United States presidential election in Missouri, 2008

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United States presidential election in Missouri, 2008
Missouri
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 11 0
Popular vote 1,445,814 1,441,911
Percentage 49.36% 49.23%

Missouri Presidential Election Results by Shaded County, 2008.svg

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

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in Missouri was held on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election, which took place throughout all 50 states and D.C.. Voters chose 11 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Missouri was won by Republican nominee John McCain by a 0.1% margin of victory. Prior to the election, most news organizations considered this state a toss-up, or a swing state. On election day, Missouri was the closest state in 2008, with some news organizations not calling the state until two weeks after the election. A high turnout of voters in the GOP strongholds of Greene County (Springfield) and St. Charles County combined with Democrat Barack Obama's unsatisfactory performance in the more rural parts of the state gave the edge to Republican John McCain. McCain nipped Obama by fewer than 4,000 votes and the margin of victory was a minuscule difference of 0.13%. The state was so close that Obama could have legally called for a recount, but since he had already won the presidency, he saw no need to do so as the results would have been meaningless in the national totals. It was the first time since 1956 that Missouri did not vote for the winner of the presidency.

Primaries[edit]

Campaign[edit]

With the advent of the September financial crisis, Obama began to look viable. John McCain's lead diminished and then disappeared; for several weeks Obama even led Missouri polls.[1] Obama started visiting Republican-leaning states, including Missouri. In one of the more memorable trips of the campaign, he drew crowds of 75,000 at Kansas City and 100,000 at St. Louis.[2] However, John McCain's campaign managed to close the gap and most polls showed a dead tie on and before Election Day.

Although seven of Missouri's eight neighboring states offered the option of early voting, the option was not available in Missouri.[3] Election results must go through a certification process before they are official; local election officials had until November 18 to verify their results and process the provisional ballots cast throughout Missouri.[3]

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: Toss-Up[6]
  4. Election Projection: Leaning McCain[7]
  5. Electoral-vote.com: Leaning McCain[8]
  6. Washington Post: Leaning McCain[9]
  7. Politico: Leaning McCain[10]
  8. Real Clear Politics: Toss-Up[11]
  9. FiveThirtyEight.com: Leaning McCain [12]
  10. CQ Politics: Toss-Up[13]
  11. New York Times: Toss-Up[14]
  12. CNN: Toss-Up[15]
  13. NPR: Leaning McCain[9]
  14. MSNBC: Toss-Up[9]
  15. Fox News: Toss-Up[16]
  16. Associated Press: Toss-Up[17]
  17. Rasmussen Reports: Toss-Up[18]

Polling[edit]

Throughout the general election, McCain consistently won the state's pre-election polls, even reaching above 50% in some of them. In the fall campaign, polls were back and forth with both. In the last few weeks when Obama was having the momentum, the final 5 polls taken in the state were all a tie.[19]

Here are the final polls in the state:

Poll Source Date administered Democrat  % Republican  % Lead Margin
Reuters/Zogby October 31-
November 3, 2008
Barack Obama 48.8% John McCain 48.8%
0
Rasmussen Reports/
Fox News
November 2, 2008 Barack Obama 49% John McCain 49%
0
Public Policy Polling October 31 – November 2, 2008 Barack Obama 49.4% John McCain 48.6%
0.8
Reuters/Zogby October 30-
November 2, 2008
Barack Obama 47.4% John McCain 45.7%
1.7
Survey USA October 30 – November 2, 2008 Barack Obama 48% John McCain 48%
0

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $2,904,162 in the state. Barack Obama raised $4,999,812.[20]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $11,323,706. McCain and his interest groups spent $9,428,559.[21]

The Democratic ticket visited the state 13 times throughout the general election. The Republican ticket visited here 14 times.[22]

McCain's Visits:

Obama's Visits:

Analysis[edit]

As stated, Missouri enjoys the reputation of being the nation's bellwether state. Prior to 2008, since 1904, Missouri had voted for the winner in every presidential election except once in 1956 when the state narrowly voted for Democrat Adlai Stevenson of neighboring Illinois over incumbent Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In recent years, however, it has gradually been trending Republican. Although Bill Clinton of neighboring Arkansas won the state with ease during both of his elections in 1992 and 1996, Al Gore and John Kerry considered the Show-Me State a lost cause and did not campaign much there. Although Barack Obama is from neighboring Illinois, at first he likewise put the state as a secondary concern in relation to other swing states such as Ohio and Virginia where he thought he had more of a chance. As his lead diminished in the summer months, he and McCain moved the campaign to more Democratic-friendly states, as McCain maintained a comfortable polling lead in Missouri. Similar hypothetical general match-up polls taken between McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton, however, showed Clinton always leading in Missouri.

A record 2.9 million Missourians, or 69% of eligible voters, cast their ballots in the general election, about 200,000 more than the previous record in the 2004 election.[34]

On Election Day, John McCain clung to a tiny lead, with absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted. By Wednesday, November 19, McCain led President-elect Obama by 1,445,813–1,441,910 votes,[3] or approximately 0.14% of the total popular vote in Missouri. CNN called the state for McCain that day.[35] The 2008 presidential election was the second time since the 1956 election, when Missouri chose Adlai Stevenson over Dwight Eisenhower, that it has failed to be a bellwether state. Missouri was, however, the closest state of the 2008 election.

The Democratic base of Missouri rests in its two largest cities in the west and east – Kansas City and St. Louis, respectively. Obama did extremely well here, winning 83.55% of the vote in St. Louis City and 78.4% in Kansas City. Obama was already a familiar face to St. Louis-area voters, since the St. Louis metro area spills into Illinois. McCain narrowly won the areas in Jackson County outside Kansas City with 49.9% to Obama's 48.8%, but Obama carried the county with 62.14% of the vote due to his strong performance in Kansas City. These two counties, combined with highly affluent and suburban St. Louis County (where he also won 59.50% of the vote), gave him a 300,000 margin over McCain.[36] Obama was also able to carry Boone County, home to the large college town of Columbia (Missouri's fifth-largest city and home of the state's flagship University of Missouri campus), and Jefferson County, which consists of the southern St. Louis suburbs such as Arnold and Festus. George W. Bush narrowly won Jefferson County in 2004 over John Kerry.

However, Obama was unable to substantially improve on Kerry's performance in rural Missouri, which is largely responsible for Missouri's Republican tilt. During the 2008 Missouri Democratic Primary, every rural county in Missouri (with the exception of Nodaway County, home of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville in Northwestern Missouri), strongly backed Hillary Clinton, often by more than two-to-one margins. Many, if not all, of these counties that Clinton won in the Missouri Primary ended up voting for McCain in the general election. A number of these counties are ancestrally Democratic. However, the Democrats in these areas are nowhere near as liberal as their counterparts in St. Louis and Kansas City, and much like their counterparts in neighboring Tennessee and Arkansas, had become increasingly willing to support Republicans at the national level.

Obama lost by an almost two-to-one margin in Southwest Missouri, a Republican stronghold for the better part of a century. This region is entrenched in the Bible Belt and embedded with deep pockets of social conservatives that includes Springfield and Joplin. Even Bill Clinton could not win Southwest Missouri in 1992 despite the fact that he won the state by double digits. Rural Northern Missouri, which Bill Clinton did win, voted against Obama by a three-to-two margin. Obama also lost much of rural Southeast Missouri. Unlike Northern and Southwest Missouri, Southeast Missouri, which strongly backed Bill Clinton both times, is more Democratic at the local and state levels. The region takes in the Lead Belt, the Bootheel and the Ozark Plateau and includes the largest city of Cape Girardeau, a booming college town but also a conservative, upper-middle class community that votes overwhelmingly Republican. Southeast Missouri is socially conservative but economically liberal, consistently electing Democrats at the local and state levels. While Obama ran even in the area southwest of St. Louis, he did worse than John Kerry in the Bootheel.[36] Obama was, however, able to pick up two counties in Southeast Missouri: Washington County (by a margin of five votes) and Iron County. Both counties are predominantly rural and White but are some of the most impoverished counties in the state that are controlled by Democrats at the local and state levels. Both counties gave Hillary Clinton over 70% of the vote in the Missouri Primary as well.

Obama was allowed to request a recount under state law since preliminary results showed a difference of less than 1% of the votes. The request would have had to be granted by the state.[37] However, since Obama already won the election, there had been no indications to suggest that he would request a recount. He ultimately did not request one.

During the same election, Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon defeated U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof in a landslide for the Governor's Mansion. Incumbent Republican Governor Matt Blunt, who was at the time one of the least popular governors in the nation,[citation needed] announced that he would not seek a second term. Nixon performed extremely well in rural Missouri and clinched 58.40% of the total statewide vote compared to Hulshof's 39.49% to become Governor of Missouri. Republicans were, however, able to hold on to the U.S. House seat in Missouri's 9th Congressional District that was vacated by Hulshof in his unsuccessful gubernatorial bid. Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer narrowly defeated Democrat Judy Baker by less than 3 percentage points. The DCCC has indicated that it will heavily target this seat in 2010. At the state level, Democrats picked up three seats in the Missouri House of Representatives but Republicans expanded their majority in the Missouri Senate, picking up three seats here. Furthermore, upon the 2008 election, Democrats control all statewide offices but one – Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is a Republican. Democrats held on to the office of Attorney General that was vacated by Governor Jay Nixon; Democrat Chris Koster defeated Republican Mike Gibbons 52.83% to 47.17%. Democrats also picked up the office of State Treasurer that was vacated by Republican Sarah Steelman in her unsuccessful bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Democrat Clint Zweifel defeated Republican Brad Lager 50.47% to 47.14%.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in Missouri, 2008 [38]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,445,814 49.36% 11
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 1,441,911 49.23% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 17,813 0.61% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 11,386 0.39% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 8,201 0.28% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 3,906 0.13% 0
Green (write-in) Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 80 0.00% 0
Totals 2,929,111 100.00% 11
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 66.1%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Total
Adair 49.3% 5,735 50.7% 5,891 11,626
Andrew 38.8% 3,345 61.2% 5,279 8,624
Atchison 34.1% 1,000 65.9% 1,936 2,936
Audrain 41.8% 4,434 58.2% 6,167 10,601
Barry 32.2% 4,630 67.8% 9,758 14,388
Barton 24.8% 1,455 75.2% 4,414 5,869
Bates 40.4% 3,271 59.6% 4,833 8,104
Benton 38.7% 3,629 61.3% 5,759 9,388
Bollinger 29.8% 1,690 70.2% 3,972 5,662
Boone 56.1% 47,062 43.9% 36,849 83,911
Buchanan 50.1% 19,164 49.9% 19,110 38,274
Butler 31.0% 5,316 69.0% 11,805 17,121
Caldwell 40.6% 1,814 59.4% 2,654 4,468
Callaway 40.8% 7,850 59.2% 11,389 19,239
Camden 35.6% 7,773 64.4% 14,074 21,847
Cape Girardeau 33.0% 12,208 67.0% 24,768 36,976
Carroll 34.2% 1,535 65.8% 2,955 4,490
Carter 34.8% 984 65.2% 1,840 2,824
Cass 40.1% 19,844 59.9% 29,695 49,539
Cedar 32.9% 2,060 67.1% 4,194 6,254
Chariton 43.5% 1,799 56.5% 2,339 4,138
Christian 31.9% 11,883 68.1% 25,382 37,265
Clark 46.9% 1,572 53.1% 1,782 3,354
Clay 49.7% 53,761 50.3% 54,516 108,277
Clinton 44.3% 4,545 55.7% 5,709 10,254
Cole 36.4% 13,959 63.6% 24,385 38,344
Cooper 37.9% 2,996 62.1% 4,902 7,898
Crawford 39.4% 3,911 60.6% 6,007 9,918
Dade 29.2% 1,184 70.8% 2,864 4,048
Dallas 35.2% 2,656 64.8% 4,895 7,551
Daviess 38.2% 1,400 61.8% 2,263 3,663
DeKalb 36.9% 1,692 63.1% 2,889 4,581
Dent 30.6% 2,056 69.4% 4,655 6,711
Douglas 32.7% 2,140 67.3% 4,405 6,545
Dunklin 39.2% 4,540 60.8% 7,044 11,584
Franklin 43.7% 21,256 56.3% 27,355 48,611
Gasconade 37.8% 2,899 62.2% 4,763 7,662
Gentry 38.6% 1,235 61.4% 1,964 3,199
Greene 42.0% 56,181 58.0% 77,683 133,864
Grundy 34.5% 1,580 65.5% 3,006 4,586
Harrison 33.9% 1,287 66.1% 2,512 3,799
Henry 44.4% 4,869 55.6% 6,095 10,964
Hickory 43.2% 2,171 56.8% 2,850 5,021
Holt 30.9% 802 69.1% 1,794 2,596
Howard 42.9% 2,036 57.1% 2,708 4,744
Howell 34.3% 5,736 65.7% 10,982 16,718
Iron 51.4% 2,213 48.6% 2,090 4,303
Jackson 62.8% 210,824 37.2% 124,687 335,511
Jasper 33.2% 15,730 66.8% 31,667 47,397
Jefferson 51.3% 53,467 48.7% 50,804 104,271
Johnson 43.8% 9,480 56.2% 12,183 21,663
Knox 38.5% 759 61.5% 1,212 1,971
Laclede 32.4% 5,218 67.6% 10,875 16,093
Lafayette 42.2% 6,902 57.8% 9,442 16,344
Lawrence 31.2% 5,097 68.8% 11,263 16,360
Lewis 41.5% 1,837 58.5% 2,594 4,431
Lincoln 44.2% 10,234 55.8% 12,924 23,158
Linn 45.7% 2,638 54.3% 3,140 5,778
Livingston 37.9% 2,435 62.1% 3,993 6,428
Macon 37.8% 2,784 62.2% 4,586 7,370
Madison 41.3% 2,042 58.7% 2,897 4,939
Maries 35.9% 1,599 64.1% 2,853 4,452
Marion 37.9% 4,703 62.1% 7,705 12,408
McDonald 30.9% 2,454 69.1% 5,499 7,953
Mercer 30.7% 519 69.3% 1,169 1,688
Miller 31.3% 3,553 68.7% 7,797 11,350
Mississippi 42.5% 2,247 57.5% 3,034 5,281
Moniteau 31.8% 2,084 68.2% 4,467 6,551
Monroe 40.2% 1,703 59.8% 2,533 4,236
Montgomery 40.6% 2,347 59.4% 3,428 5,775
Morgan 39.5% 3,565 60.5% 5,451 9,016
New Madrid 42.3% 3,370 57.7% 4,593 7,963
Newton 29.7% 7,450 70.3% 17,637 25,087
Nodaway 44.7% 4,493 55.3% 5,568 10,061
Oregon 40.6% 1,811 59.4% 2,652 4,463
Osage 27.4% 1,907 72.6% 5,062 6,969
Ozark 36.3% 1,661 63.7% 2,918 4,579
Pemiscot 43.4% 3,029 56.6% 3,954 6,983
Perry 35.2% 3,005 64.8% 5,527 8,532
Pettis 38.6% 6,932 61.4% 11,018 17,950
Phelps 38.7% 7,394 61.3% 11,706 19,100
Pike 45.0% 3,487 55.0% 4,268 7,755
Platte 46.7% 21,459 53.3% 24,460 45,919
Polk 33.7% 4,553 66.3% 8,956 13,509
Pulaski 35.5% 5,249 64.5% 9,552 14,801
Putnam 30.4% 695 69.6% 1,591 2,286
Ralls 40.6% 2,041 59.4% 2,987 5,028
Randolph 38.2% 3,984 61.8% 6,457 10,441
Ray 48.4% 5,241 51.6% 5,593 10,834
Reynolds 44.3% 1,417 55.7% 1,780 3,197
Ripley 34.5% 1,795 65.5% 3,407 5,202
Saline 48.7% 4,712 51.3% 4,962 9,674
Schuyler 40.5% 775 59.5% 1,139 1,914
Scotland 38.8% 793 61.2% 1,249 2,042
Scott 35.1% 6,258 64.9% 11,563 17,821
Shannon 44.1% 1,637 55.9% 2,075 3,712
Shelby 34.0% 1,114 66.0% 2,166 3,280
St. Charles 45.1% 84,183 54.9% 102,550 186,733
St. Clair 38.8% 1,886 61.2% 2,981 4,867
St. Francois 47.7% 11,540 52.3% 12,660 24,200
St. Louis City 84.4% 132,925 15.6% 24,662 157,587
St. Louis County 60.0% 333,123 40.0% 221,705 554,828
Ste. Genevieve 57.2% 4,979 42.8% 3,732 8,711
Stoddard 29.8% 3,899 70.2% 9,172 13,071
Stone 31.1% 5,029 68.9% 11,147 16,176
Sullivan 42.2% 1,173 57.8% 1,607 2,780
Taney 31.2% 6,683 68.8% 14,736 21,419
Texas 32.1% 3,410 67.9% 7,215 10,625
Vernon 38.8% 3,381 61.2% 5,334 8,715
Warren 43.6% 6,705 56.4% 8,675 15,380
Washington 50.0% 4,711 50.0% 4,706 9,417
Wayne 37.2% 2,243 62.8% 3,784 6,027
Webster 35.3% 5,685 64.7% 10,431 16,116
Worth 37.7% 427 62.3% 707 1,134
Wright 30.7% 2,557 69.3% 5,784 8,341

By congressional district[edit]

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

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 19.38% 79.70% William Lacy Clay, Jr.
2nd 54.98% 44.04% Todd Akin
3rd 39.06% 59.50% Russ Carnahan
4th 60.58% 37.87% Ike Skelton
5th 35.45% 63.47% Emanuel Cleaver
6th 53.58% 44.67% Sam Graves
7th 63.07% 35.39% Roy Blunt
8th 61.92% 36.42% Jo Ann Emerson
9th 54.77% 43.66% Kenny Hulshof (110th Congress)
Blaine Luetkemeyer (111th Congress)

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of Missouri cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Missouri is allocated 11 electors because it has nine congressional districts and two senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 11 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 11 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.[39] 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 11 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[40]

  1. Willis Corbett
  2. Scott Dickenson
  3. Robert Haul
  4. Ronny Margason
  5. Cathy Owens
  6. Ron Muck
  7. Gene Hall
  8. R. Mellene Schudy
  9. Nadine Thurman
  10. Paul Nahon
  11. Jerry Dowell

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Missouri: McCain vs. Obama". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved April 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ Powell, Michael; Michael Cooper (October 18, 2008). "Day’s Campaigning Shows an Inverted Political Plane". New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c U.S. President And Vice President from the website of the Missouri Secretary of State
  4. ^ D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
  5. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report
  6. ^ Vote 2008 – The Takeaway – Track the Electoral College vote predictions
  7. ^ Election Projection: 2008 Elections – Polls, Projections, Results
  8. ^ Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  9. ^ a b c Based on Takeaway
  10. ^ POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map – POLITICO.com
  11. ^ RealClearPolitics – Electoral Map
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008
  14. ^ "Electoral College Map". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  15. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Winning the Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010. 
  17. ^ roadto270
  18. ^ Election 2008: Electoral College Update – Rasmussen Reports™
  19. ^ Election 2008 Polls – Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  20. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  21. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  23. ^ McCain visits Springfield today | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader
  24. ^ http://www.examiner.com/a-1477918~McCain_in_St__Louis_area_next_week.html
  25. ^ John McCain 2008 – John McCain for President
  26. ^ a b kwmu NewsRoom
  27. ^ Political Fix » Blog Archive » Obama planning to campaign two days in Missouri
  28. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/105/story/686290.html
  29. ^ St. Louis Ticket Broker | St Louis Cardinals & St Louis Blues Tickets | Mizzou Football Tickets from The Ticket Guys
  30. ^ http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&id=6249360
  31. ^ The Maneater – Obama revs up MU
  32. ^ Obama visits MU – Columbia Missourian
  33. ^ http://ozarksfirst.com/content/fulltext/?cid=77101
  34. ^ Carnahan Announces Record Number of Missourians Cast Ballots in General Election from the website of the Missouri Secretary of State
  35. ^ "McCain wins Missouri; State's streak over!". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  36. ^ a b "Election Results 2008". New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2009. 
  37. ^ Recount Law In Missouri, a February 2008 blog entry from The Atlantic by associate editor Marc Ambinder
  38. ^ "Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections 2008- Missouri". Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Retrieved November 1, 2008. 
  40. ^ Presidential Electors 2008, MO Republican Party

See also[edit]