United States presidential election in Tennessee, 2008
The 2008 United States presidential election in Tennessee took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 11 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Tennessee was won by Republican nominee John McCain by 15.06 percentage points. Prior to the election, 17 news organizations considered Tennessee a win for McCain. Early polling in Tennessee gave a solid edge to McCain over Democrat Barack Obama by up to a 20-point margin. The expected "landslide" by McCain in Tennessee meant there was little campaigning there. Most news organizations immediately called Tennessee for McCain as soon as all the polls in the state closed. McCain even improved upon George W. Bush's performance in 2004, a much better year nationally for the Republicans. This was the first time since 1960 when Tennessee did not back the overall winning candidate in a presidential election.
|Elections in Tennessee|
There were 17 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:
- D.C. Political Report: Republican
- Cook Political Report: Solid Republican
- Takeaway: Solid McCain
- Election Projection: Solid McCain
- Electoral-vote.com: Strong Republican
- Washington Post: Solid McCain
- Politico: Solid McCain
- Real Clear Politics: Solid McCain
- FiveThirtyEight.com: Solid McCain
- CQ Politics: Safe Republican
- New York Times: Solid Republican
- CNN: Safe Republican
- NPR: Solid McCain
- MSNBC: Solid McCain
- Fox News: Republican
- Associated Press: Republican
- Rasmussen Reports: Safe Republican
McCain won every single pre-election poll, and each by a double-digit margin of victory. The final 3 polls averaged McCain leading 55% to 40%.
John McCain raised a total of $2,941,065 in the state. Barack Obama raised $3,481,341.
Advertising and visits
Despite narrowly voting for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 when native son Al Gore was on the ticket as Vice President, the state has steadily been trending Republican since then. George W. Bush narrowly carried the state in 2000 over Tennessee native Gore and easily won in 2004 over John Kerry. The state was one of five states that swung even more Republican in 2008 with John McCain soundly defeating Barack Obama in the Volunteer State. 2008 marked the first time since 1960 whereby the state was carried by the losing presidential candidate.
McCain won both East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee by landslide margins. Historically, East Tennessee, which is a part of Appalachia, has voted Republican ever since the party was founded; however, Middle Tennessee has Democratic roots based on liberal economic policies, most famously Franklin D. Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Authority. Middle Tennessee voted strongly for Bill Clinton of neighboring Arkansas, but Middle Tennessee native Al Gore narrowly lost the region in 2000—a loss that ultimately cost him Tennessee, and the election. In contrast, it was one of the few regions in the country which voted more Republican than in 2004. This is largely due to a growing social conservative trend in the region, particularly in the Nashville suburbs; some of the most politically active churches in the state are located there.
On the other hand, Barack Obama did improve relatively well upon John Kerry's performances in the traditionally Democratic cities of Nashville and Memphis. In the former, support amongst progressive whites led to a 3-2 victory for Obama in Davidson County. In Memphis, heavy African American turnout ensured him the largest margin in the state in Shelby County, although far from enough to outweigh his losses everywhere else in the state. McCain, however, carried the third- and fourth- most populated cities of Chattanooga in Hamilton County as well as Knoxville in Knox County.
During the same election, at the state level, Republicans picked up four seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives and three seats in the Tennessee Senate to obtain control of both chambers of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.
As of the 2016 presidential election[update], this is the last election in which Houston County and Jackson County voted for the Democratic candidate or where the Democratic candidate won over a million votes.
|United States presidential election in Tennessee, 2008|
|Party||Candidate||Running mate||Votes||Percentage||Electoral votes|
|Republican||John McCain||Sarah Palin||1,479,178||56.85%||11|
|Democratic||Barack Obama||Joe Biden||1,087,437||41.79%||0|
|Independent||Ralph Nader||Matt Gonzalez||11,560||0.44%||0|
|Libertarian||Bob Barr||Wayne Allyn Root||8,547||0.33%||0|
|Constitution||Chuck Baldwin||Darrell Castle||8,191||0.31%||0|
|Green||Cynthia McKinney||Rosa Clemente||2,499||0.10%||0|
|Socialist||Brian Moore||Stewart Alexander||1,326||0.05%||0|
|Boston Tea||Charles Jay||Thomas Knapp||1,011||0.04%||0|
|Voter turnout (Voting age population)||55.5%|
By congressional district
John McCain swept the state and carried seven of the state's nine congressional districts, including three districts held by Democrats. Barack Obama carried the state's two congressional districts anchored by the two largest cities of Memphis and Nashville.
|1st||69.77%||28.77%||David Davis (110th Congress)|
|Phil Roe (111th Congress)|
|2nd||64.21%||34.28%||John J. Duncan, Jr.|
|8th||56.01%||42.73%||John S. Tanner|
Technically the voters of Tennessee cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Tennessee is allocated 11 electors because it has 9 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 11 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 11 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.
- Sara Sellers
- Jim Haslam
- Wayne Cropp
- Lisa Wheeler
- Beth Campbell
- Albert McCall
- Shirley Curry
- Marilucile Counce
- Colin Richmond
- Winfield Dunn
- Chrystal Horn
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-  Archived April 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
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- Based on Takeaway
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-  Archived September 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Who's Ahead". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
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- "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
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- "Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™". Rasmussenreports.com. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
-  Archived November 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Presidential Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
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- "Election Results 2008". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- "Official General Election Results". The Green Papers. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
- "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.