United States presidential election in New York, 2008

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United States presidential election in New York, 2008
New York
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 31 0
Popular vote 4,804,945 2,752,771
Percentage 62.88% 36.03%

New york presidential results 2008.svg

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

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in New York 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 31 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

New York was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama with a 26.9% margin of victory. Obama took 62.88% of the vote to McCain's 36.03%. At the time this was the highest Democratic vote share in New York State since 1964, although Obama would outperform his 2008 showing in New York just four years later in 2012. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. Located in the Northeast, a region of the country that is trending heavily towards the Democrats, elections in the Empire State are dominated by the presence of the heavily populated, heavily diverse, liberal bastion of New York City where Democrats are always favored to win. Despite the fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former junior U.S. Senator from New York, did not receive the Democratic presidential nomination, there appeared to be no hard feelings in the state among her constituents as the state swung even more into the Democratic column in 2008 as New York's 31 electoral college votes went to Barack Obama.

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:

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

Polling[edit]

Obama won all but one pre-election poll. Since September 15, Obama won each poll with a double digit margin of victory and each with at least 55% of the vote. He won the final Marist poll with a 36 point spread. The final 3 polls averaged Obama leading 63% to 31%.[15]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $12,582,856 in the state. Barack Obama raised $58,161,743.[16]

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $1,148,016. McCain and his interest groups spent just $7,310.[17] The Republican visited the state 11 times and the Democratic ticket visited the state 4 times.[18]

Analysis[edit]

New York was once reckoned as a powerful swing state with a slight Democratic lean. However, the last time the state went Republican was for Ronald Reagan in 1984. Michael Dukakis narrowly won it in 1988, but the state has not been seriously contested since then. It is now considered an uncontested blue state, and was heavily favored to vote for Obama by a significant margin.

Elections in the Empire State are dominated by the presence of New York City, a Democratic stronghold for more than a century and a half. It is made up mostly of white liberals as well as ethnic and religious minorities—all voting blocs that strongly vote Democratic. Obama won Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx by margins of 5-to-1 or more and took hold of Queens by a 3-to-1 margin. The only borough McCain carried was Staten Island, traditionally the most conservative area of the city. Obama's combined million-vote margin in the Five Boroughs would have been enough by itself to carry the state.

However, Obama also dominated heavily Democratic Western New York, including Buffalo and Rochester, and the Capital District (Albany, Schenectady and Troy), as well as the increasingly Democratic Long Island and Syracuse areas. Even when New York was considered a swing state, a Republican had to do reasonably well in either Western New York, the Capital District or Syracuse to make up for the massive Democratic margins in New York City. Obama also won a number of traditionally Republican-leaning counties in Upstate New York and became the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson to win an outright majority of votes in the Upstate (although Democratic candidates had been consistently winning pluralities of the vote since 1992).

At the same time, Democrats in New York picked up three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. In the 13th district, which consists of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, Democrats picked up an open seat that was vacated by former Republican Vito Fossella who resigned after he was arrested for getting a DUI. Democrat Michael McMahon solidly defeated Republican Robert Staniere by a two-to-one margin, 60.79-33.26%. His victory made the city's delegation entirely Democratic for the first time in over 70 years. In the 25th district, centered around Syracuse, Democrat Dan Maffei handily defeated Republican Dale Sweetland 55% to 42% for the open seat vacated by Republican Jim Walsh. In New York's 29th congressional district, which includes Canandaigua, Democrat Eric Massa narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Randy Kuhl by 1.7 points. This reduced the Republicans to only three of the state's 29 seats in the House—the fewest the GOP has ever won in an election. At the state level, Democrats picked up a seat in the New York State Assembly and two seats in the New York State Senate which gave Democrats control of the Senate and ultimately both chambers of the New York Legislature for the first time since 1965. This gave the Democrats complete control of New York's state government for the first time since 1936.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in New York, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama 4,645,332 60.80%
Working Families Barack Obama 159,613 2.09%
Total Barack Obama Joe Biden 4,804,945 62.88% 31
Republican John McCain 2,418,323 31.65%
Conservative John McCain 170,475 2.23%
Independence John McCain 163,973 2.15%
Total John McCain Sarah Palin 2,752,771 36.03% 0
Populist Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 41,249 0.54% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 19,596 0.26% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 12,801 0.17% 0
Socialist Workers James Harris Alyson Kennedy 3,615 0.05% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 3,272 0.04% 0
Socialism and Liberation Gloria La Riva Eugene Puryear 1,639 0.02% 0
Constitution (Write-in) Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 646 0.01% 0
Independent (Write-in) Ron Paul 341 >0.01% 0
America's Independent (Write-in) Alan Keyes Brian Rohrbough 35 >0.01% 0
Socialist Equality (Write-in) Jerry White Bill Van Auken 18 >0.01% 0
Socialist (Write-in) Brian Moore Stewart Alexander 10 >0.01% 0
Independent (Write-In) Lanakila Washington 3 >0.01% 0
Heartquake '08 (Write-In) Jonathan E. Allen 1 >0.01% 0
Independent (Write-In) Michael Skok 1 >0.01% 0
Totals 7,640,948 100.00% 31
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 52.1%

Results breakdown[edit]

Geographic Breakdown[edit]

Barack Obama dominated in fiercely Democratic New York City, taking 2,074,159 votes to John McCain's 524,787, giving Obama a 79.29% - 20.06% landslide victory citywide.

Excluding the votes of New York City, Obama still would have carried New York State, but by a smaller margin. Obama would have received 2,730,786 votes to McCain's 2,227,984, giving Obama a 55.06% - 44.93% victory.

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others#
Bronx 88.7% 338,261 10.9% 41,683 0.4% 1,378
New York (Manhattan) 85.7% 572,126 13.5% 89,906 0.8% 5,562
Kings (Brooklyn) 79.4% 603,525 20.0% 151,872 0.6% 4,451
Queens 75.1% 480,692 24.3% 155,221 0.6% 4,076
Tompkins 70.1% 29,826 28.0% 11,927 1.9% 799
Albany 63.8% 93,937 34.4% 50,586 1.9% 2,743
Westchester 63.4% 261,810 35.8% 147,824 0.8% 3,410
Ulster 60.7% 52,539 37.6% 32,527 1.7% 1,476
Clinton 60.6% 20,216 37.7% 12,579 1.6% 542
Franklin 60.3% 10,571 38.1% 6,676 1.6% 273
Onondaga 59.3% 129,317 38.9% 84,972 1.8% 3,950
Monroe 58.2% 207,225 40.5% 144,153 1.3% 4,781
Erie 58.0% 256,299 40.5% 178,815 1.6% 6,871
St. Lawrence 57.4% 23,706 41.0% 16,956 1.6% 664
Essex 55.9% 10,390 42.6% 7,913 1.6% 292
Columbia 55.9% 17,556 42.4% 13,337 1.7% 540
Schenectady 55.3% 38,611 42.6% 29,758 2.1% 1,473
Cortland 54.1% 11,861 44.2% 9,678 1.7% 381
Sullivan 54.0% 16,850 44.6% 13,900 1.4% 433
Nassau 53.8% 342,067 45.4% 288,758 0.7% 4,657
Rensselaer 53.7% 39,753 44.4% 32,840 1.9% 1,393
Dutchess 53.7% 71,060 45.1% 59,628 1.2% 1,614
Cayuga 53.3% 18,128 44.8% 15,243 1.9% 651
Broome 53.1% 47,204 45.1% 40,077 1.8% 1,556
Rockland 52.6% 69,543 46.7% 61,752 0.7% 898
Suffolk 52.5% 346,379 46.5% 306,815 0.9% 6,209
Otsego 52.0% 13,570 46.0% 12,026 2.0% 525
Orange 51.5% 78,326 47.4% 72,042 1.1% 1,614
Saratoga 50.9% 56,645 47.5% 52,855 1.7% 1,887
Warren 50.5% 16,281 47.8% 15,429 1.7% 535
Seneca 50.3% 7,422 47.7% 7,038 1.9% 281
Oswego 50.2% 24,777 47.8% 23,571 2.0% 1,001
Niagara 49.7% 47,303 48.6% 46,348 1.7% 1,621
Chautauqua 49.5% 29,129 48.6% 28,579 1.9% 1,074
Washington 49.5% 12,741 48.7% 12,533 1.8% 456
Madison 49.3% 14,692 48.4% 14,434 2.3% 676
Ontario 49.2% 25,103 49.3% 25,171 1.5% 746
Chemung 48.8% 18,888 50.0% 19,364 1.1% 443
Chenango 48.4% 10,100 49.6% 10,337 2.0% 410
Richmond (Staten Island) 47.6% 79,311 51.7% 86,062 0.7% 1,205
Yates 47.6% 4,890 51.3% 5,269 1.2% 121
Jefferson 46.7% 18,166 52.0% 20,219 1.3% 500
Delaware 46.4% 9,462 51.6% 10,524 2.0% 403
Oneida 46.1% 43,506 52.2% 49,256 1.7% 1,603
Putnam 45.7% 21,613 53.2% 25,145 1.0% 486
Schuyler 45.7% 3,933 52.8% 4,542 1.5% 125
Livingston 45.3% 13,655 53.2% 16,030 1.5% 464
Montgomery 45.0% 9,080 53.1% 10,711 1.9% 384
Lewis 44.8% 4,986 53.6% 5,969 1.6% 183
Herkimer 44.5% 12,094 53.8% 14,619 1.7% 471
Fulton 44.4% 9,695 53.7% 11,709 1.9% 420
Wayne 44.3% 18,184 54.2% 22,239 1.5% 622
Greene 44.1% 9,850 54.0% 12,059 1.9% 426
Tioga 44.0% 10,172 54.2% 12,536 1.8% 423
Cattaraugus 43.9% 14,307 54.5% 17,770 1.7% 540
Schoharie 41.7% 6,009 56.0% 8,071 2.2% 322
Steuben 40.9% 17,148 57.7% 24,203 1.3% 560
Genesee 40.0% 10,762 58.4% 15,705 1.5% 406
Orleans 39.9% 6,614 58.5% 9,708 1.6% 262
Allegany 38.1% 7,016 59.8% 11,013 2.0% 377
Wyoming 36.1% 6,379 62.3% 10,998 1.6% 290
Hamilton 35.9% 1,225 62.8% 2,141 1.3% 45

By congressional district[edit]

Barack Obama swept 25 of the state’s 29 congressional districts in New York, including one district held by a Republican. John McCain carried four districts, including two districts that simultaneously elected a Democrat to the U.S. House.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 47.62% 51.44% Tim Bishop
2nd 43.09% 56.13% Steve Israel
3rd 51.90% 47.27% Peter T. King
4th 41.35% 57.99% Carolyn McCarthy
5th 36.06% 63.24% Gary Ackerman
6th 10.68% 89.03% Gregory W. Meeks
7th 20.37% 79.12% Joseph Crowley
8th 25.45% 73.70% Jerrold Nadler
9th 43.92% 55.32% Anthony D. Weiner
10th 8.70% 91.03% Edolphus Towns
11th 9.07% 90.49% Yvette D. Clark
12th 13.12% 86.17% Nydia Velasquez
13th 50.56% 48.74% Vito Fossella (110th Congress)
Michael McMahon (111th Congress)
14th 20.92% 78.19% Carolyn B. Maloney
15th 6.17% 93.21% Charlie Rangel
16th 5.04% 94.76% Jose Serrano
17th 27.53% 71.92% Eliot L. Engel
18th 37.57% 61.66% Nita Lowey
19th 48.37% 50.65% John Hall
20th 47.70% 50.70% Kirsten Gillibrand (110th Congress)
Scott Murphy (111th Congress)
21st 40.00% 58.14% Paul Tonko
22nd 39.31% 59.23% Maurice Hinchey
23rd 46.59% 51.81% John M. McHugh
24th 47.97% 50.33% Mike Arcuri
25th 42.62% 55.74% James T. Walsh (110th Congress)
Dan Maffei (111th Congress)
26th 52.15% 46.43% Thomas M. Reynolds (110th Congress)
Christopher Lee (111th Congress)
27th 44.03% 54.19% Brian Higgins
28th 30.29% 68.47% Louise Slaughter
29th 50.46% 48.24% Randy Kuhl (110th Congress)
Eric Massa (111th Congress)

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of NY cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. NY is allocated 31 electors because it has 29 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 31 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 31 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.[19] 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 31 electors were pledged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden:[20]

  1. Velda Jeffrey
  2. June O'Neill
  3. Dennis Mehiel
  4. David Paterson
  5. Andrew Cuomo
  6. Thomas DiNapoli
  7. Sheldon Silver
  8. Malcolm Smith
  9. Maria Luna
  10. Robert Master
  11. Pamela Green-Perkins
  12. Helen D. Foster
  13. Jon Cooper
  14. Hakeem Jeffries
  15. Richard Fife
  16. Deborah Slott
  17. Terrence Yang
  18. George Arthur
  19. George Gresham
  20. Alan Van Capelle
  21. Inez Dickens
  22. Suzy Ballantyne
  23. Alan Lubin
  24. Bethaida Gonzalez
  25. Christine Quinn
  26. William Thompson
  27. Stuart Applebaum
  28. Maritza Davila
  29. Ivan Young
  30. Barbara J. Fiala
  31. Frank A. Bolz

References[edit]

See also[edit]