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United States presidential election in California, 2008
November 4, 2008
Official portrait of Barack Obama-2.jpg John McCain official portrait with alternative background.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Arizona
Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
Electoral vote 55 0
Popular vote 8,274,473 5,011,781
Percentage 61.01% 36.95%
California Presidential Election Results by County, 2008.svg
County results

Incumbent President
George W. Bush
Republican

President-elect
Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in California took place on November 4, 2008 throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, which was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 55 representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

California was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama with a 24.0% margin of victory, one of the highest in the history of the state's presidential elections. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. No Republican has carried the state in a presidential election since 1988. Obama won this state with 61.01% of the popular vote and all of California's electoral votes. Republican candidate John McCain won 36.95% of the popular vote.

Contents

Primaries

On February 5, 2008 presidential primaries were held by all parties with ballot access in the state:

Campaign

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Predictions

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: Democrat[1]
  2. Cook Political Report: Solid Democrat[2]
  3. Takeaway: Solid Obama[3]
  4. Election Projection: Solid Obama[4]
  5. Electoral-vote.com: Strong Democrat[5]
  6. Washington Post: Solid Obama[6]
  7. Politico: Solid Obama[7]
  8. Real Clear Politics: Solid Obama[8]
  9. FiveThirtyEight.com: Solid Obama[9]
  10. CQ Politics: Safe Democrat[10]
  11. New York Times: Solid Democrat[11]
  12. CNN: Safe Democrat[12]
  13. NPR: Solid Obama[13]
  14. MSNBC: Solid Obama[14]
  15. Fox News: Democrat[15]
  16. Associated Press: Democrat[16]
  17. Rasmussen Reports: Safe Democrat[17]

Polling

Obama won most opinion polls taken prior to the election. In the final three polls he averaged 59%, while McCain averaged 34%; which is close to the results on election day.[18]

Fundraising

Obama raised a total of $124,325,459 from the state. McCain raised a total of $26,802,024.[19]

Advertising and visits

The Obama campaign spent almost $5,570,641. The McCain campaign spent $1,885,142.[20] Obama visited the state six times. McCain visited the state eight times.[21]

Candidates

In California, the six political parties which have ballot access can put one presidential and vice presidential candidate on the ballot. Voters cast their ballots for the party's ticket. Other candidates could have qualified for the ballot by petitioning; the petition requirement in 2008 was 158,372 signatures from registered voters.[22] No candidate met this requirement in 2008 but several candidates did qualify as official write-in candidate. The ballot listed candidates were:[23]

There were also several write in candidates: Chuck Baldwin, James Harris, Frank Moore, and Ron Paul.[24]

Analysis

California was once a Republican stronghold, supporting Republican candidates in every election from 1952 through 1988, except in 1964. However, since the 1990s, California has become a reliably Democratic state with a highly diverse ethnic and Latino population and liberal bastions such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County. The last time the state was won by a Republican candidate was in 1988 by George H. W. Bush.

Obama won by a historic margin, with 61.01% of the votes. The last time the margin was higher in the state was in 1936 when Franklin D. Roosevelt won by 66.95%.[25]

In San Francisco and Alameda County (which encompass Oakland and Berkeley), four out of five voters backed the Democratic candidate. Elsewhere in the Bay Area, Obama won every county by a three to two margin or greater.[26] In Los Angeles County, Obama won almost 70% of the votes.[26] In traditionally Republican counties Obama also made headway. Fresno County, for example, a heavily populated county in the Central Valley, went from giving Bush a 16% margin to a 1% margin for Obama.[26] San Diego County, moved from voting narrowly Republican to voting Democratic by double-digits.[26] San Bernardino and Riverside Counties went from double-digit Republican victories to narrow Democratic wins.[26] Ventura County, also moved from Republican to Democratic. In Orange County, a long-standing bastion of conservative Republicanism, Obama polled over 47% of the vote, the closest a Democrat has come to carrying the county since 1936.[26]

Voter turnout was also fairly higher in the election. The 79% turnout of registered voters was the highest since the 1976 presidential election.[27]

Results

The following are official results from the California Secretary of State.[28]

United States presidential election in California, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 8,274,473 61.01% 55
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 5,011,781 36.95% 0
Peace and Freedom Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 108,381 0.80% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 67,582 0.50% 0
American Independent Alan Keyes Brian Rohrbough 40,673 0.30% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 38,774 0.29% 0
Independent Ron Paul (write-in) Gail Lightfoot 17,006 0.13% 0
Independent Chuck Baldwin (write-in) Darrell Castle 3,145 0.02% 0
Independent James Harris (write-in) Alyson Kennedy 49 0.00% 0
Independent Frank Moore (write-in) Susan Block 36 0.00% 0
Valid votes 13,561,900 98.68%
Invalid or blank votes 181,277 1.32%
Totals 13,743,177 100.00% 55
Voter turnout 79.42%

Results breakdown

By county

The results below are primarily compiled from the final reports available from the Secretary of State. The "others" category also includes write-in votes.[29]

County Obama Votes McCain Votes Others Votes
San Francisco 84.2% 322,220 13.7% 52,292 2.2% 8,353
Alameda 78.8% 489,106 19.3% 119,555 2.0% 12,368
Marin 78.0% 109,320 20.3% 28,384 2.0% 2,866
Santa Cruz 77.5% 98,745 19.9% 25,244 2.9% 3,747
Sonoma 73.7% 168,888 24.1% 55,127 2.5% 5,817
San Mateo 73.5% 222,826 24.8% 75,057 1.6% 4,965
Mendocino 69.6% 27,843 26.8% 10,721 4.0% 1,620
Santa Clara 69.5% 462,241 28.6% 190,039 1.8% 12,255
Los Angeles 69.2% 2,295,853 28.9% 956,425 1.9% 64,352
Monterey 68.2% 88,453 29.9% 38,797 2.0% 2,533
Contra Costa 68.0% 306,983 30.3% 136,436 2.2% 9,825
Yolo 67.1% 53,488 30.9% 24,592 2.1% 1,669
Napa 65.2% 38,849 32.7% 19,484 2.0% 1,214
Solano 63.5% 102,095 34.9% 56,035 2.1% 3,458
Humboldt 62.3% 39,692 34.1% 21,713 4.0% 2,559
Imperial 62.3% 24,162 36.1% 14,008 1.6% 631
Alpine 61.0% 422 36.4% 252 2.6% 18
San Benito 60.5% 11,917 37.7% 7,425 2.3% 446
Santa Barbara 60.4% 105,614 37.5% 65,585 2.4% 4,208
Sacramento 58.5% 316,506 39.5% 213,583 2.4% 12,770
Lake 58.2% 14,854 38.9% 9,935 3.3% 840
Mono 55.6% 3,093 42.3% 2,354 2.2% 124
Ventura 55.3% 187,601 43.0% 145,853 2.2% 7,587
San Joaquin 54.5% 113,974 43.8% 91,607 2.2% 4,727
San Diego 54.2% 666,581 44.0% 541,032 2.3% 27,890
Merced 53.4% 34,031 45.0% 28,704 2.1% 1,316
San Bernardino 52.1% 315,720 45.8% 277,408' 2.2% 13,206
Nevada 51.5% 28,617 46.2% 25,663 2.1% 1,138
San Luis Obispo 51.4% 68,176 46.1% 61,055 2.0% 3,924
Trinity 50.8% 3,233 46.2% 2,940 4.0% 257
Riverside 50.3% 325,017 47.9% 310,041 1.7% 11,216
Fresno 50.3% 136,706 48.2% 131,015 2.1% 5,727
Butte 49.8% 49,013 47.5% 46,706 2.7% 2,606
Stanislaus 49.9% 80,279 48.2% 77,497 2.3% 3,736
Orange 47.7% 549,558 50.2% 579,064 2.2% 25,065
Del Norte 45.4% 4,323 52.2% 4,967 2.4% 231
Inyo 43.9% 3,743 53.1% 4,523 2.9% 243
El Dorado 43.7% 40,529 54.2% 50,314 2.6% 2,466
Placer 43.4% 75,112 54.7% 94,647 2.3% 4,053
Siskiyou 43.3% 9,292 53.7% 11,520 3.5% 752
Plumas 42.8% 4,715 54.8% 6,035 3.1% 343
Mariposa 42.5% 4,100 54.9% 5,298 2.9% 279
Tuolumne 42.5% 11,532 55.2% 14,988 2.3% 631
Madera 42.4% 17,952 55.7% 23,583 2.2% 939
Calaveras 42.2% 9,813 55.1% 12,835 3.3% 773
Kings 42.1% 14,747 56.2% 19,710 1.8% 618
Amador 41.5% 7,813 56.1% 10,561 2.3% 436
Yuba 41.5% 8,866 56.2% 12,007 2.3% 492
Tulare 41.5% 43,634 56.9% 59,765 2.0% 2,126
Sutter 40.8% 13,412 57.5% 18,911 2.1% 698
Kern 40.2% 93,457 57.9% 134,793 1.8% 4,111
Colusa 40.0% 2,569 58.1% 3,733 2.3% 146
Glenn 37.8% 3,734 59.9% 5,910 2.3% 225
Sierra 37.4% 743 58.2% 1,158 4.9% 97
Tehama 36.7% 8,945 60.8% 14,843 3.1% 772
Shasta 36.0% 28,867 61.7% 49,588 2.2% 1,734
Lassen 31.5% 3,586 65.8% 7,483 3.2% 364
Modoc 29.8% 1,313 67.5% 2,981 2.2% 95

By congressional district

Obama carried 42 congressional districts in California, including all 34 districts held by Democrats and eight districts held by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 31.69% 65.60% Mike Thompson
2nd 56.10% 41.43% Wally Herger
3rd 48.81% 49.28% Dan Lungren
4th 53.98% 43.83% John Doolittle (110th Congress)
Tom McClintock (111th Congress)
5th 28.40% 69.62% Doris Matsui
6th 22.01% 75.95% Lynn Woolsey
7th 26.43% 71.40% George Miller
8th 12.38% 85.22% Nancy Pelosi
9th 9.87% 88.13% Barbara Lee
10th 33.14% 64.66% Ellen Tauscher
11th 44.47% 53.79% Jerry McNerney
12th 23.88% 74.32% Jackie Speier
13th 23.81% 74.38% Pete Stark
14th 24.88% 73.11% Anna Eshoo
15th 29.69% 68.42% Mike Honda
16th 28.83% 69.55% Zoe Lofgren
17th 25.78% 72.14% Sam Farr
18th 38.98% 59.24% Dennis Cardoza
19th 52.12% 46.03% George Radanovich
20th 38.70% 59.55% Jim Costa
21st 56.32% 42.06% Devin Nunes
22nd 59.67% 38.30% Kevin McCarthy
23rd 32.31% 65.30% Lois Capps
24th 47.65% 50.49% Elton Gallegly
25th 48.34% 49.45% Howard McKeon
26th 46.96% 51.03% David Dreier
27th 31.69% 66.12% Brad Sherman
28th 22.04% 76.16% Howard Berman
29th 30.37% 67.59% Adam Schiff
30th 27.90% 70.44% Henry Waxman
31st 17.83% 79.87% Xavier Becerra
32nd 29.81% 68.17% Hilda Solis
33rd 11.69% 86.81% Diane Watson
34th 23.15% 74.73% Lucille Roybal-Allard
35th 14.14% 84.37% Maxine Waters
36th 33.52% 64.39% Jane Harman
37th 18.70% 79.59% Laura Richardson
38th 26.62% 71.27% Grace Napolitano
39th 32.43% 65.48% Linda Sanchez
40th 51.14% 46.63% Ed Royce
41st 54.18% 43.66% Jerry Lewis
42nd 53.19% 44.88% Gary Miller
43rd 30.09% 67.96% Joe Baca
44th 48.57% 49.51% Ken Calvert
45th 46.94% 51.52% Mary Bono Mack
46th 49.77% 47.94% Dana Rohrabacher
47th 37.78% 60.14% Loretta Sanchez
48th 48.55% 49.30% John B. T. Campbell III
49th 53.01% 45.14% Darrell Issa
50th 47.08% 51.26% Brian Bilbray
51st 35.48% 63.11% Bob Filner
52nd 53.42% 44.98% Duncan Hunter
53rd 29.87% 68.17% Susan Davis

Electors

Technically the voters of California cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. California is allocated 55 electors because it has 53 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 55 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate, to the California Secretary of State. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 55 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.[30] 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. In California the 55 electors meet in the State Capitol building in Sacramento to cast their ballots.[31]

The following were the members of the Electoral College from California. All were pledged to and voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.[32]

  • Jaime Alvarado
  • William Ayer
  • Joe Baca, Jr.
  • Ian Blue
  • Roberta Brooks
  • Nathan Brostrom
  • Mark Cibula
  • Robert Conaway
  • Ray Cordova
  • Lawrence Du Bois
  • James Farley
  • John Freidenrich
  • Mark Friedman
  • Bobby Glaser
  • Audrey Gordon
  • Robert Handy
  • Ilene Haber
  • Mary Hubert
  • Aleita Huguenin
  • Richard Hundrieser
  • Fred Jackson
  • Patrick Kahler
  • Mary Keadle
  • LeRoy King
  • Vinz Koller
  • Mark Macarro
  • Alma Marquez
  • Ana Mascarenas
  • Betty McMillion
  • Michael McNerney
  • Gwen Moore
  • Jeremy Nishihara
  • Gregory Olzack
  • Joe Perez
  • Nancy Parrish
  • Lou Paulson
  • Anthony Rendon
  • Frank Salazar
  • David Sanchez
  • Larry Sheingold
  • Lane Sherman
  • Stephen Smith
  • Juadina Stallings
  • Kenneth Sulzer
  • Aaruni Thakur
  • Norma Torres
  • Silissa Uriarte-Smith
  • Sid Voorakkara
  • Greg Warner
  • Karen Waters
  • Sanford Weiner
  • Gregory Willenborg
  • Kelley Willis
  • James Yedor
  • Christine Young

Failed election reform

There was a proposed ballot proposition in the state to alter the way the state's electors would be distributed among presidential candidates, but the initiative failed to get onto the ballot.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/Predictions.html
  2. ^ http://www.cookpolitical.com/presidential#belowMap
  3. ^ Adnaan (2008-09-20). "Track the Electoral College vote predictions". The Takeaway. http://vote2008.thetakeaway.org/2008/09/20/track-the-electoral-college-vote-predictions/. Retrieved 2009-11-14.  
  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. ^ http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/whos-ahead/key-states/map.html?scp=1&sq=electoral%20college%20map&st=cse
  12. ^ http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/
  13. ^ Based on Takeaway
  14. ^ Based on Takeaway
  15. ^ http://www.foxnews.com/oreilly/winning-the-electoral-college/
  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. ^ "California: McCain vs. Obama". RealClearPolitics. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/ca/california_mccain_vs_obama-558.html. Retrieved 2009-06-28.  
  19. ^ "Presidential Campaign Finance: CA Contributions to All Candidates by 3 digit Zip Code". Federal Election Commission. http://www.fec.gov/DisclosureSearch/MapAppState.do?stateName=CA&cand_id=P00000001. Retrieved 2009-11-14.  
  20. ^ "Election Tracker: Ad Spending". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/map/ad.spending/. Retrieved 2009-06-28.  
  21. ^ "Election Tracker: Candidate Visits". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/map/candidate.visits/. Retrieved 2009-06-28.  
  22. ^ "2008 Petitioning for President". Ballot Access News. 2008-08-01. http://www.ballot-access.org/2008/080108.html#10. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  23. ^ "Certified List of Candidates" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 2008-08-28. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election_2008/certified_list_of_candidates_08292008.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-25.  
  24. ^ "Certified List of Write-In Candidates" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 2008-10-24. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/election_2008/certified_list_of_candidates_writeins.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-25.  
  25. ^ Ewers, Justin (2008-11-05). "Obama Wins by Historic Margin in California". U.S. News & World Report. http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/campaign-2008/2008/11/05/obama-wins-by-historic-margin-in-california.html. Retrieved 2009-06-28.  
  26. ^ a b c d e f Leip, Dave. "2008 Presidential General Election Results: 2008". http://www.uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/state.php?year=2008&fips=6&f=0&off=0&elect=0. Retrieved 2009-06-18.  
  27. ^ "Historical Voter Registration and Participation in Statewide General Elections 1910-2008" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 2008-05-28. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/historical-voter-reg/hist-voter-reg-and-part-general-elections-1910-2008.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-28.  
  28. ^ "Statement of Vote: 2008 General Election" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 2008-12-13. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/sov_complete.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-13.  
  29. ^ "Supplement to the Statement of Vote: Statewide Summary by County for United States President" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 2009-04-10. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/ssov/4-pres-statewide-summary-by-county.pdf. Retrieved 2009-06-13.  
  30. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_ec.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  31. ^ "Duly Appointed Presidential Electors". The Green Papers. 2008-10-11. http://www.thegreenpapers.com/G08/EC-Electors.phtml. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  32. ^ "2008 Presidential Election: California Certificate of Ascertainment". National Archives and Records Administration. http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2008-certificates/ascertainment-california-01.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05.  
  33. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (2008-02-05). "Electoral college measure falls short". The Sacramento Bee. http://sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/010429.html. Retrieved 2008-06-09.  

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