United States presidential election in Colorado, 2008

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
United States presidential election in Colorado, 2008
Colorado
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 9 0
Popular vote 1,288,633 1,073,629
Percentage 53.66% 44.71%

Colorado presidential election results 2008.svg

County Results
  Obama—70-80%
  Obama—60-70%
  Obama—50-60%
  McCain—<50%
  McCain—50-60%
  McCain—60-70%
  McCain—70-80%
  McCain—80-90%

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in Colorado took place on November 4, 2008 as a part of the 2008 United States presidential election throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Voters chose 9 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Colorado was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama by a margin of victory of 8.95%. Obama took 53.66% of the vote to McCain's 44.71%. The state was heavily targeted by both campaigns, although, prior to the election, all 17 news organizations actually considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a blue state. While George W. Bush narrowly carried the state in 2004, the Centennial State ultimately flipped allegiance to Obama.

Key to Obama's victory was Democratic dominance in the Denver area, sweeping not just the city but also the heavily populated suburban counties around Denver, particularly Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties, as well as winning Larimer County, home to Fort Collins. Obama also took over 70% of the vote in Boulder County, home to Boulder. McCain's most populated county wins were in El Paso County, where Colorado Springs is located, and Weld County.

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

Polling[edit]

Pre-election polling taken in Colorado prior to the election mostly showed Obama in a slight lead. He led every the poll after October 5.

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $3,491,086. Barack Obama raised almost $11 million.[15]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $10,410,669. McCain and his interest groups spent $9,818,077.[16] McCain/Palin visited the state 13 times. Obama/Biden visited the state 8 times.[17]

Analysis[edit]

Main article: Politics of Colorado

Changing demographics and a growing Hispanic population made the state more favorable to the Democrats, although Republicans still had a hold on the state due to the party's conservative stances on social issues like abortion, gay rights, and gun control.

Colorado has traditionally voted Republican, turning red in every presidential election since 1964, with the exception of 1992. Colorado supported George W. Bush in both 2000 and again in 2004, although by a margin of less than 5%. In addition, Republicans have mostly held control of statewide offices and the state legislature since the 1960s. On the other hand, the Governor's Mansion has been held by Democrats for 22 out of the past 30 years.

Recently, however, there has been a growing population of Hispanic Americans,[18] young professionals, and an influx of people from other states - all of whom tend to vote Democratic. These demographic changes have been causing the state's political ideology to shift.[19] While Republicans continue to enjoy an advantage in voter registration statewide, Democrats have been closing the gap. There has also been an increasing number of unaffiliated, independent-minded voters.[20] Since 2004, Democrats have won the governorship, both Senate seats, three House seats, and control of both chambers in the state legislature.

While Colorado had not been extensively contested in the 2004 election, in 2008 it was regarded as a crucial swing state. Both Barack Obama and John McCain campaigned extensively in the state.

Several factors in the campaign favored the Democrat. Barack Obama did very well in the caucus, defeating opponent Hillary Clinton with almost 67% of the vote. On the other hand, John McCain badly lost the state to opponent Mitt Romney, who gained 60% of the vote.

Moreover, the 2008 Democratic National Convention was held in Denver. The publicity generated from the event provided a strong boost to Obama. According to Real Clear Politics polling averages, Obama and McCain were neck-to-neck through the summer and early September. However, as the 2008 financial crisis hit, Obama's numbers in Colorado jumped to over 50%.[21]

During the campaign, several media organizations reported on voting machine problems. There was also reporting on the controversial practice of "purging" voter registration lists.[22]

On election day, Obama won by a comfortable margin, greater than his national average. Obama improved on John Kerry's performance throughout the state. He won landslides in Democratic strongholds Denver and Boulder County; in both areas, Obama took more than 70% of the vote. Democrats also do well in two other regions of the state. Along the Front Range, a number of rich counties dominated by ski resorts lean Democratic; in southern Colorado, a number of thinly populated, Latino counties also lean Democratic. By and large, Obama won these areas.

McCain did best in the rural, conservative areas next to Kansas and Utah, where he won landslide margins. Voters in more populated El Paso County, home to conservative Colorado Springs, gave McCain a 3-2 margin. In Denver's suburbs, McCain won Douglas County and Weld County, both by comfortable margins.

However, both Denver's suburbs and El Paso County moved heavily Democratic. George Bush won El Paso County by 35%; McCain won the county by 19% - a double-digit Democratic shift. In suburban Denver, Bush narrowly won Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, and Broomfield County (in addition to what McCain won) - all three flipped to the Democratic candidate in 2008.

Thus, Obama was able to take landslide margins amongst the Democratic base while shifting suburban Colorado to the Democratic side. While he still lost places such as El Paso County, he greatly improved on John Kerry in those areas.

Elsewhere in the state, Democrats also did well. Democratic Mark Udall defeated Republican Bob Schaffer for an open U.S. Senate; his vacated House seat was also won by Democrat Jared Polis. In addition, Democrat Betsy Markey defeated incumbent Republican Marilyn Musgrave, by 12 points for Colorado's 4th Congressional District seat. At the state level, Democrats picked up one seat in the Colorado Senate, but lost two seats in the Colorado House of Representatives.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Colorado, 2008[23]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 1,288,633 53.66% 9
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,073,629 44.71% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 13,352 0.56% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 10,898 0.45% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 6,233 0.26% 0
America's Independent Alan Keyes Brian Rohrbough 3,051 0.13% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 2,822 0.12% 0
New American Independent Frank McEnulty David Mangan 829 0.03% 0
Boston Tea Charles Jay Dan Sallis, Jr. 598 0.02% 0
HeartQuake '08 Jonathan Allen Jeffrey Stath 348 0.01% 0
Objectivist Tom Stevens Alden Link 336 0.01% 0
Socialist Brian Moore Stewart Alexander 226 0.01% 0
Socialism and Liberation Gloria La Riva Eugene Puryear 158 0.01% 0
Socialist Workers James Harris Alyson Kennedy 154 0.01% 0
Pacifist Bradford Lyttle Abraham Bassford 110 <0.01% 0
Prohibition Gene Amondson Leroy Pletten 85 <0.01% 0
Totals 2,401,462 100.00% 9
Voter turnout 65.0%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain#
Adams 59.12% 90,113 40.88% 62,322
Alamosa 57.20% 3,521 42.80% 2,635
Arapahoe 56.11% 128,366 43.89% 100,409
Archuleta 43.82% 2,822 56.18% 3,618
Baca 25.33% 532 74.67% 1,568
Bent 42.59% 799 57.41% 1,077
Boulder 73.47% 115,339 26.53% 41,644
Broomfield 55.85% 16,031 44.15% 12,675
Chaffee 49.97% 4,827 50.03% 4,832
Cheyenne 18.20% 198 81.80% 890
Clear Creek 59.12% 3,295 40.88% 2,278
Conejos 56.58% 2,106 43.42% 1,616
Costilla 75.05% 1,236 24.95% 411
Crowley 36.13% 552 63.87% 976
Custer 35.40% 914 64.60% 1,668
Delta 33.58% 5,007 66.42% 9,905
Denver 76.45% 195,499 23.55% 60,226
Dolores 30.72% 356 69.28% 803
Douglas 41.44% 51,813 58.56% 73,225
Eagle 61.68% 13,055 38.32% 8,112
El Paso 40.17% 104,670 59.83% 155,914
Elbert 29.48% 3,775 70.52% 9,030
Fremont 35.06% 6,801 64.94% 12,595
Garfield 49.80% 10,847 50.20% 10,932
Gilpin 60.88% 1,944 39.12% 1,249
Grand 49.21% 3,961 50.79% 4,088
Gunnison 63.91% 5,512 36.09% 3,112
Hinsdale 41.07% 239 58.93% 343
Huerfano 55.70% 1,989 44.30% 1,582
Jackson 30.74% 277 69.26% 624
Jefferson 54.52% 155,020 45.48% 129,291
Kiowa 21.45% 172 78.55% 630
Kit Carson 27.06% 898 72.94% 2,420
La Plata 57.99% 15,422 42.01% 11,170
Lake 63.19% 1,847 36.81% 1,076
Larimer 55.06% 84,461 44.94% 68,932
Las Animas 53.45% 3,483 46.55% 3,033
Lincoln 24.39% 543 75.61% 1,683
Logan 32.15% 2,837 67.85% 5,986
Mesa 34.96% 23,470 65.04% 43,669
Mineral 44.70% 270 55.30% 334
Moffat 27.63% 1,566 72.37% 4,101
Montezuma 40.05% 4,619 59.95% 6,913
Montrose 34.67% 6,115 65.33% 11,525
Morgan 37.68% 3,762 62.32% 6,222
Otero 44.41% 3,454 55.59% 4,324
Ouray 54.50% 1,629 45.50% 1,360
Park 46.46% 4,196 53.54% 4,835
Phillips 27.95% 587 72.05% 1,513
Pitkin 74.78% 7,260 25.22% 2,448
Prowers 32.61% 1,464 67.39% 3,026
Pueblo 57.17% 38,074 42.83% 28,523
Rio Blanco 21.24% 654 78.76% 2,425
Rio Grande 45.42% 2,427 54.58% 2,916
Routt 63.70% 8,133 36.30% 4,634
Saguache 63.96% 1,620 36.04% 913
San Juan 54.77% 264 45.23% 218
San Miguel 78.25% 3,345 21.75% 930
Sedgwick 35.32% 468 64.68% 857
Summit 66.69% 9,700 33.31% 4,845
Teller 35.50% 4,370 64.50% 7,939
Washington 21.12% 518 78.88% 1,935
Weld 45.48% 46,644 54.52% 55,913
Yuma 25.44% 1,105 74.56% 3,238

By congressional district[edit]

While Barack Obama won the state’s popular vote and 9 electoral votes, John McCain carried four of the state’s seven congressional districts, including both seats held by Republicans and two seats held by Democrats.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 24.25% 74.20% Diana DeGette
2nd 34.10% 64.22% Mark Udall (110th Congress)
Jared Polis (111th Congress)
3rd 50.44% 47.90% John Salazar
4th 49.54% 48.66% Marilyn Musgrave (110th Congress)
Betsy Markey (111th Congress)
5th 58.57% 39.89% Doug Lamborn
6th 52.48% 46.17% Tom Tancredo (110th Congress)
Mike Coffman (111th Congress)
7th 39.49% 58.56% Ed Perlmutter

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Colorado cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Colorado is allocated 9 electors because it has 7 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 9 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 9 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.[24] 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 9 were pledged to Obama and Biden:

  1. Wellington Webb
  2. Terry Phillips
  3. Camilla Auger
  4. Pam Shaddock
  5. Jennifer Trujillo-Sanchez
  6. Don Strickland
  7. Ann Knollman
  8. Polly Baca
  9. Margaret Atencio

References[edit]

  1. ^ D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
  2. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report
  3. ^ Adnaan (2008-09-20). "Track the Electoral College vote predictions". The Takeaway. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  4. ^ Election Projection: 2008 Elections - Polls, Projections, Results
  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
  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. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  16. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  17. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  18. ^ Schaller, Thomas. Past Dixie . Simon & Schuster, 2006. 184.
  19. ^ Schaller, Thomas. Whistling Past Dixie. Simon & Schuster, 2006.
  20. ^ "Obama, McCain look west". Rocky Mountain News. 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  21. ^ RealClearPolitics - Election 2008 - Colorado: McCain vs. Obama
  22. ^ Williams, David (2008-08-27). "Palast uses DNC to tout 'Steal Back Your Vote' project". Colorado Independent. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  23. ^ "Colorado 2008 General Election". The Green Papers. Retrieved 2008-10-12. 
  24. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-01.