Republicans are winning the redistricting battle right now for two reasons: their ideas are supported by editorial boards across the state and Democrats talking points fall apart on their face when you dig just a little into them.
We've pretty clearly laid out the case that Republicans fight to protect rural Colorado and communities of interest ranging from the West Slope to the five military bases in El Paso County is supported by a vast majority of people, high profile Democrats included. What we haven't addressed and do so below is the specious arguments being put forward by Democrats through their talking points on “competitiveness” and “Congressman for Life.”
“Congressman for Life”: We find this to be very ironic coming from the Democrats, as the longest serving member of the Colorado Congressional delegation is Denver Democrat Diana DeGette, and the Democrat proposed map does nothing to change that. In fact, the two longest serving Congressional representatives are Democrats.
Beyond that, Colorado has one of the most junior Congressional delegations in the country, with two freshman, two second termers, two third termers and one Congresswoman for Life, Democrat Diana DeGette. Many have argued that Colorado's junior delegation means less clout in Congress, which directly harms the strength of Coloradans voice in Washington. Regardless of where you come down on seniority in Congress, it is beyond ridiculous to argue Colorado has anything close to a system that allows “Congressman for Life” (except for DeGette).
“Competitiveness”: This is another talking point that sounds nice, but simply doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Colorado is one of the most competitive states in the country from Congress to President. Recall that in 2004 Colorado voted for George W Bush and the two Salazar brothers in the same election. The most recent election was virtually a tie, with a split in power in the State Legislature and a split in statewide offices won by both parties.
Just look at our Congressional delegation makeup. In 2006, it was 4 Democrats to 3 Republicans. In 2008, it became 5 Democrats to 2 Republicans. And then in the most recent election it became 4 Republicans to 3 Democrats. What about that is not competitive?????
What Democrats mean when they say “competitiveness” is making it easier for Democrats to win electoral competitions. It's a partisan power grab according to the Washington Post.
Democrats are in full retreat mode, changing their map to face political realities, such as not splitting the West Slope and not putting Boulder in with Grand Junction. In addition to their ideas, their talking points fail as well, leaving them nowhere to go but to the warm embrace of the Republican map.