51st State in the High Plains

A number of counties in northeastern Colorado are talking about creating a new state—and it's more than just talk, as ballot measures and votes are happening in several counties. Does this movement have any hope? The answer may surprise you. First, if the question is, "Will the movement get results for its backers?" then the answer is almost certainly "yes." Every time a movement like this gets going, it stems from some perceived inequity. Typically people in outlying areas feel like the central government isn't responsive. So they threaten secession, which attracts enough attention to get some concessions from officials in the more populated areas. In the case of Colorado, the end result of this might be some compromise on fracking laws which have been divisive. 

Now, if the movement truly wants to create a new state, they have some work to do. First, the counties of northeastern Colorado don't have nearly the population they'd need to start a new state. So I'd suggest they expand their reach and try and join with other statehood movements in the region. Western Kansas pushed for statehood in the 1990s; residents of eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota have long pressed for a state called Absaroka; and several movements have attempted to split off the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to form the state of Texlahoma. Melding all these together creates a legitimate-sized state. I'd call it High Plains, but that's open for debate. Maybe "Lincoln" would be better.  

I give credit to Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway who seems to understand that, practically speaking, states have to enter the Union in pairs (One leaning Democrat, one Republican). Puerto Rico wants statehood, and would be the perfect match for High Plains.

While High Plains would be among the reddest of red states, Democrats are realizing this might not be such a bad idea. New Republic magazine notes that removing red counties from Colorado would make the state more blue overall—important in that tipping-point state. 

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