July 23, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Pennsylvania - 1st District

Incumbent -- Robert A. Brady (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

The birthplace of the Constitution, the 1st boasts many recognizable icons, such as the Liberty Bell and the Philly cheesesteak. With nearly 90 percent of its population in Philadelphia, the W-shaped 1st is the state's most racially and ethnically diverse district. The rest of the 1st falls in a working-class slice of Delaware County.

Beyond the historical streets, much of the 1st has a bleak economic landscape. The district has the state's lowest median household income -- $33,000 puts the 1st in the bottom 10 districts nationally -- and less than one-fifth of the population has a college education. Layoffs at key employer Aker Philadelphia Shipyard have hurt, and factory losses have been compounded by a construction sector downturn and cuts in the usually solid government, education and health care arenas. Philadelphia International Airport remains an important source of jobs.

Football's Eagles, baseball's Phillies, basketball's 76ers and hockey's Flyers play in arenas and stadiums on Broad Street in South Philadelphia, but plans for an entertainment venue near the sports complex have stalled. In 2010, a new casino on the Delaware River opened in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, and soccer's Philadelphia Union began playing in a new stadium farther south in Chester. Other development along the Chester waterfront includes a Harrah's casino.

Blacks represent the largest population bloc in the 1st, at 46 percent, and the district has the state's highest percentage of Hispanic residents and lowest proportion of whites. The district also has a large Asian presence, concentrated in Philadelphia's Chinatown. The district's Italian-American population supports a famous food market, which is the oldest and largest outdoor market in the United States. The 1st's strong union presence and substantial minority population make it a slam-dunk for Democratic candidates. Barack Obama took 88 percent of the 2008 presidential vote here.

Major Industry

Government, health care, service, airport, shipbuilding

Cities

Philadelphia (pt.), 583,308; Chester, 33,972

Notable

Eastern State Penitentiary, now a museum, was the most expensive prison upon its opening in 1829 and held gangster Al Capone.

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