We’ll start with a look at the GOP-held 3rd District in the western part of the state, where Qanon defender Lauren Boebert ousted Republican Rep. Scott Tipton in a June primary shocker and ultimately prevailed in the general election. Multiple polls showed Trump in danger of losing the district, and Democrats hoped that Republican problems at the top of the ticket, as well Boebert’s toxic views and multiple run-ins with law enforcement, would give former state Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush an opening. However, while Trump’s 52-46 performance was a considerable collapse from his 52-40 showing last time, it was still enough for Boebert to win by a similar 51-45 margin.
Trump took his two other districts by double digits, though his margin in both also declined from 2016. Rep. Ken Buck’s 4th District in eastern Colorado and the Denver exurbs supported Trump 57-41 after backing him 57-34 four years earlier. Meanwhile, Rep. Doug Lamborn’s 5th District in the Colorado Springs area went for Trump 55-42 compared to 57-33 in 2016.
We’ll turn next to the four Biden constituencies, the closest of which he won by 19 points. That was the 6th District in Aurora and Denver’s southern suburbs, which was a major battleground for much of the decade, with Barack Obama carrying it 52-47 in 2012. The district supported Clinton by a larger 50-41 while still re-electing GOP Rep. Mike Coffman that year, but local Republicans took a huge beating over the following two cycles. Democrat Jason Crow ousted Coffman 54-43 in 2018 and won without any trouble this year as Biden was prevailing by a hefty 58-39 margin. (Coffman himself managed to land on his feet in 2019 by winning a tight race for mayor of Aurora.)
Crow’s seat has in fact almost caught up with the neighboring 7th District, which began veering sharply to the left more than 10 years ago. This constituency, which includes the communities of Arvada, Westminster, and Lakewood (the home of the real-life Casa Bonita, Eric Cartman’s favorite restaurant on South Park), was competitive territory when Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter first was elected in 2006, but he hasn’t faced serious opposition since 2010. The district did backtrack a bit, going from 56-41 Obama to 51-39 Clinton, but Biden took it 60-37 this time.
The areas making up the 1st and 2nd Districts were reliably blue even when Republicans were dominant in the state, and they remain so today. Rep. Diana DeGette’s Denver-based 1st District went for Biden 76-22, an increase from Clinton’s 69-23. Rep. Joe Neguse’s Boulder area 2nd District, meanwhile, supported Biden 64-34 compared to 56-35 Clinton.
Democrats control the governorship and both chambers of the legislature, but they won’t be the ones drawing the new maps. Voters approved two independent redistricting commissions, one for Congress and one for the state legislature, in 2018.
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