United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2008

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United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2008
Kentucky
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 8 0
Popular vote 1,048,462 751,985
Percentage 57.37% 41.15%

Kentucky Presidential Election Results by Shaded County, 2008.svg

County Results
  Obama—60-70%
  Obama—50-60%
  Obama—<50%
  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 Kentucky 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 8 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Kentucky was won by Republican nominee John McCain by a 16.2% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise considered as a safe red state. In the primaries Hillary Rodham Clinton was slightly defeating McCain in the Bluegrass State. Once Obama secured the Democratic nomination, Kentucky was moved into the safe GOP category. In the end, Kentucky voted for McCain with over 57% of the vote.

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:

Polling[edit]

McCain won every pre-election poll, almost all of them by a double digit margin and with at least 49% of the vote. The final 3 polls averaged McCain leading 56% to 41%.[14]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $1,220,017. Barack Obama raised $2,394,198.[15]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama spent $183,738 while a conservative interest groups spent just $212.[16] Each ticket visited the state once.[17]

Analysis[edit]

A conservative-leaning state, Kentucky did however vote for Democratic presidential candidates Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, both of whom were White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs) from the South, whereas Obama was an African American "big-city liberal" from Chicago.

Throughout the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries, Barack Obama experienced problems attracting voters in Appalachia, the mountainous region in which Kentucky is included. Kentucky supported Hillary Clinton over Obama by a margin of two-to-one in its primary election in which Obama only won just two counties - Jefferson County, which includes Louisville, and Fayette County, which contains Lexington. Exit polls conducted in the Kentucky Democratic Primary also found that just one out of three Hillary Clinton voters would vote for Obama in the general election, while 40% said they would vote for John McCain, and the rest wouldn't even vote.[18]

During the general election, Obama opted not to campaign in Kentucky and preferred to spend his time and money and other resources in battleground states such as North Carolina and Indiana. Opinion polling in Kentucky showed McCain leading the state safely over Obama.[19]

McCain carried Kentucky by 16.22 points on Election Day, although his margin of victory was slightly smaller than George W. Bush's in 2004. A number of counties in Southeastern Kentucky, a union stronghold, voted Republican for the first time since Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide. These counties had been the bedrock of Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 victories. On the other hand, Obama did much better in the largest cities of Louisville and Lexington, improving upon Kerry's performance by double-digits in both.

Kentucky was the first state called for John McCain on Election Night, along with Vermont, which was immediately called for Barack Obama.

At the same time, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, who also serves as Senate Minority Leader, was just narrowly reelected with 52.97% of the vote to Democrat Bruce Lunsford's 47.03%. Republicans also held onto an open seat vacated by Ron Lewis in Kentucky's 2nd Congressional District. At the state level, however, Democrats picked up two seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,048,462 57.37% 8
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 751,985 41.15% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 15,378 0.84% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 5,989 0.33% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 4,694 0.26% 0
Totals 1,827,586 100.00% 8
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 57.5%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain#
Adair 25.51% 1888 74.49% 5512
Allen 27.78% 2023 72.22% 5258
Anderson 33.46% 3461 66.54% 6884
Ballard 36.00% 1427 64.00% 2537
Barren 32.80% 5434 67.20% 11133
Bath 49.73% 2210 50.27% 2234
Bell 22.21% 2718 77.79% 9519
Boone 32.52% 16292 67.48% 33812
Bourbon 41.26% 3385 58.74% 4820
Boyd 43.74% 8886 56.26% 11429
Boyle 38.23% 4764 61.77% 7697
Bracken 37.53% 1241 62.47% 2066
Breathitt 45.22% 2205 54.78% 2671
Breckinridge 37.06% 3110 62.94% 5281
Bullitt 33.62% 10056 66.38% 19857
Butler 29.61% 1555 70.39% 3696
Caldwell 36.39% 2212 63.61% 3866
Calloway 40.68% 6165 59.32% 8991
Campbell 39.38% 15619 60.62% 24045
Carlisle 34.10% 879 65.90% 1699
Carroll 45.78% 1716 54.22% 2032
Carter 45.10% 4314 54.90% 5252
Casey 20.67% 1219 79.33% 4679
Christian 39.50% 8822 60.50% 13515
Clark 37.30% 5749 62.70% 9664
Clay 21.37% 1552 78.63% 5710
Clinton 18.44% 761 81.56% 3366
Crittenden 32.50% 1254 67.50% 2604
Cumberland 25.32% 697 74.68% 2056
Daviess 44.87% 19282 55.13% 23692
Edmonson 31.68% 1652 68.32% 3562
Elliott 62.99% 1535 37.01% 902
Estill 29.68% 1555 70.32% 3685
Fayette 52.44% 66040 47.56% 59884
Fleming 39.91% 2279 60.09% 3432
Floyd 49.31% 7530 50.69% 7741
Franklin 49.70% 11767 50.30% 11911
Fulton 44.48% 1226 55.52% 1530
Gallatin 40.99% 1278 59.01% 1840
Garrard 28.22% 2012 71.78% 5117
Grant 35.68% 3109 64.32% 5605
Graves 36.75% 5843 63.25% 10056
Grayson 32.32% 3154 67.68% 6605
Green 24.13% 1204 75.87% 3785
Greenup 42.80% 6621 57.20% 8849
Hancock 52.52% 2128 47.48% 1924
Hardin 39.57% 15650 60.43% 23896
Harlan 26.52% 2586 73.48% 7165
Harrison 39.21% 2916 60.79% 4520
Hart 34.25% 2290 65.75% 4397
Henderson 51.34% 10049 48.66% 9523
Henry 40.03% 2724 59.97% 4081
Hickman 36.61% 812 63.39% 1406
Hopkins 37.35% 7104 62.65% 11916
Jackson 14.43% 743 85.57% 4407
Jefferson 56.06% 196272 43.94% 153865
Jessamine 31.26% 6236 68.74% 13710
Johnson 28.81% 2413 71.19% 5964
Kenton 39.14% 21460 60.86% 33371
Knott 46.10% 2523 53.90% 2950
Knox 27.39% 3074 72.61% 8150
Larue 31.54% 1913 68.46% 4153
Laurel 20.73% 4593 79.27% 17563
Lawrence 36.76% 2036 63.24% 3503
Lee 27.55% 752 72.45% 1978
Leslie 17.65% 766 82.35% 3574
Letcher 32.83% 2623 67.17% 5367
Lewis 31.97% 1510 68.03% 3213
Lincoln 30.49% 2752 69.51% 6273
Livingston 35.95% 1622 64.05% 2890
Logan 35.50% 3811 64.50% 6925
Lyon 41.53% 1577 58.47% 2220
Madison 38.62% 12392 61.38% 19694
Magoffin 46.38% 2105 53.62% 2434
Marion 48.35% 3596 51.65% 3842
Marshall 37.15% 5593 62.85% 9463
Martin 22.25% 808 77.75% 2824
Mason 41.34% 2891 58.66% 4102
McCracken 37.21% 11285 62.79% 19043
McCreary 23.58% 1258 76.42% 4078
McLean 45.14% 1963 54.86% 2386
Meade 39.36% 4343 60.64% 6691
Menifee 52.49% 1276 47.51% 1155
Mercer 31.78% 3159 68.22% 6781
Metcalfe 33.06% 1350 66.94% 2734
Monroe 23.18% 1067 76.82% 3537
Montgomery 41.59% 4234 58.41% 5947
Morgan 43.87% 1858 56.13% 2377
Muhlenberg 49.11% 6221 50.89% 6447
Nelson 43.02% 7654 56.98% 10139
Nicholas 43.77% 1272 56.23% 1634
Ohio 41.25% 4059 58.75% 5781
Oldham 34.48% 9996 65.52% 18992
Owen 36.33% 1694 63.67% 2969
Owsley 22.95% 381 77.05% 1279
Pendleton 35.54% 2027 64.46% 3676
Perry 33.74% 3444 66.26% 6762
Pike 42.92% 9525 57.08% 12665
Powell 41.87% 2065 58.13% 2867
Pulaski 21.96% 5590 78.04% 19862
Robertson 45.83% 451 54.17% 533
Rockcastle 22.86% 1410 77.14% 4757
Rowan 51.05% 4074 48.95% 3907
Russell 21.69% 1579 78.31% 5702
Scott 39.56% 7712 60.44% 11782
Shelby 37.50% 6871 62.50% 11451
Simpson 38.48% 2775 61.52% 4437
Spencer 31.90% 2519 68.10% 5378
Taylor 29.49% 3165 70.51% 7568
Todd 31.63% 1543 68.37% 3336
Trigg 34.90% 2246 65.10% 4189
Trimble 39.86% 1484 60.14% 2239
Union 47.33% 2804 52.67% 3120
Warren 40.48% 17650 59.52% 25957
Washington 36.38% 1890 63.62% 3305
Wayne 31.14% 2201 68.86% 4868
Webster 44.04% 2390 55.96% 3037
Whitley 25.81% 3484 74.19% 10014
Wolfe 51.47% 1493 48.53% 1408
Woodford 41.35% 5027 58.65% 7130

By congressional district[edit]

John McCain carried five of the state’s six congressional districts, including one of the two districts held by a Democrat.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 61.85% 36.60% Ed Whitfield
2nd 60.54% 38.03% Ron Lewis (110th Congress)
Brett Guthrie (111th Congress)
3rd 43.36% 55.66% John Yarmuth
4th 60.41% 37.96% Geoff Davis
5th 67.01% 31.24% Hal Rogers
6th 55.41% 43.22% Ben Chandler

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Kentucky cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Kentucky is allocated 8 electors because it has 6 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 8 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 8 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.[20] 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 8 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[21]

  1. James Henry Snider
  2. Walter A. Baker
  3. Edna M. Fulkerson
  4. Amy B. Towles
  5. Nancy Mitchell
  6. Don Ball
  7. Robert Gable
  8. Elizabeth G. Thomas

References[edit]

See also[edit]