I decided to look not just at Presidential numbers, but also Gubernatorial, Senatorial, and Social Issues (as measured by Prop. 8 from 2008). California's PVI is about D+8, so I normalized everything to it, adding 1 point to the gubernatorial results, 3 to the senatorial ones, and 10 from the "No" side of Prop. 8. One condition of this diary, which may not hold true, is that California is D+8 on the issue of same sex marriage, although considering that would put approval in 2008 nationwide at 44%, it seems plausible. Now I'm going to group the districts.
Equally Progressive Up and Down the Ballot:
CA-2 (soon to be held by Jared Huffman): D+12, D+11, D+13, D+19
This district, containing much of the North Bay (Marin and Sonoma Counties), also includes more rural areas in far Northern California (Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte), with no real population centers to speak of. Despite the wealth of Marin County, even in the Gubernatorial election there was only a one point PVI difference. And even some of the relatively small number of Republicans in the district are socially liberal.
CA-5 (Mike Thompson): D+18, D+15, D+19, D+24
Similarly to Huffman's district, this district contains some of the North Bay (Vallejo/Benicia, some of Sonoma County, as well as a few suburbs in the East Bay), and some more rural territory (Wine Country, although Napa has 75,000 people, and Lake County). Despite not being quite as wealthy as the 2nd (even the Bay Area portion is more middle class), there was a bit larger dropoff downballot. It's also more socially liberal than the PVI indicates.
CA-6 (Doris Matsui): D+16, D+18, D+17, D+18
The CW is that Brown overperformed in Sacramento County due to state workers, but what incentive would they have to be more Dem in the Senate race? I think this shows clearly that Sacramento County is trending bluer as it becomes much less White. Unlike the previous two districts, Prop. 8 basically matches the vote in the 3 other races.
CA-12 (Nancy Pelosi): D+33, D+31, D+36, D+39
Yes, even San Francisco varies a little bit in its votes. Some Democrats voted for the pro-choice Whitman but not the pro-life McCain (or voted based on state issues), and fewer Obama voters went for Fiorina than in other places. And yes, even the Republicans in San Francisco are pretty socially liberal, or there are fewer socially conservative Democrats, or both.
CA-13 (Barbara Lee): D+36, D+36, D+40, D+38
Another very uniform district, with all the results within four PVI points. Despite a sizable Black population (23% of VAP; likely higher with actual voters), there was no real Prop. 8 dropoff. As you'll say later, it was the Latino community that really opposed same sex marriage, not the Black one.
CA-14 (Jackie Speier) D+21, D+18, D+18, D+27
In most suburban districts, the Governor PVI was on the low end and the Prop 8 PVI on the high end, and this district is no different. But the dropoff in Brown-Whitman was still pretty low, despite Whitman being from just outside this district.
CA-15 (Pete Stark or, hopefully, Eric Swalwell) D+15, D+11, D+15, D+18
I expected a stronger dropoff here, the 680 corridor (300,000 or so people) is pretty ancestrally Republican as far as California goes. But Boxer performed strongly, and even Brown did pretty well. Like the other suburban districts, it’s more liberal socially than in general.
CA-17 (Mike Honda) D+17, D+13, D+20, D+18
CA-19 (Zoe Lofgren) D+16, D+12, D+18, D+18
Very similar districts; very similar results. Suburban areas liked Whitman better, but not Fiorina.
CA-20(Sam Farr) D+19, D+15, D+18, D+25
Santa Cruz and Monterey completely outweigh the 25% or so of the district that’s Hispanic in the Salinas Valley, giving this district a 6 point higher social issues PVI than its normal one. As an aside, Farr is such an anonymous congressman it’s absurd.
CA-27 (Judy Chu) D+9, D+6, D+9, D+14
Chu’s district is yet another suburban district with a similar pattern. However, this district is Asian, which should prove that Asians, even the immigrant populations, aren’t as homophobic as some think.
CA-28(Adam Schiff) D+19, D+16, D+20, D+27
A huge 11-point Brown-Prop 8 divergence is the only thing of note here.
CA-37 (Karen Bass) D+33, D+32, D+37, D+24
A bit of a dropoff on social issues, but still very good for a VRA district. The reason? Black voters in California are more socially liberal than the CW says.
That’s the end of the completely progressive districts; you’ll not nearly all of them are in the Bay Area, and only 3 are in Southern California at all.
Conservative District in Every Way:
These districts are the opposite, socially conservative and Republican up and down the ballot.
CA-8 (Paul Cook/Gregg Imus) R+11, R+11, R+12, R+3
Even here, I wouldn’t be surprised if gay marriage is near 50% support nowadays.
CA-22 (Devin Nunes) R+11, R+15, R+19, R+5
The Central Valley districts really hate Barbara Boxer; she did four points worse than Jerry Brown here. You’ll see that again in other districts in the area.
CA-23 (Kevin McCarthy) R+16, R+15, R+19, R+9
Raise your hand if you’re surprised! Yeah, me neither. But note that even here, in Bakersfield, there are a decent number of McCain voters who support same sex marriage (73% then, probably more like 65% now, supported Prop 8, while 61% voted for McCain), especially when you think about the fact that a decent number of Obama-voting Hispanics were voting for Prop. 8.
CA-42(Ken Calvert) R+10, R+13, R+13, R+3
Socially, this district is still light red but nothing like it is for actual elected offices. Yet their congressman has acknowledged seeing a prostitute. Irony.
Ancestrally Republican, but Blue and Socially Liberal:
Yup, even in California we have some districts like that. They vote more Republican for Governor than for President.
CA-11 (George Miller) D+17, D+12, D+16, D+24
Ancestrally Republican doesn’t mean the incumbent is in any danger. It’s just that San Ramon, Danville, Walnut Creek, etc. liked Meg Whitman a fair amount. But they sure aren’t socially conservative. You’ll see suburban areas like this around the country, and the Bay Area is no exception.
CA-18 (Anna Eshoo) D+18, D+11, D+17, D+30
My home district, quite wealthy and heavily White and Asian (80% between the two). It’s actually the fourth most socially liberal district in the state, after only Pelosi, Lee, and Waxman’s districts. Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina both live here. And as you can see, there are a LOT of socially liberal Republicans (Prop. 8 and Meg Whitman both polled 35%, and there were a decent number of Democrats who supported it). This is Tom Campbell territory.
CA-30(Brad Sherman/Howard Berman) D+14, D+9, D+14, D+26
Nearly identical to Eshoo’s district, but a few points redder.
CA-33 (Henry Waxman) D+12, D+6, D+10, D+32
Prop. 8 actually did worse than JOHN MCCAIN here. That’s how socially liberal this district is.
CA-53 (Susan Davis) D+9, D+4, D+8, D+17
Same tendencies as the aforementioned districts. But it’s almost purple when you get down the ballot.
Blue, except for Social Issues:
These districts will never be won by a Republican running for anything, but they don’t like same sex marriage either. Note that they’re all VRA districts.
CA-29 (Tony Cardenas, as of Jan. 2013) D+22, D+22, D+25, D+14
Not as bad of a drop as others down the list here.
CA-32 (Grace Napolitano) D+10, D+10, D+13, D+5
An outlier in that the dropoff is small. Perhaps the Hispanics here are wealthier? It’s a bit more suburban.
CA-34 (Xavier Becerra) D+26, D+29, D+34, D+10
Fiorina also ran really strongly here, for some reason. And yes, it’s still blue on social issues, but the dropoff is very large so I’m putting it here.
CA-35 (Joe Baca) D+12, D+12, D+14, D+1
A completely safe blue district that voted for Prop 8. It explains Baca’s views to an extent, but it’s also depressing.
CA-38 (Linda Sanchez) D+9, D+9, D+13, D+4
This would be almost be a swing district if voting was only based on same sex marriage and nothing else.
CA-40 (Lucille Roybal-Allard) D+26, D+27, D+32, D+5
This one is pretty crazy; a 21 point dropoff. Half of the Obama voters supported Prop. 8 here. Half.
CA-43 (Maxine Waters) D+23, D+22, D+26, D+9
14 point drop, very similar to Becerra and Baca’s districts.
CA-51 (Juan Vargas) D+13, D+13, D+16, D+2
Same pattern as other Hispanic majority districts in Southern California.
Blue Districts with Strange Patterns:
CA-44 (Janice Hahn/Laura Richardson): D+22, D+31, D+35, D+2
Either this district loved John McCain or it’s managed to trend even bluer in the last two years. By a lot. Or the numbers are wrong. I really don’t know. It does have a massive 20 point drop on social issues.
Blue Except for Governor and/or Senator:
These are the companions to the Blue Socially Liberal districts above, except that they’re much swingier. We could lose these districts in a 2010 type situation against the right candidate
CA-46 (Loretta Sanchez) D+6, D+3, D+7, D+5
Based on the rest of Orange County, I think we have a “Pennsylvania” situation here, with large numbers of socially conservative Democrats and socially liberal Republicans. It’s only D+3 for Governor.
CA-47 (Alan Lowenthal as of Jan. 2013) D+6, D+2, D+6, D+13
Very socially liberal; you can see why Gary DeLong is socially liberal despite being a Republican.
CA-24 (Lois Capps) D+4, R+2, D+1, D+10
Strongly liberal on social issues, pale blue for President, and purely purple statewide.
Blue Except for President:
I don’t understand and am surprised by this district.
CA-3 (John Garamendi) D+3, D+9, D+6, D+9
Someone explain why this district voted so low for Barack Obama, because I really don’t understand. Could explain why Kim Vann is getting no traction.
Light Blue All Around:
CA-9 (Jerry McNerney) D+4, D+3, D+3, D+3
As consistently light blue as a district can get.
CA-31 (Bob Dutton/Gary Miller) D+4, D+2, D+3, D+1
This district still makes me upset.
CA-41 (Mark Takano) D+7, D+4, D+6, D+1
Dropoff fitting the large Hispanic minority when it comes to Prop. 8; otherwise light or even relatively solid blue. No idea why the GOP thinks they can win this one.
Swingy and Socially Liberal:
CA-7 (Dan Lungren/Ami Bera) R+1, D+1, R+2, D+9
This is the purest of swing districts up and down the ballot, but because of the suburbs, it’s socially liberal.
CA-26 (Julia Brownley/Tony Strickland) D+4, R+2, D+1, D+13
A little redder in Brown-Whitman, a little bluer in everything else. But overall, this district is pretty similar to CA-7.
CA-36 (Mary Bono Mack) R+2, R+5, R+3, D+5
Despite being over ¼ Hispanic (and rural Hispanics, at that, who according to CW are even more anti-gay), this district is socially liberal or at least moderate, as is its representative. My guess is this is due to the Palm Springs area, which has a very large gay population. This district is a bit redder than the two others above it in this category, and could be considered light red rather than purple if you want to nitpick.
CA-52 (Brian Bilbray/Scott Peters) D+2, R+7, R+2, D+19
The 9 point gap between President and Governor is the third largest in the state, showing how ancestrally Republican this district is. However, it’s incredibly socially liberal, more so even than some Bay Area districts.
Light Red All Around:
CA-10 (Jeff Denham) R+2, R+5, R+5, R+2
Pretty consistently light red here. The only district in this category.
Purple, But Socially Conservative:
CA-16 (Jim Costa) D+5, D+2, EVEN, R+7
You can see the hate for Barbara Boxer here as well, although some of the drop might also be low-info Hispanics not voting. This district is the third most socially conservative in the state, amazingly, despite being a blue district.
CA-21 (David Valadao/John Hernandez) R+1, EVEN, R+3, R+10
Voted for Obama, yet is the most socially conservative in the state. You read that right.
Some of these districts are ones you wouldn’t be surprised are libertarian. Others might be more surprising.
CA-1 (Doug LaMalfa) R+9, R+10, R+12, D+1
Yeah, Wally Herger’s old district probably supports gay marriage now. Crazy world. Very red everywhere else, consistently around R+10.
CA-4 (Tom McClintock) R+10, R+11, R+13, D+6
You read that right. Tom McClintock, one of the 10 or so most conservative representatives? His district is as socially liberal as LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD’S in Inner City LA.
CA-39 (Ed Royce) R+5, R+9, R+7, D+3
This part of Orange County still has a decent number of evangelicals, but it’s still decently libertarian.
CA-45 (John Campbell) R+7, R+16, R+12, D+10
Two things to show here. First, why Sukhee Kang won’t win, just look at the downballot numbers. This was Jerry Brown’s second worst district in the entire state, and tied for Boxer’s 5th worst. But also look at the social issues numbers. Campbell is libertarian-leaning himself, but so is the district. Assuming the same universe of voters, Prop 8 was 9% less popular than Jerry Brown. This isn’t the Orange County of Rick Warren.
CA-48 (Dana Rohrabacher) R+7, R+14, R+11, D+13
Rohrabacher is also a bit libertarian himself. Obama and No on 8 both got 46% here. And there are some towns here that supported McCain but not Prop. 8.
CA-49(Darrell Issa) R+3, R+12, R+9, D+13
Issa isn’t what comes to mind when you think “libertarian,” but here’s his district.
CA-50 (Duncan Hunter, Jr.) R+14, R+18, R+17, D+1
Downballot, this is one of the two reddest districts in the state. But socially, not so much.