2008 United States presidential election in North Dakota

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John McCain 2009 Official.jpg
Obama portrait crop.jpg
Nominee John McCain Barack Obama
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Arizona Illinois
Running mate Sarah Palin Joe Biden
Electoral vote 3 0
Popular vote 168,887 141,403
Percentage 53.15% 44.50%

North Dakota 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 North Dakota took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose three representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

North Dakota was won by Republican nominee John McCain by an 8.7% margin of victory. Prior to the election, most news organizations considered this a state McCain would narrowly win, or otherwise considered to be a red state. In the final weeks of the race, some news organizations considered the race a toss-up. The state has not been won by a Democratic presidential nominee since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Polls showed McCain and Democrat Barack Obama running unusually close in a state that gave George W. Bush a 27.4% margin of victory over John Kerry in 2004. In the end, McCain kept North Dakota in the GOP column but by a much smaller margin than Bush's landslide in 2004.

This is the last time a Democratic presidential candidate won at least 40% of the vote in North Dakota, and the last time North Dakota voted to the left of Alaska, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. It is also the last of only two elections since its statehood in which the winner of Indiana won none of North Dakota's electoral votes.[a]

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:

Source Ranking
D.C. Political Report[1] Likely R
Cook Political Report[2] Toss-up
The Takeaway[3] Lean R
Electoral-vote.com[4] Lean R
Washington Post[5] Lean R
Politico[6] Solid R
RealClearPolitics[7] Toss-up
FiveThirtyEight[5] Solid R
CQ Politics[8] Toss-up
The New York Times[9] Lean R
CNN[10] Toss-up
NPR[5] Lean R
MSNBC[5] Toss-up
Fox News[11] Likely R
Associated Press[12] Likely R
Rasmussen Reports[13] Safe R

Polling

Main article: Statewide opinion polling for the 2008 United States presidential election: North Dakota

Pre-election polls showed a complete toss up. The final 3 polls averaged gave Obama leading 45% to 44%, leaving a lot of undecided voters.[14]

Fundraising

John McCain raised a total of $184,405 in the state. Barack Obama raised $191,551.[15]

Advertising and visits

Obama and his interest groups spent $448,361. McCain and his interest groups spent $71,972.[16] Obama visited the state once, in Fargo, North Dakota, while the Republican ticket didn't visit the state once.[17]

Analysis

North Dakota has been considered a reliably red state for the past 40 years, having voted for the Republican presidential nominee of every election since 1968. In 2008, however, polls taken before September surprisingly showed the two candidates running neck-to-neck. While the polls varied throughout the campaign, McCain's selection of the socially conservative Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his vice presidential running mate played well in North Dakota, a state that has the lowest percentage of nonreligious citizens in the country. After Palin joined the ticket in late August, McCain then took a double digit lead in the state until October, when polling once again showed a close race between the two candidates in the Peace Garden State.[18]

On Election Day 2008, however, McCain captured North Dakota by a fairly safe margin of approximately 8.65 points, despite the latest polling showing him just one point ahead of Obama.[19] Still, the statewide result was significantly closer than in 2004 when Bush carried the state by a much larger margin of more than 27%.[20] McCain did well throughout the western and central parts of the state, while Obama won the two majority Native American counties of Rolette (which has not voted Republican since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952[21]) in the north and Sioux in the south by more than three-to-one. More significantly, Obama carried several normally Republican counties in the east including the most populous counties of Cass County (which contains the state's largest city of Fargo) and Grand Forks County (which includes the college town of Grand Forks). In these two largest counties in the state, Obama was the first Democratic victor since Lyndon Johnson in 1964,[22] while in rock-ribbed Republican McIntosh County, Obama’s 37.79 percent constitutes the best performance by a Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936.

At the same time, popular incumbent Republican Governor John Hoeven was reelected to a second term in a landslide three-to-one victory over Democrat Tim Mathern and Independent DuWayne Hendrickson. Hoeven received 74.44% of the vote while Mathern took in 23.53% and Hendrickson with the remaining 2.03%. Democrats, however, made gains at the state level, picking up three seats in the North Dakota House of Representatives and six seats in the North Dakota Senate.

As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last election in which Cass County, Grand Forks County, Mountrail County, Towner County, Traill County, Nelson County, and Eddy County voted for a Democratic presidential candidate.[21] This is also the last time in which Cass County gave a majority to a candidate of any party.

Results

2008 United States presidential election in North Dakota[23]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 168,887 53.15% 3
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 141,403 44.50% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 4,199 1.32% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 1,123[b] 0.35% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 1,067 0.34% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 1,059 0.33% 0
Totals 317,738 100.00% 3
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 65.6%

Results breakdown

By congressional district

Due to the state's low population, only one congressional district is allocated. This district is called the At-Large district, because it covers the entire state, and thus is equivalent to the statewide election results.

District McCain Obama Representative
At-large 53.1% 44.5% Earl Pomeroy

Results by county

County[24] John Sidney McCain III
Republican
Barack Hussein Obama
Democratic
Ralph Nader
Independent
Robert Laurence Barr Jr.
Libertarian
Charles Obadiah Baldwin
Constitution
Margin Total votes cast
# % # % # % # % # % # %
Adams 788 62.00% 435 34.23% 29 2.28% 6 0.47% 13 1.02% 353 27.77% 1,271
Barnes 2,826 49.63% 2,741 48.14% 66 1.16% 14 0.25% 47 0.83% 85 1.49% 5,694
Benson 773 32.56% 1,569 66.09% 21 0.88% 5 0.21% 6 0.25% -796 -33.53% 2,374
Billings 375 75.15% 114 22.85% 7 1.40% 3 0.60% 0 0.00% 261 52.30% 499
Bottineau 2,059 58.56% 1,387 39.45% 40 1.14% 13 0.37% 17 0.48% 672 19.11% 3,516
Bowman 1,107 67.50% 478 29.15% 37 2.26% 5 0.30% 13 0.79% 629 38.35% 1,640
Burke 640 67.87% 286 30.33% 11 1.17% 3 0.32% 3 0.32% 354 37.54% 943
Burleigh 25,443 60.91% 15,600 37.35% 513 1.23% 113 0.27% 103 0.25% 9,843 23.56% 41,772
Cass 32,566 45.60% 37,622 52.68% 755 1.06% 270 0.38% 206 0.29% -5,056 -7.08% 71,419
Cavalier 1,128 52.96% 930 43.66% 56 2.63% 6 0.28% 10 0.47% 198 9.30% 2,130
Dickey 1,525 58.21% 1,044 39.85% 34 1.30% 6 0.23% 11 0.42% 481 18.36% 2,620
Divide 630 55.70% 464 41.03% 25 2.21% 6 0.53% 6 0.53% 166 14.68% 1,131
Dunn 1,080 65.69% 527 32.06% 29 1.76% 3 0.18% 5 0.30% 553 33.64% 1,644
Eddy 548 47.04% 583 50.04% 21 1.80% 7 0.60% 6 0.52% -35 -3.00% 1,165
Emmons 1,230 66.96% 546 29.72% 41 2.23% 8 0.44% 12 0.65% 684 37.23% 1,837
Foster 914 55.36% 687 41.61% 31 1.88% 8 0.48% 11 0.67% 227 13.75% 1,651
Golden Valley 642 73.37% 210 24.00% 14 1.60% 1 0.11% 8 0.91% 432 49.37% 875
Grand Forks 14,520 46.61% 16,104 51.69% 338 1.08% 110 0.35% 81 0.26% -1,584 -5.08% 31,153
Grant 873 65.99% 405 30.61% 27 2.04% 10 0.76% 8 0.60% 468 35.37% 1,323
Griggs 682 51.90% 598 45.51% 26 1.98% 5 0.38% 3 0.23% 84 6.39% 1,314
Hettinger 893 66.25% 406 30.12% 32 2.37% 9 0.67% 8 0.59% 487 36.13% 1,348
Kidder 752 61.24% 422 34.36% 29 2.36% 14 1.14% 11 0.90% 330 26.87% 1,228
LaMoure 1,310 58.46% 868 38.73% 41 1.83% 10 0.45% 12 0.54% 442 19.72% 2,241
Logan 726 68.68% 299 28.29% 26 2.46% 2 0.19% 4 0.38% 427 40.40% 1,057
McHenry 1,374 56.87% 981 40.60% 49 2.03% 6 0.25% 6 0.25% 393 16.27% 2,416
McIntosh 916 59.79% 579 37.79% 29 1.89% 2 0.13% 6 0.39% 337 22.00% 1,532
McKenzie 1,740 64.09% 933 34.36% 33 1.22% 6 0.22% 3 0.11% 807 29.72% 2,715
McLean 2,767 58.42% 1,867 39.42% 75 1.58% 17 0.36% 10 0.21% 900 19.00% 4,736
Mercer 2,789 63.43% 1,476 33.57% 89 2.02% 19 0.43% 24 0.55% 1,313 29.86% 4,397
Morton 7,869 59.33% 5,079 38.29% 219 1.65% 54 0.41% 43 0.32% 2,790 21.03% 13,264
Mountrail 1,406 47.86% 1,477 50.27% 36 1.23% 6 0.20% 13 0.44% -71 -2.42% 2,938
Nelson 800 45.66% 907 51.77% 32 1.83% 7 0.40% 6 0.34% -107 -6.11% 1,752
Oliver 682 65.58% 332 31.92% 20 1.92% 5 0.48% 1 0.10% 350 33.65% 1,040
Pembina 1,722 52.07% 1,494 45.18% 47 1.42% 21 0.64% 23 0.70% 228 6.89% 3,307
Pierce 1,301 60.82% 792 37.03% 34 1.59% 4 0.19% 8 0.37% 509 23.80% 2,139
Ramsey 2,361 49.58% 2,314 48.59% 57 1.20% 15 0.31% 15 0.31% 47 0.99% 4,762
Ransom 998 41.02% 1,371 56.35% 43 1.77% 15 0.62% 6 0.25% -373 -15.33% 2,433
Renville 799 59.36% 505 37.52% 29 2.15% 10 0.74% 3 0.22% 294 21.84% 1,346
Richland 3,900 51.57% 3,513 46.45% 107 1.41% 21 0.28% 22 0.29% 387 5.12% 7,563
Rolette 1,045 23.05% 3,403 75.06% 53 1.17% 17 0.37% 16 0.35% -2,358 -52.01% 4,534
Sargent 778 40.37% 1,115 57.86% 26 1.35% 4 0.21% 4 0.21% -337 -17.49% 1,927
Sheridan 555 69.12% 229 28.52% 15 1.87% 1 0.12% 3 0.37% 326 40.60% 803
Sioux 215 15.60% 1,145 83.09% 12 0.87% 3 0.22% 3 0.22% -930 -67.49% 1,378
Slope 297 72.26% 106 25.79% 4 0.97% 3 0.73% 1 0.24% 191 46.47% 411
Stark 7,024 63.45% 3,802 34.35% 172 1.55% 35 0.32% 37 0.33% 3,222 29.11% 11,070
Steele 404 39.15% 614 59.50% 11 1.07% 1 0.10% 2 0.19% -210 -20.35% 1,032
Stutsman 5,499 56.20% 4,056 41.46% 156 1.59% 27 0.28% 46 0.47% 1,443 14.75% 9,784
Towner 536 44.78% 621 51.88% 33 2.76% 1 0.08% 6 0.50% -85 -7.10% 1,197
Traill 1,845 45.66% 2,136 52.86% 43 1.06% 7 0.17% 10 0.25% -291 -7.20% 4,041
Walsh 2,415 49.47% 2,325 47.62% 94 1.93% 20 0.41% 28 0.57% 90 1.84% 4,882
Ward 15,061 58.78% 10,144 39.59% 285 1.11% 65 0.25% 66 0.26% 4,917 19.19% 25,621
Wells 1,468 61.76% 841 35.38% 43 1.81% 5 0.21% 20 0.84% 627 26.38% 2,377
Williams 6,291 67.12% 2,921 31.16% 104 1.11% 36 0.38% 21 0.22% 3,370 35.95% 9,373
Totals 168,601 53.06% 141,278 44.46% 4,189 1.32% 1,354 0.43% 1,199 0.38% 27,323 8.60% 317,744[c]

Electors

Main article: List of 2008 United States presidential electors

Technically the voters of North Dakota cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. North Dakota is allocated 3 electors because it has 1 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 3 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 3 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.[25] 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 3 pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[26][27][28]

  1. Theresa Tokach - replaced Richard Elkin
  2. Susan Wefald
  3. Leon Helland

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The other time this happened was in 1916. In 1892, North Dakota and Indiana supported different candidates, but Grover Cleveland, who won Indiana, won one of North Dakota's electoral votes.
  2. ^ These write-in votes are not listed in some totals and were not separated by county.[24]
  3. ^ This total includes the write-in votes note separated by county.[24]

References

  1. ^ "D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries". 2009-01-01. Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  2. ^ "Presidential". 2015-05-05. Archived from the original on 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  3. ^ "Vote 2008 - The Takeaway - Track the Electoral College vote predictions". 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  4. ^ "Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily". electoral-vote.com. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  5. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  6. ^ "POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com". www.politico.com. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  7. ^ "RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05.
  8. ^ "CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2009.
  9. ^ Nagourney, Adam; Zeleny, Jeff; Carter, Shan (2008-11-04). "The Electoral Map: Key States". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. 2008-10-31. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
  12. ^ "roadto270". hosted.ap.org. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  13. ^ "Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™". www.rasmussenreports.com. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  14. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  15. ^ "Presidential Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-08-18.
  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. ^ "RealClearPolitics - Election 2008 - North Dakota". Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  19. ^ "CNN Election Center 2008 - North Dakota". Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  20. ^ "Electoral-vote.com". Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  21. ^ a b Sullivan, Robert David; ‘How the Red and Blue Map Evolved Over the Past Century’; America Magazine in The National Catholic Review; June 29, 2016
  22. ^ Menendez, Albert J.; The Geography of Presidential Elections in the United States, 1868-2004, pp. 271-274 ISBN 0786422173
  23. ^ "Atlas of U.S. Presidential Election". Retrieved January 13, 2013.
  24. ^ a b c "ND US President Race, November 04, 2008". Our Campaigns.
  25. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  26. ^ "Secretary of State |" (PDF).
  27. ^ U. S. Electoral College 2008 Certificate
  28. ^ KFYR-TV North Dakota's NBC News Leader Archived January 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine