2008 United States presidential election in Kentucky

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United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2008

← 2004 November 4, 2008 2012 →
  John McCain official portrait 2009.jpg Obama portrait crop.jpg
Nominee John McCain Barack Obama
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Arizona Illinois
Running mate Sarah Palin Joe Biden
Electoral vote 8 0
Popular vote 1,048,462 751,985
Percentage 57.37% 41.15%

Kentucky presidential election results 2008.svg
County Results

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in Kentucky took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 8 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Kentucky was won by Republican nominee John McCain by a 16.2% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise considered it as a safe red state. In the primaries Hillary Clinton was slightly defeating McCain in the hypothetical polls for the Bluegrass State. Once Obama secured the Democratic nomination, Kentucky was moved into the safe GOP category. In the end, Kentucky voted for McCain with over 57% of the vote. This was the first time since 1960 when Kentucky did not vote for the winning candidate in a presidential election. This was the first time ever that Floyd and Knott counties voted for the Republican candidate.

Primaries[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Predictions[edit]

There were 16 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:

Polling[edit]

McCain won every pre-election poll, almost all of them by a double-digit margin and with at least 49% of the vote. The final 3 polls averaged McCain leading 56% to 41%.[13]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $1,220,017. Barack Obama raised $2,394,198.[14]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama spent $183,738 while a conservative interest groups spent just $212.[15] Each ticket visited the state once.[16]

Analysis[edit]

Since 1964, Kentucky has only gone Democratic three times--Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, both of whom were White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPs) from the South, whereas Obama was an African American "big-city liberal" from Chicago.

In the 2008 primary, exits polls conducted found that 30 percent of Clinton supporters opted not to vote for Obama in the general election, 40 percent would vote McCain and the rest would support Obama in the general election. Several counties in the southeastern part of the state swung Republican and went to McCain as solidly Democratic Floyd and Knott counties voted republican for the first time ever. Obama decided to not spend campaign funds on Kentucky and instead went to more viable battleground states like North Carolina and Indiana instead. McCain won Kentucky by a margin of 16.22 points on election day and performed slightly worse than George Bush in 2004. Obama improved upon Kerry's performance in big cities and urban areas while McCain improved upon Bush in rural areas. Kentucky was the first state called for McCain an hour before Vermont was called for Obama.

At the same time, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, who also served as Senate Minority Leader at the time, was just narrowly reelected with 52.97% of the vote to Democrat Bruce Lunsford's 47.03%. Republicans also held onto an open seat vacated by Ron Lewis in Kentucky's 2nd Congressional District. At the state level, however, Democrats picked up two seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Rowan County, Hancock County, Menifee County, Wolfe County, and Henderson County voted for the Democratic candidate.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,048,462 57.37% 8
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 751,985 41.15% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 15,378 0.84% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 5,989 0.33% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 4,694 0.26% 0
Totals 1,827,586 100.00% 8
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 57.5%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others# Total
Adair County 25.11% 1,888 73.32% 5,512 1.57% 118 7,518
Allen County 27.38% 2,023 71.16% 5,258 1.46% 108 7,389
Anderson County 32.81% 3,461 65.25% 6,884 1.94% 205 10,550
Ballard County 35.15% 1,427 62.49% 2,537 2.36% 96 4,060
Barren County 32.33% 5,434 66.24% 11,133 1.43% 240 16,807
Bath County 48.65% 2,210 49.17% 2,234 2.18% 99 4,543
Bell County 28.99% 2,782 69.61% 6,681 1.41% 135 9,598
Boone County 32.09% 16,292 66.59% 33,812 1.32% 670 50,774
Bourbon County 40.64% 3,385 57.86% 4,820 1.50% 125 8,330
Boyd County 42.99% 8,886 55.30% 11,429 1.71% 354 20,669
Boyle County 37.73% 4,764 60.96% 7,697 1.31% 165 12,626
Bracken County 36.51% 1,241 60.78% 2,066 2.71% 92 3,399
Breathitt County 43.84% 2,205 53.10% 2,671 3.06% 154 5,030
Breckinridge County 36.49% 3,110 61.97% 5,281 1.54% 131 8,522
Bullitt County 33.12% 10,177 65.42% 20,102 1.45% 447 30,726
Butler County 29.30% 1,555 69.64% 3,696 1.06% 56 5,307
Caldwell County 35.68% 2,212 62.36% 3,866 1.95% 121 6,199
Calloway County 40.02% 6,165 58.37% 8,991 1.61% 248 15,404
Campbell County 38.77% 15,619 59.68% 24,045 1.55% 626 40,290
Carlisle County 33.59% 879 64.92% 1,699 1.49% 39 2,617
Carroll County 44.75% 1,716 52.99% 2,032 2.27% 87 3,835
Carter County 43.97% 4,314 53.53% 5,252 2.50% 245 9,811
Casey County 20.46% 1,219 78.55% 4,679 0.99% 59 5,957
Christian County 39.15% 8,822 59.97% 13,515 0.88% 199 22,536
Clark County 36.79% 5,749 61.84% 9,664 1.38% 215 15,628
Clay County 21.08% 1,552 77.54% 5,710 1.39% 102 7,364
Clinton County 18.24% 761 80.68% 3,366 1.08% 45 4,172
Crittenden County 31.91% 1,254 66.26% 2,604 1.83% 72 3,930
Cumberland County 24.92% 697 73.51% 2,056 1.57% 44 2,797
Daviess County 44.20% 19,282 54.31% 23,692 1.49% 648 43,622
Edmonson County 31.35% 1,652 67.59% 3,562 1.06% 56 5,270
Elliott County 61.03% 1,535 35.86% 902 3.10% 78 2,515
Estill County 29.26% 1,555 69.35% 3,685 1.39% 74 5,314
Fayette County 51.74% 66,040 46.92% 59,884 1.34% 1,713 127,637
Fleming County 39.08% 2,279 58.85% 3,432 2.07% 121 5,832
Floyd County 48.09% 7,530 49.43% 7,741 2.48% 388 15,659
Franklin County 48.87% 11,767 49.47% 11,911 1.67% 401 24,079
Fulton County 43.58% 1,226 54.39% 1,530 2.03% 57 2,813
Gallatin County 40.03% 1,278 57.63% 1,840 2.35% 75 3,193
Garrard County 27.91% 2,012 70.98% 5,117 1.11% 80 7,209
Grant County 35.15% 3,109 63.37% 5,605 1.48% 131 8,845
Graves County 36.17% 5,843 62.25% 10,056 1.58% 256 16,155
Grayson County 31.85% 3,154 66.70% 6,605 1.45% 144 9,903
Green County 23.71% 1,204 74.52% 3,785 1.77% 90 5,079
Greenup County 41.91% 6,621 56.01% 8,849 2.08% 328 15,798
Hancock County 51.49% 2,128 46.55% 1,924 1.96% 81 4,133
Hardin County 39.13% 15,650 59.75% 23,896 1.11% 444 39,990
Harlan County 26.08% 2,586 72.27% 7,165 1.64% 163 9,914
Harrison County 38.42% 2,916 59.55% 4,520 2.03% 154 7,590
Hart County 33.59% 2,290 64.49% 4,397 1.92% 131 6,818
Henderson County 50.60% 10,049 47.95% 9,523 1.46% 289 19,861
Henry County 39.38% 2,724 58.99% 4,081 1.63% 113 6,918
Hickman County 36.09% 812 62.49% 1,406 1.42% 32 2,250
Hopkins County 36.72% 7,104 61.59% 11,916 1.70% 328 19,348
Jackson County 14.22% 743 84.36% 4,407 1.42% 74 5,224
Jefferson County 55.50% 196,272 43.51% 153,865 0.99% 3,500 353,637
Jessamine County 30.85% 6,236 67.83% 13,710 1.32% 267 20,213
Johnson County 28.26% 2,413 69.84% 5,964 1.90% 162 8,539
Kenton County 38.82% 26,480 59.69% 40,714 1.49% 1,019 68,213
Knott County 44.97% 2,523 52.58% 2,950 2.46% 138 5,611
Knox County 26.99% 3,074 71.56% 8,150 1.45% 165 11,389
LaRue County 30.96% 1,913 67.22% 4,153 1.81% 112 6,178
Laurel County 20.52% 4,593 78.48% 17,563 0.99% 222 22,378
Lawrence County 36.04% 2,036 62.01% 3,503 1.95% 110 5,649
Lee County 27.12% 752 71.33% 1,978 1.55% 43 2,773
Leslie County 17.42% 766 81.28% 3,574 1.30% 57 4,397
Letcher County 31.85% 2,623 65.17% 5,367 2.98% 245 8,235
Lewis County 31.52% 1,510 67.06% 3,213 1.42% 68 4,791
Lincoln County 30.07% 2,752 68.55% 6,273 1.38% 126 9,151
Livingston County 35.31% 1,622 62.92% 2,890 1.76% 81 4,593
Logan County 35.00% 3,811 63.59% 6,925 1.41% 154 10,890
Lyon County 40.91% 1,577 57.59% 2,220 1.50% 58 3,855
McCracken County 38.12% 12,392 60.57% 19,694 1.31% 426 32,512
McCreary County 45.66% 2,105 52.80% 2,434 1.54% 71 4,610
McLean County 47.88% 3,596 51.15% 3,842 0.97% 73 7,511
Madison County 36.07% 5,593 61.02% 9,463 2.91% 451 15,507
Magoffin County 21.58% 808 75.43% 2,824 2.99% 112 3,744
Marion County 40.32% 2,891 57.21% 4,102 2.47% 177 7,170
Marshall County 36.85% 11,285 62.19% 19,043 0.95% 292 30,620
Martin County 23.31% 1,258 75.57% 4,078 1.11% 60 5,396
Mason County 43.85% 1,963 53.29% 2,386 2.86% 128 4,477
Meade County 38.76% 4,343 59.71% 6,691 1.53% 172 11,206
Menifee County 51.27% 1,276 46.40% 1,155 2.33% 58 2,489
Mercer County 31.40% 3,159 67.41% 6,781 1.19% 120 10,060
Metcalfe County 32.15% 1,350 65.11% 2,734 2.74% 115 4,199
Monroe County 22.87% 1,067 75.82% 3,537 1.31% 61 4,665
Montgomery County 40.98% 4,234 57.56% 5,947 1.45% 150 10,331
Morgan County 42.82% 1,858 54.78% 2,377 2.40% 104 4,339
Muhlenberg County 48.27% 6,221 50.02% 6,447 1.71% 221 12,889
Nelson County 42.18% 7,654 55.87% 10,139 1.95% 353 18,146
Nicholas County 42.83% 1,272 55.02% 1,634 2.15% 64 2,970
Ohio County 40.46% 4,059 57.63% 5,781 1.91% 192 10,032
Oldham County 34.11% 9,996 64.80% 18,992 1.09% 319 29,307
Owen County 35.66% 1,694 62.49% 2,969 1.85% 88 4,751
Owsley County 22.60% 381 75.86% 1,279 1.54% 26 1,686
Pendleton County 34.94% 2,027 63.36% 3,676 1.71% 99 5,802
Perry County 33.20% 3,444 65.18% 6,762 1.63% 169 10,375
Pike County 42.05% 9,525 55.91% 12,665 2.04% 463 22,653
Powell County 41.28% 2,065 57.32% 2,867 1.40% 70 5,002
Pulaski County 21.70% 5,590 77.09% 19,862 1.22% 314 25,766
Robertson County 44.43% 451 52.51% 533 3.05% 31 1,015
Rockcastle County 22.47% 1,410 75.82% 4,757 1.71% 107 6,274
Rowan County 49.96% 4,074 47.92% 3,907 2.12% 173 8,154
Russell County 21.31% 1,579 76.97% 5,702 1.71% 127 7,408
Scott County 39.09% 7,712 59.72% 11,782 1.20% 236 19,730
Shelby County 37.06% 6,871 61.76% 11,451 1.18% 218 18,540
Simpson County 37.97% 2,775 60.71% 4,437 1.33% 97 7,309
Spencer County 31.30% 2,519 66.82% 5,378 1.89% 152 8,049
Taylor County 29.14% 3,165 69.69% 7,568 1.17% 127 10,860
Todd County 31.23% 1,543 67.52% 3,336 1.25% 62 4,941
Trigg County 34.41% 2,246 64.18% 4,189 1.41% 92 6,527
Trimble County 38.93% 1,484 58.74% 2,239 2.33% 89 3,812
Union County 46.47% 2,804 51.71% 3,120 1.82% 110 6,034
Warren County 40.03% 17,650 58.87% 25,957 1.10% 483 44,090
Washington County 35.83% 1,890 62.65% 3,305 1.52% 80 5,275
Wayne County 30.59% 2,201 67.65% 4,868 1.76% 127 7,196
Webster County 43.14% 2,390 54.82% 3,037 2.04% 113 5,540
Whitley County 25.43% 3,484 73.08% 10,014 1.50% 205 13,703
Wolfe County 50.30% 1,493 47.44% 1,408 2.26% 67 2,968
Woodford County 40.88% 5,027 57.98% 7,130 1.14% 140 12,297

By congressional district[edit]

John McCain carried five of the state's six congressional districts, including one of the two districts held by a Democrat.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 61.85% 36.60% Ed Whitfield
2nd 60.54% 38.03% Ron Lewis (110th Congress)
Brett Guthrie (111th Congress)
3rd 43.36% 55.66% John Yarmuth
4th 60.41% 37.96% Geoff Davis
5th 67.01% 31.24% Hal Rogers
6th 55.41% 43.22% Ben Chandler

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Kentucky cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Kentucky is allocated 8 electors because it has 6 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 8 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 8 electoral votes. Their chosen electors then vote for president and vice president. Although electors are pledged to their candidate and running mate, they are not obligated to vote for them.[17] An elector who votes for someone other than his or her candidate is known as a faithless elector.

The electors of each state and the District of Columbia met on December 15, 2008, to cast their votes for president and vice president. The Electoral College itself never meets as one body. Instead the electors from each state and the District of Columbia met in their respective capitols.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All 8 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[18]

  1. James Henry Snider
  2. Walter A. Baker
  3. Edna M. Fulkerson
  4. Amy B. Towles
  5. Nancy Mitchell
  6. Don Ball
  7. Robert Gable
  8. Elizabeth G. Thomas

References[edit]

  1. ^ D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
  2. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report Archived May 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e Vote 2008 - The Takeaway - Track the Electoral College vote predictions Archived April 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  5. ^ POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com
  6. ^ RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map
  7. ^ CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008 Archived June 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Electoral College Map". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  9. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "Winning the Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
  11. ^ roadto270
  12. ^ Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™
  13. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  14. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  15. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  16. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  17. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  18. ^ Kentucky's electors » Archive » Evening News and Tribune