Public Mapping’s ‘District Builder’ will let public play the Congressional redistricting game
When the Colorado governor, legislature and courts reapportion Congressional and legislative seats next year, politicians and political junkies will be watching to see how the Democrats will go about trying to turn the state's fourth and third Congressional districts back into Democratic Party seats. Both flipped to Republicans from Democrats in this year's elections, giving Republicans four out of the state's seven seats.
Rep.-elect Cory Gardner (CD 4) and Scott Tipton (CD 5) and the state's legislative Republicans will need to raise about $500,000 combined to contest the Democrats Gerrymandering schemes, analysts say.
At the same time, the Democrats will try to redistrict the House and Senate so that they have solid control after the 2012 elections. This year, they apparently lost the House and retained a solid majority in the Senate. Democrats will decide how seats are reapportioned because they not only control the Senate and have a Democratic governor but also because they have strong, unashamedly partisans in control of the state Supreme Court, which will resolve most legal battles.
The Public Mapping Project has developed software called District Builder that the public will be able to use to draw their own Congressional districts. It is expected to become available to the public by February when the Census Bureau will release redistricting data from the 2010 census.
As of 2009, the Census Bureau estimates that Colorado's population is 5,024,748, up almost 17% from 4,301,261 in 2000. That means there will be approximately 717,821 residents in each of the seven Congressional districts, up from 614,466 after the 2000 census and redistricting. The 35 senate districts will have about 143,564 residents each, up from 122,893 10 years ago. And the 65 house districts will have 77,303 residents, up from 66,173 ten years ago.
Current speculation among Republicans is that the Democrats will try to move chunks of Boulder County from Jared Polis' CD 2 into CD 4 to make it more friendly to Democrat candidates. They may try to take some more of CD 2 into Scott Tipton's CD 3 as well. Republicans Mike Coffman (CD 6) and Doug Lamborn (CD 5) look to be relatively safe from the Democrats' reGerrymandering.
Curtis Hubbard has published an explanation of how redistricting will work in Colorado.
Who holds the key on redistricting? By Curtis Hubbard.
Apportionment (politics). Wikipedia.