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Florida - 6th District

Incumbent -- Cliff Stearns (R) ; Defeated by Ted Yoho, R, in a primary on Aug. 14, 2012

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 landlocked and boomerang-shaped 6th District takes in large swaths of rural territory along with suburbs of northern cities. Stretching from western Duval County (Jacksonville), the district takes in portions of Gainesville before swinging southeast into Marion County. The 6th's southern tip runs along the western shore of Lake Harris in Leesburg, which is within Orlando's sphere in central Florida.

The 6th contains three regions with distinct interests. The northern end, centered in Jacksonville (shared with the 3rd and 4th districts), is heavily influenced by the military and the city's busy port. Gainesville, in the middle of the district and shared with the 3rd, is home to the University of Florida and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, a major veterans' hospital. The area south of Ocala, famed for its thoroughbred horse farms, is a haven for retirees and roughly an hour from either Florida coast. Gainesville mostly escaped the widespread unemployment and real estate market collapse that Ocala experienced.

The district includes all of two small counties -- Gilchrist and Bradford -- and parts of six others, including Alachua (Gainesville) and Marion (Ocala), each of which contains about one-fourth of the 6th's population. Alachua is the biggest Democratic outpost in the district, while Republicans have their strongest registration edge in the Clay County Jacksonville suburbs and exurbs west of the St. Johns River. The district's political agenda is dominated by defense interests.

The 6th is firmly conservative, and although the GOP maintains a clear edge in most federal races, registered Republicans maintain only a slight advantage over Democrats. Regardless of a voter's party affiliation, many are willing to support some moderate Democratic candidates. John McCain took 56 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential election -- 5 percentage points less than George W. Bush won in 2004.

Major Industry

Higher education, defense, health care, agriculture

Cities

Jacksonville (pt.), 113,864; Gainesville (pt.), 87,644; Ocala (pt.), 38,913; Lakeside (unincorporated), 30,943

Notable

The University of Florida hosts the Florida Museum of Natural History.

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