I've followed with great interest the tremendous work of Daily Kos Elections to figure out the 2012 Vote by Congressional District. The work became final today. Prior to the election, the great folks at Daily Kos Elections did the yeoman's work of calculating the 2008 vote by the NEW Congressional District, which gives us good data for comparison. I don't want to steal any of their thunder, but I thought I might add some value by giving you some facts and figures that I found while I ran through the data.
Biggest 2012 Obama Margin: NY-15 (Jose Serrano). The Bronx district gave Obama a whopping 96.8% of the vote. It was also the most Obama district in 2008, but trended even more blue this time. The district is located in the South Bronx, and is a majority-minority district with lots of Hispanics and African Americans.
Biggest 2012 Romney Margin: TX-13 (Mac Thornberry). This district in North Texas gave Romney 80.2% of the vote, more than John McCain's 76.9% in 2008. Thornberry's district was also the most red in 2008.
Biggest Pro-Obama change, 2008-2012: AZ-7 (Ed Pastor). This Arizona Democrat's district went from giving Obama a 30 point victory in 2008 to a 45 point victory last year. Almost all of the districts that became more pro-Obama were districts with large Hispanic populations. The 2nd highest change came from CA-34 (Xavier Becerra). Next comes New Jersey's 8th (Albio Spires). The largest change among non-Hispanic districts is NY-14 (Joe Crowley), which is located on Long Island. I wonder if Hurricane Sandy had an effect there.
Biggest Anti-Obama change, 2008-2012: UT-4 (Matheson). Not surprisingly, the four districts that changed most toward the Republicans were in Utah, where presumably the LDS population turned out in droves to support Mitt Romney. Matheson's district's distinction is especially noteworthy because Matheson is a Democrat. John McCain won Utah's 4th by 15 points in 2008, while Romney won it by 37 (!) in 2012. Matheson somehow managed to win despite the Romney tide in that district. Besides Utah, the biggest change towards the Republicans was WV-3 (Rahall). He too is a Democrat who bucked the pro-GOP movement. Next on the list was IL-15 (Shimkus), a Southern Illinois district that drifted away from it's native son.
Biggest Obama District Represented by a Republican: CA-31 (Gary Miller). The Democrats screwed up the Congressional election in this district, which went for President Obama 57-40. California's new jungle primary system means that the top two finishers in the primary, regardless of party, advance to the general election. So many Democrats ran for this seat that they split the vote, and the top two candidates were each Republicans. This is THE prime pickup opportunity for House Dems in 2014. Next on this list are CA-21 (Valadao), whose district went to Obama by 11 points, and NJ-2 (LoBiondo), whose district Obama won by 8 points.
Biggest Romney District Represented by a Democrat: UT-4 (Matheson). We talked about this one above. Matheson's victory really was remarkable given Romney's popularity in the district. Next on this list are Rahall (WV-3), and then way further down on the list (in terms of Romney margin) is McIntyre (NC-7). All three of these Congressmen have fostered a brand that's allowed them to get elected as Democrats in Republican districts, but going forward all remain very vulnerable.
31 Districts were won by Obama in 2008 and Romney in 2012. That is to be expected since Obama's margin went from about 7 in 2008 to 4 in 2012. 3 districts actually went for McCain in 2008 and Obama in 2012. Those were FL-26 (Garcia-D) and FL-27 (Ros-Lehtinen-R), which are South Florida districts with heavy Cuban populations, and NY-11 (Grimm-R), which covers Staten Island and a small part of Brooklyn. Sandy certainly could have been a factor in the latter district.
Overall, Mitt Romney won 9 districts represented by Democrats:
Barack Obama won 17 districts represented by Republicans:
CA-31 (Gary Miller)
Bellwether Districts: The two districts that most closely mirrored the national popular vote were NY-18 (Maloney-D) and the aforementioned NY-11 (Grimm-R). Obama won each of those districts by about 4.2-4.3%, which closely matched his 4.3% popular vote victory over Mitt Romney. Just for kicks, the districts that would have been bellwether districts in 2008 (remember, most of the district lines have been redrawn since then) were PA-8 (Fitzpatrick) and PA-6 (Gerlach).
Thanks again to jeffmd and the rest of the folks at Daily Kos Elections for compiling the data. Look forward to doing it all over again in 2016!