California's 41st Congressional District elections, 2012

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California's 41st Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Mark Takano Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Jerry Lewis Republican Party
Jerry Lewis.jpg

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

Flag of California.png
The 41st Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Mark Takano (D) won the election.[1]

This is the 41st 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 Jerry Lewis (R), who was first elected in 1978.

According to a Cook Political Report analysis, the 41st District was one of 13 congressional districts in California that was at least somewhat competitive in 2012. The analysis rated it as Leans Democratic.[3]

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 41st Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes part of northwestern Riverside 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]


General election candidates

Democratic Party Mark Takano Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party John Tavaglione

June 5, 2012, primary results

Election results

General election

U.S. House, California District 41 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Takano 59% 103,578
     Republican John Tavaglione 41% 72,074
Total Votes 175,652
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

California's 41st was considered to be a Tossup according to the New York Times race ratings. The district was seen as a major swing district. Republicans had a slight voter advantage, but Barack Obama won the district overwhelmingly in 2008.[8]

California's 41st District was included in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red to Blue List," which identified districts that the organization specifically targeted to flip from Republican to Democratic control.[9]

Republican challenger John Tavaglione was included in the National Republican Congressional Committee's Young Guns program. The program highlighted challengers who represented the GOP's best chances to pick up congressional seats in the general election.[10]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

The 41st District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[11][12]

Registration statistics

As of October 24, 2012, District 41 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 41[13]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 41 258,720 111,135 89,685 57,900 Democratic 23.92% 50.06%
"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. Partisanship figures from 2010 relating to the incumbent are unavailable for this district due to the seat being open.[14]

  • 2012: 57D / 43R
  • 2010: Unavailable

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 41st Congressional District has a PVI of D+3, which is the 159th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 61-39 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 51-49 percent over John Kerry (D).[15]

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.

Mark Takano

Mark Takano (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 14, 2012$212,454.35$215,405.79$(102,968.87)$324,891.27
Pre-Primary[17]May 24, 2012$324,891.27$59,315.28$(110,797.88)$273,408.67
Running totals

John Tavaglione

John Tavaglione (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[18]April 11, 2012$178,690.98$177,350$(47,810.83)$308,230.15
Pre-Primary[19]May 23, 2012$308,230.15$177,494$(94,702.11)$391,172.04
Running totals

Chamber of commerce spending

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent a total of $3.3 million on television advertisements aimed at electing ten California Republican congressional candidates, Democratic sources told Hotline.[20]

In California's 41st Congressional District, The Chamber spent $218,000 to elect John Tavaglione.[20]

District history

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


On November 2, 2010, Jerry Lewis won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Pat Meagher in the general election.[21]

U.S. House, California District 41 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJerry Lewis Incumbent 63.2% 127,857
     Democratic Pat Meagher 36.8% 74,394
Total Votes 202,251

See also

External links


  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," accessed July 10, 2012
  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. 7.0 7.1 "Takano Running for Congress, Leads in Fundraising",, October 18, 2011
  8. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 7, 2012
  9. DCCC, "Red to Blue 2012"
  10. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  11. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "California's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  12. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  13. California Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 21, 2012
  14. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Arizona," September 2012
  15. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Mark Takano April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Mark Takano Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "John Tavaglione April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, "John Tavaglione Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  20. 20.0 20.1 National Journal, "Chamber Drops $3.3 Million for California Repubs," September 27, 2012
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013