Colorado 6th District
Two generations ago, most people in metro Denver lived in the city itself. At the city limits, the tree-shaded sidewalks gave way to the empty High Plains. Today, more than three-quarters of metro Denver residents live outside the city, some in long-settled suburbs, some in large new subdivisions raised up in the 1990s and 2000s on rolling land with magnificent views of the Rocky Mountains. Littleton, originally a small, long-settled suburb just south of Denver, now extends to vast new tracts. Just south of Littleton is Douglas County, which until the 1970s was a sparsely populated patch of the High Plains just east of the Front Range. From 2000 to 2008, it grew 51%, making it the fastest growing county in the state, and also largely avoided the housing slump, as young families moved into 35-acre “ranchettes,” or to subdivisions around Castle Rock and Parker. There were high-paying telecommunications jobs at local employers Echo Star and AT&T Broadband, now a part of Comcast. Lockheed is attracting scientists to build the Orion space exploration vehicle in Jefferson County. In 2000, Douglas was the nation’s most affluent county in median household income ($84,645) and had the smallest percentage of people living in poverty (1.8%). This is Patio Land, as conservative writer David Brooks has described it: an area with a high-tech economy, a highly educated population with relatively conservative cultural values, and families looking for a safe environment for their children, with the serenity, if not the close personal ties, of the traditional small town and the creativity of a metropolis. “The fastest-growing regions of the country tend to have the highest concentrations of children. Young families move away from what they perceive as disorder, vulgarity, and danger and move to places like Douglas County,” Brooks wrote in The New York Times.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 6th Congressional District of Colorado is centered on Littleton and Douglas County. To the west, it includes much of Jefferson County, including part of affluent Evergreen in the mountains. To the east, it includes much of Arapahoe County and, southeast, Elbert County, long empty land but now sprouting new subdivisions. After the Colorado Springs-based 5th District, this is the state’s second most Republican district. President Bush got 60% of the vote here in 2004, and Republican candidate John McCain won it, 53% to 46%, in 2008.