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For those of you not familiar with CA-21 it is a notoriously hard call because of its tendency to have very small voter turnout. Only 116,283 people voted for Congressional Representative on Nov. 6, 2012 in CA-21. What in the heck happened????

The contest being examined was between David Valadao (R), a sitting one-term state Assemblyman and John Hernandez (D), the CEO of the Fresno Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. One could describe the race as Who Dat vs. Some Dude.

CA-21 --- 2012 Presidential General Election Results. (Presidential)
County           Obama    Romney    Total      Obama%    Romney%

Fresno (pt.)    21,774    18,635    41,066    53.02%    45.38%

Kern (pt.)           28,233    13,666    42,640    66.21%    32.05%

Tulare (pt.)          2,160       1,945    4,175            51.74%    46.59%

Kings                   12,979    17,671    31,351    41.40%    56.37%

Total               65,146    51,917    119,232    54.64%    43.54%

As you can see in chart above, Obama won CA-21 out-right and won in three the counties that are portioned off but lost Kings which is the only county that is entirely in CA-21 and the Section 5 county to boot.

2012 General Election  Congressional District 21 Results
COUNTY    Hernandez(D)PCT           Valadao(R)    PCT           TOTAL

Fresno    16,197    40.81%                   23,488    59.19%    39,685

Kern       21,861    52.95%                   19,429    47.05%    41,290

Kings      9,473      30.31%                   21,783    69.69%    31,256

Tulare      1,588         39.19%                    2,464     60.81%    4,052

District    49,119    42.24%                   67,164    57.76%    116,283

Valadao won every county in his district except Kern and furthermore, it appears that approximately 4000 people in Kings county and approximately 5000 people in Fresno County that voted for Obama also voted for Valadao!
Kern county is in a completely separate media market (Bakersfield) from the other 3 counties in the district that are in the Fresno media market. Which could explain some of the odd voting pattern.

Prisons & Prisoners:
According to the Census Bureau's Advanced Group Quarters Data, on Census Day (April 1, 2010) there were 44,549 individuals incarcerated (column P0420003) within CA-21 out of a total population of 702,904.
That's 6% of the population of the district that was in prison. This is pre-realignment meaning that population of the district has probably shrank in direct proportion to the State of California's Prison population.

For a number of technical reasons I have arrived at the conclusion that the CVAP (Citizen Voting Age Population) put out by the census is functionally worthless for its purported use. The CVAP is derived from estimates based on the 2000 census. The census geography was changed in 2010. Meaning the actual shapes and numbers of census blocks, block groups and tracts changed. The actual CVAP of the district is not knowable unless the district were resurveyed and if it were, it would need to account for large number of felons without voting rights.

Originally posted to hankmeister on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM PST.

Also republished by California politics.

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