United States presidential election in Michigan, 2008
|Elections in Michigan|
The 2008 United States presidential election in Michigan took place on November 4, 2008. It was part of the 2008 United States presidential election which happened throughout all 50 states and D.C.. Voters chose 17 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.
Michigan was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama by a 16.5% margin of victory. Early on, the state was heavily targeted as a swing state. However, Obama started to pull away in the polls during the last few months, causing McCain to stop campaigning there. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. The Great Lakes State usually leans Democratic, as it has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1992. The last Republican presidential nominee to carry Michigan was George H.W. Bush in 1988. In the end, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama won Michigan by a larger-than-expected margin of victory: 57.33% - 40.89%.
There were 17 news organizations who made state by state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:
- D.C. Political Report: Democrat
- Cook Political Report: Leaning Democrat
- Takeaway: Solid Obama
- Election Projection: Solid Obama
- Electoral-vote.com: Strong Democrat
- Washington Post: Solid Obama
- Politico: Solid Obama
- Real Clear Politics: Solid Obama
- FiveThirtyEight.com: Solid Obama
- CQ Politics: Safe Democrat
- New York Times: Solid Democrat
- CNN: Safe Democrat
- NPR: Solid Obama
- MSNBC: Solid Obama
- Fox News: Democrat
- Associated Press: Democrat
- Rasmussen Reports: Safe Democrat
Very early on, polling was tight as Obama was having a difficult time getting support from the pessimistic state. Since September 21, Obama swept all the polls taken from the state. The final 3 polls averaged Obama leading 54% to 40%.
John McCain raised a total of $4,330,872 in the state. Barack Obama raised $7,299,275.
Advertising and visits
Michigan has not supported a Republican for president since 1988. However, the Republicans have attempted to carry the state's 17 electoral votes in the past few elections, and the margin of victory has decreased every year from 1996 to 2004. This year Republican presidential nominee John McCain put an early effort into winning Michigan, hoping to convert blue-collar voters disaffected by Obama's unfamiliarity as a liberal African-American from Chicago. Macomb County, a populous blue-collar suburb of Detroit, was a large target.
A major problem for the Obama Campaign was the 2008 Michigan Democratic Primary. Obama removed his name from the ballot after state officials moved up the primary in violation of party rules. As a result, Hillary Rodham Clinton won the state with 55%. This led to the McCain Campaign focusing heavily on winning Michigan in the general election. In May 2008, McCain was leading in a Rasmussen poll with 45% to 44%. After the September financial crisis, however, McCain's general campaign fell into trouble. Polls showed Michigan, a state especially affected by the economy, turning away from McCain. Voters blamed Republicans for the crisis. In early October, with polls showing him falling further behind Obama, McCain pulled out of the state, essentially ceding it to Obama. This was widely publicized, and more than likely contributed to Obama's landslide victory.
On Election Day, Barack Obama won by a double-digit margin of 16%. The state was called for Obama almost as soon as the polls closed. In Wayne County, home to Detroit, Obama piled up a 3-1 margin. Democratic strongholds Washtenaw County (home to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan), Ingham County (home to Lansing and Michigan State) and Genesee County (home to Flint) gave Obama 65-70% of the vote. Macomb County, which McCain had focused so intensely on, voted Democratic by a comfortable margin of 9%. Oakland County, once a bastion of suburban conservatism, went for Obama by 15 points. Republican support in the state collapsed; McCain was only able to win two counties with margins of more than 10,000 votes. This result signified continued evidence of Michigan's Democratic tilt, anchored by the heavily Democratic cities of Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint. A Democrat can lose every other part of Michigan and still cling to victory by running up the votes in the aforementioned cities, as was the case with John Kerry in 2004.
At the same time as Obama swept the state, Democrats made more gains in Michigan. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Carl Levin was reelected with 62.65% of the vote over Republican Jack Hoogendyk's 33.84%. Democrats also picked up two U.S. House seats in Michigan in the 7th District and the 9th District, with Mark Schauer and Gary Peters knocking off Tim Walberg and Joe Knollenberg, respectively. This gave Democrats the majority in Michigan's U.S. House delegation. In addition, Democrats picked up nine seats in the Michigan House of Representatives.
|United States presidential election in Michigan, 2008|
|Party||Candidate||Running mate||Votes||Percentage||Electoral votes|
|Democratic||Barack Obama||Joe Biden||2,872,579||57.33%||17|
|Republican||John McCain||Sarah Palin||2,048,639||40.89%||0|
|Natural Law||Ralph Nader||Matt Gonzalez||33,085||0.66%||0|
|Libertarian||Bob Barr||Wayne Allyn Root||23,716||0.47%||0|
|Constitution||Chuck Baldwin||Darrell Castle||14,685||0.29%||0|
|Green||Cynthia McKinney||Rosa Clemente||8,892||0.18%||0|
|Voter turnout (Voting age population)||66.9%|
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By congressional district
Barack Obama carried 12 congressional districts in Michigan, including four districts held by Republicans.
|7th||46.50%||51.73%||Tim Walberg (110th Congress)|
|Mark Schauer (111th Congress)|
|9th||42.83%||55.79%||Joe Knollenberg (110th Congress)|
|Gary Peters (111th Congress)|
|13th||14.47%||84.71%||Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick|
|14th||13.45%||85.77%||John Conyers Jr.|
Technically the voters of Michigan cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Michigan is allocated 17 electors because it has 15 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 17 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 17 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 17 were pledged to Obama and Biden:
- Brenda Abbey
- Dallas Dean
- Ida DeHaas
- Ron Gettelfinger
- James Hoffa
- Kenneth Paul Jenkins
- Harry Kalogerakos
- Jessica Mistak
- Arturo Reyes
- Griffin Rivers
- Gary Shepherd
- Roger Short
- Arthur Shy
- Richard West
- Whitney Randall Wolcott
- David Woodward
- Charlene Yarbrough
- D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
- Presidential | The Cook Political Report
- Adnaan (2008-09-20). "Track the Electoral College vote predictions". The Takeaway. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- Election Projection: 2008 Elections - Polls, Projections, Results
- Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
- Based on Takeaway
- POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com
- RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map
- CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008
- "Electoral College Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Winning the Electoral College". Fox News. 2010-04-27.
- Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™
- Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
- Presidential Campaign Finance
- "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "McCain pulling out of Michigan - Yahoo! News". Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Election Results 2008". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-01.