United States presidential election in Delaware, 2008

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United States presidential election in Delaware, 2008
Delaware
2004 ←
November 4, 2008
→ 2012

  Obama portrait crop.jpg John McCain official portrait with alternative background.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Arizona
Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
Electoral vote 3 0
Popular vote 255,459 152,374
Percentage 61.94% 36.92%

Delaware presidential election results 2012.svg

County Results
  Obama—60-70%
  Obama—50-60%
  McCain—50-60%

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in Delaware took place on November 4, 2008 throughout all 50 states and D.C., which 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.

Delaware was won by Democrat nominee Barack Obama with 25.0% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. His running mate, Joe Biden, a longtime U.S. Senator from Delaware, also helped assure a definite victory. Only one county went for John McCain, the more rural area of Sussex County by a margin of approximately 7,000 votes or 8.58%.

Democratic primary[edit]

Delaware Democratic Primary, 2008
Delaware
2004 ←
February 5, 2008 (2008-02-05)

  Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton
Party Democratic Democratic
Home state Illinois New York
Popular vote 51,148 40,760
Percentage 53.07% 42.29%

The Democratic Primary was held on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, and had a total of 15 delegates at stake.[1] The winner in each of Delaware's subdivisions was awarded those subdivisions' delegates, totaling 10. Another five delegates were awarded to the statewide winner, Barack Obama. The 15 delegates represented Delaware at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Eight other unpledged delegates, known as superdelegates, also attended the convention and cast their votes as well.

Polls[edit]

Results[edit]

Delaware Democratic Presidential Primary Results – 2008
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
Democratic Barack Obama 51,148 53.07% 9
Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 40,760 42.29% 6
Democratic Joe Biden 2,863 2.97% 0
Democratic John Edwards 1,241 1.29% 0
Democratic Dennis Kucinich 192 0.20% 0
Democratic Christopher Dodd 170 0.18% 0
Democratic Joe Biden 440 0.12% 0
Totals 96,374 100.00% 15
Voter turnout  %

Analysis[edit]

Barack Obama’s win in the Delaware Democratic Primary can be traced to a number of factors. According to the exit polls, 64 percent of voters in the Delaware Democratic Primary were Caucasian and they favored Clinton by a margin of 56-40 compared to the 28 percent of African American voters who backed Obama by a margin of 86-9. Obama won all age groups except senior citizens ages 65 and over who strongly backed Clinton by a margin of 56-38. Obama also won middle class and more affluent voters making over $30,000 while Clinton won lower middle class and less affluent voters making less than $30,000. Obama also won higher-educated voters (college graduates 60-35; postgraduate studies 66-32) while high school graduates backed Clinton 51-44; both candidates evenly split voters who had some college and/or an associate’s degree 47-47. Registered Democrats favored Obama 54-42 while Independents also backed him by a margin of 50-44; he also won all ideological groups. Regarding religion, Obama won all major denominations except Roman Catholics who backed Clinton with a 60-35 margin – Obama won Protestants 51-47, other Christians 71-24, and atheists/agnostics 60-35.

Obama performed best in New Castle County, the most populous and urban part of the state which contains Wilmington as well as several African Americans, which he won by a 56.49-39.69 margin of victory. He also narrowly won neighboring Kent County to the south, which contains the state capital of Dover, with 51.76 percent of the vote. Clinton won Sussex County in Southern Delaware, the more rural and conservative part of the state, with 52.73 percent of the vote.

Republican primary[edit]

Delaware Republican primary, 2008
Delaware
2004 ←
February 5, 2008
→ 2012

  John McCain official portrait with alternative background.jpg Mitt Romney by Gage Skidmore 6.jpg Huckabee-SF-CC-024.jpg
Nominee John McCain Mitt Romney Mike Huckabee
Party Republican Republican Republican
Home state Arizona Massachusetts Arkansas
Popular vote 22,628 16,344 7,706
Percentage 45.04% 32.53% 15.34%

Delaware Republican primary, 2008.png

Results by county.
John McCain
.

The Republican primary was held on February 5 (Super Tuesday). A total of 18 delegates were selected. The Delaware Republican Party rallied behind John McCain, and was the declared winner of the primary election after successfully taking all three Delaware counties. McCain was followed by Mitt Romney in second and then by Mike Huckabee in third.

Candidates[edit]

Candidates Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, and Tom Tancredo had dropped out of the presidential race before the Delaware primary.

Results[edit]

100% of precincts reporting[2][3]
Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
John McCain 22,628 45.04% 18
Mitt Romney 16,344 32.53% 0
Mike Huckabee 7,706 15.34% 0
Ron Paul 2,131 4.24% 0
Rudy Giuliani* 1,255 2.5% 0
Tom Tancredo* 175 0.35% 0
Total 50,237 100% 18

*Candidate withdrew before primary

Analysis[edit]

McCain was the expected favorite in the 2008 primary among the Republican candidates; his campaign was led by Delaware's only House representative, Rep. Michael N. Castle.

In Delaware, 27,412 of the 102, 455 registered Republicans voted in the election, resulting in a 26.76 percent turn-out rate.

Winners of Previous Primaries[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Predictions[edit]

There were 17 news organizations who made state by state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:

  1. D.C. Political Report: Democrat[4]
  2. Cook Political Report: Solid Democrat[5]
  3. Takeaway: Solid Obama[6]
  4. Election Projection: Solid Obama[7]
  5. Electoral-vote.com: Strong Democrat[8]
  6. Washington Post: Solid Obama[9]
  7. Politico: Solid Obama[10]
  8. Real Clear Politics: Solid Obama[11]
  9. FiveThirtyEight.com: Solid Obama[9]
  10. CQ Politics: Safe Democrat[12]
  11. New York Times: Solid Democrat[13]
  12. CNN: Safe Democrat[14]
  13. NPR: Solid Obama[9]
  14. MSNBC: Solid Obama[9]
  15. Fox News: Democrat[15]
  16. Associated Press: Democrat[16]
  17. Rasmussen Reports: Safe Democrat[17]

Polling[edit]

Obama won every single pre-election poll taken in the state, and each one by a double digit margin of victory. He won the last poll by a 30 point margin.

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $340,736. Barack Obama raised $1,010,740.[18]

Advertising and visits[edit]

No advertising was spent by either campaign.[19] Delaware native Joe Biden campaigned here 6 times.[20]

Analysis[edit]

Delaware was once a noted bellwether state. It supported the winner in every presidential election from 1953 to 1996. However, it broke this trend in 2000, when Al Gore carried it by 13 points. It supported John Kerry by a slightly narrower margin in 2004, and is now reckoned as part of the solid bloc of blue states in the Northeast. The last Republican to win Delaware was George H. W. Bush in 1988. Obama was already favored to win Delaware going into the election. However, what little chance McCain had of winning the state ended when Biden joined the Democratic ticket.

In recent years, any discussion of statewide elections in Delaware has begun and ended with New Castle County, home to the state's largest city, Wilmington. Part of the Northeast megalopolis and the Philadelphia metropolitan area, New Castle contains 55 percent of Delaware's population and elects a substantial majority of the Delaware General Assembly. New Castle has turned almost solidly Democratic in recent years, mirroring the trend in the rest of the Northeast. The state's other two counties, Kent (home to the state capital, Dover) and Sussex, are more rural and more Republican, but combined have less than half of New Castle's population. In 1992, 2000 and 2004, the Republican candidate carried Kent and Sussex, but lost New Castle by double digits—enough of a margin to swing the entire state to the Democrats. The 2008 election was no different. Obama carried New Castle by over 104,000 votes, which would have been more than enough to carry the state.

With Biden on the ticket, Democrats had a very good year down ballot as well. The Democrats continued their 15-year run in the Governor's Mansion as State Treasurer Jack Markell was elected with 67.52% of the vote over Republican Bill Lee. Incumbent Ruth Ann Minner was barred from a third term. Democrats picked up two seats in the Delaware Senate and seven seats in the Delaware House of Representatives. The latter victory gave the Democrats control of the state house for the first time since 1987, and gave the Democrats complete control of state government for the first time since the 1970s.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Delaware, 2008[21]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 255,459 61.94% 3
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 152,374 36.92% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 2,401 0.58% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 1,109 0.27% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 626 0.15% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 385 0.09% 0
Socialist Workers Róger Calero Alyson Kennedy 58 0.01% 0
Totals 412,398 100.00% 3
Voter turnout 68.00%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others#
New Castle 69.7% 178,768 29.1% 74,608 1.2% 3,041
Kent 54.4% 36,392 44.6% 29,827 1.1% 706
Sussex 45.2% 40,299 53.8% 47,939 0.9% 832

By congressional district[edit]

Due to the state's low population, only one congressional district is allocated. This district, called the At-Large district, because it covers the entire state, and thus is equivalent to the statewide election results.

District McCain Obama Representative
At-large 36.9% 61.9% Michael N. Castle

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Delaware cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Delaware 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 his or her running mate. Whoever wins 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.[22] 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 3 were pledged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden:[23]

  1. James Johnson
  2. Ted Kaufman
  3. Harriet Smith Windsor

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Super Guide for Super Tuesday". CNN. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  2. ^ "Election Center 2008: Primary Results for Delaware". CNN. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  3. ^ "RESULTS: Delaware". CNN. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  4. ^ D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
  5. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report
  6. ^ Adnaan (2008-09-20). "Track the Electoral College vote predictions". The Takeaway. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  7. ^ Election Projection: 2008 Elections - Polls, Projections, Results
  8. ^ Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  9. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  10. ^ POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com
  11. ^ RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map
  12. ^ CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008
  13. ^ "Electoral College Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  14. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  15. ^ "Winning the Electoral College". Fox News. 2010-04-27. 
  16. ^ roadto270
  17. ^ Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™
  18. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  19. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  20. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  21. ^ "Official General Election Results" (PDF). State of Delaware. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  22. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  23. ^ Delaware Certificate of Ascertainment, page 1 of 2.. National Archives and Record Administration.