Colorado 2nd District
Nestled against the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains is Boulder, home of the 29,000-student University of Colorado, once billed by the city as “a combination of lycra-clad athletes, New Age artists, and thoughtful intellectuals sipping cappuccinos.” Boulder is one of the nation’s leading centers for bungee jumping, mountain biking, snowshoe running, rock and ice climbing, downhill skiing, land surfing, and hot-air ballooning. It has been called the nation’s No. 1 town for outdoor sports by Outdoor magazine. Marathoners from around the world train in several camps here. It is also the home of the Buddhist Naropa Institute and the Boulder School of Massage Therapy. All have come because of the terrain. The streets of Boulder literally look up at craggy peaks rising to 14,000 feet from a mile-high plain stretching farther east than the eye can see. Five of the 10 counties in the nation with the highest life-expectancy rates are in this district.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 2nd Congressional District is centered in Boulder. It includes most of Boulder County and extends west along Interstate 70 on its awesome course through the mountains as it takes in picturesque Rocky Mountain acreage, including the old mining town of Central City, the nearby casino mecca of Black Hawk, and the lodges and resorts of Vail. There is talk of widening the often congested I-70. Once dependent on mining and agriculture, Vail evolved into an international resort after the 10th Mountain Division ski troops were introduced to the Eagle River Valley in the 1940s. After World War II, a group of Army buddies returned and developed a ski resort. The district also contains some of Denver’s northwest suburbs—Northglenn, Federal Heights, Lafayette, and most of Westminster and Thornton. It includes the old Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, so toxic that it required a $7 billion cleanup before being transformed into a national wildlife refuge. The plant, where plutonium triggers were once manufactured, housed the notorious Building 771, once known as the “most dangerous building in America” because of its immeasurably high levels of radioactive contamination. More than $2 billion has been paid to workers who were exposed to radiation and toxic chemicals at the site. Politically, the Metro North area is marginal, while Boulder is heavily Democratic. The mountain counties have been trending Democratic. Overall, this remains one of a half-dozen safe Democratic districts in the Rocky Mountain states.