Incumbent - Fred Upton (R-St Joseph)
Years in office as of 2012 election - 26.
The old 6th District information is here
Challengers - Mike O'Brien (D-Douglas)
Update 8-30-2012 - Fred Upton won his primary in an easier than expected win.
UPDATE 5-1-2012 - Jack Hoogendyk has filed a primary challenge to Fred Upton in a rematch of 2010. Upton won the primary last time, but it was not by as large of margin as one would expect.
This is a largely unchanged district. It drops two townships in Calhoun County to Justin Amash, and gains most of the rest of Allegan County outside the City of Holland (mostly in Ottawa County), which happens to be the most Republican portion of the county, and possibly the most Republican area of the state. Some of those areas are 80%+ GOP most years. That significantly helps Upton, who is in a very difficult district on paper. Upton himself wins easily. His replacement will have a much tougher time.
Kalamazoo County is democrat leaning, although most of the suburbs are competitive, and some of them are republican. Jack Hoogendyk won a difficult district three times, and that stayed GOP when he left. Jace Bolger's district is less difficult but not easy on paper, and that's been GOP for a long time. Tom George and Tonya Schuitmaker won a very difficult countywide state senate district that leans democrat on paper. There is a different in presidential years and non-presidential years in Kalamazoo County with the WMU voters. Van Buren and Cass Counties are almost always close. Berrien and St Joseph Counties are usually republican leaning, although not in 2008. Berrien County does have a democrat stronghold in Benton Harbor/Benton Township with Niles also leaning democrat. The burbs usually outvote the cities.
The old district had a 20000 vote spread for Bush and 32000 vote spread for Obama. The new district solely thanks to the Allegan County help had about a 27000 vote spread for Bush and 28000 vote spread for Obama. It's still a difficult district, but there's less chance to get caught offguard. Upton's weakest percentage overall in the last district is about 58% in 2008. Here's the numbers. I'm using Upton's 08 numbers because it's the same opponent in 2010 (Don Cooney) and shows more individual strength.
|St Joseph County||12886||12322||25208||564||51.12%||48.88%||2.24%|
|Van Buren County||15534||18588||34122||-3054||45.52%||54.48%||-8.95%|
|St Joseph County||15340||9648||24988||5692||61.39%||38.61%||22.78%|
|Van Buren County||17634||16151||33785||1483||52.19%||47.81%||4.39%|
|St Joseph County||17676||6925||24601||10751||71.85%||28.15%||43.70%|
|Van Buren County||20628||12461||33089||8167||62.34%||37.66%||24.68%|