given the number of mountain counties that you appended to CO-03, that adds another 70,000 folks or so transferred.
I understand that the connection exists today, but I can't find a rational basis to maintain it other than Pueblo is currently in CD 3 and constituent services would be disrupted by a shift.
When Colorado created 4 congressional districts (it never had 3), CO-4 was created on the Western Slope, CO-1 was Denver, CO-2 was northern Colorado (it was always a doughnut), and CO-3 was southern Colorado, which included Pueblo, El Paso, the lower Arkansas, the upper Arkansas, the San Luis Valley and the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

You're seeing the front range as the natural dividing line rather than the Continental Divide.

CO-4 was created underpopulated, and by the time OMOV came around, it was severely so.  CO-1 and CO-3 were about right, and CO-2 which had grown because of the suburbs, was overpopulated.  So they added CO-4 to CO-3, and dropped Colorado Springs and some of the High Plains.

Maybe you should create a southern Colorado district Holly-Pueblo-Leadville-Gunnison-Grand Junction, and put NW Colorado with Boulder.

Interesting ... and it explains how Pueblo and Grand Junction got united. How did Boulder end up linking across the Divide?
Since you didn't ask, in 1900 the 1st district was Arapahoe, Washington, Yuma, Phillips, Sedgwick, Logan, Morgan, Weld, Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Park, Lake.

Arapahoe is the original county in Colorado when it was in Kansas Territory (east of the Rockies, south of Nebraska.  As a territory, Arapahoe County included what is now Adams and Arapahoe from their western boundary to the Kansas line, including Denver which was the county seat.  Washington and Yuma were originally north of that area.  When Denver was created as a city and county around 1900, Adams and Arapahoe were split, and the east parts were truncated (I'd have to check the order of events).  Part of the reason for the unequal split between Adams and Arapahoe is that Colfax is just south of Downtown Denver, but also that Adams is 3 townships wide (18 miles) and Arapahoe is 2 (12 miles).

The interesting part of the split is that Gilpin and Clear Creek were in District 2, but Lake was in District 1, connected by Park County over Mosquito Pass (there is never anything new under the sun).

Beginning in 1902, Colorado's 3rd representative was elected at large, and in 1912, two representatives were elected at large.  4 districts were first used in 1914.

In 1960, CO-4 was Jackson, Grand, Summit, Park, Chaffee, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Archuleta and points west, so it was not quite the Continental Divide.  CO-2 was Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln, and Cheyenne and points north.  This was based on the 1921 apportionment.

The original 4 district plan had Gilpin, Clear Creek, Jefferson and Park in CO-3, and El Paso in CO-2.  So CO-3 had more of a Front Range (mountains) flavor and CO-2 was more plains.

In 1920, the district relative share of the population was:

CO-1 1.09
CO-2 1.22
CO-3 1.10
CO-4 0.59

By 1960 it was:

CO-1 1.13
CO-2 1.49
CO-3 0.94
CO-4 0.45

In April 1964, a special session was called to do congressional reapportionment (this was only two months after Wesberry v Sanders, so I don't know if there was any litigation involved or not.  There was with regard to legislative redistricting, and there was a 2nd special session in July for the legislature.

The goal of the legislature was to keep districts within 15% and not split any counties or cities (which appears to translate to: we can keep Denver whole if we set our standard at 15%, and it just so happens that the 4-county suburban ring plus Gilpin and Clear Creek is almost perfect, and we can make the other two districts almost perfect).

I had misremembered the original modification to 4 districts.

The San Luis Valley (minus Costilla for some unknown reason) was switched to CO-4 along with Larimer, Weld, Morgan, Logan, Phillips, Sedgwick in the Lower Platte Valley.  CO-3 went north to include Douglas, Elbert, Washington, Yuma.

CO-1  1.13
CO-2  1.001
CO-3  0.95
CO-4  0.93

So the change was to shift the northern area to the CO-4.  This make sense from a simple population balancing (move area of excess to area of deficit).  There could have been political reasons.  CO-1 and CO-4 had long time Democrats who had worked themselves up in the committee structure.

Democrats took all 4 seats in 1964, though that was more to do with LBJ-Goldwater than redistricting (the Democrats would later knock them both in primaries over the Viet Nam war, in 1970 in CO-1, and in 1972 in CO-4).

I found some historical maps.

http://coloradopols.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=15525

Colorado got its 5th district after the 1970 census.   The districts are rotated clockwise to make room for the 5th district south of Denver and including Colorado Springs.  This pushes CO-3 to the west and brings more of CO-4 to northern Colorado.  Ir was this shift that would have helped defeat Aspinall in the primary.

CO-2 may have included a bit of Denver - by that time more exact population requirement meant splitting counties.  The longtime Republican Congressman was from Boulder and would have felt relatively safe.  He lost in 1974, in the Watergate election, plus the 18 YO vote and ease of registering based on campus residence.

After 1980 Colorado got its 6th representative.  You almost are forced to put new districts in the Denver area because there is more population to contribute to a new district.  But adding CO-6 forced CO-5 to move south and southwest, and also up into Jefferson which forced CO-2 more into Adams, which meant that CO-4 would need some population in eastern plains, and CO-3 rotates up to the NW corner of the state.

With no new representative in 1990, CO-3 needed to creep back to the east.

After 2000, the 7the district was added, centered in Adams that is still more of a connector.  CO-4 took Longmont, and so CO-2 was forced to pick up some population which put it over the divide.  CO-5 moved back to look more like 1980 but completely out of the Denver area. and CO-3 then took a bit more of its old territory south of Pueblo.

Pueblo is the only real industrial city in Colorado because of its former steel industry.  Denver had more industry but it was a smaller portion of the economy.  So it would have links to the south in the Walsenburg and Trinidad areas where the coal for the steel was mined (I'm not sure where the iron ore came from - perhaps this is why there is no steel mill anymore).  Pueblo is also further east than any city, at a lower elevation, further south, and along a river which made it more suitable for agriculture (irrigated and a longer growing season).  So like Greeley it was more of an agricultural center.  These would attract Hispanic farm workers and also in the steel mill, so that Pueblo has a significant Hispanic population plus ties to southern Colorado.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 11:58:43 pm by jimrtex »Logged
Torie
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« Reply #101 on: September 27, 2011, 09:06:41 pm »
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I mean come one, your 7th is 23% VAP Hispanic and your 1st is 30% VAP. How much more of an influence district is that?

BTW, I doubt the map I drew will be drawn. I think the map will remain similar to what it is now.

My point of view, and it would be as a judge, is that there is no legal or other justification to break jurisdictional boundaries to up the Hispanic percentage by a few points. It's meaningless. But upping it within the constraints of jurisdictional boundaries, without tearing up too much the existing map, does make some sense. It also makes CO-07 a super competitive CD, which is a bonus, but an accident. I guess as a judge you would do it differently (you don't hew to jurisdictional boundaries, unlike the previous judge who did make that attempt), which is OK, but not what he did or I would do. Clearly Hispanic percentages were not in play 10 years ago, or if they were, the judge blew the Hispanics off. I view my map as a sensible compromise which hews to the metrics of what is a reasonable non partisan map - respecting jurisdictional boundaries, compactness, communities of interest, and so forth.

So I so rule. Smiley
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« Reply #102 on: September 27, 2011, 10:39:05 pm »
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I agree with Sam. The current map is court-drawn already, so there's no reason to expect them to make any radical changes.

I never realized how inaccessible those ski counties are from Boulder before looking at a map. You'd have to take some very odd and obscure routes to get from Boulder to Eagle without crossing through another district. But they are similar demographically enough for this to not really offend anyone.
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« Reply #103 on: September 28, 2011, 12:02:14 am »
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Here you go. Only the 3rd hasn't been drawn yet. And it will be 55.3-44.7 Republican.

I like it a lot.  Also like 1970 all over again.

http://coloradopols.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=15525
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« Reply #104 on: September 29, 2011, 09:15:42 am »

Sure you protected the mountains, but at the cost of shifting Pueblo out of CO-03 which is a big population transfer (and thus a negative - see below). Indeed, given the number of mountain counties that you appended to CO-03, that adds another 70,000 folks or so transferred.
I understand that the connection exists today, but I can't find a rational basis to maintain it other than Pueblo is currently in CD 3 and constituent services would be disrupted by a shift.
When Colorado created 4 congressional districts (it never had 3), CO-4 was created on the Western Slope, CO-1 was Denver, CO-2 was northern Colorado (it was always a doughnut), and CO-3 was southern Colorado, which included Pueblo, El Paso, the lower Arkansas, the upper Arkansas, the San Luis Valley and the headwaters of the Rio Grande.

You're seeing the front range as the natural dividing line rather than the Continental Divide.

CO-4 was created underpopulated, and by the time OMOV came around, it was severely so.  CO-1 and CO-3 were about right, and CO-2 which had grown because of the suburbs, was overpopulated.  So they added CO-4 to CO-3, and dropped Colorado Springs and some of the High Plains.

Maybe you should create a southern Colorado district Holly-Pueblo-Leadville-Gunnison-Grand Junction, and put NW Colorado with Boulder.

Interesting ... and it explains how Pueblo and Grand Junction got united. How did Boulder end up linking across the Divide?
Since you didn't ask, in 1900 the 1st district was Arapahoe, Washington, Yuma, Phillips, Sedgwick, Logan, Morgan, Weld, Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Park, Lake.

Arapahoe is the original county in Colorado when it was in Kansas Territory (east of the Rockies, south of Nebraska.  As a territory, Arapahoe County included what is now Adams and Arapahoe from their western boundary to the Kansas line, including Denver which was the county seat.  Washington and Yuma were originally north of that area.  When Denver was created as a city and county around 1900, Adams and Arapahoe were split, and the east parts were truncated (I'd have to check the order of events).  Part of the reason for the unequal split between Adams and Arapahoe is that Colfax is just south of Downtown Denver, but also that Adams is 3 townships wide (18 miles) and Arapahoe is 2 (12 miles).

The interesting part of the split is that Gilpin and Clear Creek were in District 2, but Lake was in District 1, connected by Park County over Mosquito Pass (there is never anything new under the sun).

Beginning in 1902, Colorado's 3rd representative was elected at large, and in 1912, two representatives were elected at large.  4 districts were first used in 1914.

In 1960, CO-4 was Jackson, Grand, Summit, Park, Chaffee, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Archuleta and points west, so it was not quite the Continental Divide.  CO-2 was Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln, and Cheyenne and points north.  This was based on the 1921 apportionment.

The original 4 district plan had Gilpin, Clear Creek, Jefferson and Park in CO-3, and El Paso in CO-2.  So CO-3 had more of a Front Range (mountains) flavor and CO-2 was more plains.

In 1920, the district relative share of the population was:

CO-1 1.09
CO-2 1.22
CO-3 1.10
CO-4 0.59

By 1960 it was:

CO-1 1.13
CO-2 1.49
CO-3 0.94
CO-4 0.45

In April 1964, a special session was called to do congressional reapportionment (this was only two months after Wesberry v Sanders, so I don't know if there was any litigation involved or not.  There was with regard to legislative redistricting, and there was a 2nd special session in July for the legislature.

The goal of the legislature was to keep districts within 15% and not split any counties or cities (which appears to translate to: we can keep Denver whole if we set our standard at 15%, and it just so happens that the 4-county suburban ring plus Gilpin and Clear Creek is almost perfect, and we can make the other two districts almost perfect).

I had misremembered the original modification to 4 districts.

The San Luis Valley (minus Costilla for some unknown reason) was switched to CO-4 along with Larimer, Weld, Morgan, Logan, Phillips, Sedgwick in the Lower Platte Valley.  CO-3 went north to include Douglas, Elbert, Washington, Yuma.

CO-1  1.13
CO-2  1.001
CO-3  0.95
CO-4  0.93

So the change was to shift the northern area to the CO-4.  This make sense from a simple population balancing (move area of excess to area of deficit).  There could have been political reasons.  CO-1 and CO-4 had long time Democrats who had worked themselves up in the committee structure.

Democrats took all 4 seats in 1964, though that was more to do with LBJ-Goldwater than redistricting (the Democrats would later knock them both in primaries over the Viet Nam war, in 1970 in CO-1, and in 1972 in CO-4).

I found some historical maps.

http://coloradopols.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=15525

Colorado got its 5th district after the 1970 census.   The districts are rotated clockwise to make room for the 5th district south of Denver and including Colorado Springs.  This pushes CO-3 to the west and brings more of CO-4 to northern Colorado.  Ir was this shift that would have helped defeat Aspinall in the primary.

CO-2 may have included a bit of Denver - by that time more exact population requirement meant splitting counties.  The longtime Republican Congressman was from Boulder and would have felt relatively safe.  He lost in 1974, in the Watergate election, plus the 18 YO vote and ease of registering based on campus residence.

After 1980 Colorado got its 6th representative.  You almost are forced to put new districts in the Denver area because there is more population to contribute to a new district.  But adding CO-6 forced CO-5 to move south and southwest, and also up into Jefferson which forced CO-2 more into Adams, which meant that CO-4 would need some population in eastern plains, and CO-3 rotates up to the NW corner of the state.

With no new representative in 1990, CO-3 needed to creep back to the east.

After 2000, the 7the district was added, centered in Adams that is still more of a connector.  CO-4 took Longmont, and so CO-2 was forced to pick up some population which put it over the divide.  CO-5 moved back to look more like 1980 but completely out of the Denver area. and CO-3 then took a bit more of its old territory south of Pueblo.

Pueblo is the only real industrial city in Colorado because of its former steel industry.  Denver had more industry but it was a smaller portion of the economy.  So it would have links to the south in the Walsenburg and Trinidad areas where the coal for the steel was mined (I'm not sure where the iron ore came from - perhaps this is why there is no steel mill anymore).  Pueblo is also further east than any city, at a lower elevation, further south, and along a river which made it more suitable for agriculture (irrigated and a longer growing season).  So like Greeley it was more of an agricultural center.  These would attract Hispanic farm workers and also in the steel mill, so that Pueblo has a significant Hispanic population plus ties to southern Colorado.

Thanks, especially for the link. What I see in my plan is somewhat a return the 1990's plan, but with a seventh district. That is what would allow CD 3 to retreat west from Pueblo. I also note that my El Paso-Douglas link shows up in the 70's-90's as well.
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« Reply #105 on: November 10, 2011, 09:49:42 pm »
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District judge goes with the Democrats' map.
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« Reply #106 on: November 10, 2011, 10:08:20 pm »
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Unfortunate but not surprising.
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« Reply #107 on: November 10, 2011, 10:19:06 pm »
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Did the court have to pick one map or the other, rather than drawing its own?  If not, this is pretty shocking that a court would find a map drawn by a party the most appropriate.
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« Reply #108 on: November 10, 2011, 11:52:19 pm »
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The article says the 6th is now a tossup but from the map it looks like a clear Democratic leaning district. The 3rd also appears a pure toss up now.
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« Reply #109 on: November 11, 2011, 12:07:23 pm »
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The article says the 6th is now a tossup but from the map it looks like a clear Democratic leaning district. 
Someone have the figures?
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« Reply #110 on: November 11, 2011, 12:51:20 pm »
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FWIW, Wasserman is skeptical about how much of a win for the Democrats the adopted map is.
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« Reply #111 on: November 11, 2011, 01:02:26 pm »
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Since the 2002 map was considered favorable to Dems, it's hard to see a remap being a big win. Although moving 4th from kinda sorta let's pretend it's competitive to safe R is good for Dems.
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« Reply #112 on: November 11, 2011, 01:28:49 pm »
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DKE has tentative Obama numbers on the new districts, with the old numbers in parentheses:

CO-01: 71 (74)
CO-02: 61 (64)
CO-03: 48 (47)
CO-04: 42 (49)
CO-05: 40 (40)
CO-06: 54 (46)
CO-07: 57 (59)
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« Reply #113 on: November 11, 2011, 01:31:40 pm »
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3rd district appears to be ~49.9% McCain, down from 50.5%.

It's impossible to tell from that map what they added to the 1st district, the 2nd has clearly been unpacked quite a bit to ~60.4% Obama. Or just about still strong enough to be safe.

Ah, thanks Johnny!
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« Reply #114 on: November 11, 2011, 01:38:53 pm »
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Hmmm... doesn't look Democratic enough to consider Coffman a goner. No need to update the scoreboard.
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« Reply #115 on: November 11, 2011, 01:44:11 pm »
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FWIW, Wasserman is skeptical about how much of a win for the Democrats the adopted map is.

I agree. I don't see it as a terribly great map.

I think the premonitions about Coffman being especially vulnerable are overrated. Yes, his seat is 7 points more Democratic, but he seems to be very personally popular. I can see it flipping in a open-seat contest, but not with Coffman.

The 3rd is only a point or two swingier, but nothing substantial.

Well, I guess this map is at least better than the Republicans'...
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« Reply #116 on: November 11, 2011, 01:47:00 pm »
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FWIW, Wasserman is skeptical about how much of a win for the Democrats the adopted map is.

I agree. I don't see it as a terribly great map.
Well, they needed to draw a map a judge might be convinced to implement.
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« Reply #117 on: November 11, 2011, 02:21:52 pm »
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Did the court have to pick one map or the other, rather than drawing its own?  If not, this is pretty shocking that a court would find a map drawn by a party the most appropriate.

I've looked this up; it appears that Colorado courts are allowed to pick between plans OR make a new map entirely, but I think there may be some sort of limit, either statutory or maybe just through precedent, regarding when a judge can throw out existing plans.

Looking at the cases from the last few decades, the only time the CO courts didn't just pick between plans was in 1992, when the State Supreme Court appointed a special master to make a plan when the Democratic Governor kept vetoing the GOP legislature's proposals.
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« Reply #118 on: November 11, 2011, 03:04:34 pm »
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A Republican seat going from R+8 to EVEN is good for Democrats, it gives them somewhere else to be competitive. The seat is in an area that is trending bluer, rather Coffman is unstoppable forever is not written in the stars and will remain to be seen.
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« Reply #119 on: November 11, 2011, 03:19:56 pm »
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Tipton also is hardly a lock for 2012 in co-3
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« Reply #120 on: November 11, 2011, 04:21:24 pm »
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Tipton also is hardly a lock for 2012 in co-3
Just as true before redistricting, though.
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« Reply #121 on: November 11, 2011, 04:26:18 pm »
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I kinda like this map.... it creates 2 swing districts in the Denver area. One is a pure tossup and one is a Democratic leaning. And there is a Republican leaning swing district in the 3rd. The 5th and 4th are safe Republican and the 1st and 2nd are safe Dem.

Does anyone know if all of Highlands Ranch is in the 6th? It looks like at least part of it is.
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« Reply #122 on: November 11, 2011, 07:24:43 pm »
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FWIW, Wasserman is skeptical about how much of a win for the Democrats the adopted map is.

I agree. I don't see it as a terribly great map.


The first Democratic map split Colorado Springs and combined the GOP section with Highlands Ranch. By comparison, this map is not terrible.
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« Reply #123 on: November 12, 2011, 05:27:43 am »
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FWIW, Wasserman is skeptical about how much of a win for the Democrats the adopted map is.

I agree. I don't see it as a terribly great map.

Right. Why settle for 3+1 when you can have 5?



1st 72.5, 2nd 58.9, 3rd 55.6, 4th 34.3, 5th 42.0, 6th 57.1, 7th 57.0 Obama.

I'm sure it could be optimized further.

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« Reply #124 on: November 12, 2011, 12:29:15 pm »
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FWIW, Wasserman is skeptical about how much of a win for the Democrats the adopted map is.

I agree. I don't see it as a terribly great map.

Right. Why settle for 3+1 when you can have 5?



1st 72.5, 2nd 58.9, 3rd 55.6, 4th 34.3, 5th 42.0, 6th 57.1, 7th 57.0 Obama.

I'm sure it could be optimized further.



Zoom in on the Denver area, please.
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