Feb. 8, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Pennsylvania - 2nd District

Incumbent -- Chaka Fattah (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

From the vantage point of the William Penn statue atop City Hall, one can see the 2nd stretching west and north over some of Philadelphia's long-established neighborhoods. The district encompasses Center City skyscrapers, then moves west across the Schuylkill River past the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. West Philadelphia, once Irish, Greek and Jewish, is now nearly all black and features pockets of middle-class and poor communities. Overall, a majority of the 2nd's residents are African-American and the district has experienced a decade of growth in its Hispanic population.

Except for the Montgomery County township of Cheltenham, the 2nd lies within Philadelphia. It includes the affluent city neighborhoods of Rittenhouse Square, one of five squares Penn designed in his original plan of the city, and Chestnut Hill, in the city's northwest corner. Fairmount Park, which flanks the river, houses the city's art museum, zoo and "Boathouse Row," and runs north along diverse, middle-class neighborhoods such as Brewerytown and Manayunk, ending in Chestnut Hill.

Areas just north of downtown and Temple University (shared with the 1st) have some of the city's lowest family incomes. Home values had plummeted in West Philadelphia and University City, Center City and Fairmount neighborhoods, but partnerships with local businesses provide some relief to poor areas. As part of the University of Pennsylvania's "Penn Compact," the school works with communities to improve education, public health, economic and job development, quality of life, and the landscape of West Philadelphia and nearby areas. And UPenn's medical school complements the 2nd's health care industry.

The 2nd's blue-collar workforce and large minority population give it an overwhelming Democratic majority. In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama had his best showing in the state here, taking 90 percent of the district's vote.

Major Industry

Higher education, health care, tourism


Philadelphia (pt.), 593,484; Glenside (unincorporated), 8,384


The steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art were immortalized in the movie "Rocky;" the 30th Street Station is in West Philadelphia.




Want Roll Call on your doorstep?