California's 33rd Congressional District elections, 2012

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California's 33rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Henry Waxman Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Karen Bass Democratic Party
Karen Bass.jpeg

California U.S. House Elections
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2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of California.png
The 33rd Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

District 30 incumbent Henry Waxman (D) won the election.[1]

This is the 33rd 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 Karen Bass (D), who was first elected in 2010.

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 33rd Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes part of Los Angeles County.[3]

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.[4]

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.[4]

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."[4]

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.[5]

There were also over a dozen same-party races in the state legislature in November.[5]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Henry Waxman Green check mark transparent.png
Independent Bill Bloomfield

June 5, 2012, primary results

Election results

General election

U.S. House, California District 33 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngHenry Waxman Incumbent 54% 171,860
     Independent Bill Bloomfield 46% 146,660
Total Votes 318,520
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

Waxman is a far-left Democrat who has been in office since 1975, while Bloomfield is a conservative independent candidate who has been well funded. After redistricting the 33rd District became more conservative with 44% of voters being Democratic and 28% being Republican.[7]

A November 2012 article in Fox News reported that Waxman would face a tight battle from Bloomfield in the general election. Bloomfield spent millions of his own money on the campaign. A former Republican, Bloomfield said gridlock has "paralyzed" Congress. Fernando Guerra, political science professor at Loyola Marymount University, said he expects Waxman to win in a closer race than usual. "There is no doubt that Congressman Waxman is being challenged in this election and that he has to take it seriously."[8]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

The 33rd 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 24, 2012, District 33 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 33[11]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 33 434,903 191,096 123,721 120,086 Democratic 54.46% -473.21%
"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 33rd District became more Republican because of redistricting.[12]

  • 2012: 62D / 38R
  • 2010: 67D / 33R

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 33rd Congressional District has a PVI of D+12, which is the 88th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 65-35 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 62-38 percent over George W. Bush (R).[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.

Henry Waxman

Henry Waxman (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[14]April 13, 2012$1,143,486.79$27,036.76$(180,946.13)$989,577.42
Pre-Primary[15]May 24, 2012$989,577.42$22,063.32$(116,907.50)$894,733.24
Running totals

Bill Bloomfield

Bill Bloomfield (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 15, 2012$0$104,980$(79,990.09)$24,989.91
Pre-Primary[17]May 24, 2012$24,989.91$1,109,996.00$(919,313.93)$215,671.98
Running totals

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.


On November 2, 2010, Karen Bass won election to the United States House. She defeated James L. Andion in the general election.[18]

U.S. House, California District 33 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKaren Bass 86.1% 131,990
     Republican James L. Andion 13.9% 21,342
Total Votes 153,332

See also


  1. CNN, "California Districts Race - 2012 Election Center," accessed December 1, 2012
  2. California Secretary of State, "Elections FAQ," accessed July 20, 2012
  3. California Redistricting Map, "Map" accessed September 25, 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Los Angeles Times, "Few centrists advance in California's new primary system," June 7, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 Reuters, "Democrats face Democrats in new California election system," June 6, 2012
  6. "House veteran Waxman will run in new district that includes South Bay",, August 27, 2011
  7., "California Incumbents Face New Challenges In November," July 18, 2012
  8. Fox News, "Upstart challenger, redistricting have Calif. Rep. Waxman fighting to keep his seat," November 2, 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, "Henry Waxman April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission, "Henry Waxman Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Bill Bloomfield April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Bill Bloomfield Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  18. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013