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California's 34th Congressional District elections, 2012

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California's 34th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Xavier Becerra Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Lucille Roybal-Allard Democratic Party
Lucille Roybal-Allard.jpg

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

Flag of California.png
The 34th Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Former 31st District incumbent Xavier Becerra (D) won the election.[1]

This is the 34th 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 Lucille Roybal-Allard (D), who was first elected in 1992.

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 34th 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]

Candidates

General election candidates

Democratic Party Xavier Becerra Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Stephen Smith


June 5, 2012, primary results

Election results

General election

U.S. House, California District 34 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngXavier Becerra Incumbent 85.6% 120,367
     Republican Stephen Smith 14.4% 20,223
Total Votes 140,590
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

The 34th District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[7][8]

Registration statistics

As of October 24, 2012, District 34 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 34[9]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 34 232,855 133,896 30,175 68,784 Democratic 343.73% 115.76%
"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 34th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[10]

  • 2012: 76D / 24R
  • 2010: 77D / 23R

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 34th Congressional District has a PVI of D+28, which is the 23rd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 81-19 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 77-23 percent over George W. Bush (R).[11]

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.

Xavier Becerra

Xavier Becerra (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[12]April 13, 2012$697,082.96$266,037.65$(216,733.24)$746,387.37
Pre-Primary[13]May 24, 2012$746,387.37$91,212.07$(168,020.10)$669,579.34
Running totals
$357,249.72$(384,753.34)

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, Lucille Roybal-Allard won re-election to the United States House. She defeated Wayne Miller in the general election.[14]

U.S. House, California District 34 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngLucille Roybal-Allard Incumbent 77.2% 69,382
     Republican Wayne Miller 22.8% 20,457
Total Votes 89,839

See also

External links

References