On November 5th, Colorado went to the polls. Among other issues at stake there—all of which featured the dynamic of rural Tea Party pushback against an urbanizing, increasingly Democratic-dominated state—11 counties in the northeast and north were asked whether they wanted to secede to form a new, and solidly Republican, State of North Colorado.
|Orange counties voted yes to secession; blue ones voted no.|
The five splittist counties are Cheyenne (where 62.2% voted yes), Kit Carson (54.2%), Phillips (62.2%), Washington (58.1%), and Yuma (59.6%). They form a contiguous territory snug against the Kansas border but do not reach into the far northeastern corner of the state, where Sedgwick County voted by 57% to stay under Denver’s thumb. Weld County, where the rebellion began earlier this year—home to the region’s largest city, Greeley, the presumed future capital—rejected secession by a margin of 56.3% to 43.6%. The other counties that elected to stay are Elbert, Lincoln, Logan, and—the outlier, in the state’s northwest corner—Moffat County.
|From this summer, this news graphic showed green states planning to vote on secession|
and blue states expressing interest.
|A proposed flag (not proposed by proponents, it need hardly be added)|
|These two fellers represent the demographics of the North Colorado secession movement.|
|A more seriously proposed North Colorado flag|
As a movement, it is not going away. In Colorado, rural conservative forces had already, even before this week’s vote, been thinking of other ways to increase their political participation, such as turning the Colorado legislature’s upper chamber into one where counties had equal representation irrespective of population. This would in effect make Colorado into a federation of counties—something that to my knowledge has never been implemented at the state level, where upper and lower chambers differ in their structure mainly in the size of representative districts (but if any readers know of other historical examples of such proposals I would be grateful).
|Birthplace of the North Colorado rebellion|
|Would North Colorado be better off as an autonomous Caucasian Reservation?|