Vermont was once the quintessential Yankee Republican state. It identified with the newly formed GOP in 1856 and remained in the Republican fold for over 130 years. From 1856 to 1988, it only voted for a Democrat once, in Lyndon Johnson's 44-state landslide of 1964. Vermont and Maine were the only states that Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't carry in any of his four elections.
However, the brand of Republicanism practiced in the Green Mountain State has historically been a moderate one. Coupled with an influx of more liberal newcomers from out of state, this made Vermont considerably friendlier to Democrats as the national GOP moved further to the right. After narrowly supporting George H. W. Bush in 1988, Vermont gave Bill Clinton a 16-point margin in 1992. Republicans have not seriously contested the state since then, and Vermont is now reckoned as part of the solid bloc of blue states in New England. As a measure of how Democratic Vermont has become, George W. Bush is the only Republican president to win election without carrying Vermont; in both of his campaigns, he lost the state by a substantial margin.
The 2008 race kept this tradition going. Obama won with 67 percent of the vote to McCain's 30 percent. Vermont was Obama's second-best state and his best in the contiguous 48 states; only topped by the staggering 71 percent he received in Hawaii. The Obama-Biden ticket won every county in the state, including several north eastern counties which had a history of voting Republican. Obama also performed better than John Kerry in every county.
Technically the voters of Vermont, as they do in every state, cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Vermont is allocated three electors because it has one congressional district and two 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. 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 elected at large as members of the Electoral College from the state. All three were pledged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden: