Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Compromise on Reapportionment

The commitment of legislative leaders to attempt a compromise plan on redistricting Colorado’s congressional districts is historic. The courts have been necessary to resolve most redistricting battles after recent censuses. Creating more competitive districts is not in the interest of incumbents or partisans. Generally, plans protect incumbents and attempt to shift sufficient partisan voters into Colorado’s few competitive seats to one or the other party’s advantage. Recent performance shows the most competitive districts have been the 3rd and 4th.

The average district will have about 261,000 voters (redistricting is based on total population and there are different registration rates in each district). Denver’s 1st district has the least registered voters and the Arapahoe/Douglas County’s 6th has the most.

Unaffiliated voters tend to shift between parties more than partisans, but also tend to have liberal and conservative preferences, for example, unaffiliated voters in the 2nd district lean left and those in the 6th lean right.

Minor changes are easier than major changes, and given that Colorado will not get an additional district this year, it should be easier.

See Denver Post article: Measured approach to redistricting tried
and Denver Post article: Census ranks Colorado as ninth-fastest-growing state

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