With the 2020 census in the books, all eyes are now on the redistricting that’s going on in various states in regards to the House of Representatives. While several blue states lost seats, Colorado was the exception, gaining its eighth congressional seat due to a gain in population.
How the lines will now be drawn has been placed in the hands of a “non-partisan” commission, something that never exists in function, and their first proposal casts doubt on Rep. Lauren Boebert’s future.
Boebert, who has become a favorite on the right because of her propensity to fight on key issues like abortion and the Second Amendment, would find herself drawn into a Democrat-leaning district.
This per The Denver Post.
Colorado’s nonpartisan redistricting commission has proposed a congressional map that would create a new swing seat in the northern Denver suburbs and lump conservative firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert into a Boulder-based solidly Democratic seat currently held by liberal Rep. Joe Neguse.
The proposal from the commission staff on Friday would rearrange the political geography as part of the once-a-decade redistricting process. It’s the first test of the commission model approved by voters in 2018. Staff had released a possible congressional map in June, but Friday’s was its first drawn off the official, newly released Census data that is required to be used for redistricting.
Boebert could conceivably move back into a piece of what would be her former district and run in a more favorable scenario. But that leaves the question of whether it’s smart to preemptively throw in the towel against Joe Neguse, who she’d be running against for re-election. Obviously, Republicans would like to win four of the eight seats under the new map, and by moving, Boebert could be undercutting a sitting GOP incumbent and conceding a seat to Democrats at the same time.
Further, it might make Boebert look like she’s running from a fight if she moves to avoid having to run in a Democrat-leaning district. That’s certainly not her persona, and I don’t expect her to do that. Though the dynamics are what they are, and no one should fault her if she feels like the race isn’t winnable, wishful thinking doesn’t win congressional races.
Regardless, this should be a signal to Republicans that it’s time to play hardball. Across the country, the GOP controls the redistricting process in states that have gained seats or have the opportunity to redistrict Democrats out of currently held seats. The trigger should be pulled. There is nothing to be gained by playing nice and allowing any Democrat to keep a seat that could otherwise be flipped via redistricting.
I’ve already seen some suggestions that Republicans shouldn’t rock the boat in places like Arkansas, Ohio, and Texas because then Democrats will eliminate GOP seats in places like Illinois and New York. But the Democrats are going to do that anyway. Don’t get caught flat-footed here having absorbed losses when you could have inflicted them as well.
In the end, I don’t know what happens to Boebert. I hope she finds a way to retain her position in Congress. But if Democrats (or “independent commissions” run by Democrats) are going to go hard, and they will, Republicans better be ready to do the same. Show no mercy in redistricting and retake power in 2022.