United States presidential election in South Dakota, 2008

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United States presidential election in South Dakota, 2008
South Dakota
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 3 0
Popular vote 203,054 170,924
Percentage 53.16% 44.75%

South Dakota Presidential Election Results by Shaded County, 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%
  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 South Dakota 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 3 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

South Dakota was won by Republican nominee John McCain by an 8.4% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise considered as a red state. Like the other states located in the Great Plains region, South Dakota is a predominantly rural and sparsely populated state with conservative voting tendencies which favors the Republicans, who dominate elections at the state and federal level in the state. South Dakota stayed in the GOP column in 2008 as Republican John McCain carried the state with 53.16%.

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

Polling[edit]

McCain won every single pre-election poll, and never polled less than 47%. The highest Obama ever polled was 43%. The final 3 polls showed McCain leading 50% to 42%.[18]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $287,533 in the state. Barack Obama raised $337,053.

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $639,435. McCain and his interest groups spent just $1,531.[19] Obama didn't visit the state, as McCain visited the state once, in Sturgis, South Dakota.[20]

Analysis[edit]

South Dakota, a predominantly Republican state, has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon B. Johnson won the state in the landslide Election of 1964. A sparsely populated state with a rural and conservative lifestyle of many of the state's inhabitants, since then, the state has been won handily by the Republicans.

McCain was able to keep South Dakota in the GOP column in 2008, taking in 53.16% of the total statewide vote over Obama who received 44.75%, an 8.41-percent margin of victory. This margin of victory was considerably smaller compared to 2004 when George W. Bush carried South Dakota with 59.91% of the vote over John Kerry who received 38.44%, a 21.47% margin of victory, resulting in a 13.06-percent swing to the Democrats in 2008.

While McCain did well throughout the state, his main strength was in Western South Dakota, where he often won by landslide margins.[21] He was able to carry Pennington County, South Dakota, which contains the state's second largest city of Rapid City. In contrast, Obama ran best in Eastern South Dakota, losing most counties by fairly close margins. He also did well among Native Americans; in Western South Dakota, the only counties Obama won were majority Native American.

Obama was able to substantially improve upon John Kerry's showing in South Dakota in 2004 by a number of factors. First, it helped that South Dakota received media attention during the course of the 2008 Democratic Primary, being the last state to vote in the historic and contentious primary that gave Hillary Rodham Clinton an 11-point victory over Obama; it was Clinton's last victory in the primary. In the general election, Obama was able to cut the margin significantly by narrowly carrying Minnehaha County, which contains the state's largest city of Sioux Falls. He was also able to win Brown County, which contains Aberdeen, as well as Brookings County which contains Brookings, home of South Dakota State University. He did much better than Kerry in Eastern South Dakota, which is where most of the people live, but McCain's margins throughout the state were too large to overcome.

During the same election, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson was soundly reelected over Republican State Senator Jim Dykstra by a two-to-one margin, receiving 62.49% of the vote to Dykstra's 37.51%. At the state level, Democrats made gains in the South Dakota Legislature, picking up four seats in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in South Dakota, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 203,054 53.16% 3
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 170,924 44.75% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 4,267 1.12% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 1,895 0.50% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 1,835 0.48% 0
Totals 381,975 100.00% 3
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 64.7%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain#
Aurora 45.20% 655 54.80% 794
Beadle 46.28% 3493 53.72% 4054
Bennett 47.57% 557 52.43% 614
Bon Homme 44.40% 1367 55.60% 1712
Brookings 52.84% 7207 47.16% 6431
Brown 52.85% 9041 47.15% 8067
Brule 40.68% 965 59.32% 1407
Buffalo 74.43% 454 25.57% 156
Butte 31.65% 1306 68.35% 2821
Campbell 29.14% 243 70.86% 591
Charles Mix 46.14% 1807 53.86% 2109
Clark 43.80% 830 56.20% 1065
Clay 62.39% 3808 37.61% 2296
Codington 46.75% 5595 53.25% 6374
Corson 61.01% 837 38.99% 535
Custer 33.65% 1475 66.35% 2909
Davison 42.90% 3554 57.10% 4731
Day 56.54% 1785 43.46% 1372
Deuel 49.21% 1054 50.79% 1088
Dewey 66.83% 1326 33.17% 658
Douglas 24.69% 424 75.31% 1293
Edmunds 40.31% 819 59.69% 1213
Fall River 36.30% 1338 63.70% 2348
Faulk 36.57% 426 63.43% 739
Grant 47.79% 1786 52.21% 1951
Gregory 35.14% 771 64.86% 1423
Haakon 16.55% 186 83.45% 938
Hamlin 38.57% 1043 61.43% 1661
Hand 36.54% 718 63.46% 1247
Hanson 40.26% 961 59.74% 1426
Harding 19.01% 135 80.99% 575
Hughes 36.44% 3037 63.56% 5298
Hutchinson 35.21% 1242 64.79% 2285
Hyde 29.24% 226 70.76% 547
Jackson 39.44% 435 60.56% 668
Jerauld 50.00% 535 50.00% 535
Jones 24.10% 147 75.90% 463
Kingsbury 47.09% 1277 52.91% 1435
Lake 50.33% 3033 49.67% 2993
Lawrence 42.09% 4932 57.91% 6787
Lincoln 42.27% 8642 57.73% 11803
Lyman 44.26% 710 55.74% 894
Marshall 58.35% 1261 41.65% 900
McCook 42.55% 1219 57.45% 1646
McPherson 32.52% 441 67.48% 915
Meade 33.28% 3749 66.72% 7515
Mellette 45.60% 373 54.40% 445
Miner 51.18% 605 48.82% 577
Minnehaha 50.37% 39831 49.63% 39241
Moody 52.44% 1663 47.56% 1508
Pennington 39.20% 17787 60.80% 27592
Perkins 31.17% 499 68.83% 1102
Potter 33.97% 482 66.03% 937
Roberts 60.00% 2672 40.00% 1781
Sanborn 42.77% 500 57.23% 669
Shannon 89.99% 2967 10.01% 330
Spink 48.29% 1550 51.71% 1660
Stanley 33.40% 510 66.60% 1017
Sully 28.62% 233 71.38% 581
Todd 79.45% 2208 20.55% 571
Tripp 32.96% 914 67.04% 1859
Turner 39.84% 1681 60.16% 2538
Union 42.94% 3244 57.06% 4310
Walworth 35.62% 923 64.38% 1668
Yankton 48.98% 4838 51.02% 5039
Ziebach 63.97% 554 36.03% 312

By congressional district[edit]

Due to the state's low population, only one congressional district is allocated. This district, called the At-Large district, because it covers the entire state, and thus is equivalent to the statewide election results.

District McCain Obama Representative
At-large 53.2% 44.8% Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of South Dakota cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. SD is allocated 3 electors because it has 1 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 3 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 3 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.[22] 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 3 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[23]

  1. Mike Rounds
  2. Dennis Daugaard
  3. Larry Long

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/Predictions.html
  2. ^ http://www.cookpolitical.com/presidential#belowMap
  3. ^ http://vote2008.thetakeaway.org/2008/09/20/track-the-electoral-college-vote-predictions/
  4. ^ http://www.electionprojection.com/2008elections/president08.shtml
  5. ^ http://electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Pres/Maps/Dec31.html
  6. ^ Based on Takeaway
  7. ^ http://www.politico.com/convention/swingstate.html
  8. ^ http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/maps/obama_vs_mccain/?map=5
  9. ^ Based on Takeaway
  10. ^ http://innovation.cq.com/prezMap08/
  11. ^ The New York Times http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/whos-ahead/key-states/map.html?scp=1&sq=electoral%20college%20map&st=cse |url= missing title (help). Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  12. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. October 31, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  13. ^ Based on Takeaway
  14. ^ Based on Takeaway
  15. ^ "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010. 
  16. ^ http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/campaign_plus/roadto270/
  17. ^ http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/election_2008_electoral_college_update
  18. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/POLLS/PRESIDENT/2008/pollsa.php?fips=46
  19. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Election Results 2008". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  22. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  23. ^ http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008-certificates/index.html#sd

See also[edit]