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2008 United States presidential election in Colorado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2008 United States presidential election in Colorado

← 2004 November 4, 2008 2012 →
 
Obama portrait crop.jpg
John McCain official portrait 2009.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Arizona
Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
Electoral vote 9 0
Popular vote 1,288,633 1,073,629
Percentage 53.66% 44.71%

Colorado Presidential Election Results 2008.svg
County Results

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in Colorado took place on November 4, 2008, as a part of the 2008 United States presidential election throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Voters chose nine representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Colorado was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama by a margin of victory of 8.95%. Obama took 53.66% of the vote to McCain's 44.71%. The state was heavily targeted by both campaigns, although, prior to the election, all 17 news organizations actually considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a blue state. While George W. Bush narrowly carried the state in 2004, the Centennial State ultimately flipped allegiance to Obama. This was the first time since 1992 in which the state was won by a Democrat in a presidential election.

Key to Obama's victory was Democratic dominance in the Denver area, sweeping not just the city but also the heavily populated suburban counties around Denver, particularly Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties, as well as winning Larimer County, home to Fort Collins. Obama also took over 70% of the vote in Boulder County, home to Boulder. McCain's most populated county wins were in El Paso County, where Colorado Springs is located, and Weld County, home to Greeley.

Colorado served as the tipping-point state for Obama's overall victory in the presidential election - that is, the first state to give a candidate their 270th electoral vote when all states are arranged by their margins of victory.

Caucuses

Campaign

Predictions

There were 16 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:

Polling

Pre-election polling taken in Colorado prior to the election mostly showed Obama with a slight lead. He led every poll after September 25. The average of the last three polls showed Obama leading McCain 52% to 45%.[14]

Fundraising

John McCain raised a total of $3,491,086. Barack Obama raised almost $11 million.[15]

Advertising and visits

Obama and his interest groups spent $10,410,669. McCain and his interest groups spent $9,818,077.[16] McCain/Palin visited the state 13 times. Obama/Biden visited the state 8 times.[17]

Analysis

Changing demographics and a growing Hispanic population made the state more favorable to the Democrats, although Republicans still had a hold on the state due to the party's conservative stances on social issues like abortion, gay rights, and gun control.

Like most of the Mountain West, Colorado had been traditionally Republican beginning with the Eisenhower landslide of 1952, in which Eisenhower overperformed throughout the region. Between 1952 and 2004, inclusive, Democrats prevailed in Colorado only in 1964 and 1992--the former, a national Democratic landslide; the latter, a three-way contest in which independent candidate Ross Perot had disproportionate strength in the West. In addition, Republicans had mostly held control of the state legislature and most statewide offices since the 1960s. Although Democrats had bases of support in Adams and Pueblo Counties and in the south of the state, and generally carried Denver (albeit often by narrow margins), this was generally no match for Republican dominance of the Denver suburbs, El Paso County (Colorado Springs), Larimer County (Fort Collins), and, until Dukakis flipped it in 1988, Boulder County, as well as of most of the rural areas of the state.

Recently, however, there had been a growing population of Hispanic Americans,[18] young professionals, and an influx of people from other states - all of whom tend to vote Democratic. These demographic changes caused the state's political ideology to shift.[19] While Republicans still enjoyed an advantage in voter registration statewide, Democrats had been closing the gap. There had also been an increasing number of unaffiliated, independent-minded voters.[20] Since 2004, Democrats had won the governorship, both Senate seats, three House seats, and control of both chambers in the state legislature.

At the presidential level, Colorado voted for Bush by 8.36% in 2000, making it the second-closest of the states carried by Dole in 1996 (behind only Virginia). Moreover, his 50.75% vote share was his lowest in any of the states carried by Dole in 1996, with Ralph Nader posting a relatively strong showing in the state in 2000. Colorado was not seriously contested in 2004, but Kerry cut Bush's margin down to 4.67% in the state, as Kerry flipped a number of ski-resort counties, scored the best showings in Denver and Boulder County of any presidential nominee in decades, and narrowed Bush's margins in the Denver-area suburban counties of Jefferson and Arapahoe, as well as in Larimer.

Bush's relatively narrow margin in the state in 2004, along with the demographic changes of the prior four years, led Colorado to become a crucial swing state in 2008. Both Barack Obama and John McCain campaigned extensively in the state. Several factors in the campaign favored the Democrat. Barack Obama did very well in the caucus, defeating opponent Hillary Clinton with almost 67% of the vote. On the other hand, John McCain badly lost the state to opponent Mitt Romney, who gained 60% of the vote. Moreover, the 2008 Democratic National Convention was held in Denver. The publicity generated from the event provided a strong boost to Obama. According to Real Clear Politics polling averages, Obama and McCain were neck-to-neck through the summer and early September. However, as the 2008 financial crisis hit, Obama's numbers in Colorado jumped to over 50%.[21]

During the campaign, several media organizations reported on voting machine problems. There was also reporting on the controversial practice of "purging" voter registration lists.[22]

On election day, Obama won by a comfortable margin, greater than his national average. Obama improved on John Kerry's performance throughout the state. He won landslides in the Democratic strongholds of Denver and Boulder; in both areas, Obama took more than 70% of the vote. He also further built upon Kerry's strength in a number of rich counties dominated by ski resorts along the Front Range; and continued to dominate the traditionally Democratic areas of Pueblo County, Adams County, and the thinly populated, Latino counties of southern Colorado.

McCain did best in the rural, conservative areas next to Kansas and Utah, where he won landslide margins. In Rio Blanco County, Mesa County, Yuma County, Washington County, Lincoln County, Bent County, Crowley County, and tiny Dolores County, Phillips County, Cheyenne County, and Kiowa County, he managed a slightly greater vote share than Bush in 2000. Voters in more populated El Paso County, home to conservative Colorado Springs, gave McCain a 19% margin, which, while a comfortable win, was far less than Bush's 35% margin in 2004. McCain also won two other relatively populated counties, Douglas County and Weld County, both outer suburbs of the Denver area--although, again, by substantially reduced margins compared to Bush in 2004. However, the largest suburban counties of the area, traditionally Republican Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties, flipped from Bush to Obama in 2008, as did Broomfield County, which cast its first presidential vote for Bush in 2004. Obama also flipped Larimer County. All together, this was more than enough to overcome Republican advantages elsewhere in the state, as Obama won it by a nearly nine-point margin.

Elsewhere in the state, Democrats also did well. Democratic Mark Udall defeated Republican Bob Schaffer for an open U.S. Senate seats; his vacated House seat was also won by Democrat Jared Polis. In addition, Democrat Betsy Markey defeated incumbent Republican Marilyn Musgrave, by 12 points for Colorado's 4th Congressional District seat. At the state level, Democrats picked up one seat in the Colorado Senate, but lost two seats in the Colorado House of Representatives. Obama's 65.8% victory in Summit County was the highest percentage win by a Democratic presidential nominee in the county since Woodrow Wilson won the county with 70.3% of the vote back in 1916.

Results

2008 United States presidential election in Colorado[23]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 1,288,633 53.66% 9
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,073,629 44.71% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 13,352 0.56% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 10,898 0.45% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 6,233 0.26% 0
America's Independent Alan Keyes Brian Rohrbough 3,051 0.13% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 2,822 0.12% 0
New American Independent Frank McEnulty David Mangan 829 0.03% 0
Boston Tea Charles Jay Dan Sallis, Jr. 598 0.02% 0
HeartQuake '08 Jonathan Allen Jeffrey Stath 348 0.01% 0
Objectivist Tom Stevens Alden Link 336 0.01% 0
Socialist Brian Moore Stewart Alexander 226 0.01% 0
Socialism and Liberation Gloria La Riva Eugene Puryear 158 0.01% 0
Socialist Workers James Harris Alyson Kennedy 154 0.01% 0
Pacifist Bradford Lyttle Abraham Bassford 110 <0.01% 0
Prohibition Gene Amondson Leroy Pletten 85 <0.01% 0
Totals 2,401,462 100.00% 9
Voter turnout 65.0%

Results breakdown

By county

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others# Total
Adams 58.22% 93,445 39.86% 63,976 1.92% 3,080 160,501
Alamosa 56.01% 3,521 41.92% 2,635 2.07% 130 6,286
Arapahoe 55.69% 148,224 42.78% 113,868 1.53% 4,064 266,156
Archuleta 42.81% 2,836 54.91% 3,638 2.28% 151 6,625
Baca 24.64% 536 72.28% 1,572 3.08% 67 2,175
Bent 41.61% 799 56.09% 1,077 2.29% 44 1,920
Boulder 72.29% 124,159 26.14% 44,904 1.57% 2,700 171,763
Broomfield 54.89% 16,168 43.31% 12,757 1.79% 528 29,453
Chaffee 49.01% 4,862 49.12% 4,873 1.87% 186 9,921
Cheyenne 17.82% 198 80.11% 890 2.07% 23 1,111
Clear Creek 57.78% 3,332 39.88% 2,300 2.34% 135 5,767
Conejos 55.60% 2,154 42.67% 1,653 1.73% 67 3,874
Costilla 73.36% 1,245 24.45% 415 2.18% 37 1,697
Crowley 35.43% 552 62.64% 976 1.93% 30 1,558
Custer 34.69% 912 63.60% 1,672 1.71% 45 2,629
Delta 32.94% 5,084 65.23% 10,067 1.83% 283 15,434
Denver 75.45% 204,882 23.04% 62,567 1.50% 4,084 271,533
Dolores 30.32% 369 67.21% 818 2.47% 30 1,217
Douglas 40.81% 61,960 58.03% 88,108 1.15% 1,751 151,819
Eagle 60.91% 13,191 37.77% 8,181 1.32% 286 21,658
El Paso 39.86% 108,899 58.69% 160,318 1.45% 3,958 273,175
Elbert 28.92% 3,819 68.97% 9,108 2.11% 279 13,206
Fremont 34.36% 6,844 63.60% 12,668 2.04% 407 19,919
Garfield 49.20% 11,357 49.21% 11,359 1.59% 366 23,082
Gilpin 59.07% 1,990 38.08% 1,283 2.85% 96 3,369
Grand 48.59% 4,037 49.68% 4,128 1.73% 144 8,309
Gunnison 62.64% 5,557 35.29% 3,131 2.06% 183 8,871
Hinsdale 40.07% 240 57.43% 344 2.50% 15 599
Huerfano 54.60% 1,989 43.37% 1,580 2.03% 74 3,643
Jackson 30.31% 277 68.27% 624 1.42% 13 914
Jefferson 53.60% 158,158 44.61% 131,628 1.79% 5,282 295,068
Kiowa 20.89% 178 76.29% 650 2.82% 24 852
Kit Carson 26.50% 912 71.32% 2,455 2.18% 75 3,442
La Plata 57.39% 16,057 41.11% 11,503 1.50% 419 27,979
Lake 61.93% 1,859 35.91% 1,078 2.17% 65 3,002
Larimer 53.99% 89,823 44.26% 73,642 1.75% 2,910 166,375
Las Animas 52.68% 3,562 45.64% 3,086 1.67% 113 6,761
Lincoln 23.70% 546 74.52% 1,717 1.78% 41 2,304
Logan 31.70% 2,846 66.86% 6,002 1.44% 129 8,977
Mesa 34.48% 24,008 64.02% 44,578 1.50% 1,045 69,631
Mineral 43.34% 270 53.61% 334 3.05% 19 623
Moffat 26.95% 1,582 70.43% 4,135 2.62% 154 5,871
Montezuma 39.42% 4,661 58.87% 6,961 1.72% 203 11,825
Montrose 33.91% 6,495 63.69% 12,199 2.40% 459 19,153
Morgan 37.26% 3,813 61.29% 6,272 1.46% 149 10,234
Otero 43.98% 3,547 54.47% 4,393 1.55% 125 8,065
Ouray 53.46% 1,636 44.67% 1,367 1.86% 57 3,060
Park 45.29% 4,250 52.18% 4,896 2.53% 237 9,383
Phillips 27.51% 622 71.34% 1,613 1.15% 26 2,261
Pitkin 73.74% 7,349 24.92% 2,484 1.33% 133 9,966
Prowers 32.22% 1,487 65.94% 3,043 1.84% 85 4,615
Pueblo 56.74% 41,097 41.78% 30,257 1.48% 1,073 72,427
Rio Blanco 20.81% 655 77.44% 2,437 1.75% 55 3,147
Rio Grande 44.97% 2,448 53.82% 2,930 1.21% 66 5,444
Routt 62.66% 8,270 35.80% 4,725 1.55% 204 13,199
Saguache 62.91% 1,730 34.76% 956 2.33% 64 2,750
San Juan 53.23% 264 43.95% 218 2.82% 14 496
San Miguel 76.99% 3,349 21.45% 933 1.56% 68 4,350
Sedgwick 34.64% 468 63.43% 857 1.92% 26 1,351
Summit 65.79% 9,802 32.77% 4,883 1.44% 214 14,899
Teller 34.97% 4,513 63.12% 8,146 1.91% 247 12,906
Washington 21.05% 529 77.56% 1,949 1.39% 35 2,513
Weld 44.67% 47,292 53.39% 56,526 1.93% 2,048 105,866
Yuma 24.92% 1,117 73.30% 3,286 1.78% 80 4,483

By congressional district

While Barack Obama won the state’s popular vote and 9 electoral votes, John McCain carried four of the state’s seven congressional districts, including both seats held by Republicans and two seats held by Democrats.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 24.25% 74.20% Diana DeGette
2nd 34.10% 64.22% Mark Udall (110th Congress)
Jared Polis (111th Congress)
3rd 50.44% 47.90% John Salazar
4th 49.54% 48.66% Marilyn Musgrave (110th Congress)
Betsy Markey (111th Congress)
5th 58.57% 39.89% Doug Lamborn
6th 52.48% 46.17% Tom Tancredo (110th Congress)
Mike Coffman (111th Congress)
7th 39.49% 58.56% Ed Perlmutter

Electors

Technically the voters of Colorado cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Colorado is allocated 9 electors because it has 7 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 9 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 9 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.[24] 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.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from the state. All 9 were pledged to Obama and Biden:

  1. Wellington Webb
  2. Terry Phillips
  3. Camilla Auger
  4. Pam Shaddock
  5. Jennifer Trujillo-Sanchez
  6. Don Strickland
  7. Ann Knollman
  8. Polly Baca
  9. Margaret Atencio

References

  1. ^ "D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries". Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2009-12-19.
  2. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report Archived May 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Adnaan (2008-09-20). "Track the Electoral College vote predictions". The Takeaway. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  4. ^ Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  5. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  6. ^ POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com
  7. ^ RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map
  8. ^ CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008 Archived June 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Electoral College Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  10. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  11. ^ "Winning the Electoral College". Fox News. 2010-04-27.
  12. ^ roadto270
  13. ^ Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™
  14. ^ https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/co/colorado_mccain_vs_obama-546.html#polls
  15. ^ "Presidential Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  16. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  17. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  18. ^ Schaller, Thomas. Past Dixie. Simon & Schuster, 2006. 184.
  19. ^ Schaller, Thomas. Whistling Past Dixie. Simon & Schuster, 2006.
  20. ^ "Obama, McCain look west". Rocky Mountain News. 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  21. ^ RealClearPolitics - Election 2008 - Colorado: McCain vs. Obama
  22. ^ Williams, David (2008-08-27). "Palast uses DNC to tout 'Steal Back Your Vote' project". Colorado Independent. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-24.
  23. ^ "Colorado 2008 General Election". The Green Papers. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  24. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
This page was last edited on 26 March 2021, at 18:27
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