California's 8th Congressional District elections, 2012

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California's 8th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Paul Cook Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Nancy Pelosi Democratic Party
Nancy Pelosi.jpg

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

Flag of California.png
The 8th Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Paul Cook won the election.[1]

This is the 8th 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 Nancy Pelosi (D), who was first elected in 1987. However, due to heavy redistricting, the former incumbent of the district no longer lived in the district.

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 8th Congressional District is located in the eastern portion of the state and includes the counties of Mono, Inyo, and San Bernardino.[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

Republican Party Paul Cook Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Gregg Imus


June 5, 2012, primary results

Election results

U.S. House, California District 8 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Cook 57.4% 103,093
     Republican Greg Imus 42.6% 76,551
Total Votes 179,644
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, California District 8 Open Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngGregg Imus (R) 15.6% 12,754
Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Cook (R) 15.3% 12,517
Phil Liberatore (R) 15% 12,277
Jackie Conaway (D) 14.3% 11,674
Brad Mitzelfelt (R) 10.8% 8,801
John Pinkerton (D) 9.7% 7,941
Angela Valles (R) 6% 4,924
Ryan McEachron (R) 3.9% 3,181
Anthony Adams (NPP) 3.4% 2,750
Bill Jensen (R) 2.3% 1,850
George Craig (R) 1.7% 1,376
Joseph Napolitano (R) 1.3% 1,050
Dennis Albertsen (R) 0.9% 761
Total Votes 81,856

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

The 8th 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 8 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 8[11]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 8 290,691 94,430 121,567 74,694 Republican 28.74% 566.94%
"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 8th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[12]

  • 2012: 40D / 60R
  • 2010: 41D / 59R

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 8th Congressional District has a PVI of R+12, which is the 87th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by John McCain (R), 57-43 percent over Barack Obama (D). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 65-35 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.

Paul Cook

Paul Cook (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[14]April 13, 2012$0$141,222.44$(56,734.30)$84,488.14
Pre-Primary[15]May 24, 2012$84,488.14$71,205$(116,674.24)$39,018.90
Running totals
$212,427.44$(173,408.54)

Gregg Imus

Gregg Imus (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]April 16, 2012$6,053.54$20,202.83$(18,294.48)$7,961.89
Running totals
$20,202.83$(18,294.48)

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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2010

On November 2, 2010, Nancy Pelosi won re-election to the United States House. She defeated John Dennis, Gloria E. La Riva and Philip Berg in the general election.[17]

U.S. House, California District 8 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNancy Pelosi Incumbent 80.1% 167,957
     Republican John Dennis 15.1% 31,711
     Peace and Freedom Gloria E. La Riva 2.5% 5,161
     Libertarian Philip Berg 2.3% 4,843
Total Votes 209,672

See also

External links

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. 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. "Local Jackie Conaway runs for Congress", DesertDispatch.com, October 5, 2011
  7. "2012 ELECTIONS: Conservative Gregg Imus announces congressional bid", pe.com, August 9, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Valles, Jensen running for Congress", vvdailypress.com', October 24, 2011
  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, "Paul Cook April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission, "Paul Cook Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "Gregg Imus April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  17. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013