2016 Overperformers: Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s Sixth

One of the real Congressional survivors of the past few cycles has been Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado’s 6th district. A perpetual target of Democrats in a swingy district, he always seems to defy the lean of his district by pulling out clear wins.

Before serving in Congress, Coffman was known statewide as Colorado’s Treasurer and then as Secretary of State. He ran for CO-06 in 2008 after Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) vacated it. At the time, the district was comfortably GOP – even in 2008, McCain carried it by 7%. As a result, Coffman cleared 60% in both his 2008 and 2010 campaigns.

After Democrats got a favorable redistricting plan in 2011, though, CO-06 shed its most Republican counties and took in bluer territory. Now, President Obama would have carried it with 53.5% to McCain’s 45.0%.

In 2012, Coffman ran in the redrawn 6th district and won by 2% while Obama carried it by 5%. In 2014, he went on defeat a top-tier challenger in former State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D). In the Senate race that year, Rep. Cory Gardner (R) carried CO-06 by 3.5% against Sen. Mark Udall (D). Down the ballot, Coffman dispatched Romanoff by a more comfortable 8.9%.

For 2016, Democrats recruited State Senator Morgan Carroll of the Aurora area. As in other swing district, Democrats sought to tie Coffman to the unpopular Trump. Coffman responded by keeping his distance from Trump – after the Access Hollywood video, for example, he called on Trump to drop out.

Despite Trump, Coffman was reelected by 8%:

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Further upballot, it was basically the opposite result, with Clinton winning by 9%:

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In the Senate race, Senator Michael Bennet (D) won statewide by a somewhat underwhelming 5.7% against Commissioner Darryl Glenn (R). Bennet did better in CO-06, winning it by 7.8%:

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As the maps show, CO-06 is shaped like the number 7 and straddles three counties. Its most populous county, Arapahoe, contains most of the city of Aurora, and other such as Centennial; it’s the most Democratic portion of the district and cast 71% of the votes. Adams County, going north, cast about 16% of the votes and is the district’s ‘median’ county, politically. Last is Douglas County in the south, which is the most GOP and accounts for the final 13% of the votes.

Here’s a comparison of the candidates margins across district’s counties:

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Finally, here’s an analysis comparing the winners of each precinct:

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