Pundits have shined the spotlight on Colorado's 7th Congressional District since spring because of what it says about politics in the rest of the nation.
It ends up, in terms of voting outcomes, right in the middle because it represents a wide range, critically, ideologically, and demographically. The middle voter in the district looks a lot like the country as a whole. A Denver District Court judge drew boundaries in 2002 to create a district that was perfectly balanced among Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliates. The vast district loops in old suburbs and new communities, heavy industrial businesses, and cutting-edge research groups.
The district is educated, though not overly (57% have a college degree). It is neither too old nor too young. The district is mobile and about 23% speak a language other than English at home. The 7th Congressional District represents a cross section of America. Interestingly, this bastion of extreme conservatism has a Democratic legislature for the first time in 60 years and is about to get a Democratic governor. This is the bellwether of the changing West and a portent of our political future as ideologies are debated and local governments transform all across the country. America was built from bricks of potential and mortared by innovation. In the 7th district, great towns sprang up from bootstrappers who saw beyond the gold rush and flourished with new ideas from decades of newcomers. America is a country founded on the concept that everyone's political voice should be heard. The 7th takes in neighborhoods that walk in conservative lockstep that holds hands in liberal unity. Meet the 7th Congressional District and you meet America.
From the Rocky Mountain News, November 5, 2006