Thanks to David over at Swing State Project, we now have data on how every congressional district voted for POTUS for the last several elections. This is a treasure trove for geeks like me. That list is here.
Today, I look at districts where a Republican is the representative, but Obama won, and Obama did markedly better than Kerry. I call these "new pickup possibles". I give some details about each district, along with the rank of the current rep from 1 (most liberal) to 435 (most conservative) per nominate data.
In these districts, Obama got 50% or more, Kerry less than 45%. I put the barrier lower for Kerry because he did about 5 points worse than Obama in the average CD.
CA 24 CA 25 CA 26 CA 44 CA 45 CA 50
VA 4 VA 10
Look at all those CA districts!
Going one by one
CA-24 is Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, except for a tiny strip along the coast. Current rep. is Elton Gallegly, ranked 341; in last 3 elections he got 58% (2008), 62% and 63%. Obama got 51%, Kerry and Gore each got 43%. It's a wealthy district (median income $61,400) with almost a quarter of the population is Latino.
CA-25 is a weirdly boot-shaped district, with the leg part along the Nevada border and the toe in Santa Clarita, near LA. Current rep is "Buck" McKeon, ranked 356; last 3: 53, 58, 64. Obama got 50, Kerry 40, Gore 42. Over 1/4 Latino.
CA-26 is a blob shaped district of suburbs of LA. Current rep is David Dreier, ranked 366; last 3: 53, 57, 55. Obama got 51, Kerry and Gore got 44 each. It's another wealthy district (median income $58,968) with about a quarter Latinos.
CA-44 is mostly Riverside county. Current rep is Calvert, ranked 318; last 3: 52, 60, 62. Obama got 50, Kerry 40, Gore 44. It's just over half White, and just over 1/3 Latino.
CA-45 is exurbs of LA, the "inland empire". Current rep is Bono, ranked 291; last 3: 57, 61, 67. Obama got 52, Kerry 43, Gore 47. This district has some very wealthy places (e.g. Palm Springs), but the median income is only $40,468, and 15% are in poverty; it's also 38% Latino (41st most in the USA).
CA-50 is San Diego and some suburbs. Current rep is Bilbray, ranked 371; last 3: 50, 53, 54. Obama got 51, Kerry 44, Gore 43. Median income is almost $60,000, about 10% Asian and 19% Latino.
IL-16 is the northwest corner of IL. Current rep is Manzullo, ranked 345; last 3: 61, 64, 69. Obama got 51, Kerry 44, Gore 43. IL-16 is not distinctive, demographically.
MI-04 is farmland in the center of MI. Current rep is Camp, ranked 327; last 3: 62, 61, 64. Obama got 50, Kerry and Gore 44 each. This is the 20th least urban district in the USA, and the 46th "whitest" (93% White).
NE-02 is Omaha and its western suburbs. Current rep is Terry, ranked 373; last 2 elections: 52 and 56 (elected 2006). Obama got 50, Kerry 38, Gore 39. Only 4 districts had bigger swings to Obama from Kerry (HI-01 and 02, IN-04 and 07). NE-02 is not distinctive, demographically.
VA-04 is Tidewater country. Current rep is Forbes, ranked 339; last 3: 60, 76, 64 (no Dem in 2006). Obama got 50, Kerry 43, Gore 44. VA-04 has the 48th most Blacks (33%), the 5th most Blacks of any district with a Republican rep. (the other 3 are all in Lousiana (02, 04, 05, and 06).
VA-10 is northern VA, including the Beltway. Current rep is Wolf, ranked 266; last 3: 59, 57, 54. Obama got 53, Kerry 44, Gore 41. VA-10 is the 10th wealthiest district (median income = $71,560).
WI-06 is central WI. Current rep is Petri, ranked 390; last 3: 64, 56, 53 (the only district in this list where the rep is increasing his lead). Obama got 50, Kerry 43, Gore 42. Per the Almanac of American Politics, it has the highest percentage of German-Americans. It's also the 22nd 'Whitest' (94%), 94th most rural, 30th least Black, and 38th fewest in poverty (although median income is only about $44,000).