Originally created in 1909 when Washington was broken up into districts, the Second District was represented by future U.S. SenatorHenry M. "Scoop" Jackson between 1941 and 1953. It was a reliably Democratic district for most of the latter half of the 20th century until the Republican Revolution of 1994, when retiring Rep. Al Swift was replaced by Jack Metcalf. Larsen has represented the district since Metcalf's retirement in 2001. He faced a close reelection in 2002, but was handily reelected in 2004 and hasn't faced serious opposition until 2010. In the 2008 election, Larsen easily defeated Republican challenger Rick Bart. In the 2010 election, Larson narrowly avoided defeat against Republican challenger John Koster.
In presidential elections, the 2nd District leans Democratic. Al Gore and John Kerry narrowly carried the district in 2000 and 2004 with 48% and 51% of the vote, respectively. In 2008, Barack Obama swept the district with 55.60% of the vote while John McCain received 42%.