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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 coastal 53rd is the economic engine that drives surrounding districts. It includes San Diego's downtown and large employers as well as most of its military bases. The district also runs south along the Pacific Coast through Coronado and Imperial Beach to the Mexican border.
The defense industry, based around the military installations, is a major economic contributor. The mild climate, wide beaches and attractions -- such as SeaWorld, Balboa Park (including the San Diego Zoo) and PETCO Park, where baseball's Padres play -- draw tourists, but environmentalists are split over long-term solutions to pollution and sewage that still cause occasional beach closures. Foreclosure rates and weakened employment rates have affected the city's downtown area.
Colleges in the district include the University of California, San Diego, in the north, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. Some private companies have formed research agreements with the schools, and residents in the district hope local biotech and telecommunications firms will boost the economy.
The 53rd includes Hispanic Democratic sections east of the city in places such as Lemon Grove. It also contains blue-collar, central city areas like North Park, City Heights, Barrio Logan and Hillcrest, which is one of the area's most liberal and Democratic neighborhoods and the center of the city's gay community. Overall, the 53rd District is less than one-third Hispanic, and Democrat Barack Obama took 68 percent of the district's 2008 presidential vote.
Defense, tourism, biotech, telecommunications, higher education
Naval Station San Diego (shared with the 51st), 23,205 military, 5,768 civilian (2011); Naval Air Station North Island/Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, 27,000 military, 6,000 civilian; Naval Base Point Loma, 5,969 military, 6,159 civilian (2008); Naval Medical Center San Diego, 3,300 military, 2,500 civilian; Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, 1,492 military, 1,201 civilian (2011)
San Diego (pt.), 570,664; Imperial Beach (pt.), 26,272
Imperial Beach is home to the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition.
|2010||general||Susan Davis (D)||104,800||62.3%|
|Michael Crimmins (R)||57,230||34%|
|Paul Dekker (LIBERT)||6,298||3.7%|
|2008||general||Susan Davis (D)||161,315||68.5%|
|Michael Crimmins (R)||64,658||27.4%|
|Edward Teyssier (LIBERT)||9,569||4.1%|
|2006||general||Susan Davis (D)||97,541||67.6%|
|John Woodrum (R)||43,312||30%|
|Ernie Lippe (LIBERT)||3,534||2.4%|
|2004||general||Susan Davis (D)||146,449||66.1%|
|Darin Hunzeker (R)||63,897||28.9%|
|Lawrence Rockwood (GREEN)||7,523||3.4%|
|Adam Van Susteren (LIBERT)||3,567||1.6%|
|2002||general||Susan Davis (D)||72,252||62.2%|
|Bill VanDeWeghe (R)||43,891||37.8%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 68.2%||John McCain: 29.9%|
|2004||John Kerry: 61%||George W. Bush: 38%|
|2000||Al Gore: 56%||George W. Bush: 36%|