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CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 22nd District stretches inland from San Luis Obispo County near the coast to Ridgecrest in Kern County before dipping south into northwest Los Angeles County. It then turns north again to take in most of Bakersfield and most of the remaining parts of Kern. More than 70 percent of district residents live in fast-growing Kern County.
Kern is known for oil production and a strong agricultural base. Along with vineyards and cattle in the San Luis Obispo area (the city itself is in the coastal 23rd), the two counties annually produce billions of dollars' worth of crops such as grapes, citrus, cotton and nuts. Kern County is expanding its energy industry with solar, wind, natural gas, geothermal and biomass facilities. Kern is also home to the Hyundai-Kia California Proving Ground testing facility in the Mojave Desert area north of Edwards Air Force Base.
Bakersfield (shared with the 20th) is Kern County's largest city and sits in the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley. The city, as well as Lancaster (shared with the 25th) in Los Angeles County, continues to grow. Oil and agriculture dominate, but Bakersfield hopes technology jobs will improve economic diversity.
The 22nd is thoroughly GOP territory with Republican voter registration ahead of Democratic registration throughout the district's communities. GOP candidate John McCain took 60 percent of the district's 2008 vote for president, his highest percentage statewide. And Republican Meg Whitman took her second-highest percentage and highest vote total statewide here in the 2010 gubernatorial race.
Agriculture, oil, military
Edwards Air Force Base, 1,851 military, 5,592 civilian (2010) (shared with the 25th); Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, 640 military, 4,204 civilian (2011) (shared with the 25th)
Bakersfield (pt.), 285,248; Lancaster (pt.), 84,263; Oildale (unincorporated), 32,684; Paso Robles, 29,793; Atascadero, 28,310
Edwards Air Force Base was the site of Chuck Yeager's 1947 flight that broke the sound barrier.
|2010||general||Kevin McCarthy (R)||173,490||98.8%|
|2008||general||Kevin McCarthy (R)||224,549||100%|
|2006||general||Kevin McCarthy (R)||133,278||70.7%|
|Sharon Beery (D)||55,226||29.3%|
|2004||general||Bill Thomas (R)||209,384||100%|
|2002||general||Bill Thomas (R)||120,473||73.3%|
|Jaime Corvera (D)||38,988||23.7%|
|Frank Coates (LIBERT)||4,824||2.9%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 38.4%||John McCain: 59.8%|
|2004||John Kerry: 31%||George W. Bush: 68%|
|2000||Al Gore: 33%||George W. Bush: 63%|