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As a result, Democrats are likely to see more votes in many parts of these states — in both federal and state legislative races. The region is home to the four states that experienced the largest percent population increases in the country between and — Nevada by This growth has brought three new U. House of Representative seats to the region in Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

Ruy Teixeira – Reinvent

Beginning with the election, the Mountain West will have 29 U. House seats and 41 Electoral College votes.

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This growth has gradually turned the region more Democratic, especially in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico, and to a lesser degree in Arizona. Damore finds that much of this shift to the blue side of the spectrum is due to the heavy concentration of new growth in the urban areas of these six states and, not unrelated, their increasing minority populations.

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The largest metro areas in four of these six states saw increases in their populations between and The Las Vegas metro area, for example, is now home to three out of four Nevadans. Two-thirds of Arizonans live in the Phoenix metro area.

The Albuquerque metro area now houses about 44 percent of New Mexicans. Nearly 40 percent of all Idahoans live in the Boise metro area. But both are still significant population centers.

America's New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West

Metropolitan Denver is home to more than half of all Colorado residents, and metropolitan Salt Lake City is home to about 41 percent of all Utahns. These shifts have both national and state-level implications. For instance, in Nevada and New Mexico, the residency of incumbents can be considered, while Idaho forbids it. Idaho allows for twice as much inter district population variation for state legislative districts as Colorado and New Mexico, and Idaho only allows state legislative districts to cross county lines if the counties are linked by a highway.

Arizona and Idaho mandate that two lower chamber districts be nested within the boundaries of a state senate seat, while Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah do not. Nevada also allows for multi-member member state legislative districts.

America's New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West

Department of Justice. While Arizona is the only state in the region subject to preclearance, protection of minority voting rights also has been a point of contention in prior redistricting cycles in New Mexico. And though demographics are major drivers of political boundaries, much of the political reshaping of districts happens in the courts. In each of the Mountain West states, the two factors of politics and demographics combine in a variety of ways to reshape upcoming elections. Arizona: The last redistricting effort heavily skewed votes toward Republican candidates, filling two-thirds of the state legislature with Republicans, despite having only slightly more registered Republican voters in the state.

A similar move this time is less likely, writes Damore, but rural districts are likely to be consolidated or eliminated, giving Democrats a slight advantage urban areas. Colorado: The state Supreme Court has upheld a redistricting map favored by the Democrats that keeps two safely Republican districts, one safely Democratic district and four districts where neither party has more than a 4 percent advantage.

However, Mountain West Millennials, while more politically liberal than older generations, differ from Millennials from other parts of the country as they are considerably more Republican than their generation outside the region. It is expected that the loyalties of this group will be hotly contested in coming election cycles. Teixeira states that the Mountain West is transitioning from a once solid and reliably Republican region into a more contested space. While the timing of the shifts seems to favor Democrats, Teixeira warns that it's also important not to over read the data from the last election cycles, as the West is by no means a lock for Democrats.

Politically and Otherwise, the Mountain West Swings

For more information, please see the following articles:. The meeting, which was hosted with the support of Texas Senator Jose Rodriguez, brought together legislators representing nine of the 10 U. The meeting provided attending lawmakers an opportunity to hear from experts and openly discuss key issues such as transportation infrastructure, development of border master plans and the effects of climate change to the border region's agriculture and water supplies. Ana Luisa Fajer, Director General for North America for Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provided a keynote address on opportunities to enhance North American cooperation and the role of state legislatures to foster innovation.

Moreover, members heard and engaged in substantive discussions regarding recent initiatives in Colorado and Washington legalizing recreational use of marijuana and the implications of such laws to the border region. During the meeting, participating lawmakers visited the Museum of the Revolution in Ciudad Juarez to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chamizal Treaty. The Treaty, which was signed in by then U. Several dignitaries participated in the celebration, including U.

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Saturday, Sept. Since March when President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law, states, health insurers, hospitals, doctors, patients and employers have raised a variety of questions in an effort to understand what is expected and how the law will affect them.

Westward Expansion: Crash Course US History #24

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has played a central role in the development and implementation of the law. Sebelius, a former Kansas governor, will discuss the role of states in health care reform implementation and next steps they'll need to take. Questions About the Conference? The mission of CSG- WEST is to facilitate regional, nonpartisan cooperation and exchange of information, and to strengthen legislative institutions among our 13 member states.

These services are achieved through a variety of programs and services offered to legislators and their staff, including the convening of policy forums, professional development training, international relations opportunities, publications and institutional links with other political entities in the West.

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