Politics: Winner Take All

California's 23rd Congressional District, just southeast of Los Angeles, used to be a land of orange groves and walnut trees. Since World War II, it has boomed as a center of industry (Firestone, Goodrich, Bethlehem Steel, North American Aviation), middle-class housing—and Democrats.

Nine times, with margins ranging up to 75%, the 23rd sent stormy-eyed Democrat Clyde Doyle to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he distinguished himself only as a ranking member of the Un-American Activities Committee. Doyle died in March, and a special election was set for last week.

California bypasses...

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