2008 United States presidential election in Michigan

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2008 United States presidential election in Michigan

← 2004 November 4, 2008 2012 →
Turnout66.2% Increase[1]
  Obama portrait crop.jpg John McCain official portrait 2009.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Arizona
Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
Electoral vote 17 0
Popular vote 2,867,680 2,044,405
Percentage 57.33% 40.89%

Michigan 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 Michigan took place on November 4, 2008. It was part of the 2008 United States presidential election which happened throughout all 50 states and D.C.. Voters chose 17 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Michigan was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama by a 16.5% margin of victory. Early on, the state was heavily targeted as a swing state. However, Obama started to pull away in the polls during the last few months, causing McCain to stop campaigning there. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. The Great Lakes State has leaned Democratic, as it voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election from 1992 until 2016, when Donald Trump carried the state. In the end, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama won Michigan by a larger-than-expected margin of victory: 57.33% - 40.89%. This is the highest Democratic margin of victory since LBJ in 1964. Obama won 46 of the 83 counties.

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]

Very early on, polling was tight as Obama was having a difficult time getting support from the pessimistic state. Since September 21, Obama swept all the polls taken from the state. The final 3 polls averaged Obama leading 54% to 40%.[15]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $4,330,872 in the state. Barack Obama raised $7,299,275.[16]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $12,995,614. McCain and his interest group spent $13,332,086.[17] The Democratic ticket visited the state 10 times to McCain's 9 times.[18]

Analysis[edit]

Michigan had not supported a Republican for president since 1988, and would not do so until 2016. However, the Republicans have attempted to carry the state's 17 electoral votes in the past few elections, and the margin of victory has decreased every year from 1996 to 2004. This year Republican presidential nominee John McCain put an early effort into winning Michigan, hoping to convert blue-collar voters disaffected by Obama's unfamiliarity as a liberal African-American from Chicago. Macomb County, a populous blue-collar suburb of Detroit, was a large target.

A major problem for the Obama campaign was the 2008 Michigan Democratic Primary. Obama removed his name from the ballot after state officials moved up the primary in violation of party rules. As a result, Hillary Rodham Clinton won the state with 55%. This led to the McCain campaign focusing heavily on winning Michigan in the general election. In May 2008, McCain was leading in a Rasmussen poll with 45% to 44%.[19] After the September financial crisis, however, McCain's general campaign fell into trouble. Polls showed Michigan, a state especially affected by the economy, turning away from McCain. Voters blamed Republicans for the crisis. In early October, with polls showing him falling further behind Obama, McCain pulled out of the state, essentially ceding it to Obama.[20] This was widely publicized, and more than likely contributed to Obama's landslide victory.

On Election Day, Barack Obama won by a double-digit margin of 16%. The state was called for Obama almost as soon as the polls closed. In Wayne County, home to Detroit, Obama piled up a 3-1 margin. Democratic strongholds Washtenaw County (home to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan), Ingham County (home to Lansing and Michigan State) and Genesee County (home to Flint) gave Obama 65-70% of the vote. Macomb County, which McCain had focused so intensely on, voted Democratic by a comfortable margin of 9%. Oakland County, once a bastion of suburban conservatism, went for Obama by 15 points. Republican support in the state collapsed; McCain was only able to win two counties with margins of more than 10,000 votes.[21] This result signified continued evidence of Michigan's Democratic tilt, anchored by the heavily Democratic cities of Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint. A Democrat can lose every other part of Michigan and still cling to victory by running up the votes in the aforementioned cities, as was the case with John Kerry in 2004, but not with Hillary Clinton eight years later.

At the same time as Obama swept the state, Democrats made more gains in Michigan. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Carl Levin was reelected with 62.65% of the vote over Republican Jack Hoogendyk's 33.84%. Democrats also picked up two U.S. House seats in Michigan in the 7th District and the 9th District, with Mark Schauer and Gary Peters knocking off Tim Walberg and Joe Knollenberg, respectively. This gave Democrats the majority in Michigan's U.S. House delegation. In addition, Democrats picked up nine seats in the Michigan House of Representatives.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Delta County, Clare County, St. Clair County, Benzie County, Lenawee County, Cass County, Iosco County, Alpena County, Gladwin County, Mason County, Menominee County, Ogemaw County, Ontonagon County, Presque Isle County, Schoolcraft County, Gratiot County, Alger County, Arenac County, Kent County, Jackson County, Berrien County, Clinton County, Iron County, Leelanau County, and Oceana County voted for the Democratic candidate. This is also the last election in which the Democratic candidate won the Upper Peninsula.

Results[edit]

2008 United States presidential election in Michigan
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 2,872,579 57.33% 17
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 2,048,639 40.89% 0
Natural Law Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 33,085 0.66% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 23,716 0.47% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 14,685 0.29% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 8,892 0.18% 0
Write-Ins Write-Ins 8,533 0.17% 0
Totals 5,010,129 100.00% 17
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 66.9%

Results breakdown[edit]

Barack Obama won 46 Michigan counties compared to 37 for John McCain. The largest county with a very close winning margin was a 49.3% vs. 48.8% plurality for Obama in Kent County.[22]

By congressional district[edit]

Barack Obama carried 12 congressional districts in Michigan, including four districts held by Republicans.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 48.11% 49.93% Bart Stupak
2nd 50.85% 47.50% Peter Hoekstra
3rd 49.43% 48.84% Vern Ehlers
4th 48.19% 50.09% Dave Camp
5th 34.71% 63.67% Dale Kildee
6th 44.18% 54.12% Fred Upton
7th 46.50% 51.73% Tim Walberg (110th Congress)
Mark Schauer (111th Congress)
8th 45.72% 52.58% Mike Rogers
9th 42.83% 55.79% Joe Knollenberg (110th Congress)
Gary Peters (111th Congress)
10th 49.85% 48.23% Candice Miller
11th 44.56% 53.78% Thaddeus McCotter
12th 33.23% 65.05% Sander Levin
13th 14.47% 84.71% Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick
14th 13.45% 85.77% John Conyers Jr.
15th 32.48% 65.80% John Dingell

By county[edit]

County Obama McCain Others Total votes
% # % # % #
Alcona County 45.11% 2,896 53.02% 3,404 01.87% 120 6,420
Alger County 52.04% 2,472 46.06% 2,188 01.89% 90 4,750
Allegan County 43.71% 24,165 54.38% 30,061 01.90% 1,053 55,279
Alpena County 51.08% 7,705 47.23% 7,125 01.69% 255 15,085
Antrim County 43.89% 6,079 54.19% 7,506 01.93% 267 13,852
Arenac County 51.12% 4,155 46.84% 3,807 02.04% 166 8,128
Baraga County 47.34% 1,725 50.66% 1,846 02.00% 73 3,644
Barry County 44.00% 13,449 53.76% 16,431 02.24% 685 30,565
Bay County 56.75% 32,589 41.43% 23,795 01.82% 1,044 57,428
Benzie County 52.88% 5,451 45.47% 4,687 01.66% 171 10,309
Berrien County 51.99% 40,381 46.52% 36,130 01.49% 1,155 77,666
Branch County 46.01% 8,413 52.14% 9,534 01.85% 338 18,285
Calhoun County 53.84% 34,561 44.48% 28,553 01.69% 1,082 64,196
Cass County 51.25% 12,083 47.14% 11,114 01.61% 379 23,576
Charlevoix County 47.45% 6,817 50.85% 7,306 01.70% 244 14,367
Cheboygan County 48.34% 6,720 49.78% 6,920 01.88% 261 13,901
Chippewa County 48.98% 8,184 49.48% 8,267 01.54% 257 16,708
Clare County 51.46% 7,496 46.63% 6,793 01.91% 278 14,567
Clinton County 49.54% 20,005 48.85% 19,726 01.61% 650 40,381
Crawford County 47.94% 3,441 49.61% 3,561 02.45% 176 7,178
Delta County 52.32% 9,974 45.97% 8,763 01.72% 327 19,064
Dickinson County 45.04% 5,995 52.96% 7,049 02.01% 267 13,311
Eaton County 53.36% 30,742 44.95% 25,900 01.69% 974 57,616
Emmet County 46.92% 8,515 51.32% 9,314 01.76% 320 18,149
Genesee County 65.45% 143,927 32.95% 72,451 01.60% 3,518 219,896
Gladwin County 49.77% 6,590 48.27% 6,391 01.96% 260 13,241
Gogebic County 57.56% 4,757 40.30% 3,330 02.14% 177 8,264
Grand Traverse County 47.73% 23,258 50.72% 24,716 01.56% 759 48,733
Gratiot County 51.33% 9,105 46.92% 8,322 01.75% 311 17,738
Hillsdale County 42.86% 8,765 54.87% 11,221 02.26% 463 20,449
Houghton County 46.81% 7,476 50.72% 8,101 02.47% 395 15,972
Huron County 48.83% 8,367 49.22% 8,434 01.95% 334 17,135
Ingham County 65.85% 93,994 32.57% 46,483 01.58% 2,252 142,729
Ionia County 45.99% 12,565 51.82% 14,156 02.19% 598 27,319
Iosco County 51.52% 7,309 46.40% 6,583 02.08% 295 14,187
Iron County 49.98% 3,080 47.83% 2,947 02.19% 135 6,162
Isabella County 58.83% 16,679 39.58% 11,220 01.59% 451 28,350
Jackson County 50.31% 37,480 47.91% 35,692 01.79% 1,331 74,503
Kalamazoo County 58.92% 77,051 39.42% 51,554 01.66% 2,176 130,781
Kalkaska County 44.48% 3,780 53.27% 4,527 02.26% 192 8,499
Kent County 49.44% 149,909 48.92% 148,336 01.65% 4,990 303,235
Keweenaw County 43.26% 610 53.62% 756 03.12% 44 1,410
Lake County 55.16% 2,919 42.88% 2,269 01.97% 104 5,292
Lapeer County 47.30% 21,457 50.33% 22,831 02.37% 1,074 45,362
Leelanau County 50.85% 7,355 47.97% 6,938 01.18% 171 14,464
Lenawee County 51.62% 24,640 46.56% 22,225 01.82% 869 47,734
Livingston County 42.50% 42,349 55.79% 55,592 01.70% 1,697 99,638
Luce County 43.47% 1,191 54.38% 1,490 02.15% 59 2,740
Mackinac County 47.33% 3,027 51.09% 3,268 01.58% 101 6,396
Macomb County 53.38% 223,784 44.77% 187,663 01.85% 7,769 419,216
Manistee County 55.62% 7,235 42.36% 5,510 02.03% 264 13,009
Marquette County 59.17% 19,635 38.89% 12,906 01.94% 644 33,185
Mason County 51.35% 7,817 46.95% 7,147 01.70% 259 15,223
Mecosta County 48.76% 9,101 49.50% 9,238 01.74% 325 18,664
Menominee County 54.02% 5,981 43.85% 4,855 02.13% 236 11,072
Midland County 47.36% 20,701 50.94% 22,263 01.70% 743 43,707
Missaukee County 38.68% 2,898 59.65% 4,469 01.67% 125 7,492
Monroe County 51.27% 39,180 46.92% 35,858 01.81% 1,384 76,422
Montcalm County 48.83% 13,208 49.13% 13,291 02.04% 552 27,051
Montmorency County 44.83% 2,403 53.00% 2,841 02.16% 116 5,360
Muskegon County 63.87% 53,821 34.58% 29,145 01.55% 1,305 84,271
Newaygo County 46.70% 10,790 51.34% 11,862 01.96% 453 23,105
Oakland County 56.53% 372,566 42.02% 276,956 01.45% 9,546 659,068
Oceana County 51.20% 6,405 46.85% 5,860 01.95% 244 12,509
Ogemaw County 50.07% 5,391 47.67% 5,133 02.27% 244 10,768
Ontonagon County 50.60% 1,966 46.92% 1,823 02.47% 96 3,885
Osceola County 44.03% 4,855 54.17% 5,973 01.80% 198 11,026
Oscoda County 43.60% 1,887 53.60% 2,320 02.80% 121 4,328
Otsego County 44.66% 5,634 53.52% 6,752 01.82% 230 12,616
Ottawa County 37.30% 50,828 61.15% 83,330 01.55% 2,110 136,268
Presque Isle County 49.59% 3,722 48.05% 3,606 02.36% 177 7,505
Roscommon County 50.40% 7,082 47.88% 6,727 01.72% 242 14,051
Saginaw County 57.91% 60,276 40.57% 42,225 01.53% 1,589 104,090
St. Clair County 50.28% 40,677 47.63% 38,536 02.09% 1,687 80,900
St. Joseph County 47.94% 12,322 50.14% 12,886 01.92% 494 25,702
Sanilac County 44.86% 9,047 52.95% 10,679 02.20% 443 20,169
Schoolcraft County 50.49% 2,184 47.57% 2,058 01.94% 84 4,326
Shiawassee County 53.27% 19,397 44.67% 16,268 02.06% 750 36,415
Tuscola County 48.58% 13,503 49.43% 13,740 02.00% 555 27,798
Van Buren County 53.47% 18,588 44.68% 15,534 01.85% 644 34,766
Washtenaw County 69.78% 130,578 28.83% 53,946 01.38% 2,591 187,115
Wayne County 74.14% 660,085 24.66% 219,582 01.20% 10,659 890,326
Wexford County 46.99% 7,379 51.22% 8,044 01.79% 281 15,704

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Michigan cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Michigan is allocated 17 electors because it has 15 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 17 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 17 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.[23] 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 17 were pledged to Obama and Biden:

  1. Brenda Abbey
  2. Dallas Dean
  3. Ida DeHaas
  4. Ron Gettelfinger
  5. James Hoffa
  6. Kenneth Paul Jenkins
  7. Harry Kalogerakos
  8. Jessica Mistak
  9. Arturo Reyes
  10. Griffin Rivers
  11. Gary Shepherd
  12. Roger Short
  13. Arthur Shy
  14. Richard West
  15. Whitney Randall Wolcott
  16. David Woodward
  17. Charlene Yarbrough

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8722-29616--,00.html
  2. ^ D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
  3. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report Archived May 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Adnaan (2008-09-20). "Track the Electoral College vote predictions". The Takeaway. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  5. ^ Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  6. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  7. ^ POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com
  8. ^ RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map
  9. ^ CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008 Archived October 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Electoral College Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  11. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  12. ^ "Winning the Electoral College". Fox News. 2010-04-27.
  13. ^ roadto270
  14. ^ Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™
  15. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  16. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  17. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  18. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-05-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "McCain pulling out of Michigan - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 2008-12-20.
  21. ^ "Election Results 2008". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2004. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
  22. ^ Dave Leip. "2008 Presidential General Election Data Graphs - Michigan". Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  23. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.

See also[edit]