California's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

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California's 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
June 5, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Jared Huffman Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Wally Herger Republican Party
Wally Herger.jpg

California U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18District 19District 20District 21District 22District 23District 24District 25District 26District 27District 28District 29District 30District 31District 32District 33District 34District 35District 36District 37District 38District 39District 40District 41District 42District 43District 44District 45District 46District 47District 48District 49District 50District 51District 52District 53

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of California.png
The 2nd Congressional District of California held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Jared Huffman (D) won the election.[1]

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 Wally Herger (R), who was first elected in 1986. Herger was redrawn into the 1st District and chose to retire rather than seek re-election. No incumbent ran in the new 2nd District.[3]

This was the first election which used new district maps based on 2010 Census data. California's 2nd Congressional District is located in the northwestern portion of the state and includes the counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin.[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 Jared Huffman Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Daniel Roberts

June 5, 2012, primary results

Election results

U.S. House, California District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJared Huffman 71.2% 226,216
     Republican Daniel W. Roberts 28.8% 91,310
Total Votes 317,526
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, California District 2 Open Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJared Huffman (D) 37.5% 63,922
Green check mark transparent.pngDaniel Roberts (R) 15% 25,635
Norman Solomon (D) 14.9% 25,462
Stacey Lawson (D) 9.9% 16,946
Susan Adams (D) 8.2% 14,041
Mike Halliwell (R) 5.9% 10,008
Brooke Clarke (NPP) 2.2% 3,715
Tiffany Renee (D) 1.8% 3,033
John Lewallen (NPP) 1.5% 2,488
William Courtney (D) 1.4% 2,385
Andy Caffrey (D) 1% 1,737
Larry Fritzlan (D) 0.7% 1,151
Total Votes 170,523

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in California

The 2nd District was re-drawn after the 2010 Census. The new district is composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[10][11]

Registration statistics

As of October 23, 2012, District 2 had the following partisan registration breakdown according to the California Secretary of State:

California Congressional District 2[12]
Congressional District District Total Democrats Republicans Other & Unaffiliated Advantage Party Advantage Change in Advantage from 2010
District 2 395,395 195,079 89,131 111,185 Democrat 118.87% 151.75%
"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 2nd District became more Republican because of redistricting.[13]

  • 2012: 70D / 30R
  • 2010: 73D / 27R

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 2nd Congressional District has a PVI of D+19, which is the 48th most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 74-26 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 68-32 percent over George W. Bush (R).[14]

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.

Jared Huffman

Jared Huffman (2012)[15] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[16]March 31, 2012$444,519.01$281,847.60$(165,011.10)$561,355.51
Pre-Primary[17]May 16, 2012$561,355.51$136,947.73$(269,827.43)$428,475.81
Running totals

Daniel Roberts

Daniel Roberts (2012)[18] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 5, 2012$101,933.60$63,941.39$(18,052.93)$147,822.06
Pre-Primary[20]May 24, 2012$147,822.06$6,267.97$(101,446.70)$52,643.33
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.
This is the 2nd Congressional District prior to the 2010 redistricting.


On November 2, 2010, Wally Herger won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Jim Reed in the general election.[21]

U.S. House, California District 2 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngWally Herger Incumbent 57.2% 130,837
     Democratic Jim Reed 42.8% 98,092
Total Votes 228,929

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. Record Searchlight, "UPDATED: Herger announces retirement; backs LaMalfa to run for his seat," January 9, 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 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Lawson jumps into race for North Bay congressional seat",, August 25, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 "San Rafael businesswoman running for Congress raises big bucks in a hurry",, October 18, 2011
  9. "Who Should Represent us in Congress? Take Our Poll",, October 19, 2011
  10. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "California's congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  11. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  12. California Secretary of State, "Congressional Voter Registration Statistics," May 21, 2012
  13. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in California," September 2012
  14. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission, "Jared Huffman Summary Report," accessed June 26, 2012
  16. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly Jared Huffman" accessed June 27, 2012
  17. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary Jared Huffman" accessed June 27, 2012
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Daniel Roberts Summary Report," accessed June 27, 2012
  19. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly Daniel Roberts" accessed June 27, 2012
  20. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary Daniel Roberts" accessed June 27, 2012
  21. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013