2008 United States presidential election in Oregon
|Elections in Oregon|
The 2008 United States presidential election in Oregon took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 7 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Oregon was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama with a 16.4% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. Situated on the West Coast, which has become a reliably Democratic stronghold, Oregon is a relatively blue state. The last Republican presidential nominee to carry Oregon was Ronald Reagan in his 1984 landslide reelection. Although George W. Bush came within half a percent of Al Gore in 2000, he lost the state to John Kerry by four points, and the Republicans have not seriously contested here since. This is also the first time that a presidential candidate won more than a million votes in Oregon.
There were 16 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:
- D.C. Political Report: Democrat
- Cook Political Report: Solid Democrat
- Takeaway: Solid Obama
- Electoral-vote.com: Strong Democrat
- Washington Post: Solid Obama
- Politico: Solid Obama
- Real Clear Politics: Solid Obama
- FiveThirtyEight.com: Solid Obama
- CQ Politics: Safe Democrat
- New York Times: Solid Democrat
- CNN: Safe Democrat
- NPR: Solid Obama
- MSNBC: Solid Obama
- Fox News: Democrat
- Associated Press: Democrat
- Rasmussen Reports: Safe Democrat
Obama won every single pre-election poll. Since September 22, Obama won each by a double-digit margin of victory and at least 52% of the vote. The final 3 polls showed Obama leading 55% to 41%.
McCain raised a total of $1,258,426 in the state. Obama raised $6,660,622.
Advertising and visits
Voters in Oregon have a strong penchant for advancing the protection of civil liberties and individual freedoms, liberal values that have given Democrats a big edge in the state in recent years. The state once leaned Republican, like most of the Pacific Northwest. It only went Democratic once from 1948 to 1984--during Lyndon Johnson's 44-state landslide of 1964. However, the state has gone Democratic in every election since 1988, and along with California and Washington it is reckoned as forming a solid bloc of blue states along the Pacific Coast.
On Election Day, Obama carried the state by 16.35 points. Most rural counties favored McCain, though Obama performed Much better in this region than John Kerry did in 2004. However, Obama's strong support in the more urban Willamette Valley, home to two-thirds of the state's population, would have allowed him to win the state decisively in any event. The state remains geographically and politically divided by the Cascade Mountains, with eastern Oregon being more rural and less populated and therefore more strongly Republican, while western Oregon is more urbanized and populated and therefore more strongly Democratic. These two areas compose the core of each party's votes: rural Oregon is strongly Republican and very similar culturally to Idaho, while the Willamette Valley--especially the cities of Portland and Eugene--heavily favors the Democrats. While Republicans typically win more counties due to running up large margins in the east, Democrats typically win the state because the Willamette Valley has more people. In 2008, Obama's overwhelming margins in Portland and Eugene, combined with strong support from Portland's suburbs (which function as swing counties), enabled him to win a landslide in a structurally liberal state.
During the same election, Democratic Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Jeff Merkley defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Gordon Smith by a narrow 3.35-percent margin of victory. Merkley received 48.90% of the vote while Smith took in 45.55 with the remaining 5.24% going to Dave Brownlow of the Constitution Party. At the state level, Democrats picked up five seats in the Oregon House of Representatives while Republicans picked up one seat in the Oregon Senate.
|United States presidential election in Oregon, 2008|
|Party||Candidate||Running mate||Votes||Percentage||Electoral votes|
|Democratic||Barack Obama||Joe Biden||1,037,291||56.75%||7|
|Republican||John McCain||Sarah Palin||738,475||40.40%||0|
|Independent||Ralph Nader||Matt Gonzalez||18,614||1.02%||0|
|Constitution||Chuck Baldwin||Darrell Castle||7,693||0.42%||0|
|Libertarian||Bob Barr||Wayne Allyn Root||7,635||0.42%||0|
|Green||Cynthia McKinney||Rosa Clemente||4,543||0.25%||0|
|Voter turnout (Voting age population)||62.9%|
By congressional district
Barack Obama carried four of the state’s five congressional districts in Oregon, all districts held by Democrats.
|5th||43.33%||53.95%||Darlene Hooley (110th Congress)|
|Kurt Schrader (111th Congress)|
Technically the voters of Oregon cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Oregon is allocated 7 electors because it has 5 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 7 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 7 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.
- Michael Bohan
- Shirley Cairns
- Joe Smith
- John McColgan
- Meredith Wood Smith
- Frank James Dixon
- Bernard Gorter
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- Based on Takeaway
- "POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com". www.politico.com. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
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- Based on Takeaway
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- Based on Takeaway
- Based on Takeaway
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