Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008: Wikis

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2004 United States 2012
Democratic presidential primaries, 2008
January 3, 2008 to June 3, 2008
Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama Hillary Clinton
Party Democratic Democratic
Home state Illinois New York
States carried 29+DC+GU+DA+VI 21+PR+AS
Popular vote 18.011.877 18.235.120
Percentage 47.41% 48.00%
Democratic presidential primary, 2008.svg
Democratic Primary Results (popular vote). Purple denotes an Obama win and gold a Clinton win. (Clinton also won in Michigan, but Obama was not on the ballot there).

The 2008 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party of the United States chose their candidate for the 2008 United States presidential election. The Democratic Party candidate for president was selected through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 2008 Democratic National Convention held from Monday, August 25, through Thursday, August 28, 2008, in Denver, Colorado. To secure the nomination at the convention, a candidate needed to receive at least 2,117 votes from delegates—a simple majority of the 4,233 delegate votes, including half-votes from American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad. The state primary elections and caucuses ended on June 3, 2008 with neither Senator Barack Obama nor Senator Hillary Clinton winning enough delegates through the state contests to surpass the simple majority, but with Obama leading Clinton in delegates won through state contests. Clinton claimed the popular vote lead as she had more actual votes from the state contests.[1] However, Obama received enough superdelegate endorsements on June 3 to claim that he had secured the simple majority of delegates necessary to win the nomination. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded the nomination four days later and Obama became the apparent Democratic nominee.[2][3] Obama was officially recognized as the Democratic nominee at the August convention.

Contents

Candidates and results

Notes for the following table:

  • Delegate counts:
    • The pledged delegate estimates come from the sum of the Current estimate columns for the states listed in the Chronicle section later in this article
    • The source for superdelegate estimates is the 2008 Democratic Convention Watch blog. Superdelegate endorsements were frozen on June 7, the date of Clinton's concession speech.[4]
  • Ordering:
    • The candidates are ordered by pledged delegate count and then alphabetically by last name
    • To re-sort this table, click on the double-arrow symbol (Sort none.gif) at the top of a column
Candidate Current or
Most Recent Office (as of the end of the primaries)
Pledged Delegate
Vote Estimate[5]
Superdelegate
Vote Estimate[4]
Total Delegate
Vote Estimate
Campaign Status Links
Barack Obama
Obama, BarackBarack Obama
U.S. Senator,
Illinois
1,828½
52%
478
66%
2,306½
54%
Nominee
Surpassed by estimation
the 2,208 delegate votes
needed for a majority,
June 3, 2008.
campaign article
campaign website
Hillary Clinton
Clinton, HillaryHillary Clinton
U.S. Senator,
New York
1,726½
48%
246½
34%
1,973
46%
Suspended,
June 7, 2008.
Endorsed Obama,
June 7, 2008.[6]
campaign article
campaign website
John Edwards
Edwards, JohnJohn Edwards
Former U.S. Senator
North Carolina

<1%
0
 

<1%
Suspended,
January 30, 2008.
Endorsed Obama,
May 14, 2008.[7]
campaign article
campaign website
Joe Biden
Biden, JoeJoe Biden
U.S. Senator,
Delaware
0 0 0 Withdrew,
January 3, 2008.
Endorsed Obama,
June 22, 2008.
Named VP candidate,
August 23, 2008.
campaign article
campaign website
Chris Dodd
Dodd, ChristopherChris Dodd
U.S. Senator,
Connecticut
0 0 0 Withdrew,
January 3, 2008.
Endorsed Obama,
February 26, 2008.
campaign article
campaign website
Mike Gravel
Gravel, MikeMike Gravel
Former U.S. Senator,
Alaska
0 0 0 Endorsed Jesse Johnson,
March 13, 2008.
Joined Libertarian Party,
March 25, 2008.
campaign article
campaign website
Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich, DennisDennis Kucinich
U.S. Representative,
Ohio
0 0 0 Withdrew,
January 23, 2008.
Endorsed Obama
August 26, 2008.
campaign article
campaign website
Bill Richardson
Richardson, BillBill Richardson
Governor,
New Mexico
0 0 0 Withdrew,
January 10, 2008.
Endorsed Obama,
March 21, 2008.
campaign article
campaign website

Delegate system

Popular Vote margins in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. The darkest purple states voted for Obama by the largest margins, while the darkest green states voted for Clinton by the largest margins. (Popular vote winners and delegate winners differ in five contests: NH, NV, MO, TX, and GU.)

Delegates are the people who decided the nomination at the Democratic National Convention. Delegates from forty-eight US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico had a single vote each, while delegates from American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Democrats Abroad, as well as the states of Florida and Michigan, which contravened the schedule, had half a vote each. Thus, the total number of delegates was slightly higher than the total number of available delegate votes (4,049).[8] [now updated to 4,233 with FL-MI delegations]

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Pledged delegates

Democratic candidates campaign for the nomination in a series of primary elections and caucus events. The results from these primaries and caucuses determine the number of pledged delegates committed to vote for each candidate at the Democratic National Convention. Pledged delegates are allocated to each of the fifty US states following two main criteria: (1) the proportion of votes each state gave to the Democratic candidate in the last three presidential elections, and (2) the percentage of votes each state has in the United States Electoral College. In addition, fixed numbers of delegates are allocated to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad under the party's Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[9] Pledged delegates reflect the preferences of voters but are not actually legally bound to vote for the candidate they represent. However, since candidates may remove delegates who they feel may be disloyal, the delegates generally vote as pledged.[10] In 2008, a total of 3,253 pledged delegate votes will be awarded through the primaries and caucuses.

Superdelegates

Superdelegate votes are given equal weight to the votes of pledged delegates. Superdelegates are members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, state and territorial governors, members of the Democratic National Committee, distinguished party leaders, and add-on delegates selected by the state parties. They represented almost 20 percent of the total 4,233 delegates.

The number and composition of superdelegates had the potential to change right up to the start of the Democratic National Convention. The total number of superdelegate votes at the start of the primary season in October 2007 stood at 850. Various events such as deaths, elections, and disqualifications a bearing on the final number.

While officially uncommitted until the convention, the superdelegates may publicly endorse or commit to a candidate at any time. The presidential candidates compete heavily for these commitments. News organizations survey the superdelegates periodically throughout the election season and try to calculate how many have committed to each of the candidates. The media often include these superdelegate estimates in their reporting on the race, leading to differing delegate counts from various news sources.

Delegate selection rules

Washington Democrats meet in the legislative district caucuses.

Under the Democratic Party's Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention,[9] delegates are awarded by proportional representation, with a minimum 15 percent threshold required to receive delegates. Each state party is required to publish its own state level delegate selection plan, indicating how the state will select delegates at the congressional and statewide level, how the delegation will implement the party's affirmative action policy, and how the delegation will ensure an equal balance between women and men. Those plans were adopted at state conventions and forwarded to the national party in mid-2007.

In most state caucuses, the viability threshold must be met at each level in the process, from the precinct level upwards. This puts enormous pressure on the remaining candidates to gain the support of voters whose chosen candidates fall below the 15 percent mark.[11] The focus on viability is designed to weed out small, divisive factions from gaining delegates to disrupt the national convention. However, this can result in candidates gaining viability in some precincts but not in others, and a complicated "caucus math" is required to allocate delegates to the county and state conventions for each precinct.[12] In the primaries, the viability threshold is set based on statewide and congressional district votes. At-large and PLEO (Party Leaders and Elected Officials) delegates are allocated based on statewide votes, while district-level delegates are allocated by district votes.[9]

Reporting delegate totals

There is no easy answer to the question, What's the current count? Each of the major news organizations keeps a count of delegate votes, while the campaigns keep their own numbers. Rarely do these totals coincide. Some online sources use an aggregate of sources, leading to even more confusion in delegate vote totals. The actual result may not be known until the votes are cast at the Democratic National Convention.

There are several reasons for this discrepancy. First, some news sources include only pledged delegates in their total count, while others include superdelegates. Second, estimates of superdelegate votes are unreliable and are subject to change. Third, pledged delegates in many states are selected at county or state conventions late in the process; thus, the initial primary and caucus results provide only a projection of pledged delegates, highlighted by the discrepancies with the Iowa county convention results. Fourth, in the days after an election, results in individual precincts may be delayed, and news organizations may project the winners of those precincts based on statistical analysis or may wait for confirmed results. The Democratic nominating process is a complex system that has evolved over time, and in close races, it can be difficult under the current system to know who is leading in the delegate count.[13]

This article uses pledged delegate estimates from the respective Wikipedia articles of each state primary or caucus. Reliable sources appropriate to each state's individual process are found in those articles. The Not Yet Assigned columns in the tables below reflect pledged delegates that these sources have not yet allocated to any candidates. For superdelegate vote estimates, this article uses the Democratic Convention Watch blog.[4] A periodically updated article on the blog also provides a comparison of the delegate totals from several different sources (CBS, CNN, NBC, Associated Press, and The Green Papers).

Chronicle

Notes for the tables in this section:

  • Votes to the Convention column:
    • The source for delegation sizes is the Democratic National Committee's official Call for the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[14] Specific sources are present for Florida and Michigan. Very recent changes not already in the official source are indicated by the footnotes.
  • Pledged Delegate Votes Estimate column:
    • The source is each state's primary or caucus article. Click on the Specific Election (link) column to see the sources used in those articles.
    • The candidate with the highest pledged delegate vote is highlighted. In some cases, this may be different from the winner of the popular vote.

Early campaigning

Mike Gravel at the launch of his Presidential campaign in April 2006

The race for the 2008 presidential nomination began in earnest after the 2006 midterm elections. Between November 2006 and February 2007, eight major candidates opened their campaigns-Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, and Tom Vilsack-joining Mike Gravel, who had announced his candidacy in April 2006. Potential candidates John Kerry, Al Gore, Russ Feingold, Evan Bayh, Tom Daschle, Wesley Clark, Mark Warner, and Al Sharpton reportedly considered running but ultimately declined to seek the nomination. Vilsack dropped out in February 2007.

In the first three months of 2007, Clinton and Obama raised more than $20 million each and Edwards raised more than $12 million.[15] The three candidates quickly became the frontrunners for the nomination,[16] a status they held all the way through the end of 2007.

Oprah Winfrey joins Barack and Michelle Obama on the campaign trail (December 10, 2007)

On November 21, Obama announced that Oprah Winfrey would be campaigning for him in the early primary states,[17] setting off speculation that, although celebrity endorsements typically have little effect on voter opinions, Winfrey's participation would supply Obama with a large, receptive audience.[18] As word spread that Oprah's first appearance would be in Iowa, polls released in early December revealed Obama taking the lead in that decisive state.[19] Then, on December 8, Oprah kicked-off a three-state tour supporting Obama's campaign,[20] where she drew record-setting crowds in Iowa, New Hampshire,[21] and South Carolina, and was described as "more cogent, more effective, more convincing" than anyone on the campaign trail.[22].[23] The Oprah-Obama tour dominated political news headlines[24] and cast doubts over Clinton's ability to recover her recently-lost lead in Iowa caucus polls.[25] A poll released less than two weeks after Winfrey campaigned found Obama achieving more popularity in Iowa than ever before recorded.[26] Two economists would later estimate that Winfrey's endorsement added more than one million votes to Obama's total in the Democratic primaries, and that without it, Clinton would have received more votes[27].

At the end of the year, December 31, Clinton held a substantial lead in superdelegates, and she was leading in the national polls with 42% of likely voters, over Obama, 23%, and Edwards, 16%.[28] However, Edwards and Obama remained close in state polls for the early contests, including the Iowa caucuses, where the final polling average had Obama leading narrowly, 31%, over Clinton, 30%, Edwards, 26%, Biden, 5%, and Richardson, 5%.[29]

January 2008

Following tradition, the 2008 primary calendar began with the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. The Nevada caucus and the South Carolina primary were the third and fourth contests sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. Under the national committee's rules, no state was allowed to hold primaries or caucuses before February 5 with the exceptions of these four states.[30] Michigan and Florida also held early primaries, but as the contests were unsanctioned, the results were not recognized by the national committee until a political compromise was reached four months later.[31]

The following table shows the pledged delegate votes awarded in the first four contests recognized by the DNC.

Details Delegate Votes to the Convention Pledged Delegate Vote Count[32]
Election Result Change
Notes
Current Estimate
Date Election link Pledged Super Total Obama Clinton Edwards Obama Clinton Edwards
January 3 Iowa caucuses 45 12 57 16 15 14 [33][34] 28 14 3
January 8 New Hampshire primary 22 8 30 9 9 4 [35] 13 9 0
January 19 Nevada caucuses 25 9 34 13 12 0 [36] 14 11 0
January 26 South Carolina primary 45 9 54 25 12 8 [37] 33 12 0
- TOTAL 137 38 175 63 48 26 88 46 3

Obama won the Iowa caucuses with 38% of the vote, over Edwards, 30%, and Clinton, 29%. His victory brought him to national prominence as many voters tuned in to the race for the first time. In a speech that evening, he defined change as the primary theme of his campaign and said, "On this January night, at this defining moment in history, you have done what the cynics said we couldn't do."[38] The delegate count was virtually tied, but Clinton's surprising third-place finish in the popular vote damaged her image as the "inevitable" nominee.[39] However, she remained upbeat, saying "This race begins tonight and ends when Democrats throughout America have their say. Our campaign was built for a marathon."[39] The following day, reports described "panic" among some Clinton donors,[40] and rumors of a staff shake-up began to circulate.[41] Biden and Dodd withdrew from the race.

John Edwards campaigns in New Hampshire.

After Obama's upset win in Iowa, it appeared to many political observers that he would ride a wave of momentum through the New Hampshire primaries and then onward to win the Democratic nomination. Eulogies were published on the Clinton campaign,[42] as Obama surged to a roughly 10-point lead in the New Hampshire polls.[43] However, the race turned quickly in the days before the primary, and the polls were slow to register a reversal toward Clinton. At the Saint Anselm College New Hampshire debate on January 5, 2008, Edwards sided with Obama against Clintondebate.[44] In one noted exchange, Edwards said that Clinton could not bring about change, while he and Obama could: "Any time you speak out powerfully for change, the forces for status quo attack." Clinton passionately retorted, "Making change is not about what you believe; it's not about a speech you make. It's about working hard. I'm not just running on a promise for change. I'm running on 35 years of change. What we need is somebody who can deliver change. We don't need to be raising false hopes."[45] It came to be seen as the defining statement for her candidacy. The morning before the primary, Clinton became "visibly emotional" in response to a friendly question from a voter.[46] Video of the moment was replayed on cable news television throughout the day, accompanied by pundit commentary that ranged from sympathetic to callous in tone. Voters rallied to Clinton's defense, and she won a surprising three-percent victory over Obama in the popular vote. They tied in the delegate count. Richardson withdrew from the race on January 10.

Momentum shifted in Clinton's favor, and she won the popular vote in the Nevada caucuses eleven days later, despite Obama's endorsement from the influential Culinary Workers Union. However, Obama ran strongly in rural areas throughout the state and beat Clinton in the delegate count. Edwards's support collapsed in Nevada, as voters coalesced around the two apparent frontrunners. Dennis Kucinich withdrew from the race. In the following week, issues of race came to the fore as campaigning began for the South Carolina primary, the first to feature a large proportion of African Americans in the Democratic electorate. Behind in the state polls, Hillary Clinton left to campaign in some Super Tuesday states,[47] while her husband, former president Bill Clinton, stayed in South Carolina and engaged in a series of exchanges with Obama.[48] CBS News reported, "By injecting himself into the Democratic primary campaign with a series of inflammatory and negative statements, Bill Clinton may have helped his wife's presidential hopes in the long term but at the cost of his reputation with a group of voters African Americans that have long been one of his strongest bases of political support."[49] Obama won by a more than two-to-one margin over Clinton, gaining 55% of the vote to her 27% and Edwards's 18%.[50] The day of the primary, Bill Clinton compared Obama's expected win to Jesse Jackson's victory in the 1988 South Carolina primary. His comments were widely criticized as an apparent attempt to dismiss the primary results and marginalize Obama by implying that he was "the black candidate."[51] The momentum generated by Obama's larger-than-expected win in South Carolina wasn't deflated somewhat by the win Clinton claimed in the nullified Florida primary the following week. John Edwards suspended his candidacy on January 30. He did not immediately endorse either Clinton or Obama, but said they both had pledged to carry forward his central campaign theme of ending poverty in America. Neither Clinton nor Obama had a clear advantage heading into the Super Tuesday primaries, with 23 states and territories and 1,681 delegates at stake and more media attention than any primary election day in American history.

Disputed primaries

In August 2006, the Democratic National Committee adopted a proposal by its Rules and Bylaws Committee stating that only the four states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina would be permitted to hold primaries or caucuses before February 5, 2008.[52] In May 2007, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that moved the date of the state's primary to January 29, 2008, setting up a confrontation with the DNC.[53] In response, the DNC ruled that Florida's 185 pledged delegates and 26 superdelegates would not be seated at the Democratic National Convention, or, if seated, would not be able to vote.[54] In October 2007, Democrats from Florida's congressional delegation filed a federal lawsuit against the DNC to force a recognition of its delegates, but the suit was unsuccessful.[52][55] The presidential candidates promised not to campaign in Florida.

Meanwhile, Michigan moved its primary to January 15, 2008, also in violation of party rules. In October 2007, Obama, Richardson, Biden, and Edwards withdrew their names from the Michigan primary ballot, under pressure from the DNC and voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.[56] Kucinich unsuccessfully sought to remove his name from the ballot,[57] whereas Clinton and Dodd opted to remain on the ballot.[58] In December 2007, the DNC ruled that Michigan's 128 pledged delegates and 29 superdelegates would not count in the nominating contest unless it were held on a later date.[59] The Michigan Democratic party responded with a press release noting that the primary would proceed with Clinton, Dodd, Gravel, and Kucinich on the ballot. Supporters of Biden, Edwards, Richardson, and Obama were urged to vote "uncommitted" instead of writing in their candidates' names because write-in votes for those candidates would not be counted.[60]

None of the top candidates campaigned in Florida or Michigan. The events were described in the media as "beauty contests,"[61] and voter turnout in both states was relatively low when compared with record-high turnout in other states.[62] Nevertheless, Clinton claimed wins in Florida and Michigan, and she flew to Fort Lauderdale on the night of the Florida election to thank supporters for what she called a "tremendous victory."[63]

As the primaries continued, various groups tried to negotiate a resolution to the standoff between the DNC and the state parties. The Clinton campaign advocated first for the results to stand and then for a new round of voting to take place in Michigan and Florida, while the Obama campaign deferred the matter to the DNC, while expressing a wish that the delegations be seated in some form.[64] On all sides, Democrats worried that a failure to resolve the problem could lead to a rules or credential fight at the convention and low Democratic turnout in the general election in November.[61]

On May 31, 2008, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee[65][66] voted unanimously (27-0) to restore half-votes to all the Florida Delegates, including superdelegates. The Michigan delegates were also given half-votes, with 69 delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton and 59 to Barack Obama; this proposed change passing by 19-8.[67][68]

Details Restored Votes to the Convention[67][68] Pledged Delegate Vote Count[32]
Awarded by the DNC Change
Notes
Current Estimate
Date Election link Pledged Super Total Obama Clinton Edwards Obama Clinton Edwards
January 15 Michigan primary 128 29 [69]   157   59 69 0 59 69 0
January 29 Florida primary  185 26[70] 211 67 105 13 [34] 67 105 13
- TOTAL 311 55 368 126 174 13 126 174 13

Super Tuesday

Staffers make phone calls to voters from Clinton's national campaign headquarters.

Traditionally, the Tuesday on which the greatest number of states hold primary elections is known as Super Tuesday. In 2007, many states moved their primaries or caucuses early in the calendar to have greater influence over the race. As February 5 was the earliest date allowed by the Democratic National Committee, 23 states and territories moved their elections to that date. This year's Super Tuesday became the date of the nation's first quasi-national primary. It was dubbed "Super Duper Tuesday"[71] or "Tsunami Tuesday,"[72] among other names.

After Obama's win in South Carolina on January 26, he received high-profile endorsements from Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President John F. Kennedy,[73] as well as Senator Ted Kennedy, the former President's brother.[74] Ted Kennedy's endorsement was considered "the biggest Democratic endorsement Obama could possibly get short of Bill Clinton or Al Gore."[75] On January 31, Obama and Clinton met for the first time in a one-on-one debate, and they struck a friendly tone, seeking to put the racially charged comments of the previous week behind them.[76] Obama surged nationally in the polls and held campaign rallies that drew audiences of more than 15,000 people in several states.[77]

A total of 1,681 pledged delegate votes were at stake in the states that voted on February 5. The following table shows the pledged delegate votes awarded in the Super Tuesday states.

Details Delegate Votes to the Convention Pledged Delegate Vote Count[32]
Election Result Change
Notes
Current Estimate
Election link Pledged Super Total Obama Clinton Obama Clinton
Alabama primary 52 8 60 27 25 27 25
Alaska caucuses 13 4 17 9 4 [78] 10 3
American Samoa caucuses 3 6 9 1 2 1 2
Arizona primary 56 11 67 25 31 25 31
Arkansas primary 35 12 47 8 27 8 27
California primary 370 71 441 166 204 166 204
Colorado caucuses 55 15 70 35 20 [79] 36 19
Connecticut primary 48 12 60 26 22 26 22
Delaware primary 15 8 23 9 6 9 6
Georgia primary 87 15 102 60 27 60 27
Idaho caucuses 18 5 23 15 3 15 3
Illinois primary 153 31 184 104 49 104 49
Kansas caucuses 32 9 41 23 9 23 9
Massachusetts primary 93 28 121 38 55 38 55
Minnesota caucuses 72 16 88 48 24 48 24
Missouri primary 72 16 88 36 36 36 36
New Jersey primary 107 20 127 48 59 48 59
New Mexico primary 26 12 38 12 14 12 14
New York primary 232 49 281 93 139 93 139
North Dakota caucuses 13 8 21 8 5 8 5
Oklahoma primary 38 10 48 14 24 14 24
Tennessee primary 68 17 85 28 40 28 40
Utah primary 23 6 29 14 9 14 9
TOTAL 1,681 390 2,071 847 834 849 832

On election night, both Obama and Clinton claimed victories. In the popular vote, Obama won 13 states and territories to Clinton's 10, including states like Idaho and Georgia where he won by very wide margins. His wins in Connecticut and Missouri were considered upsets. However, Clinton won the large electoral prizes of California and Massachusetts, where some analysts had expected the Kennedy endorsements might carry Obama to victory. Although Obama gained significant ground from where he was polling in mid-January, it was not enough to close the gap in those states. In exit polls, Obama gained the overwhelming support of African American voters, and he strengthened his base among college-educated voters and voters younger than 45. Clinton found significant support among white women, Latinos, and voters over the age of 65. Obama ran strongest in caucus states, Rocky Mountain states, the South and the Midwest. Clinton ran strongest in the Northeast, the Southwest, and the states adjacent to Arkansas, where she served as first lady. When the delegate counting was finished, Obama won an estimated 847 pledged delegates to Clinton's 834. Early in the primary season, many observers had predicted that the nomination would be over after Super Tuesday, but the general verdict on election night was that the candidates had drawn to a virtual tie and that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination would not likely be settled for a month, at least.[80]

Mid-February contests

In the following week, it became clear that a "tie" on Super Tuesday left Obama better positioned for the upcoming contests in February, where the demographics of several large states seemed to favor him.[81] The day after Super Tuesday, February 6, Clinton announced that she had personally loaned her campaign $5 million in January.[80] The news came as a surprise and set off another round of news stories about Clinton donors and supporters concerned about the campaign's strategy. It was particularly striking in contrast to Obama's announcement that he had raised a record-high $32 million in January, tapping 170,000 new contributors.[82] It became clear that Obama's financial advantage had allowed him to organize and compete in a broader set of states on Super Tuesday, an advantage likely to continue in the coming weeks and months. Clinton's supporters responded by raising $6 million online in 36 hours, but Obama's campaign upped the ante, announcing their own total of $7.5 million in 36 hours and starting a new goal of reaching 500,000 new contributors in 2008 by the end of February.[83]

Details Delegate Votes to the Convention Pledged Delegate Vote Count[32]
Election Result Change
Notes
Final Estimate
Date Election link Pledged Super Total Obama Clinton Obama Clinton
February 9 Louisiana primary 56 11 67 33 23 33 23
Nebraska caucuses 24 7 31 16 8 16 8
U.S. Virgin Islands primary 3 6 9 3 0 3 0
Washington caucuses[84][85] 78 19 97 52 26 52 26
February 10 Maine caucuses 24 8 32 15 9 15 9
February 5–12 Democrats Abroad primary 7 4 11
February 12 D.C. primary 15 24 39 12 3 [86] 13 2
Maryland primary 70 28[87] 98 42 28 [88] 43 27
Virginia primary 83 18 101 54 29 54 29
February 19 Hawaii caucuses 20 9 29 14 6 14 6
Wisconsin primary 74 18 92 42 32 42 32
- TOTAL 454 152 606 287½ 166½ 289½ 164½
An Obama rally in Seattle, Washington, draws 18,000 people.

As expected, Obama swept the three nominating events on February 9, which were thought to favor him based on the results in similar states that had voted previously. He then scored a convincing win in Maine, where Clinton had hoped to hold her ground.[89] The same day, Clinton's campaign announced the resignation of campaign advisor Patti Solis Doyle. Obama's momentum carried through the following week, as he scored large delegate gains in the Potomac Primaries, taking the lead in the nationwide popular vote, even under the projection most favorable to Clinton, with Florida and Michigan included. NBC News declared him "Mr. Frontrunner" on February 13.[90] Clinton attempted a comeback win in the demographically more favorable state of Wisconsin, but Obama won again by a larger margin than expected. In a span of 11 days, he swept 11 contests and extended his pledged delegate lead by 120. At the end of the month, Obama had 1,192 pledged delegates to Clinton's 1,035. He also began to close the gap in superdelegates, although Clinton still led among superdelegates, 240 to 191.[91] Clinton's campaign tried to downplay the results of the February contests, and the candidate refused to acknowledge the losses in her speeches on election nights. Her advisers acknowledged that she would need big wins in the upcoming states to turn the race around.

March

With four states and 370 delegates at stake, March 4 was dubbed "Mini-Super Tuesday" or "Super Tuesday 2.0." Just as Obama had been favored in the mid-February states, Clinton was favored in Ohio, with its high proportion of working-class white voters and older voters, and Texas, with its high proportion of Latino voters. Exit polls in previous states showed that all three groups were a part of Clinton's base. In mid-February, Clinton held a 10-point lead in Texas and a 20-point lead in Ohio in RealClearPolitics polling averages.[92] The Clinton campaign set its sights on the Ohio-Texas "firewall," counting on a clear March 4 win to change the narrative and turn around her campaign for the nomination. Meanwhile, Obama hoped to score a win in one or both states that might be enough to knock Clinton out of the race. By February 25, they were in a statistical dead heat in Texas, according to a CNN poll.[93]

Clinton campaigns in Lorain, Ohio.

In the last week of February, Clinton's campaign seemed to be back on its feet. A Saturday Night Live sketch mocked the media for its supposedly biased coverage in favor of Obama, and Clinton used the sketch to argue that Obama had not received proper scrutiny. The media responded by taking a more critical look at Obama's campaign.[94] Meanwhile, Obama supporter and former fundraiser Tony Rezko went on trial in a political corruption case in Chicago. While Obama was not implicated, questions remained about how forthcoming he had been about his relationship with Rezko.[94] Controversy also erupted when it was reported in the Canadian press that Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee had privately offered assurances that Obama's anti-North American Free Trade Agreement rhetoric on the campaign trail was exaggerated. Obama's campaign denied the substance of the report, but their response was muddled by a series of missteps and may have hurt the candidate's standing with Ohio voters.[95] Clinton launched a five-point attack on Obama's qualifications, "unleashing what one Clinton aide called a 'kitchen sink' fusillade," according to The New York Times.[96] Perhaps the most damaging component was a campaign ad that aired in Texas, using the imagery of the White House "red phone" to suggest that Obama would not be prepared to handle a crisis as commander-in-chief when a phone call comes in to the White House at 3 a.m. The ad drew significant media attention in the four days before the election.[97]

Details Delegate Votes to the Convention Pledged Delegate Vote Count[32]
Election Result Change
Notes
Current Estimate
Date Election link Pledged Super Total Obama Clinton Obama Clinton
March 4 Ohio primary 141 21 162 67 74 67 74
Rhode Island primary 21 12 33 8 13 8 13
Texas primary[98] 126 35 228 61 65 61 65
Texas caucuses[98] 67 38 29 [99] 38 29
Vermont primary 15 8 23 9 6 9 6
March 8 Wyoming caucuses 12 6 18 7 5 7 5
March 11 Mississippi primary 33 8 41 20 13 20 13
- TOTAL 415 90 505 210 205 210 205

On election night, Clinton scored convincing wins in Ohio and Rhode Island. She narrowly won the Texas primary, while losing the Texas caucus. She pitched her wins that night as a comeback: "For everyone here in Ohio and across America who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, and for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you."[100]

Obama focused on the "delegate math." He won the total delegate count in Texas, and he stayed close to Clinton on the delegate count in Ohio. "No matter what happens tonight," he said, "we have nearly the same delegate lead that we did this morning, and we are on our way to winning this nomination."[101] In fact, March 4 was the first election day in which Clinton won more delegates than Obama (though the Florida and Michigan primaries would later be honored by seating half of the states' delegations). After winning contests in Wyoming and Mississippi the following week, Obama erased Clinton's March 4 gains. On March 15, he increased his lead by 10 delegates at the Iowa county conventions, when former supporters of withdrawn candidates switched their support to him.

After the March contests, the Democratic race entered a six-week period with no upcoming contests until April 22. As the campaigns settled in for the long haul, advisors for both candidates escalated their rhetoric and stepped up attacks in their daily conference calls. News reports described the tenor as increasingly "rancorous" and "vitriolic."[102]

On March 14, clips of controversial sermons from Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, resurfaced on YouTube and received heavy airtime on cable news television. Among other things, Wright said, "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme." Four days later, Obama responded to the controversy in a 37-minute speech, speaking openly about race and religion in the United States. He denounced Wright's remarks while refusing to condemn the pastor himself, and he attempted to pivot from the immediate circumstances to address the larger theme of "A More Perfect Union." The speech was regarded as "breathtakingly unconventional" in its political strategy and tone,[103] and it received generally positive reviews in the press. The New York Times weighed in with an editorial: "Senator Barack Obama, who has not faced such tests of character this year, faced one on Tuesday. It is hard to imagine how he could have handled it better."[104] Ten days later, the speech had been watched at least 3.4 million times on YouTube.[105]

On March 21, former primary candidate Bill Richardson, who has previously held important posts in the Clinton Administration, endorsed Barack Obama, a move that drew intense criticism from Clinton allies, including James Carville's Eastertime comparison of Richardson with Judas Iscariot.[106] On March 25, Mike Gravel announced that he would leave the Democrats and join the Libertarian Party, entering the race for the 2008 Libertarian presidential nomination the following day.[107]

April and beyond

On May 18, Obama speaks to a crowd of 75,000 in Portland, Oregon.[108]

As the race continued to Pennsylvania, Indiana, and North Carolina, many observers concluded that Clinton had little chance to overcome Obama's lead in pledged delegates.[109] Even if she were to succeed changing the dynamics of the race, there would not be enough pledged delegates remaining for her to catch up under most realistic scenarios.[110] Some analysts believed Clinton could still win the nomination by raising doubts about Obama's electability, fighting for Michigan and Florida delegates to be seated at the convention, and convincing superdelegates to support her despite her expected loss in the pledged delegate vote.[111] However, the window of opportunity for re-votes in Michigan and Florida appeared to close in late March,[110] and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, chair of the Democratic National Convention, said that it would be harmful to the party if superdelegates were to overturn the result of the pledged delegate vote.[112]

Complicating the equation for Democrats, presidential candidate John McCain clinched the Republican nomination on March 4. With Obama and Clinton engaged in the Democratic primary, McCain was free to define his candidacy for the general election largely unchallenged. Some Democrats expressed concern that Clinton stayed in the campaign through March and April, when they felt she had little chance to win the nomination, but a much greater chance to damage Obama's candidacy in the general election. However, others defended Clinton's right to continue on, arguing that a sustained campaign was good for the Democratic Party and that Clinton still had a realistic shot at the nomination.[113]

On April 22, Clinton scored a convincing win in Pennsylvania. However, on May 6, Obama surprised many observers by winning North Carolina by almost 15 percentage points, effectively erasing Clinton's gains in Pennsylvania. Clinton won by only 1 point in Indiana. With Obama now leading by 164 pledged delegates and with only 217 pledged delegates left to be decided in the remaining contests, many pundits declared that the primary was effectively over. Obama gave an election night speech that looked forward to the general election campaign against McCain.[114] The pace of superdelegate endorsements increased. On May 10, Obama's superdelegate total surpassed Clinton's for the first time in the race, making the math increasingly difficult for a Clinton win.[115]

Clinton vowed to continue campaigning, and won convincingly in primaries in West Virginia on May 13, and Kentucky on May 20 where Appalachian voters strongly preferred her over Sen. Obama. However Senator Obama was able to clear a victory in Oregon on May 20, which allowed him to clinched the majority of pledged delegates. Obama gave his victory speech in Des Moines, Iowa, the state that propelled his candidacy, in which he stated "The road here has been long, there have been bumps along the way. I have made some mistakes, but also it's partly because we've traveled this road with one of the most formidable candidates to ever run for this office. Now, some may see the millions upon millions of votes cast for each of us as evidence that our party is divided, but I see it as proof that we have never been more energized and united in our desire to take this country in a new direction." Clinton advisers said they would appeal to the DNC's Rules & Bylaws Committee[116][117] to have the Michigan and Florida delegations seated. However, even under the most favorable seating arrangement, she would not have been able to take a lead in pledged delegates and would have had to rely on superdelegates to win the nomination. On May 31, the rules committee accepted the Michigan state party's 69-59 distribution of pledged delegates and restored half votes to Florida's and Michigan's delegations. This resulted in a net gain for Clinton of 24 pledged delegates. Obama remained significantly ahead, with a lead of 137 pledged delegates before the Puerto Rico primary on June 1.

Barack Obama on the night he clinched the Democratic nomination.
June 3, 2008 at Xcel Energy Center (right with Michelle)

On June 3, the day of the final primaries in South Dakota and Montana, Obama rolled out about sixty superdelegate endorsements. Those endorsements, together with the pledged delegates awarded in the final primaries, put him well over the "magic number" of 2,117 delegate votes necessary for a majority at the Democratic National Convention. By early in the evening, all major news organizations had announced that Obama had clinched the Democratic nomination, and Obama claimed the status of presumptive nominee in a speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton did not concede the nomination in her election night speech, saying that she would be "making no decisions tonight".[118] On the morning of June 5, Clinton posted on her website an open letter to her supporters, which she also sent by e-mail that day. It announced that on Saturday (June 7) Clinton would endorse Obama's candidacy. During a well received concession speech in Washington DC on Saturday June 7 Clinton endorsed Obama in the following terms: "The way to continue our fight now, to accomplish the goals for which we stand is to take our energy, our passion, our strength, and do all we can to help elect Barack Obama, the next president of the United States. Today, as I suspend my campaign, I congratulate him on the victory he has won and the extraordinary race he has run. I endorse him and throw my full support behind him."

Details Delegate Votes to the Convention Pledged Delegate Vote Count[32]
Election Result Change
Notes
Current Estimate
Date Election link Pledged Super Total Obama Clinton Obama Clinton
April 22 Pennsylvania primary 158 29 187 73 85 73 85
May 3 Guam caucuses 4 5 9 2 2 2 2
May 6 Indiana primary 72 13 85 34 38 34 38
North Carolina primary 115 19 134 67 48 67 48
May 13 West Virginia primary 28 11 39 8 20 8 20
May 20 Kentucky primary 51 9 60 14 37 14 37
Oregon primary 52 13 65 31 21 31 21
June 1 Puerto Rico primary 55 8 63 17 38 17 38
June 3 Montana primary 16 9 25 9 7 9 7
South Dakota primary 15 8 23 6 9 6 9
- At-large vacancies* - 2 2
- TOTAL 566 126 692 261 305 261 305

* Two at-large DNC superdelegate seats are vacant, see: History of superdelegate composition changes.

Voter turnout

Democratic primary turnout exceeded Republican turnout in most states through March 4 (when John McCain clinched the Republican nomination). The eight exceptions were Alabama, Alaska, McCain's home state of Arizona, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, and Florida and Michigan, where the Democratic primaries had been nullified.

Voter turnout was at historically high levels in the 2008 primaries and caucuses, with many contests setting all-time records for turnout. Voter turnout on Super Tuesday was at 27% of eligible citizens, breaking the previous record of 25.9% set in 1972.[119] Turnout was higher among Democrats than Republicans, with Democratic turnout surpassing Republican turnout even in traditionally red states where the number of registered Democrats is proportionally low.[120] Many states reported high levels of Democratic voter registration in the weeks before primaries.[121] From January 3 through February 5, Democratic turnout exceeded Republican turnout, 19.1 million to 13.1 million.[122]

In the first five weeks of 2008, 'voter turnout' was a phrase that was used almost exclusively in connection with the Democratic Party. There were routine stories of precincts running short on ballots, poll hours being extended, and voters packing haunch to paunch inside community centers and local churches. Crowd sizes were described, often with growing awe, as 'staggering,' 'record breaking,' or 'unprecedented.'

Kent Garber, U.S. News & World Report[122]

The high Democratic turnout was attributed to several factors:[123]

  • the compressed primary calendar, which gave voters in more states an opportunity to participate in the nomination
  • the first competitive Democratic race since 1992
  • media interest and voter excitement generated by the first viable African American and female presidential contenders
  • dissatisfaction with Republican presidential candidates
  • the early emergence of John McCain as the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party
  • open primaries in some states, which allowed Republicans and independent voters to participate in Democratic contests
  • dissatisfaction with President George W. Bush and Iraq War policy
  • cyclical party realignment

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Boston Globe: Clinton touts popular vote lead
  2. ^ Weisman, Jonathan, et al. (2008-06-04). "Strategy Was Based On Winning Delegates, Not Battlegrounds". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/03/AR2008060304268.html. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  3. ^ Pickler, Nedra, AP: Obama's Political Team Out-Organized Clinton, The Huffington Post, 5/24/08.
  4. ^ a b c 2008 Democratic Convention Watch, 2008-06-06, http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/06/superdelegate-endorsements-for-friday.html, retrieved 2008-06-07 
  5. ^ The pledged delegate estimates come from the sum of the states listed in the Chronicle section in this article.
  6. ^ "Clinton to suspend campaign Saturday". MSNBC. 2008-06-04. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24974674. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  7. ^ "Clinton to suspend her campaign on Saturday". CNN. 2008-05-14. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/14/edwards.obama/. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  8. ^ "Democratic Delegate Allocation - 2008". http://www.thegreenpapers.com/P08/D-Alloc.phtml#Terr. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  9. ^ a b c "Delegate Selection Rules for the 2008 Democratic National Convention". Democratic National Committee. 2006-08-19. http://www.democrats.org/page/-/dem_convention/rules.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  10. ^ "Why delegates matter in the presidential race". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/02/delegate.explainer/index.html. 
  11. ^ "FAQ's". Nevada State Democratic Party. http://www.nvdemscaucus.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=13&Itemid=30.  See also: "Iowa Democratic Party Precinct Caucus Fact Sheet". Iowa Democratic Party. Archived from the original on 2007-07-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20070703085604/www.iowafirstcaucus.org/faqs.php. 
  12. ^ Tibbetts, Ed (2007-12-15). "So why DO we caucus, anyway?". Quad-City Times. http://www.qctimes.com/articles/2007/12/15/news/local/doc4764bb64e0b44787047257.txt. 
  13. ^ McIntire, Mike (February 9, 2008). "Media and Candidate Methods of Counting Delegates Vary and So Do Totals". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/us/politics/09delegates.html?. 
  14. ^ "Call for the 2008 Democratic National Convention". Democratic National Committee. 2008-03-17. pp. 33. http://www.democrats.org/page/-/pdf/FINAL2008CalltotheConvention.pdf. Retrieved 2008-03-17. 
  15. ^ "Campaign Finance: First Quarter 2007 FEC Filings", Washington Post, 2007.
  16. ^ Balz, Dan (2007-04-27). "Candidates Unite in Criticizing Bush". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/26/AR2007042602593.html. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  17. ^ Seelye, Katharine (2007-11-21). "Oprah May Campaign for Obama". New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/oprah-may-campaign-for-obama/. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  18. ^ "Oprah to aid Obama in D.M., Cedar Rapids". Des Moines Register. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071127/NEWS09/711270383/-1/caucus. 
  19. ^ http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=104265&d=4&m=12&y=2007
  20. ^ Jeff Zeleny (December 8, 2007). "Oprah in Des Moines". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/08/oprah-in-des-moines/?hp. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  21. ^ James Pindell (December 9, 2007). "Oprah-Obama double bill largest political NH rally in recent memory". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/local/politics/primarysource/2007/12/oprahobama_doub.html. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  22. ^ http://www.newsweek.com/id/74581/page/2
  23. ^ Charles Hurt (December 10, 2007). "Oprah-rah-rah pulls in 30,000". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/12102007/news/nationalnews/oprah_rah_rah_pulls_in_30_000_889319.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  24. ^ Mark Murray (December 10, 2007). "First Thoughts: All tied up". MSNBC. http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/12/10/507731.aspx. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  25. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey Show (and Obama was there too)". The Independent. December 10, 2007. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article3239382.ece. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  26. ^ http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2007/12/sweet_new_poll_puts_obama_in_s.html#more
  27. ^ http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/so-much-for-one-person-one-vote/
  28. ^ "Rasmussen Reports: Daily Presidential Tracking Polling History". http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/weekly_presidential_tracking_polling_history. 
  29. ^ "RealClear Politics, Final Polls, Iowa Democratic Caucus". http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/ia/iowa_democratic_caucus-208.html. 
  30. ^ "Highlights of the 2008 Rules". The Democratic Party. http://www.democrats.org/a/2006/08/highlights_of_t.php. 
  31. ^ BBC NEWS | Americas | Equal split masks Obama victory
  32. ^ a b c d e f Sources are indicated at each state's primary or caucus article, reached by following the appropriate "Election link."
  33. ^ Several candidates have withdrawn their nomination bids since the Iowa caucuses on January 3. At the Iowa county conventions on March 15 and the district conventions on April 26, some delegates supporting the withdrawn candidates moved their support to Obama.
  34. ^ a b "2008 Democratic Convention Watch: What happens to Edwards' delegates?". Democratic Convention Watch. 2008-06-04. http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/what-happens-to-edwards-delegates.html. Retrieved 2008-06-04. "Edwards still has 3 state-wide delegates from Iowa, which will be allocated at the Iowa State Convention on June 14. They will remain in Edwards column until then." 
  35. ^ After John Edwards withdrew from the race and subsequently endorsed Barack Obama on May 14, a delegate supporting Edwards announced an intention to support Obama at the national convention.
  36. ^ Higher turnout from Obama supporters at the Nevada state convention on May 17 resulted in a 14-11 delegate split, in contrast to the 13-12 split predicted by the precinct caucuses on January 19. See: Obama flips Clinton's Nevada win; captures more national delegates, Inside Nevada Politics, May 17, 2008.
  37. ^ After John Edwards withdrew from the race and subsequently endorsed Barack Obama on May 14, some delegates supporting Edwards announced their intention to support Obama at the national convention
  38. ^ Foon Rhee (2008-01-03). "Obama says time for change has come". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/01/obama_says_time.html. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  39. ^ a b Bill Nichols (2008-01-03). "Obama and Huckabee win big in Iowa". politico.com. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/7695.html. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  40. ^ Karen Tumulty (2008-01-05). "Clinton Machine Shaken By Setback". Time. http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1700705,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-05.  See also: Kornblut, Anne E.; Jonathan Weisman, Paul Kane (2008-01-05). "Clinton's Supporters Question Her Strategy". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/04/AR2008010404002.html. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  41. ^ Kornblut, Anne E. (2008-01-08). "A Clinton Campaign Shakeup?". Washington Post. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/01/08/a_clinton_campaign_shakeup.html. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  42. ^ E. J. Dionne, Jr. (2008-01-08). "A Candidacy's Prose and Cons". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/07/AR2008010702263.html. Retrieved 2008-01-09. 
  43. ^ "RealClearPolitics New Hampshire Polling Average". http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/nh/new_hampshire_democratic_primary-194.html. 
  44. ^ Patrick Healy, Jeff Zelaney (2008-01-06). "At Debate, Two Rivals Go After Defiant Clinton". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/us/politics/06dems.html. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  45. ^ Mark Memmott, Jill Lawrence (2008-01-06). "Edwards: He & Obama share a 'conviction alliance'". USA Today. http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2008/01/edwards-he-obam.html. Retrieved 2008-01-06. 
  46. ^ "Clinton chokes up, is applauded, at campaign stop". CNN. 2008-01-07. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/07/clinton.emotional/index.html#cnnSTCText. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  47. ^ "Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton South Carolina". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/hillary-clinton-bill-clinton-south-carolina. 
  48. ^ "Hillary Largely Skipping South Carolina, Leaving The State To Bill". Talking Points Memo. http://tpmelectioncentral.com/2008/01/report_hillary_largely_skipping_south_carolina_leaving_the_state_to_bill.php. 
  49. ^ Vaughn Ververs. "Analysis: Bill Clinton's Lost Legacy". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/26/politics/main3755521.shtml. 
  50. ^ "Obama claims big win in South Carolina". CNN. 2008-01-26. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/26/sc.primary/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  51. ^ "Bubba: Obama is like Jesse Jackson". ABCNews.com. 2008-01-26. http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/01/bubba-obama-is.html. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  52. ^ a b Tomasky, Michael (2008-03-20). "A Possibly Super Problem". New York Review of Books. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21130. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  53. ^ "This bill does a lot more than advertised". 2007-05-08. http://www.sptimes.com/2007/05/08/Columns/This_bill_does_a_lot_.shtml. Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  54. ^ "Orlando Sentinel Blogs". Orlando Sentinel. 2007-07-21. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_politics/2007/06/democrats-still.html. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  55. ^ "Can the Democratic Party Ignore Florida's Primary". Christian Science Monitor. 2007-10-16. http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1016/p01s01-uspo.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  56. ^ Michigan Department of State (2007-10-09). "Four Candidates Withdraw from Michigan Primary Ballot". Press release. http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127--177580--,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  57. ^ Zachary Gorchow (2008-01-03). "Kucinich says he'll come to Michigan after all". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080103/NEWS06/801030383/1008. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  58. ^ Kathy Barks Hoffman (2007-10-10). "Clinton In, 5 Dems Out of Mich. Primary". Guardian Unlimited (Associated Press). http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6984389,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  59. ^ Stephen Ohlemacher (2007-12-02). "Democrats Strip Michigan of Delegates". WKRN (Associated Press). http://www.wkrn.com/nashville/news/ap-democrats-strip-michigan-of-delegates/130992.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  60. ^ Michigan Democratic Party (2007-12-10). "MDP Releases Voter Guide To Help Voters Understand Presidential Primary". Press release. http://www.michigandems.com/121007prs.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  61. ^ a b Balz, Dan (2008-02-09). "Sanctioned States Put Democrats in Quandary". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/08/AR2008020803801.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20.  See also: Sheinin, Aaron Gould (2008-03-06). "Thurmond backs re-voting in Florida, Michigan". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/03/06/floridavote_0307_web.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  62. ^ Krunholz, June (2008-03-19). "Disenfranchising Non-Voters in Florida and Michigan?". Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/03/19/disenfranchising-non-voters-in-florida-and-michigan/?mod=googlenews_wsj. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  63. ^ Broder, John M. (2008-01-30). "Clinton Wins in Florida, but Without Any Delegates to Sweeten the Victory". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9804E4D8143DF933A05752C0A96E9C8B63. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  64. ^ Luo, Michael; John M. Broder (2008-02-15). "Delegate Battles Snarl Democrats in Two States". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/15/us/politics/15donate.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20.  See also: Mooney, Alexander (2008-03-20). "Obama: Wright flap has 'shaken me up'". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/19/obama.interview/index.html#cnnSTCText. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  65. ^ "Rules and Bylaws Committee membership". 2008 Democratic Convention Watch. 2008-04-28. http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/04/rules-and-bylaws-committee-membership.html. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  66. ^ "Regulations of the Rules & Bylaws Committee For the 2008 Democratic National Convention (amended)" (pdf). DNC. 2007-02-01. http://s3.amazonaws.com/apache.3cdn.net/6db9de2c969d3fd055_2bm6ib44l.pdf. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  67. ^ a b Parnes, Amie; Avi Zenilman (2008-05-31). "DNC panel agrees to seat Mich., Fla.". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10732.html. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  68. ^ a b "Florida and Michigan Votes Seated". 2008 Democratic Convention Watch. 2008-05-31. http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/05/welcome-back.html. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 
  69. ^ +1 due to Brenda Lawrence becoming a DNC Member for National Conference of Democratic Mayors," filling a previous vacancy
  70. ^ Ken Curtis moved from Maine to Florida. (Florida +1; Maine -1)
  71. ^ Schneider, Bill (2007-02-07). "It could all be over after 'Super Tuesday'". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/02/05/schneider.superduper.tuesday/index.html. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  72. ^ Chuck Todd (2007-05-10). "Will Tsunami Tuesday be an Afterthought?". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18593870/. 
  73. ^ Kennedy, Caroline (2008-01-27). "A President Like My Father". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/opinion/27kennedy.html. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  74. ^ Allen, Mike; Brown, Carrie Budoff (2008-01-27). "Ted Kennedy embraces Obama". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/8134.html. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  75. ^ Jeff Zeleny, Brian Knowlton (2008-01-27). "Kennedy Plans to Back Obama Over Clinton". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/us/politics/27cnd-campaign.html. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  76. ^ Balz, Dan; Anne E. Kornblut (2008-02-01). "Head to Head, Clinton, Obama Shelve Rancor". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/31/AR2008013104068.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  77. ^ Rosenthal, Andrew (2008-02-04). "Michelle, Maria, Caroline and Oprah on the Hustings in California". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/04/opinion/04mon4.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20.  See also: Collins, Gail (2008-01-31). "Four's a Crowd". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/31/opinion/31collins.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20.  See also: Zeleny, Jeff; Elisabeth Bumiller (2008-02-03). "Candidates Scrambling As Wave of Votes Nears". New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=990DE3DF133CF930A35751C0A96E9C8B63. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  78. ^ The final result of the state convention on May 24 was a 10-3 split in pledged delegates. A 9-4 split had been predicted after the precinct caucuses on February 5. See Alaska Democratic caucuses, 2008 for details.
  79. ^ The final result of the state convention on May 17 and the district conventions was a 36-19 split. A 35-20 split had been predicted after the precinct caucuses on February 5. See Colorado Democratic caucuses, 2008 for details.
  80. ^ a b Hook, Janet; Mark Z. Barabak (2008-02-06). "Obama, Clinton campaigns assess Super Tuesday results". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-demcampaign7feb07,0,5501826.story. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  81. ^ Cillizza, Chris (2008-02-07). "What's Next". The Fix (Washington Post). http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/02/whats_next.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  82. ^ Zeleny, Jeff; Leslie Wayne (2008-02-01). "Enlisting New Donors, Obama Reaped $32 Million in January". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/01/us/politics/01donate.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  83. ^ Healy, Patrick; Jeff Zeleny (2008-02-08). "Obama Outshines Clinton at Raising Funds". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/us/politics/08clinton.html. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  84. ^ Washington Democrats use the February 9 caucuses to award delegates and ignore the February 19 primary. See Washington Democratic caucuses, 2008 for details.
  85. ^ Yardley, William (2008-02-18). "In Washington State Vote, Relevance Is an Issue". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/us/politics/18washington.html. 
  86. ^ Clinton pledged delegate Jack Evans has announced an intention to vote for Obama at the national convention. See Washington City Paper and Washington Post articles. See District of Columbia Democratic primary, 2008 for details.
  87. ^ Albert Wynn announced his resignation as U.S. Representative on March 28, 2008. (Maryland -1) See Helderman, Rosalind S.; Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (2008-03-28). "Wynn Decides to Leave Congress Months Before His Term Expires". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/27/AR2008032702136.html. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  88. ^ In May, pledged Clinton delegate Jack B. Johnson said he would vote for Obama, and urge the entire Maryland delegation to do so also. See "Pr. George's Executive Switches To Obama", Washington Post, May 13, 2008. See Maryland Democratic primary, 2008 for details.
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  98. ^ a b Under the rules of Texas's unique "two-step" system, 126 pledged delegates are chosen during the primary on March 4. The remaining 67 pledged delegates are chosen during a caucus process beginning March 4 and culminating in a state convention June 6–7.
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  121. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (2008-02-05). "Connecticut Sees Surge of Voters for Primary". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/nyregion/05conn.html. Retrieved 2008-03-09. 
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Simple English

The Democratic Party presidential primaries of 2008 was an American political event. In various states, various Democratic candidates asked people and delegates to vote for them in primaries and caucuses. Candidates won delegates based on a percentage of votes (in primaries). There were 4,233 delegates. A candidate would have to get 2,110 delegates to win the nomination. The two front-runners of the campaign were New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Although Clinton led in the beginning, Obama soon gained the lead. Obama went on to become the first African-American presidential candidate in American history.


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