California's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

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California's 3rd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
John Garamendi Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Dan Lungren Republican Party
Dan Lungren.jpg

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

Flag of California.png
The 3rd Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Former 10th District incumbent John Garamendi (D) won the election.[1]

This is the 3rd 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 Dan Lungren (R), who was first elected in 2004.

According to a Cook Political Report analysis, the 3rd District was 1 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 3rd Congressional District is located in the north-central portion of the state and includes the counties of Glenn, Lake, Colusa, Yolo, Solano, Sutter, and Yuba, as well as southwestern Sacramento 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]

Candidates

General election candidates

Democratic Party John Garamendi Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Kim Dolbow Vann


June 5, 2012, primary results

Note: The following candidates withdrew prior to the primary: Timothy Core[7] and Charles Schaupp[8]

Election results

General election

U.S. House, California District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Garamendi Incumbent 54.2% 126,882
     Republican Kim Vann 45.8% 107,086
Total Votes 233,968
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

California's 3rd was considered to be Leaning Democratic according to the New York Times race ratings. Historically, the district has been a Democratic-leaning district. However, it was redrawn and now includes more conservative areas.[10]

Republican challenger Kim Dolbow Vann 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.[11]

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

District 10 incumbent John Garamendi was displaced into the newly drawn 3rd, making his re-election no longer safe.

According to the Washington Post, the newly drawn 3rd District was a battleground for Republicans and Democrats fighting for control of the House.[12]

The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[13][14]

Registration statistics

As of October 23, 2012, District 3 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 3[15]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 3 318,936 130,931 104,531 83,466 Democrat 25.25% 34.46%
"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 3rd District became more Republican because of redistricting.[16]

  • 2012: 53D / 47R
  • 2010: 62D / 38R

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 3rd Congressional District has a PVI of D+1, which is the 182nd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 56-44 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 52-48 percent over John Kerry (D).[17]

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.

John Garamendi

John Garamendi (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[18]April 15, 2012$313,178.96$262,183.09$(319,913.79)$255,448.26
Pre-Primary[19]May 25, 2012$255,448.26$133,658.20$(256,849.45)$132,257.01
Running totals
$395,841.29$(576,763.24)

Kim Dolbow Vann

Kim Vann (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[20]April 15, 2012$190,648.62$120,504.99$(94,507.47)$216,646.14
Pre-Primary[21]May 24, 2012$216,646.14$72,434$(120,374.76)$168,705.38
Running totals
$192,938.99$(214,882.23)

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 have told Hotline.[22]

In California's 3rd Congressional District, The Chamber spent $497,000 to elect Kim Dolbow Vann.[22]

District history

Candidate ballot accecss
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2010

On November 2, 2010, Dan Lungren won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Ami Bera, Jerry L. Leidecker, Douglas Arthur Tuma, and Mike Roskey in the general election.[23]

U.S. House, California District 3 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Lungren Incumbent 50.1% 131,169
     Democratic Ami Bera 43.2% 113,128
     American Independent Jerry L. Leidecker 2.5% 6,577
     Libertarian Douglas Arthur Tuma 2.4% 6,275
     Peace and Freedom Mike Roskey 1.8% 4,789
Total Votes 261,938

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. 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 "Sutter deputy D.A. joins congressional race", appeal-democrat.com, November 14, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 "GOP ad ties U.S. Rep. Garamendi to Obama", appeal-democrat.com, October 20, 2011
  9. "Colusa County supervisor running for Congress", orland-press-register.com, August 19, 2011
  10. New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed August 7, 2012
  11. NRCC "Young Guns 2012"
  12. Washington Post blog, "The 10 House districts that might surprise you," May 11, 2012
  13. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "California's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  14. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  15. California Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 21, 2012
  16. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in California," September 2012
  17. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "John Garamendi April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, "John Garamendi Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Kim Vann April Quarterly," accessed July 10, 2012
  21. Federal Election Commission, "Kim Vann Pre-Primary," accessed July 10, 2012
  22. 22.0 22.1 National Journal, "Chamber Drops $3.3 Million for California Repubs," September 27, 2012
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013