DENVER (KDVR/AP) — Colorado’s nonpartisan redistricting commission has released its first map of new congressional districts based off Census data.
The commission had previously released a sketch of the new districts in June based off of estimates.
The version made public on Friday split the state into four safe Democratic seats, three safe Republican ones and a new swing seat north of Denver.
It would slice the western slope in two and join the northern half to Boulder.
Conservative Rep. Lauren Boebert would now be in a solidly-Democratic district occupied by liberal Rep. Joe Neguse. The district would run from Adams County to Greeley.
Norman Provizer is a former political science professor at MSU Denver, and says redistricting has the potential to change a state’s political leaning.
“We’ve had issues over time, with redistricting in the state,” he says. “How those lines shift, have an enormous determination on the final outcome of the race.”
But Provizer says Colorado, which utilizes a non-partisan congressional commission, does a good job compared to most states.
“If there’s no independent commission, then it’s a big partisan fight,” he says. “Frequently there are battles over it, and frequently these matters can go to the courts.”
Provizer says at first glance, it doesn’t appear the new map gives either party a distinct advantage, and says the now firmly blue Colorado will likely remain that way in the House of Representatives.
“I don’t think that whatever occurs, however they draw them, they won’t be able to produce such distorted lines that it’s going to cause actual power in the state to shift,” he says.