Politics, government and public life for Southern California

How election 2012, redistricting changed California's congressional map (graphic)

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Tuesday's election — coming on the heels of a tumultuous redistricting process — transformed the map of California's congressional representation, if not the actual balance between Republicans and Democrats in the state's official delegation.

Check out the geographical differences in the interactive map below. (You can toggle between the map as it appeared in 2010 and the new map as it appears now.)

New concentrations of congressional power for Democrats, incumbent losses and new faces — as well as the appearance of "No Party Preference" candidates in the general elections — were among the political changes that came out of Tuesday's election.

The redistricting process delivered congressional districts to Democrats around Sacramento and in the 31st and 56th in the southern part of the state for a net gain of one seat from the GOP.

That margin could grow to a gain of four seats as races in the 7th, 36th and 52nd congressional districts had Democrats leading by narrow margins. (Story continues below map.)

Should those wins hold for the Democrats, roughly one in four California congressional seats could change parties, and voters would have sent 13 rookie legislators to Washington.

As it stands, 10 new faces will join California's Congressional delegation — eight new Democrats and two Republicans.

Tuesday also was California’s first general election under the "Top Two" system for legislative and congressional races, and the second overall.

Some 3.8 million voters registered with no political party preference and voted in several races in which members of the same party went head-to-head — including four in which candidates who displayed No Party Preference went against major-party candidates:

  • Democrats faced Democrats in five districts: 30th, 35th, 40th, 43rd and 44th.
  • GOP candidates went head-to-head in two districts: 8th and 31st.
  • No Party Preference candidates garnered votes in the 13th, 23, 29th and 33rd.

In the most competitive race among No Party Preference candidates, the 33rd, Bill Bloomfield received 46.3 percent of the vote against Democrat and Congressional veteran Henry Waxman.

Elsewhere, NPP candidates weren't as competitive as Bloomfield:

  • In the 13th, Marilyn M. Singleton received 13.8 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Barbara Lee.
  • In the 23rd, Terry Phillips received 26.2 percent of the vote against Republican incumbent Kevin Mc Carthy.
  • In the 29th, David R. Hernandez received 25.8 percent of the vote against Democratic newcomer Tony Cardenas.
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