California's 15th Congressional District elections, 2012
November 6, 2012
June 5, 2012
- 1 Blanket primary
- 2 Candidates
- 3 Election results
- 4 Impact of redistricting
- 5 Campaign contributions
- 6 District history
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
|Candidate Filing Deadline||Primary Election||General Election|
Primary: California has a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election.
- See also: California elections, 2012
Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Mike Honda (D), who was first elected in 2000.
This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 15th Congressional District is located in the western portion of the state and includes much of Alameda County.
This was the first election year in which California's Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act was in effect. Because of this, all candidates for a seat competed in one blanket primary. The two candidates who received the most votes then advanced to the general election on November 6.
The proposition's intent was to encourage primary competition, which backers of the act said would lead to more moderate legislators being elected. Despite this intention, only a few centrists successfully advanced to the general election. The primary results did reflect an increase in competition, with California's percentage of contested primaries being much higher than the nationwide average.
However, the increase in competition also led to an increase in campaign spending, due to the fact that competition within political parties lasted for the entire year rather than ending after the primary. Experts predict that this will only increase the power of the special interest groups that fund the campaigns.
Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Institute of Public Affairs at Cal State L.A., said the following, "It's hard to argue it's a better system where the incumbent congressman has a huge war chest and nobody else has any money... At least now we can make him spend it."
As a result of the blanket primary, nine congressional districts had same-party candidates battling in the November 6 general election. Of those, seven were between Democrats.
General election candidates
June 5, 2012, primary results
|U.S. House, California District 15 General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Pete Stark Incumbent||47.9%||110,646|
|Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"|
|U.S. House, California District 15 Open Primary, 2012|
|Pete Stark (D) Incumbent||42.1%||39,943|
|Eric Swalwell (D)||36.2%||34,347|
|Christopher Pareja (NPP)||21.7%||20,618|
Impact of redistricting
- See also: Redistricting in California
- 16 percent from the 9th Congressional District
- 17 percent from the 10th Congressional District
- 25 percent from the 11th Congressional District
- 42 percent from the 13th Congressional District
As of October 23, 2012, District 15 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:
|California Congressional District 15|
|Congressional District||District Total||Democrats||Republicans||Other & Unaffiliated||Advantage||Party Advantage||Change in Advantage from 2010|
|"Party advantage" is the percentage gap between the two major parties in registered voters. "Change in advantage" is the spread in difference of party advantage between 2010 and 2012 based on the congressional district number only.|
FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study
- See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012
In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. California's 15th District became more Republican because of redistricting.
- 2012: 65D / 35R
- 2010: 71D / 29R
Cook Political Report's PVI
In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. California's 15th Congressional District has a PVI of D+15, which is the 72nd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 69-31 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 63-37 percent over George W. Bush (R).
|Eric Swalwell (2012) Campaign Finance Reports|
|Report||Date Filed||Beginning Balance||Total Contributions|
for Reporting Period
|Expenditures||Cash on Hand|
|April Quarterly||April 14, 2012||$89,072.97||$101,030.24||$(96,792.16)||$93,311.05|
|Pre-Primary||May 24, 2012||$93,311.05||$54,879.94||$(97,013.98)||$51,177.01|
|Candidate ballot access|
|Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.|
|U.S. House, California District 15 General Election, 2010|
|Democratic||Mike Honda Incumbent||67.6%||126,147|
- United States House of Representatives elections in California, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections, 2012
- CNN, "California Districts Race - 2012 Election Center," accessed December 1, 2012
- California Secretary of State, "Elections FAQ," accessed July 20, 2012
- California Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed September 25, 2012
- Los Angeles Times, "Few centrists advance in California's new primary system," June 7, 2012
- Reuters, "Democrats face Democrats in new California election system," June 6, 2012
- "Barbara Lee announces re-election bid, too", ibabuzz.com, August 3, 2011
- "Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell seeking congressional seat in 2012 election", PleasantonWeekly.com, September 21, 2011
- Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "California's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
- Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
- California Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 21, 2012
- "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in California," September 2012
- Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
- Federal Election Commission, "Eric Swalwell April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
- Federal Election Commission, "Eric Swalwell Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
- U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013