United States presidential election in Georgia, 2008

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United States presidential election in Georgia, 2008
Georgia (U.S. state)
2004 ←
November 4, 2008
→ 2012

  John McCain official portrait with alternative background.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 15 0
Popular vote 2,048,759 1,844,123
Percentage 52.10% 46.90%

Georgia Presidential Election Results by Shaded County, 2008.svg

County Results
  Obama—80-90%
  Obama—70-80%
  Obama—60-70%
  Obama—50-60%
  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 Georgia 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 15 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Georgia was won by Republican nominee John McCain with a 5.2% margin of victory. Prior to the election, 15 of 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise considered as a red state. It is situated in the Deep South, entrenched in the Bible Belt, and is normally a much more reliable Republican stronghold. The Peach State has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Bill Clinton won the state in 1992. Continuing on that trend, Republican John McCain was able to keep Georgia in the GOP column in 2008 despite the large African American turnout that kept the margin of victory within single digits. With its 15 electoral votes, Georgia was the second-largest prize for McCain in 2008 (only behind Texas).

Primaries[edit]

Campaign[edit]

An ambitious Barack Obama targeted Georgia as potential state he could flip from red to blue, albeit as a relatively long-shot target. Democrats hoped libertarian candidate Bob Barr - whose home state was Georgia - might take away votes for John McCain and play the role of a spoiler. In the early months, Obama bought ads and even appeared in person to campaign in the state.[1]

However, polling consistently showed McCain with a double-digit lead.[2] Over the summer, Obama's campaign stumbled, and the Illinois senator even fell behind McCain for a short while in September. In light of these difficulties, the Democratic campaign started shifting resources to North Carolina, which they regarded as more competitive.[3] Obama stopped advertising in the state and moved away staff, although he retained a large volunteer force. As the campaign neared the end, Obama jumped to a national lead, helped by the September financial crisis, but remained behind in Georgia polling.

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

Polling[edit]

McCain won almost every pre-election poll. The final 3 poll average gave the Republican the lead with 50% to 47%.[18]

Fundraising[edit]

McCain raised $4,835,902. Obama raised $8,568,716.[19]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama spent over $4,105,888. McCain and his interest groups spent just $49,507.[20] Both McCain and Obama visited Atlanta once.[21]

Analysis[edit]

In terms of the margin, McCain won a quite narrow victory, capturing 52.23% of the popular vote to Democrat Barack Obama's 47.02% popular vote. This margin was significantly lower than that in 2004 when George W. Bush carried this state by a 17% margin, winning 58% of the popular vote to John Kerry's 41%. Obama won huge victories in the two most populous counties, DeKalb County and Fulton County which contains the state capital and largest city of Atlanta, which contributed to his popular vote percentage. He also made significant inroads in Atlanta's normally heavily Republican suburbs. For instance, Obama lost Cobb County by nine points compared to Kerry's 35-point loss. Obama lost Gwinnett County by 11 points compared to a 33-point loss for Kerry. Aside from native son Jimmy Carter winning both counties in 1976 (a year in which he swept every county in the state), neither county has gone Democratic since 1960. However, McCain piled up the votes in the more rural northern and southeastern parts of the state (well over 70 percent in some cases) which gave him the edge and ultimate win. These two areas were among the first regions of Georgia to turn Republican; the old-line Southern Democrats in these areas began splitting their tickets as early as the 1950s, and some areas of north Georgia are among the few ancestrally Republican areas of the South.

The large African American turnout was widely attributed to the narrow margin by which McCain carried the state. However, Obama was unable to improve his percentage amongst white voters.[22] According to exit polls, 77% of white voters supported the Republican candidate - the same as in 2004. This effectively eliminated Obama's chances of winning the state.

Of the several independent and third-party candidates who ran for president in 2008, two of them were from Georgia (those being former Republican Representative Bob Barr (L) (who placed third overall in the popular vote in Georgia) and former Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney (G)).

During the same election, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss was held below 50% of the popular vote in a contentious U.S. Senate race against Democrat Jim Martin and Libertarian Allen Buckley. Abiding by Georgia law, this led to a runoff election in December between Chambliss and Martin. Chambliss brought in 2008 vice presidential nominee Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska to campaign for him and rally the base of the GOP. Former President Bill Clinton campaigned on behalf of Martin. Turnout was lower than in the general election and African Americans didn't turn out as largely as they did in November for Obama, all factors that led up to Chambliss's victory. The incumbent was reelected with 57.44% of the vote while Martin received 42.56%.

During the 2008 U.S. house elections, incumbent Democratic Representatives Jim Marshall (GA-8) and John Barrow (GA-12), each of whom was narrowly re-elected by one percentage point or less in 2006 despite the pro-Democratic political environment that year, were both re-elected by unexpectedly wide margins despite efforts by Republicans to win both of the districts.

At the state level, during the same election, Republicans picked up four seats in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Georgia, 2008[23]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 2,048,759 52.10% 15
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 1,844,123 46.90% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 28,731 0.73% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 6,998 0.18% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin (write-in) Darrell Castle 1,404 0.04% 0
Independent Ralph Nader (write-in) Matt Gonzalez 1,165 0.03% 0
Independent Ron Paul (write-in) 695 0.02% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney (write-in) Rosa Clemente 250 0.01% 0
Socialist Workers James Harris (write-in) Alyson Kennedy 24 0.00% 0
Constitution Michael Peroutka* (write-in) n/a 23 0.00% 0
HeartQuake '08 Jonathan Allen (write-in) Jeffrey Stath 9 0.00% 0
Independent Frank Moore (write-in) Susan Block 6 0.00% 0
Write-in David C. Byrne n/a 4 0.00% 0
Write-in Brian R. Brown n/a 2 0.00% 0
Write-in Bryan A. Schivera n/a 2 0.00% 0
Totals 3,932,193 100.00% 15
Voter turnout 75.7%

(*Peroutka was not the Constitution Party's nominee in 2008)

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others#
Appling 26.4% 1,846 72.6% 5,085 1.0% 71
Atkinson 32.3% 938 66.8% 1,941 1.0% 28
Bacon 20.7% 817 78.4% 3,089 0.9% 36
Baker 50.1% 846 49.0% 828 0.9% 15
Baldwin 51.8% 8,587 47.2% 7,823 0.9% 154
Banks 16.4% 1,027 81.9% 5,120 1.6% 102
Barrow 27.0% 6,657 71.6% 17,625 1.4% 351
Bartow 26.7% 9,962 71.8% 25,976 1.5% 537
Ben Hill 42.8% 2,590 56.5% 3,417 0.7% 45
Berrien 22.8% 1,471 75.9% 4,901 1.3% 81
Bibb 58.7% 38,987 40.7% 27,037 0.6% 424
Bleckley 27.1% 1,380 71.9% 3,657 0.9% 47
Brantley 17.8% 1,119 80.8% 5,080 1.4% 89
Brooks 43.0% 2,669 56.5% 3,507 0.5% 29
Bryan 28.3% 3,636 70.8% 9,112 0.9% 119
Bulloch 40.0% 9,586 59.1% 14,174 0.9% 216
Burke 54.3% 5,233 45.1% 4,344 0.6% 60
Butts 33.7% 3,065 65.3% 5,947 1.0% 92
Calhoun 60.7% 1,342 39.0% 862 0.4% 8
Camden 37.9% 6,482 61.4% 10,502 0.7% 124
Candler 34.3% 1,209 64.9% 2,286 0.8% 27
Carroll 33.0% 14,334 66.0% 28,661 1.0% 448
Catoosa 24.5% 6,025 74.0% 18,218 1.5% 362
Charlton 32.4% 1,197 66.7% 2,466 0.9% 34
Chatham 56.8% 62,755 42.4% 46,829 0.8% 858
Chattahoochee 50.1% 830 49.0% 811 0.9% 15
Chattooga 31.1% 2,596 66.8% 5,572 2.0% 169
Cherokee 23.8% 22,350 74.8% 70,279 1.4% 1,349
Clarke 64.8% 29,591 33.6% 15,333 1.6% 742
Clay 61.0% 879 38.8% 558 0.2% 3
Clayton 82.9% 82,527 16.6% 16,506 0.5% 481
Clinch 36.6% 989 62.1% 1,678 1.3% 35
Cobb 44.7% 141,216 54.1% 170,957 1.2% 3,951
Coffee 35.0% 4,811 64.5% 8,872 0.5% 75
Colquitt 30.8% 4,139 68.3% 9,185 1.9% 130
Columbia 28.3% 15,703 70.9% 39,322 0.8% 441
Cook 35.1% 2,075 63.6% 3,782 0.5% 52
Coweta 28.9% 15,521 70.0% 37,571 1.0% 543
Crawford 34.9% 1,832 64.0% 3,358 1.1% 58
Crisp 40.8% 3,085 58.6% 4,424 0.6% 45
Dade 25.0% 1,612 73.0% 4,703 2.0% 127
Dawson 16.3% 1,632 82.5% 8,242 1.1% 112
Decatur 42.6% 4,424 56.7% 5,890 0.7% 71
DeKalb 78.9% 254,594 20.3% 65,581 0.8% 2,671
Dodge 31.6% 2,595 67.4% 5,543 1.0% 86
Dooly 51.4% 2,138 47.8% 1,991 0.8% 32
Dougherty 67.2% 26,135 32.3% 12,547 0.5% 204
Douglas 50.4% 27,825 48.6% 26,812 1.0% 560
Early 48.7% 2,603 50.7% 2,711 0.5% 29
Echols 16.9% 201 82.6% 981 0.5% 6
Effingham 24.3% 4,936 74.9% 15,230 0.9% 175
Elbert 40.4% 3,366 58.4% 4,868 1.2% 98
Emanuel 37.2% 3,068 61.9% 5,110 0.9% 74
Evans 35.6% 1,374 63.8% 2,462 0.5% 20
Fannin 24.5% 2,611 73.4% 7,807 2.1% 225
Fayette 34.2% 20,313 64.8% 38,501 1.1% 627
Floyd 31.1% 10,691 67.4% 23,132 1.5% 499
Forsyth 20.4% 15,406 78.4% 59,166 1.2% 931
Franklin 23.6% 1,914 74.9% 6,069 1.5% 120
Fulton 67.1% 272,000 32.1% 130,136 0.9% 3,489
Gilmer 23.4% 2,614 75.2% 8,408 1.5% 164
Glascock 14.7% 210 84.2% 1,202 1.1% 16
Glynn 37.9% 12,676 61.3% 20,479 0.7% 248
Gordon 24.2% 4,268 74.3% 13,113 1.6% 274
Grady 37.8% 3,539 61.6% 5,775 0.6% 57
Greene 42.2% 3,339 57.2% 4,532 0.6% 50
Gwinnett 44.3% 129,025 54.6% 158,746 1.1% 3,167
Habersham 19.5% 2,900 79.2% 11,766 1.3% 193
Hall 24.0% 14,457 74.8% 44,962 1.2% 711
Hancock 81.3% 3,535 18.3% 795 0.4% 18
Haralson 20.2% 2,248 77.8% 8,658 2.0% 224
Harris 28.0% 4,184 71.2% 10,648 0.8% 113
Hart 33.6% 3,365 65.2% 6,537 1.2% 122
Heard 24.6% 1,042 74.0% 3,133 1.3% 56
Henry 45.8% 40,527 53.3% 47,115 0.9% 762
Houston 39.4% 22,094 59.6% 33,392 1.0% 548
Irwin 31.2% 1,197 67.8% 2,605 1.0% 38
Jackson 21.5% 4,950 77.2% 17,776 1.3% 290
Jasper 32.7% 1,935 66.2% 3,916 1.0% 60
Jeff Davis 25.7% 1,356 73.2% 3,867 1.2% 63
Jefferson 57.3% 4,149 42.3% 3,061 0.3% 25
Jenkins 43.1% 1,482 56.2% 1,936 0.7% 24
Johnson 32.8% 1,198 66.5% 2,426 0.7% 26
Jones 36.7% 4,572 62.5% 7,782 0.9% 106
Lamar 35.7% 2,752 63.2% 4,873 1.0% 80
Lanier 36.9% 1,062 62.0% 1,787 1.1% 31
Laurens 38.9% 7,769 60.4% 12,052 0.7% 142
Lee 23.6% 3,100 75.7% 9,925 0.7% 87
Liberty 63.9% 10,474 35.5% 5,828 0.6% 98
Lincoln 37.3% 1,650 61.7% 2,731 1.0% 43
Long 37.2% 1,288 61.2% 2,119 1.5% 53
Lowndes 44.8% 17,651 54.0% 21,296 1.2% 465
Lumpkin 23.3% 2,586 75.0% 8,326 1.8% 196
McDuffie 42.2% 3,989 57.1% 5,400 0.7% 66
McIntosh 46.6% 2,905 52.6% 3,282 0.8% 49
Macon 65.2% 3,251 34.3% 1,712 0.4% 21
Madison 26.1% 2,965 72.4% 8,226 1.5% 174
Marion 43.3% 1,381 55.6% 1,772 1.1% 35
Meriwether 46.9% 4,465 52.3% 4,982 0.7% 71
Miller 29.9% 818 69.3% 1,899 0.8% 23
Mitchell 47.6% 3,872 51.7% 4,201 0.7% 59
Monroe 33.8% 4,106 65.3% 7,933 0.9% 108
Montgomery 29.1% 1,045 70.2% 2,521 0.8% 27
Morgan 33.7% 3,091 65.3% 5,987 0.9% 87
Murray 26.4% 3,026 71.5% 8,180 2.1% 241
Muscogee 59.5% 44,158 39.9% 29,568 0.6% 436
Newton 50.2% 20,827 49.0% 20,337 0.8% 318
Oconee 28.1% 4,825 70.6% 12,120 1.3% 229
Oglethorpe 34.5% 2,232 64.1% 4,144 1.3% 87
Paulding 30.2% 17,229 68.7% 39,192 1.1% 655
Peach 52.9% 5,927 46.2% 5,173 0.9% 96
Pickens 20.3% 2,595 78.1% 10,004 1.7% 214
Pierce 18.4% 1,253 80.9% 5,500 0.6% 44
Pike 19.2% 1,575 79.6% 6,547 1.2% 99
Polk 28.6% 4,052 69.6% 9,850 1.8% 251
Pulaski 34.8% 1,377 64.4% 2,553 0.8% 32
Putnam 33.9% 3,102 65.3% 5,966 0.8% 71
Quitman 53.5% 597 45.6% 509 0.9% 10
Rabun 26.2% 2,001 71.9% 5,487 1.9% 145
Randolph 57.0% 1,833 42.6% 1,370 0.4% 14
Richmond 65.6% 52,100 33.8% 26,842 0.6% 480
Rockdale 54.3% 20,526 44.8% 16,921 0.9% 337
Schley 27.5% 479 72.0% 1,252 0.5% 8
Screven 46.6% 3,024 52.8% 3,423 0.6% 40
Seminole 41.4% 1,660 57.8% 2,315 0.8% 32
Spalding 40.1% 10,141 58.8% 14,885 1.1% 269
Stephens 25.6% 2,705 72.9% 7,689 1.5% 158
Stewart 61.9% 1,305 37.1% 783 1.0% 21
Sumter 52.7% 6,454 46.7% 5,717 0.7% 84
Talbot 64.0% 2,369 35.2% 1,301 0.8% 31
Taliaferro 64.9% 643 34.2% 339 0.8% 8
Tattnall 28.7% 1,932 70.3% 4,730 1.0% 64
Taylor 42.8% 1,536 56.3% 2,021 0.8% 30
Telfair 42.6% 1,862 56.8% 2,486 0.6% 28
Terrell 56.6% 2,501 42.8% 1,890 0.7% 30
Thomas 41.7% 7,720 57.5% 10,642 0.7% 132
Tift 33.3% 4,749 66.1% 9,431 0.6% 89
Toombs 30.5% 2,964 68.6% 6,658 0.8% 82
Towns 24.1% 1,391 74.5% 4,292 1.4% 81
Treutlen 37.5% 1,112 61.6% 1,826 0.8% 24
Troup 40.1% 10,455 59.0% 15,391 0.9% 222
Turner 40.1% 1,427 58.9% 2,096 0.9% 33
Twiggs 53.1% 2,402 46.2% 2,087 0.7% 33
Union 23.3% 2,486 75.0% 8,013 1.8% 191
Upson 35.5% 4,061 63.8% 7,291 0.7% 82
Walker 25.8% 6,095 72.3% 17,110 1.9% 449
Walton 23.5% 8,469 75.5% 27,253 1.0% 357
Ware 32.4% 4,034 66.8% 8,311 0.7% 91
Warren 58.4% 1,554 40.8% 1,087 0.8% 21
Washington 51.9% 4,607 47.5% 4,216 0.6% 55
Wayne 27.0% 2,858 71.9% 7,601 1.1% 116
Webster 46.4% 515 52.9% 588 0.7% 8
Wheeler 35.9% 794 63.6% 1,408 0.5% 12
White 20.1% 2,174 78.4% 8,467 1.5% 158
Whitfield 29.4% 8,167 69.2% 19,230 1.4% 394
Wilcox 30.9% 978 68.2% 2,159 0.9% 27
Wilkes 45.8% 2,315 53.5% 2,705 0.8% 40
Wilkinson 49.1% 2,298 50.2% 2,349 0.7% 31
Worth 30.3% 2,542 69.0% 5,780 0.7% 60

By congressional district[edit]

John McCain carried eight congressional districts in Georgia, including all seven held by Republicans and one district held by a Democrat.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 62.81% 36.39% Jack Kingston
2nd 45.91% 53.55% Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
3rd 63.87% 35.27% Lynn Westmoreland
4th 20.65% 78.61% Hank Johnson
5th 20.01% 79.12% John Lewis
6th 62.26% 36.56% Tom Price
7th 59.68% 39.28% John Linder
8th 56.34% 42.98% Jim Marshall
9th 75.33% 23.46% Nathan Deal
10th 61.12% 37.96% Paul Broun
11th 65.60% 33.12% Phil Gingrey
12th 45.25% 54.09% John Barrow
13th 28.38% 70.85% David Scott

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Georgia cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Georgia is allocated 15 electors because it has 13 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 15 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 15 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. 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 15 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[24]

  1. Esther Clark
  2. Dennis Coxwell
  3. Norma Edenfield
  4. Randy Evans
  5. Sue P. Everhart
  6. Leigh Ann Gillis
  7. Judy Goddard
  8. Linda Herren
  9. Rufus Montgomery
  10. Clint Murphy
  11. Sunny Park
  12. Alec Poitevint
  13. John Sours
  14. Allan Vigil
  15. John White

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Preston; Alexander Marquardt and Kristi Keck (2008-07-09). "Obama Looks to Turn Georgia Blue". CNN. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  2. ^ Jay Cost. "Georgia: McCain vs. Obama - Polling Averages". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  3. ^ Maya Curry; Marti Covington and Michael Scherer (2008-09-23). "Obama Scales Back His 50-State Strategy". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  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. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  19. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  20. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  21. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  22. ^ Jay Cost; Sean Trende. "Election Review, Part 2: The South Atlantic". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  23. ^ "Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  24. ^ Presidential Electors for the November 2, 2010 General Election

See also[edit]