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California - 12th District

Incumbent -- Jackie Speier (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

A mix of scenic coastal mountains and bayside commuter traffic jams, California's 12th District lies between its two well-known neighbors, downtown San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. To the west of the district is the Pacific Ocean and to the east lies the San Francisco Bay.

The wishbone-shaped district includes southwestern San Francisco and the heavily populated San Mateo County suburbs: Daly City and locales found between two main commuter routes -- the Junipero Serra and U.S. Route 101. The 12th's western spur runs south along the Pacific coastline from the Great Highway in San Francisco through Pacifica to Moss Beach, while the eastern spur stretches along the bay to San Carlos and part of Redwood City, about halfway to San Jose.

After an early-2000s downturn in the district's technology economy and in Silicon Valley to the south, the region has begun to rebound. The planned community Redwood Shores is home to software giants Oracle and Electronic Arts, and the popular Internet video site YouTube was founded in San Mateo. South San Francisco, home to several biotech firms, anchors the northern part of the district. San Francisco Airport remains a key employer and cargo traffic hub.

The 12th has the one of the nation's largest Asian populations, and Daly City, where more than half of the population is Asian, has a significant Filipino community. The Farallon Islands -- a national wildlife refuge 28 miles west of San Francisco and a popular destination for whale watchers and shark divers -- also belong to the district.

Democrats hold an overwhelming voter registration edge here, as less than 20 percent of voters have registered Republican. The district gave 74 percent of its vote to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and 68 percent to Jerry Brown in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Major Industry

Biotech, airport, software

Cities

San Francisco (pt.), 138,408; Daly City, 101,123; San Mateo, 97,207

notable

The most lucrative big-wave surfing competition in the world is held at a wave break called Maverick's, off Half Moon Bay.

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