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California - 46th District

Incumbent -- Dana Rohrabacher (R) ; Running for re-election

Safe Republican
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

The 46th runs along the coast south of Los Angeles with an eclectic mix of residents -- including senior citizens, surfers and aerospace workers -- who live in several different areas. The mountainous peninsula in the district's northwest is home to ultra-wealthy areas such as Rancho Palos Verdes. In the center is a more blue-collar community around Long Beach Harbor, home to one of the nation's largest port complexes. To the southeast, the district takes in Orange County communities such as Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa.

The housing construction sector had benefited from a residential real estate boom in Orange County but home values remain volatile, especially along the coast. Aerospace and technology once provided tens of thousands of jobs in the district, but cuts at Boeing's Huntington Beach campus and elsewhere in Southern California have hurt the local economy. Costa Mesa hosts pharmaceutical firms, and manufacturing remains in a diminished role. High-skilled aircraft assemblage and technology jobs had replaced textile factory positions here.

Following a statewide trend, Hispanic and Asian populations in the 46th have grown markedly -- white residents now make up only 56 percent of the population. Some areas in the district's interior, which includes most of Westminster -- home to a large Vietnamese population and shared with the 40th District -- tend to be less affluent than coastal cities.

The once comfortably conservative district backed GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman with 56 percent of its vote in 2010, but John McCain won here with less than 50 percent in the 2008 presidential race.

Major Industry

Aerospace, technology, manufacturing

Military Bases

Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, 60 military, 344 civilian (2010)

Cities

Huntington Beach, 189,992; Costa Mesa, 109,960; Long Beach (pt.), 87,116; Westminster (pt.), 62,190; Fountain Valley, 55,313

notable

Huntington Beach is home to the International Surfing Museum; the 46th includes two channel islands: Santa Catalina and San Clemente.

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