United States Senate elections in California, 2012

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2012 U.S. Senate Elections in California

November 6 Election Winner:
Dianne Feinstein Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Dianne Feinstein Democratic Party
Dianne Feinstein.jpg

Cook Political Report Race Rating
     Solid D (Prior to election)

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2012 U.S. House Elections

Flag of California.png
Voters in California elected one member to the U.S. Senate in the November 6, 2012 elections.

Incumbent Dianne Feinstein (D) won re-election on November 6, 2012.[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: The election will fill the Class 1 Senate seat, which is currently held by Dianne Feinstein (D). She was first elected in 1992.

Candidates

Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals will be added when official election results are certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Dianne Feinstein Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Elizabeth Emken

June 5, 2012 primary results

Note: Due to California's recently adopted Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, all candidates compete in one primary. The two who receive the most votes move on to the general election, regardless of any party affiliation.
Note: The following candidates withdrew prior to the primary: Keith Holbrook, Tim Kalemkarian, and Michael Stollaire

Election results

General election

U.S. Senate, California General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDianne Feinstein Incumbent 62.5% 7,864,624
     Republican Elizabeth Emken 37.5% 4,713,887
Total Votes 12,578,511
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Race background

Incumbent Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, first elected in 1992, will defend her seat in the 2012 election. Feinstein survived the first round of her re-election campaign on June 5th when she overcame a whopping 23 challengers in her first ever blanket (or "top-two") primary. The second-highest vote getting from the primary, Republican Elizabeth Emken, will also advance to the general election, taking place on November 6, 2012.

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.[10]

However, the increase in competition has also led to an increase in campaign spending, due to the fact that competition within political parties will last 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.[10]

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."[10]

Competitiveness

Several factors, including Feinstein's staggering campaign finance advantage over her only general election opponent, Elizabeth Emken (R), point to a high-probability of re-election for the Democratic incumbent this year. The consensus among race projections published in the months leading up to November's general election, such as The New York Times 2012 Battle for the Senate, rate the race for the California Class 1 Senate seat as Solid Democratic.[11]

Race rating

Cook Political Report

Each month the Cook Political Report releases race ratings for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors. There are seven possible designations: [12]

     Solid Democratic
     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic

     Tossup

     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican
     Solid Republican

Cook Political Report Race Rating -- California Senate
Month Rating
November 1, 2012[13]     
October 4, 2012[14]     
September 13, 2012[15]     
August 21, 2012[16]     
July 12, 2012[17]     
May 31, 2012[18]     
May 10, 2012[19]     
March 22, 2012[20]     
March 1, 2012[21]     
January 26, 2012[22]     
December 22, 2011[23]     
December 1, 2011[24]     

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.

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein[25] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[26]April 13, 2012$6,574,635.54$1,154,455.44$(449,994.83)$7,279,096.15
Pre-Primary[27]May 24, 2012$7,279,096.15$713,380.56$(5,368,080.87)$2,624,395.84
July Quarterly[28]July 14, 2012$2,607,347.09$612,506.71$(134,251.01)$3,085,602.79
Running totals
$2,480,342.71$(5,952,326.71)

Elizabeth Emken

Elizabeth Emken [29] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[30]April 14, 2012$33,441.64$262,310.36$(43,748.43)$252,003.57
Pre-Primary[31]May 24, 2012$252,003.57$28,658.00$(254,742.38)$25,919.19
July Quarterly[32]July 14, 2012$25,919.19$59,088.80$(58,254.39)$26,753.60
Running totals
$350,057.16$(356,745.2)

Election history

2010

On November 2, 2010, Barbara Boxer won re-election to the United States Senate. She defeated Carly Fiorina, Gail K. Lightfoot, Marsha Feinland, Duane Roberts, and Edward C. Noonan in the general election.[33]

U.S. Senate, California General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBarbara Boxer Incumbent 52.2% 5,218,441
     Republican Carly Fiorina 42.2% 4,217,366
     Libertarian Gail K. Lightfoot 1.8% 175,242
     Peace and Freedom Marsha Feinland 1.4% 135,093
     Green Duane Roberts 1.3% 128,510
     American Independent Edward C. Noonan 1.3% 125,441
Total Votes 10,000,093

2006

On November 7, 2006, Dianne Feinstein won re-election to the United States Senate. She defeated Richard Mountjoy, Todd Chretien, Michael S. Metti, Marsha Feinland, and Don J. Grundmann in the general election.[34]

U.S. Senate, California General Election, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDianne Feinstein Incumbent 59.4% 5,076,289
     Republican Richard Mountjoy 35% 2,990,822
     Green Todd Chretien 1.7% 147,074
     Libertarian Michael S. Metti 1.6% 133,851
     Peace and Freedom Marsha Feinland 1.4% 117,764
     American Independent Don J. Grundmann 0.9% 75,350
Total Votes 8,541,150

See also

External links

References

  1. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  2. California Secretary of State "Elections FAQ," Accessed July 20, 2012
  3. Dianne Feinstein 2012 campaign website Accessed January 19, 2012
  4. John Boruff campaign website Accessed January 19, 2012
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Inside Bay Area "Danville woman seeks GOP nod to take on Feinstein," Accessed January 4, 2012
  6. Federal Election Commission
  7. Dan Hughes campaign website Accessed January 19, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Inyo Register "Changes coming to elections," Accessed February 18, 2012
  9. TemeculaPatch, "Rabbi Who Denounced Temecula Mosque Runs for Senate," May 18, 2011
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Los Angeles Times, "Few centrists advance in California's new primary system," June 7, 2012
  11. The New York Times, "2012 Senate Elections race ratings," accessed September 17, 2012
  12. Cook Political Report "Our Accuracy," Accessed December 12, 2011
  13. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," November 1, 2012
  14. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," October 4, 2012
  15. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," September 13, 2012
  16. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," August 21, 2012
  17. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," July 12, 2012
  18. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," May 31, 2012
  19. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," May 10, 2012
  20. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 22, 2012
  21. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 1, 2012
  22. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," January 26, 2012
  23. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 27, 2011
  24. Cook Political Report "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 1, 2011
  25. FEC Reports "Dianne Feinstein Summary Reports" Accessed August 20, 2012
  26. FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed August 20, 2012
  27. FEC Reports "Pre-Primary" Accessed August 20, 2012
  28. FEC Reports "July Quarterly" Accessed August 20, 2012
  29. FEC Reports "Elizabeth Emken Summary Reports" Accessed August 20, 2012
  30. FEC Reports "April Quarterly" Accessed August 20, 2012
  31. FEC Reports "Pre-Primary" Accessed August 20, 2012
  32. FEC Reports "July Quarterly" Accessed August 20, 2012
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006"