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California’s Congressional District: A Bipartisan Analysis

California’s Congressional District: A Bipartisan Analysis

Your guide to the California Congressional District 22 race: Rep. David Valadao vs. Rudy Salas

This post was published recently in the Isthmus Political newsletter.

From L.A. to Washington: The Isthmus Political newsletter is written by two reporters who’ve covered Congress for nearly 40 years: Scott Keeter and John D. Chiang. Click here to subscribe.

By Scott Keeter

You may recognize former Congressman David Valadao as the former Republican congressman from Orange County who has been battling his Democratic opponent, Orange County Assemblyman Rudy Salas, in the California primary election. Although Salas had a primary victory of 50.7 percent to Valadao’s 47.5 percent, the race remains competitive.

On the Democratic side, there are a number of candidates vying for the district’s nomination—among them former Assemblyman Travis Allen; former L.A. County Supervisor artist and current L.A. County Board of Supervisors President Eric Garcetti, whose own campaign is funded partly by business owners; and former Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo. There is a strong challenge from former L.A. Unified School Board Member David Walker.

In the Republican primaries there is no dominant front-runner. Several candidates—including former Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, who has run for office before but lost, and former Orange County Sheriff and former Republican Assemblyman Steve Cooley—have a chance to emerge as the nominee for the nomination.

Although California is among the least competitive in terms of Congressional races, what happens here will be a good barometer of the broader electoral landscape. Here we look at the contest to determine whether the California district is a blue, red or purple state.

How we define “California”

The state’s Congressional district is based on the same principles as California’s state electoral college: geography, population, geography, geography, geography.

In this election we’re going to focus on the county-by-county breakdown of the district, using the most recent official vote count (January 2012).

The map above shows which of the district’s counties have Democratic, Republican, or even Independents as their candidate for the nomination. In this analysis, if a candidate has won the most votes in his county in the election, he has won the nomination for that county; if he’s tied with another candidate, we

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