California 3rd District
Until recently, Sacramento was chiefly the metropolis of a fertile valley that produced a marvelous variety of crops: rice, plums, almonds, olives, asparagus, pears, hops, beans, celery, onions, potatoes, plus caviar-yielding sturgeon in pools of filtered water. The farmlands remain, and the capital city flourishes as a center of government. Until recessionary forces struck in 2007, greater Sacramento was one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the country. Almost all the growth has been away from the floodplain of the Sacramento River, in the higher land east of the city that eventually turns into hills rising toward the Sierra Nevadas. But home sales plunged and foreclosures soared in 2007, which led to service cutbacks in Sacramento County. Amador and Calaveras counties are Mother Lode Country, which filled up with people in the gold rush days, when Mark Twain was inspired to write his story about the famous jumping frog of Calaveras County. In rapidly growing Rancho Cordova, local leaders created a “new urbanist” development plan with a new downtown in place of aging strip malls. But some things have not changed. When an animal-rights group tried to cancel the annual Jumping Frog Jubilee, a local official said that the frogs are not tortured and that the jubilee would continue.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 3rd Congressional District of California includes much of suburban Sacramento, some territory in Solano County and some of the Mother Lode Country to the east. The district reaches over the Sierras to Alpine County, the smallest county in California (1,145 people in 2007), with the state’s highest mountain ridgeline. The district stops at the Nevada line. Population in the district grew 21% from 2000 to 2007. More than 80% of the people in the district live in Sacramento County, in suburbs like Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Arden-Arcade, and the old town of Folsom, where Intel has a campus of about 6,000 employees and created a prosperous company town. Historically, Sacramento was Democratic. But Sacramento County, with its rapid growth, continues to shift politically. The district voted 58% for George W. Bush in 2004, but Barack Obama prevailed over John McCain, 49.3%-48.8%, in 2008.