Taking Back the House, Vol. 23: Duncan D. Hunter and California’s 50th District


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This is the twenty-third edition of a research project at PoliticusUSA known as Taking Back the House. You can check out the previous edition here. The purpose of this project is to analyze each Republican Congressional district in the United States and see how likely the district can go ‘Blue.’ To do this, I will take a look at the overall demographics of the district, as well as review the historical voting patterns and the record of the Congressperson representing the district. This series will run until we’ve looked at every single district in the country, which should take us right into the 2014 campaign season.


Congressional District: California 50th District


U.S. Representative: Duncan D. Hunter


Population: 724,472


Median Household Income: $54,971 (National Average: $51,017)


Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (National Rate: 7.3%)


Gender: 51.2% Female, 48.8% Male (National Percentages: 50.8% Female, 49.2% Male)


Age: 12.1% 65 and over (National Percentage: 12.8%)


Race: 81.4% White, 2.2% Black, 5.2% Asian, 1.5% American Indian (National Percentages: 72.4% White, 12.6% Black, 4.8% Asian, 0.9% American Indian)


Ethnicity: 70.3% Non-Hispanic, 29.7% Hispanic (National Percentages: 83.6% Non-Hispanic, 16.4% Hispanic)


Urban/Rural Population Split: 89.4% Urban, 10.6% Rural (National Split: 82% Urban, 18% Rural)


Dsitrict Voting Patterns: Before redistricting prior to the 2012 elections, Hunter served in the 52nd District. Most of his district switched over to the 50th. Hunter was first elected to the House in 2008 from the 52nd, as he succeeded his father, Duncan L. Hunter. His dad made an unsuccessful attempt to secure the Republican nomination of President in 2008. Hunter the Younger was able to win in 2008 by defeating Democrat Mike Lupkin by 17 points. The last two elections he has won by at least 30 points.


The 50th District is located in the suburbs of San Diego. During the 2012 Presidential election, the district went for Mitt Romney by a very large margin of 23 points. In 2008, John McCain carried the same district lines, 58-39.


Congressional Activity by Hunter: Currently, Hunter is on three committees: the Armed Services Committee, Education and Workforce Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He is also Chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime. Like his daddy, Hunter is considered extremely conservative across the board. On social issues, he is pro-life, against same-sex marriage and against any further gun control. He voted against the DREAM Act in 2010 and appears to be against ‘amnesty’ for any undocumented immigrants.


Per OpenCongress, he has voted with his party 96% of the time and abstained 11%. He did not vote for the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014, which raised the debt ceiling and reopened the federal government. He also voted against the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ bill on January 1st, 2013. The National Journal ranked him as one of the most conservative members of Congress, as they had him 18th in 2012 and 11th in 2011.


Notable Quotes by Hunter:


“I am pro-life and believe life begins at conception. While the Supreme Court has determined that abortion is legal and only a constitutional amendment (which I would support) or new court ruling can change that, we can still work to end the practice and to give mothers faced with unwanted pregnancies choices other than abortion. I would outlaw partial birth abortions and I oppose using tax dollars to pay for abortions.” – Statement made on January 23rd, 2012.


“Whenever I talk to San Diegans, few issues generate the same level of interest and concern as federal spending and the growing influence of government. Today’s fiscal situation and projected outlook is attributable to successive Administrations and majorities in Congress, but that’s absolutely no reason to continue the status quo. Our efforts must now focus on reducing the national debt, perhaps the biggest challenge we face, and exercising fiscal responsibility at every opportunity.” – Statement made to the Washington Report on August 1st, 2010.


Odds of District Going Blue in 2014: Very low. The district voted overwhelmingly for Romney in 2012. On top of that, Hunter won his reelection race by 35 points. While there is a large Hispanic population, white voters still make up the large majority. It doesn’t appear that Hunter’s vote to not reopen the federal government or raise the debt ceiling will hurt him, as it is quite likely that the majority of voters in this district agree with him. While demographics could slowly shift this district to a more moderate one in the coming years, when it comes to 2014, there just doesn’t seem to be a chance of it going Blue.


Justin is the Managing Editor and a Contributing Writer for Politicus Sports, PoliticusUSA’s very own sports site. You can check out the site here.

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