2008 United States presidential election in Kentucky

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

2008 United States presidential election in Kentucky

← 2004 November 4, 2008 2012 →
Turnout64.04%[1]Decrease
  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 8 0
Popular vote 1,048,462 751,985
Percentage 57.40% 41.17%

Kentucky Presidential Election Results 2008.svg
County Results

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

Kentucky was won by Republican nominee John McCain by a 16.23% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state McCain would win, or otherwise a red state. In the primaries, Hillary Clinton slightly defeated McCain in hypothetical polls for the Bluegrass State. Once Barack Obama secured the Democratic nomination, Kentucky was reclassified as safe for the GOP. In the end, Kentucky voted for McCain with 57.40% of the vote. Obama did, however, improve on John Kerry's performance by two points. This was the first time since 1960 where Kentucky did not vote for the winning candidate in a presidential election. This was the first time ever in which Kentucky voted more Republican than neighboring Indiana. This was also the first time ever that Floyd and Knott Counties voted for the Republican candidate, as well as the first time since 1908 that Breathitt County voted for the Republican candidate.

As of 2020, this remains the last time that a Democratic presidential nominee has won over 40% of the vote in Kentucky.

PrimariesEdit

CampaignEdit

PredictionsEdit

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[2] Likely R
Cook Political Report[3] Solid R
The Takeaway[4] Solid R
Electoral-vote.com[5] Solid R
Washington Post[6] Solid R
Politico[7] Solid R
RealClearPolitics[8] Solid R
FiveThirtyEight[6] Solid R
CQ Politics[9] Solid R
The New York Times[10] Solid R
CNN[11] Safe R
NPR[6] Solid R
MSNBC[6] Solid R
Fox News[12] Likely R
Associated Press[13] Likely R
Rasmussen Reports[14] Safe R

PollingEdit

McCain won every pre-election poll, almost all of them by a double-digit margin and with at least 49% of the vote. The final 3 polls averaged McCain leading 56% to 41%.[15]

FundraisingEdit

John McCain raised a total of $1,220,017. Barack Obama raised $2,394,198.[16]

Advertising and visitsEdit

Obama spent $183,738 while a conservative interest groups spent just $212.[17] Each ticket visited the state once.[18]

AnalysisEdit

Since 1964, Kentucky has only gone Democratic three times--Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, both of whom were White Anglo Saxon Protestants (WASPs) from the South, whereas Obama was an African American "big-city liberal" from Chicago. (Similar socio-cultural dynamics existed in other Southern and Appalachian states with a large ancestral Democratic base, such as Tennessee, West Virginia, and Arkansas.)

In the 2008 primary, exits polls conducted found that 30 percent of Clinton supporters opted not to vote for Obama in the general election, 40% would vote McCain and the rest would support Obama in the general election. Several counties in the southeastern part of the state swung Republican and went to McCain as solidly Democratic Floyd and Knott counties voted Republican for the first time ever, and Breathitt County voted Republican for the first time since 1908. Obama decided to not spend campaign funds on Kentucky and instead went to more viable battleground states like North Carolina and Indiana instead. McCain won Kentucky by a margin of 16.22 points on election day and performed slightly worse than George Bush in 2004. Obama improved upon Kerry's performance in big cities and urban areas while McCain improved upon Bush in rural areas. Kentucky was the first state called for McCain an hour before Vermont was called for Obama.

At the same time, incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, who also served as Senate Minority Leader at the time, was just narrowly reelected with 52.97% of the vote to Democrat Bruce Lunsford's 47.03%. Republicans also held onto an open seat vacated by Ron Lewis in Kentucky's 2nd Congressional District. At the state level, however, Democrats picked up two seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last election in which Rowan County, Hancock County, Menifee County, Wolfe County, and Henderson County voted for the Democratic candidate.

ResultsEdit

United States presidential election in Kentucky, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,048,462 57.40% 8
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 751,985 41.17% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 15,378 0.84% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 5,989 0.33% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 4,694 0.26% 0
Totals 1,826,508 100.00% 8
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 57.5%

By countyEdit

County Barack H. Obama John S. McCain Other Margin Total
# % # % # % # %
Adair 1,888 25.11% 5,512 73.32% 118 1.57% 3,624 48.20% 7,518
Allen 2,023 27.38% 5,258 71.16% 108 1.46% 3,235 43.78% 7,389
Anderson 3,461 32.81% 6,884 65.25% 205 1.94% 3,423 32.45% 10,550
Ballard 1,427 35.15% 2,537 62.49% 96 2.36% 1,110 27.34% 4,060
Barren 5,434 32.33% 11,133 66.24% 240 1.43% 5,699 33.91% 16,807
Bath 2,210 48.65% 2,234 49.17% 99 2.18% 24 0.53% 4,543
Bell 2,782 28.99% 6,681 69.61% 135 1.41% 3,899 40.62% 9,598
Boone 16,292 32.09% 33,812 66.59% 670 1.32% 17,520 34.51% 50,774
Bourbon 3,385 40.64% 4,820 57.86% 125 1.50% 1,435 17.23% 8,330
Boyd 8,886 42.99% 11,429 55.30% 354 1.71% 2,543 12.30% 20,669
Boyle 4,764 37.73% 7,697 60.96% 165 1.31% 2,933 23.23% 12,626
Bracken 1,241 36.51% 2,066 60.78% 92 2.71% 825 24.27% 3,399
Breathitt 2,205 43.84% 2,671 53.10% 154 3.06% 466 9.26% 5,030
Breckinridge 3,110 36.49% 5,281 61.97% 131 1.54% 2,171 25.48% 8,522
Bullitt 10,177 33.12% 20,102 65.42% 447 1.45% 9,925 32.30% 30,726
Butler 1,555 29.30% 3,696 69.64% 56 1.06% 2,141 40.34% 5,307
Caldwell 2,212 35.68% 3,866 62.36% 121 1.95% 1,654 26.68% 6,199
Calloway 6,165 40.02% 8,991 58.37% 248 1.61% 2,826 18.35% 15,404
Campbell 15,619 38.77% 24,045 59.68% 626 1.55% 8,426 20.91% 40,290
Carlisle 879 33.59% 1,699 64.92% 39 1.49% 820 31.33% 2,617
Carroll 1,716 44.75% 2,032 52.99% 87 2.27% 316 8.24% 3,835
Carter 4,314 43.97% 5,252 53.53% 245 2.50% 938 9.56% 9,811
Casey 1,219 20.46% 4,679 78.55% 59 0.99% 3,460 58.08% 5,957
Christian 8,822 39.15% 13,515 59.97% 199 0.88% 4,693 20.82% 22,536
Clark 5,749 36.79% 9,664 61.84% 215 1.38% 3,915 25.05% 15,628
Clay 1,552 21.08% 5,710 77.54% 102 1.39% 4,158 56.46% 7,364
Clinton 761 18.24% 3,366 80.68% 45 1.08% 2,605 62.44% 4,172
Crittenden 1,254 31.91% 2,604 66.26% 72 1.83% 1,350 34.35% 3,930
Cumberland 697 24.92% 2,056 73.51% 44 1.57% 1,359 48.59% 2,797
Daviess 19,282 44.20% 23,692 54.31% 648 1.49% 4,410 10.11% 43,622
Edmonson 1,652 31.35% 3,562 67.59% 56 1.06% 1,910 36.24% 5,270
Elliott 1,535 61.03% 902 35.86% 78 3.10% -633 -25.17% 2,515
Estill 1,555 29.26% 3,685 69.35% 74 1.39% 2,130 40.08% 5,314
Fayette 66,040 51.74% 59,884 46.92% 1,713 1.34% -6,156 -4.82% 127,637
Fleming 2,279 39.08% 3,432 58.85% 121 2.07% 1,153 19.77% 5,832
Floyd 7,530 48.09% 7,741 49.43% 388 2.48% 211 1.35% 15,659
Franklin 11,767 48.87% 11,911 49.47% 401 1.67% 144 0.60% 24,079
Fulton 1,226 43.58% 1,530 54.39% 57 2.03% 304 10.81% 2,813
Gallatin 1,278 40.03% 1,840 57.63% 75 2.35% 562 17.60% 3,193
Garrard 2,012 27.91% 5,117 70.98% 80 1.11% 3,105 43.07% 7,209
Grant 3,109 35.15% 5,605 63.37% 131 1.48% 2,496 28.22% 8,845
Graves 5,843 36.17% 10,056 62.25% 256 1.58% 4,213 26.08% 16,155
Grayson 3,154 31.85% 6,605 66.70% 144 1.45% 3,451 34.85% 9,903
Green 1,204 23.71% 3,785 74.52% 90 1.77% 2,581 50.82% 5,079
Greenup 6,621 41.91% 8,849 56.01% 328 2.08% 2,228 14.10% 15,798
Hancock 2,128 51.49% 1,924 46.55% 81 1.96% -204 -4.94% 4,133
Hardin 15,650 39.13% 23,896 59.75% 444 1.11% 8,246 20.62% 39,990
Harlan 2,586 26.08% 7,165 72.27% 163 1.64% 4,579 46.19% 9,914
Harrison 2,916 38.42% 4,520 59.55% 154 2.03% 1,604 21.13% 7,590
Hart 2,290 33.59% 4,397 64.49% 131 1.92% 2,107 30.90% 6,818
Henderson 10,049 50.60% 9,523 47.95% 289 1.46% -526 -2.65% 19,861
Henry 2,724 39.38% 4,081 58.99% 113 1.63% 1,357 19.62% 6,918
Hickman 812 36.09% 1,406 62.49% 32 1.42% 594 26.40% 2,250
Hopkins 7,104 36.72% 11,916 61.59% 328 1.70% 4,812 24.87% 19,348
Jackson 743 14.22% 4,407 84.36% 74 1.42% 3,664 70.14% 5,224
Jefferson 196,272 55.50% 153,865 43.51% 3,500 0.99% -42,407 -11.99% 353,637
Jessamine 6,236 30.85% 13,710 67.83% 267 1.32% 7,474 36.98% 20,213
Johnson 2,413 28.26% 5,964 69.84% 162 1.90% 3,551 41.59% 8,539
Kenton 26,480 38.82% 40,714 59.69% 1,019 1.49% 14,234 20.87% 68,213
Knott 2,523 44.97% 2,950 52.58% 138 2.46% 427 7.61% 5,611
Knox 3,074 26.99% 8,150 71.56% 165 1.45% 5,076 44.57% 11,389
LaRue 1,913 30.96% 4,153 67.22% 112 1.81% 2,240 36.26% 6,178
Laurel 4,593 20.52% 17,563 78.48% 222 0.99% 12,970 57.96% 22,378
Lawrence 2,036 36.04% 3,503 62.01% 110 1.95% 1,467 25.97% 5,649
Lee 752 27.12% 1,978 71.33% 43 1.55% 1,226 44.21% 2,773
Leslie 766 17.42% 3,574 81.28% 57 1.30% 2,808 63.86% 4,397
Letcher 2,623 31.85% 5,367 65.17% 245 2.98% 2,744 33.32% 8,235
Lewis 1,510 31.52% 3,213 67.06% 68 1.42% 1,703 35.55% 4,791
Lincoln 2,752 30.07% 6,273 68.55% 126 1.38% 3,521 38.48% 9,151
Livingston 1,622 35.31% 2,890 62.92% 81 1.76% 1,268 27.61% 4,593
Logan 3,811 35.00% 6,925 63.59% 154 1.41% 3,114 28.60% 10,890
Lyon 1,577 40.91% 2,220 57.59% 58 1.50% 643 16.68% 3,855
McCracken 11,285 38.12% 19,043 60.57% 426 1.31% 7,758 25.23% 32,512
McCreary 2,105 45.66% 2,434 52.80% 71 1.54% 329 7.14% 4,610
McLean 1,963 44.39% 2,386 53.96% 73 1.65% 423 9.57% 4,422
Madison 12,392 36.07% 19,694 61.02% 451 2.91% 7,302 22.44% 15,507
Magoffin 808 21.58% 2,824 75.43% 112 2.99% 2,016 53.85% 3,744
Marion 2,891 40.32% 4,102 57.21% 177 2.47% 1,211 16.89% 7,170
Marshall 5,593 36.85% 9,463 62.19% 292 0.95% 3,870 25.22% 30,620
Martin 1,258 23.31% 4,078 75.57% 60 1.11% 2,820 52.26% 5,396
Mason 2,891 40.60% 4,102 57.60% 128 1.8% 1,310 18.14% 7,121
Meade 4,343 38.76% 6,691 59.71% 172 1.53% 2,348 20.95% 11,206
Menifee 1,276 51.27% 1,155 46.40% 58 2.33% -121 -4.86% 2,489
Mercer 3,159 31.40% 6,781 67.41% 120 1.19% 3,622 36.00% 10,060
Metcalfe 1,350 32.15% 2,734 65.11% 115 2.74% 1,384 32.96% 4,199
Monroe 1,067 22.87% 3,537 75.82% 61 1.31% 2,470 52.95% 4,665
Montgomery 4,234 40.98% 5,947 57.56% 150 1.45% 1,713 16.58% 10,331
Morgan 1,858 42.82% 2,377 54.78% 104 2.40% 519 11.96% 4,339
Muhlenberg 6,221 48.27% 6,447 50.02% 221 1.71% 226 1.75% 12,889
Nelson 7,654 42.18% 10,139 55.87% 353 1.95% 2,485 13.69% 18,146
Nicholas 1,272 42.83% 1,634 55.02% 64 2.15% 362 12.19% 2,970
Ohio 4,059 40.46% 5,781 57.63% 192 1.91% 1,722 17.17% 10,032
Oldham 9,996 34.11% 18,992 64.80% 319 1.09% 8,996 30.70% 29,307
Owen 1,694 35.66% 2,969 62.49% 88 1.85% 1,275 26.84% 4,751
Owsley 381 22.60% 1,279 75.86% 26 1.54% 898 53.26% 1,686
Pendleton 2,027 34.94% 3,676 63.36% 99 1.71% 1,649 28.42% 5,802
Perry 3,444 33.20% 6,762 65.18% 169 1.63% 3,318 31.98% 10,375
Pike 9,525 42.05% 12,665 55.91% 463 2.04% 3,140 13.86% 22,653
Powell 2,065 41.28% 2,867 57.32% 70 1.40% 802 16.03% 5,002
Pulaski 5,590 21.70% 19,862 77.09% 314 1.22% 14,272 55.39% 25,766
Robertson 451 44.43% 533 52.51% 31 3.05% 82 8.08% 1,015
Rockcastle 1,410 22.47% 4,757 75.82% 107 1.71% 3,347 53.35% 6,274
Rowan 4,074 49.96% 3,907 47.92% 173 2.12% -167 -2.05% 8,154
Russell 1,579 21.31% 5,702 76.97% 127 1.71% 4,123 55.66% 7,408
Scott 7,712 39.09% 11,782 59.72% 236 1.20% 4,070 20.63% 19,730
Shelby 6,871 37.06% 11,451 61.76% 218 1.18% 4,580 24.70% 18,540
Simpson 2,775 37.97% 4,437 60.71% 97 1.33% 1,662 22.74% 7,309
Spencer 2,519 31.30% 5,378 66.82% 152 1.89% 2,859 35.52% 8,049
Taylor 3,165 29.14% 7,568 69.69% 127 1.17% 4,403 40.54% 10,860
Todd 1,543 31.23% 3,336 67.52% 62 1.25% 1,793 36.29% 4,941
Trigg 2,246 34.41% 4,189 64.18% 92 1.41% 1,943 29.77% 6,527
Trimble 1,484 38.93% 2,239 58.74% 89 2.33% 755 19.81% 3,812
Union 2,804 46.47% 3,120 51.71% 110 1.82% 316 5.24% 6,034
Warren 17,650 40.03% 25,957 58.87% 483 1.10% 8,307 18.84% 44,090
Washington 1,890 35.83% 3,305 62.65% 80 1.52% 1,415 26.82% 5,275
Wayne 2,201 30.59% 4,868 67.65% 127 1.76% 2,667 37.06% 7,196
Webster 2,390 43.14% 3,037 54.82% 113 2.04% 647 11.68% 5,540
Whitley 3,484 25.43% 10,014 73.08% 205 1.50% 6,530 47.65% 13,703
Wolfe 1,493 50.30% 1,408 47.44% 67 2.26% -85 -2.86% 2,968
Woodford 5,027 40.88% 7,130 57.98% 140 1.14% 2,103 17.10% 12,297
Total 751,010 41.14% 1,048,274 57.43% 26,057 1.43% 297,264 16.29% 1,825,341

By congressional districtEdit

John McCain carried 5 of the state's 6 congressional districts, including one of the two districts held by a Democrat.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 61.85% 36.60% Ed Whitfield
2nd 60.54% 38.03% Ron Lewis (110th Congress)
Brett Guthrie (111th Congress)
3rd 43.36% 55.66% John Yarmuth
4th 60.41% 37.96% Geoff Davis
5th 67.01% 31.24% Hal Rogers
6th 55.41% 43.22% Ben Chandler

ElectorsEdit

Technically the voters of Kentucky cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Kentucky is allocated 8 electors because it has 6 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 8 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 8 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.[19] 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 8 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:[20]

  1. James Henry Snider
  2. Walter A. Baker
  3. Edna M. Fulkerson
  4. Amy B. Towles
  5. Nancy Mitchell
  6. Don Ball
  7. Robert Gable
  8. Elizabeth G. Thomas

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://elect.ky.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/Election%20Statistics/turnout/2006-2010/08gen.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ "Presidential". 2015-05-05. Archived from the original on 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily". electoral-vote.com. Retrieved 2021-08-23.
  6. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  7. ^ "POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com". www.politico.com. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  8. ^ "RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05.
  9. ^ "CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on June 14, 2009. Retrieved December 20, 2009.
  10. ^ Nagourney, Adam; Zeleny, Jeff; Carter, Shan (2008-11-04). "The Electoral Map: Key States". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. 2008-10-31. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  12. ^ "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
  13. ^ "roadto270". hosted.ap.org. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  14. ^ "Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™". www.rasmussenreports.com. Retrieved 2016-09-22.
  15. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  16. ^ "Presidential Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
  17. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  18. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  19. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  20. ^ Kentucky's electors » Archive » Evening News and Tribune