2008 United States presidential election in South Dakota

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United States presidential election in South Dakota, 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 3 0
Popular vote 203,054 170,924
Percentage 53.16% 44.75%

South dakota 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 South Dakota took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 3 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

South Dakota was won by Republican nominee John McCain by an 8.4% margin of victory. Prior to the election, 16 of 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise considered as a red state. Like the other states located in the Great Plains region, South Dakota is a predominantly rural and sparsely populated state with conservative voting tendencies which favors the Republicans, who dominate elections at the state and federal level in the state. South Dakota stayed in the GOP column in 2008 as Republican John McCain carried the state with 53.16%.

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 single pre-election poll, and never polled less than 47%. The highest Obama ever polled was 43%. The final 3 polls showed McCain leading 50% to 42%.[17]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $287,533 in the state. Barack Obama raised $337,053.

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $639,435. McCain and his interest groups spent just $1,531.[18] Obama didn't visit the state, as McCain visited the state once, in Sturgis, South Dakota.[19]

Analysis[edit]

South Dakota, a predominantly Republican state, has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon B. Johnson won the state in the landslide Election of 1964. A sparsely populated state with a rural and conservative lifestyle of many of the state's inhabitants, since then, the state has been won handily by the Republicans.

McCain was able to keep South Dakota in the GOP column in 2008, taking in 53.16% of the total statewide vote over Obama who received 44.75%, an 8.41-percent margin of victory. This margin of victory was considerably smaller compared to 2004 when George W. Bush carried South Dakota with 59.91% of the vote over John Kerry who received 38.44%, a 21.47% margin of victory, resulting in a 13.06-percent swing to the Democrats in 2008.

While McCain did well throughout the state, his main strength was in Western South Dakota, where he often won by landslide margins.[20] He was able to carry Pennington County, South Dakota, which contains the state's second largest city of Rapid City. In contrast, Obama ran best in Eastern South Dakota, losing most counties by fairly close margins. He also did well among Native Americans; in Western South Dakota, the only counties Obama won were majority Native American.

Obama was able to substantially improve upon John Kerry's showing in South Dakota in 2004 by a number of factors. First, it helped that South Dakota received media attention during the course of the 2008 Democratic Primary, being the last state to vote in the historic and contentious primary that gave Hillary Rodham Clinton an 11-point victory over Obama; it was Clinton's last victory in the primary. In the general election, Obama was able to cut the margin significantly by narrowly carrying Minnehaha County, which contains the state's largest city of Sioux Falls. He was also able to win Brown County, which contains Aberdeen, as well as Brookings County which contains Brookings, home of South Dakota State University. He did much better than Kerry in Eastern South Dakota, which is where most of the people live, but McCain's margins throughout the state were too large to overcome.

During the same election, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson was soundly reelected over Republican State Senator Jim Dykstra by a two-to-one margin, receiving 62.49% of the vote to Dykstra's 37.51%. At the state level, Democrats made gains in the South Dakota Legislature, picking up four seats in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Brown County, Lake County, Miner County, Minnehaha County, Moody County, and Brookings County voted for the Democratic candidate.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in South Dakota, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 203,054 53.16% 3
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 170,924 44.75% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 4,267 1.12% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 1,895 0.50% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 1,835 0.48% 0
Totals 381,975 100.00% 3
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 64.7%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others# Total
Aurora County 43.81% 655 53.11% 794 3.08% 46 1,495
Beadle County 45.28% 3,493 52.55% 4,054 2.16% 167 7,714
Bennett County 46.11% 557 50.83% 614 3.06% 37 1,208
Bon Homme County 43.06% 1,367 53.92% 1,712 3.02% 96 3,175
Brookings County 51.68% 7,207 46.12% 6,431 2.20% 307 13,945
Brown County 51.88% 9,041 46.29% 8,067 1.82% 318 17,426
Brule County 39.57% 965 57.69% 1,407 2.75% 67 2,439
Buffalo County 73.34% 454 25.20% 156 1.45% 9 619
Butte County 30.69% 1,306 66.28% 2,821 3.03% 129 4,256
Campbell County 28.45% 243 69.20% 591 2.34% 20 854
Charles Mix County 45.42% 1,807 53.02% 2,109 1.56% 62 3,978
Clark County 42.78% 830 54.90% 1,065 2.32% 45 1,940
Clay County 61.01% 3,808 36.78% 2,296 2.21% 138 6,242
Codington County 45.92% 5,595 52.31% 6,374 1.77% 216 12,185
Corson County 59.53% 837 38.05% 535 2.42% 34 1,406
Custer County 32.73% 1,475 64.54% 2,909 2.73% 123 4,507
Davison County 42.03% 3,554 55.96% 4,731 2.01% 170 8,455
Day County 55.69% 1,785 42.81% 1,372 1.50% 48 3,205
Deuel County 47.52% 1,054 49.05% 1,088 3.43% 76 2,218
Dewey County 65.78% 1,328 32.64% 659 1.58% 32 2,019
Douglas County 24.15% 424 73.63% 1,293 2.22% 39 1,756
Edmunds County 39.45% 819 58.43% 1,213 2.12% 44 2,076
Fall River County 35.13% 1,338 61.64% 2,348 3.23% 123 3,809
Faulk County 35.74% 426 62.00% 739 2.27% 27 1,192
Grant County 46.63% 1,786 50.94% 1,951 2.43% 93 3,830
Gregory County 34.31% 771 63.33% 1,423 2.36% 53 2,247
Haakon County 16.22% 187 81.44% 939 2.34% 27 1,153
Hamlin County 37.42% 1,043 59.60% 1,661 2.98% 83 2,787
Hand County 35.70% 718 62.01% 1,247 2.29% 46 2,011
Hanson County 39.53% 961 58.66% 1,426 1.81% 44 2,431
Harding County 18.39% 135 78.34% 575 3.27% 24 734
Hughes County 35.86% 3,037 62.56% 5,298 1.57% 133 8,468
Hutchinson County 34.42% 1,242 63.33% 2,285 2.25% 81 3,608
Hyde County 28.79% 226 69.68% 547 1.53% 12 785
Jackson County 38.39% 435 58.96% 668 2.65% 30 1,133
Jerauld County 49.05% 542 49.41% 546 1.54% 17 1,105
Jones County 23.44% 147 73.84% 463 2.71% 17 627
Kingsbury County 45.87% 1,277 51.54% 1,435 2.59% 72 2,784
Lake County 49.26% 3,033 48.61% 2,993 2.13% 131 6,157
Lawrence County 40.91% 4,932 56.30% 6,787 2.79% 336 12,055
Lincoln County 41.61% 8,642 56.84% 11,803 1.55% 322 20,767
Lyman County 43.27% 710 54.48% 894 2.25% 37 1,641
Marshall County 57.55% 1,261 41.08% 900 1.37% 30 2,191
McCook County 41.39% 1,219 55.89% 1,646 2.72% 80 2,945
McPherson County 32.07% 441 66.55% 915 1.38% 19 1,375
Meade County 32.32% 3,751 64.75% 7,515 2.93% 340 11,606
Mellette County 44.25% 373 52.79% 445 2.97% 25 843
Miner County 49.67% 605 47.37% 577 2.96% 36 1,218
Minnehaha County 49.46% 39,838 48.73% 39,251 1.82% 1,463 80,552
Moody County 51.11% 1,663 46.34% 1,508 2.55% 83 3,254
Oglala Lakota County 88.69% 2,971 09.88% 331 1.43% 48 3,350
Pennington County 38.47% 17,802 59.64% 27,603 1.89% 875 46,280
Perkins County 29.60% 499 65.36% 1,102 5.04% 85 1,686
Potter County 33.47% 482 65.07% 937 1.46% 21 1,440
Roberts County 58.91% 2,672 39.26% 1,781 1.83% 83 4,536
Sanborn County 41.43% 500 55.43% 669 3.15% 38 1,207
Spink County 47.42% 1,550 50.78% 1,660 1.80% 59 3,269
Stanley County 32.84% 510 65.49% 1,017 1.67% 26 1,553
Sully County 27.97% 233 69.75% 581 2.28% 19 833
Todd County 78.08% 2,208 20.19% 571 1.73% 49 2,828
Tripp County 32.19% 914 65.48% 1,859 2.32% 66 2,839
Turner County 38.63% 1,681 58.32% 2,538 3.06% 133 4,352
Union County 42.12% 3,244 55.97% 4,310 1.91% 147 7,701
Walworth County 34.83% 923 62.94% 1,668 2.23% 59 2,650
Yankton County 47.74% 4,838 49.72% 5,039 2.54% 257 10,134
Ziebach County 62.18% 554 35.02% 312 2.81% 25 891

By congressional district[edit]

South Dakota has only one congressional district because of its low population compared to other states. This district, called the At-Large district because it covers the entire state, is equivalent to the statewide election results.

District McCain Obama Representative
At-large 53.2% 44.8% Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of South Dakota cast their ballots for electors, representatives to the Electoral College. The state is allocated 3 electors because it has 1 congressional district and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 3 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and the candidate's running mate. In the state's First Past the Post (plurality voting) system, the winner of the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 3 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.[21] 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 capitals.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All 3 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[22]

  1. Mike Rounds
  2. Dennis Daugaard
  3. Larry Long

References[edit]

  1. ^ "D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries". Dcpoliticalreport.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  2. ^ "Presidential". Cookpolitical.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  3. ^ [1] Archived May 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "President, Senate, House Updated Daily". Electoral-vote.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  5. ^ Based on Takeaway
  6. ^ "POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  7. ^ "RealClearPolitics Electoral College". Realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  8. ^ Based on Takeaway
  9. ^ [2] Archived June 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Who's Ahead". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. October 31, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  12. ^ Based on Takeaway
  13. ^ Based on Takeaway
  14. ^ "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
  15. ^ "roadto270". Hosted.ap.org. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  16. ^ "Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™". Rasmussenreports.com. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  17. ^ [3] Archived November 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  19. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  20. ^ "Election Results 2008". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  21. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  22. ^ "U. S. Electoral College 2008 Election - Certificates". Archives.gov. Retrieved 2015-05-04.

See also[edit]