If you only read one newspaper article today, make it Carl Hulse's NYT piece "Leveled Colorado District Creates an Election Lab." It profiles Colorado's 7th congressional district, described as "a freak of modern political nature, purposefully drawn to be balanced between the parties and provide a genuine test of the ideals and abilities of the opposing candidates."
"Under boundaries imposed by a Denver judge in 2002, the Seventh District is almost perfectly divided among independents, Democrats and Republicans, each sharing a third of the district, which nearly surrounds Denver. It is a mix of old suburbs and new exurbs that are home to a potent demographic stew, with slightly more women than men, stirred by a healthy mix of Hispanics and other minorities who make up almost a quarter of the district."
Political science professor Bob Loevy says of CO-7 "This really is a district that could only have come out of a court, not a political process," but we know that with real redistricting reform, whole states could look like this.
The race in this district will be "one to watch" this year, and as Hulse concludes, that seems to be exactly what the judge who drew it up wanted; his opinion read in part "The court has concluded that the new district would benefit from what should be a competitive race. The foreseen closeness of the race will hopefully generate much interest of the voters." Exactly.