Report: Republicans Can Split Colorado’s Congressional Seats Under New House Map

The congressional map passed by Colorado's redistricting commission on Sept. 28, 2021. | Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions
Colorado Independent Redistricting Commissions

Republicans fighting to control the House of Representatives in the midterms may be able to pick up another seat in Colorado after the independent redistricting commission passed its new congressional map proposal late Tuesday.

The map passed by the independent redistricting commission in Colorado could allow the Republicans to pick up control of the state’s new eighth Congressional District, which could split the Colorado congressional districts into four Democrats and four Republicans, Politico reported.

The report noted that the meeting with the 12 commissioners took six hours, and all but one agreed to one of the nine different proposals before midnight, Tuesday. The map will now go to the state Supreme Court, where Politico noted the map will be “almost certain” to be signed off on.

“The new 8th District would be the most competitive seat in the state by far. Joe Biden would have carried that by roughly 5 points last year, though now-Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper won it by only 2 points in the same election,” the report noted. In addition, the map would also leave all of the incumbents in a strong position for reelection, the report noted.

Politico reported on the breakdown on the new map:

The new map’s breakdown: four Democratic-leaning seats, three where the GOP has an advantage and one competitive district. It’s a disappointing result for Democrats who have been ascendant in the state over the last four years, winning a House seat, a Senate seat and notching their largest presidential victory margin in decades.

Yet even as Colorado grows more blue, Democrats may still only control four of the state’s eight House seats. They currently have a 4-3 edge over the GOP and hoped that the state’s new House seat gained through reapportionment would be a blue district. Instead, it’s likely to be among the mostly closely contested seats in the country.

The new redistricting marks the first time that Colorado amended its boundaries through an independent commission. Its creation was a bipartisan compromise from 2018. The Democratic state house and the GOP state Senate referred an amendment creating the commission to the ballot that year, and voters overwhelmingly approved it.

The independent commission — consisting of four Democrats, four Republicans, and four unaffiliated members — ended with a meeting after seven rounds of voting and a 1-1 tally for the new map. The only opposing vote was one of the Democrat commissioners.

The Democrat commissioner who voted against the plan, Simon Tafoya, said, “We had our spats. We had our Kumbaya moments … And I think at the end of the day we’ve all learned a lot, and through this experiment we call democracy.”

However, one of the Republicans on the commission, Danny Moore, complimented the plan that passed by saying, “The plan we have is competitive… But we didn’t sacrifice community of interest for competitiveness. No plan itself is perfect, but I believe this plan reflects the will of the people of the state of Colorado.”

Follow Jacob Bliss on Twitter @jacobmbliss.

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