Nov. 29, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Missouri - 1st District

Incumbent -- William Lacy Clay (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

Flanked by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, the heavily Democratic, St. Louis-based 1st is a mixture of poor urban neighborhoods, middle-class suburbs and a business district that once was the center of one of the five largest cities in the United States. St. Louis has hemorrhaged more than 60 percent of its population since it peaked in 1950. Frustrated by failing schools and aging housing stock, residents were lured to suburbia, where seemingly endless acres were converted from farmland. The district as a whole has shed more than 5 percent of its population in the last 10 years, and the 1st is now one of the least-populous districts in the nation ahead of decennial remapping.

The 1st takes in the northern half of St. Louis, including popular attractions, such as the Gateway Arch and Forest Park, which attracts millions of visitors every year and is about 500 acres larger than New York's Central Park. Developers and lawmakers have poured billions of dollars into downtown projects, including a new stadium for baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, and have seen some success despite the exodus of residents. Key employers Boeing, BJC HealthCare and Monsanto are scattered throughout the 1st, but cuts at Monsanto and the closure of several corporate headquarters in the city have hurt the workforce.

In the St. Louis County suburbs, Lambert International Airport serves as the region's main airport, and there are plans for major renovation of visitors' services there. A Ford SUV assembly plant in Hazelwood closed in 2006, eliminating nearly 1,500 local jobs, but officials hope to begin developing the land into a commercial and light-industrial business park.

By far the state's most heavily Democratic district, the 1st gave Barack Obama 80 percent of its vote in the 2008 presidential election. More than half of the district's population is black, and local and state contests almost always favor Democrats.

Major Industry

Aircraft and other manufacturing, health care, higher education


St. Louis (pt.), 150,682; Florissant, 52,158; Hazelwood, 25,703; University City (pt.), 22,012; Ferguson, 21,203; Spanish Lake (unincorp.), 19,650


The first suit filed by Dred Scott was tried in St. Louis' historic Old Courthouse, now part of Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park.




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