United States presidential election in West Virginia, 2008

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United States presidential election in West Virginia, 2008
West Virginia
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 5 0
Popular vote 397,466 303,857
Percentage 55.60% 42.51%

West Virginia Presidential Election Results by Shaded County, 2008.svg

County Results
  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 West Virginia 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 5 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

West Virginia was won by Republican nominee John McCain by a 13.1% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise considered as a safe red state. Despite its past voting record of heavily favoring Democratic presidential nominees, the state has lately been trending more Republican in presidential elections. As expected, McCain defeated Obama in the Mountain State, even improving upon George W. Bush's performance in 2004. West Virginia was one of five states in which McCain did better than Bush. Obama was also the first Democratic presidential nominee since Woodrow Wilson in 1916 to win the nationwide presidential election without carrying West Virginia.

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: Leaning Republican[2]
  3. Takeaway: Leaning 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: Leaning McCain[9]
  10. CQ Politics: Leaning Republican[10]
  11. New York Times: Leaning Republican[11]
  12. CNN: Leaning Republican[12]
  13. NPR: Leaning McCain[13]
  14. MSNBC: Leaning McCain[14]
  15. Fox News: Republican[15]
  16. Associated Press: Republican[16]
  17. Rasmussen Reports: Solid Republican[17]

Polling[edit]

McCain won 16 of 17 pre-election polls. The final 3 polls averaged McCain leading 53% to 41%.[18]

Fundraising[edit]

John McCain raised a total of $291,184 in the state. Barack Obama raised $713,231.

Advertising and visits[edit]

Obama and his interest groups spent $1,437,178. McCain and his interest groups spent $1,920,720.[19] Each ticket visited the state once.[20]

Analysis[edit]

More than any other state, West Virginia highlighted Obama's trouble in Appalachian America. It swung heavily to the Democrats during the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt and remained reliably Democratic for most of the next 68 years. During that time, it only voted Republican three times, all in national Republican landslides--1956, 1972 and 1984). It often voted for Democrats (such as Jimmy Carter and Mike Dukakis) who went on to big national defeats. This was largely due to its blue-collar, heavily unionized workers, especially coal miners, who favored Democratic economic policy.

Starting in the days with Al Gore, however, the state's voters became more concerned with the national Democratic Party's perceived hostility toward the coal industry, which is a core part of the West Virginia economy. As a result, the state has been trending Republican in national elections.

Advancing into the general election, McCain was largely expected to receive the state's five electoral votes. Since polling in the state prior to the election showed a nearly double-digit lead in favor of McCain, neither presidential nominee campaigned heavily in the state. Not surprisingly, though, every poll out of West Virginia showed Hillary Clinton defeating McCain in West Virginia, sometimes by double digits.

On Election Day, McCain won West Virginia by 13.09 points while losing nationwide. McCain did well throughout the state, losing only a handful of counties. While his margins were best in the more conservative northern part of the state, he also improved significantly in Southern West Virginia. This coal-mining, union-heavy region was one of the most heavily Democratic places in the nation; Logan County, for example, cast 72 percent of its ballot for Bill Clinton.[21] In 2008, however, John McCain won the county by double digits.

On the other hand, Barack Obama did make gains in the area between Maryland and Virginia, counties which are a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Obama also ran close in Central West Virginia (the counties around the capital Charleston).

Despite the recent Republican success nationally, Democrats still dominate at the state and local level. After Election 2008, Democrats hold the governorship and every statewide office, two out of the state's three congressional districts in the U.S. House of Representatives and both U.S. Senate seats. They also hold supermajorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

During the same election, popular incumbent Democratic Governor Joe Manchin III was soundly reelected to a second term with 69.79% of the vote over Republican Russ Weeks who took in 25.75% while Jesse Johnson of the Mountain Party received 4.46%. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller IV was also soundly reelected with 63.71% of the vote over Republican Jay Wolfe who took in 36.27%. At the state level, Democrats picked up three seats in the West Virginia Senate while Republicans picked up one seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Results[edit]

United States presidential election in West Virginia, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 397,466 55.60% 5
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 303,857 42.51% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 7,219 1.01% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 2,465 0.34% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 2,355 0.33% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 89 0.01% 0
Totals 713,451 100.00% 5
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 51.2%

Results breakdown[edit]

By county[edit]

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain#
Barbour 39.64% 2415 60.36% 3678
Berkeley 43.42% 15945 56.58% 20779
Boone 55.48% 4490 44.52% 3603
Braxton 50.69% 2691 49.31% 2618
Brooke 48.61% 4666 51.39% 4932
Cabell 44.86% 15110 55.14% 18571
Calhoun 42.05% 976 57.95% 1345
Clay 44.77% 1417 55.23% 1748
Doddridge 24.92% 732 75.08% 2205
Fayette 48.49% 7134 51.51% 7578
Gilmer 41.45% 1117 58.55% 1578
Grant 23.86% 987 76.14% 3150
Greenbrier 43.08% 5561 56.92% 7347
Hampshire 36.35% 2968 63.65% 5197
Hancock 42.14% 5285 57.86% 7257
Hardy 35.88% 1880 64.12% 3360
Harrison 43.23% 13488 56.77% 17715
Jackson 40.56% 4821 59.44% 7066
Jefferson 52.44% 11606 47.56% 10526
Kanawha 49.73% 40148 50.27% 40588
Lewis 32.71% 2096 67.29% 4312
Lincoln 45.53% 2972 54.47% 3556
Logan 43.57% 4862 56.43% 6297
Marion 50.26% 11507 49.74% 11389
Marshall 43.53% 5943 56.47% 7709
Mason 43.29% 4444 56.71% 5822
McDowell 54.46% 3410 45.54% 2852
Mercer 35.94% 7388 64.06% 13167
Mineral 33.00% 3717 67.00% 7546
Mingo 43.86% 3567 56.14% 4565
Monongalia 51.91% 16853 48.09% 15612
Monroe 37.06% 1969 62.94% 3344
Morgan 38.02% 2704 61.98% 4408
Nicholas 49.55% 6007 50.45% 6115
Ohio 44.47% 8481 55.53% 10590
Pendleton 39.53% 1049 60.47% 1605
Pleasants 39.13% 1127 60.87% 1753
Pocahontas 43.56% 1538 56.44% 1993
Preston 36.47% 4190 63.53% 7299
Putnam 38.12% 9424 61.88% 15295
Raleigh 36.82% 10115 63.18% 17358
Randolph 42.80% 4527 57.20% 6051
Ritchie 26.43% 989 73.57% 2753
Roane 46.05% 2506 53.95% 2936
Summers 44.19% 2276 55.81% 2875
Taylor 40.75% 2420 59.25% 3518
Tucker 37.67% 1280 62.33% 2118
Tyler 34.05% 1234 65.95% 2390
Upshur 33.04% 2896 66.96% 5870
Wayne 40.70% 6101 59.30% 8890
Webster 52.90% 1543 47.10% 1374
Wetzel 46.80% 2919 53.20% 3318
Wirt 34.40% 777 65.60% 1482
Wood 35.44% 12446 64.56% 22670
Wyoming 37.17% 2724 62.83% 4605

By congressional District[edit]

John McCain swept all three of the state’s three congressional districts, including the two districts held by Democrats.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 56.77% 41.51% Alan Mollohan
2nd 54.63% 43.77% Shelley Moore Capito
3rd 55.76% 42.29% Nick Rahall

Electors[edit]

Technically the voters of West Virginia cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. West Virginia is allocated 5 electors because it has 3 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 5 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 5 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.

All 5 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[23]

  1. Robert Fish
  2. Zane Lawhorn
  3. Catherine Sue McKinney
  4. Marti Riggall
  5. Theresa Waxman

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=54
  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 6-8-09.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  22. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  23. ^ http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008-certificates/index.html#wv

See also[edit]