Vote button trans.png
April's Project of the Month
It's spring time. It's primary election season!
Click here to find all the information you'll need to cast your ballot.




California's 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
2014



CongressLogo.png

California's 16th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Jim Costa Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Zoe Lofgren Democratic Party
Zoe Lofgren.jpg

California U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 23District 24District 25District 26District 27District 28District 29District 30District 31District 32District 33District 34District 35District 36District 37District 38District 39District 40District 41District 42District 43District 44District 45District 46District 47District 48District 49District 50District 51District 52District 53

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of California.png
The 16th Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Former 20th District incumbent Jim Costa won the election.[1]

This is the 16th Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.
Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 9, 2012
June 5, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: California has a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by May 21. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 22.[2]

See also: California elections, 2012

Incumbent: Heading into the election the incumbent was Zoe Lofgren (D), who was first elected in 1994.

According to a Cook Political Report analysis, the 16th District was 1 of 13 congressional districts in California that was at least somewhat competitive in 2012. The analysis rated it as Likely Democratic.[3]

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 16th Congressional District is located in the central portion of the state and includes Merced County and southern Madera County.[4]

Blanket primary

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.[5]

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.[5]

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."[5]

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.[6]

There were also over a dozen same-party races in the state legislature in November.[6]

Race background

California's 16th was considered to be Leaning Democratic according to the New York Times race ratings. Incumbent Jim Costa narrowly won re-election in 2010. He defeated Republican Brian Whelan who was referred to as "on the radar" by the National Republican Congressional Committee.[7]

In 2010, Jim Costa narrowly won his re-election bid against challenger Andy Vidak by just over 3%. This time around, he faced challenger Brian Whelan in a newly redrawn district that is more Democratic than before. The district kept most of the heavily Democratic parts of Fresno and lost much of the heavily rural parts of the county. In addition, voter registration was 47% Democratic to 32% Republican.[8]

Candidates

General election candidates

Democratic Party Jim Costa Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Brian Daniel Whelan


June 5, 2012, primary results

Election results

General election

U.S. House, California District 16 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Costa Incumbent 57.4% 84,649
     Republican Brian Daniel Whelan 42.6% 62,801
Total Votes 147,450
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

The 16th District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[9][10]

Registration statistics

As of October 23, 2012, District 16 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 16[11]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 16 248,668 116,293 80,240 52,135 Democratic 44.93% -64.23%
"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.

District partisanship

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 16th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[12]

  • 2012: 56D / 44R
  • 2010: 57D / 43R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

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 16th Congressional District has a PVI of D+2, which is the 176th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 59-41 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 52-48 percent over John Kerry (D).[13]

Campaign contributions

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are candidate reports.

Jim Costa

Jim Costa (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[14]April 11, 2012$411,090.78$128,896.40$(123,020.71)$416,966.47
Pre-Primary[15]May 24, 2012$416,966.47$66,685.45$(261,287.53)$222,364.39
Running totals
$195,581.85$(384,308.24)

Brian Daniel Whelan

Brian Whelan (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 15, 2012$62,422.50$78,270$(34,256.75)$106,435.75
Pre-Primary[17]May 24, 2012$106,435.75$18,385$(85,643.01)$39,177.74
Running totals
$96,655$(119,899.76)

District history

Candidate Ballot Access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

2010

On November 2, 2010, Zoe Lofgren won re-election to the United States House. She defeated Daniel Sahagun and Edward Gonazalez in the general election.[18]

U.S. House, California District 16 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngZoe Lofgren Incumbent 67.8% 105,841
     Republican Daniel Sahagun 24.3% 37,913
     Libertarian Edward Gonazalez 7.9% 12,304
Total Votes 156,058

See also

References

  1. CNN, "California Districts Race - 2012 Election Center," accessed December 1, 2012
  2. California Secretary of State "Elections FAQ," accessed July 20, 2012
  3. The Cook Political Report 2012 Competitive House Race Chart
  4. California Redistricting Map "Map" Accessed September 25, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Los Angeles Times, "Few centrists advance in California's new primary system," June 7, 2012
  6. 6.0 6.1 Reuters, "Democrats face Democrats in new California election system," June 6, 2012
  7. New York Times "House Race Ratings," accessed August 7, 2012
  8. Fresnobee.com, " Redistricting works in Rep. Jim Costa's favor," September 24, 2012
  9. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer "California's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  10. Labels & Lists "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  11. California Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 21, 2012
  12. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in California," September 2012
  13. Cook Political Report "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" Accessed October 2012
  14. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Costa April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Costa Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Whelan April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Brian Whelan Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"