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2008 United States presidential election in Tennessee

The 2008 United States presidential election in Tennessee took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 11 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

United States presidential election in Tennessee, 2008

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  John McCain official portrait 2009.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 11 0
Popular vote 1,479,178 1,087,437
Percentage 56.85% 41.79%

Tennessee presidential election results 2008.svg
County Results

President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

Tennessee was won by Republican nominee John McCain by 15.06 percentage points. Prior to the election, 17 news organizations considered Tennessee a win for McCain. Early polling in Tennessee gave a solid edge to McCain over Democrat Barack Obama by up to a 20-point margin. The expected "landslide" by McCain in Tennessee meant there was little campaigning there. Most news organizations immediately called Tennessee for McCain as soon as all the polls in the state closed. McCain even improved upon George W. Bush's performance in 2004, a much better year nationally for the Republicans. This was the first time since 1960 when Tennessee did not back the overall winning candidate in a presidential election and the most recent presidential election as of 2016 in which the Democratic candidate received more than 40% of the vote. Moreover, this was the most recent presidential election as of 2016 where both Jackson and Houston counties voted for the Democrat.

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:

PollingEdit

McCain won every single pre-election poll, and each by a double-digit margin of victory. The final 3 polls averaged McCain leading 55% to 40%.[14]

FundraisingEdit

John McCain raised a total of $2,941,065 in the state. Barack Obama raised $3,481,341.[15]

Advertising and visitsEdit

Obama spent $518,659. The Republican ticket spent just $3,526.[16] Obama visited the state once, going to Nashville. McCain visited the state twice, visiting Nashville and Blountville.[17]

AnalysisEdit

Despite narrowly voting for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 when native son Al Gore was on the ticket as Vice President, the state has steadily been trending Republican since then. George W. Bush narrowly carried the state in 2000 over Tennessee native Gore and easily won in 2004 over John Kerry. The state was one of five states that swung even more Republican in 2008 with John McCain soundly defeating Barack Obama in the Volunteer State. 2008 marked the first time since 1960 whereby the state was carried by the losing presidential candidate.

McCain won both East Tennessee and Middle Tennessee by landslide margins. Historically, East Tennessee, which is a part of Appalachia, has voted Republican ever since the party was founded; however, Middle Tennessee has Democratic roots based on liberal economic policies, most famously Franklin D. Roosevelt's Tennessee Valley Authority. Middle Tennessee voted strongly for Bill Clinton of neighboring Arkansas, but Middle Tennessee native Al Gore narrowly lost the region in 2000—a loss that ultimately cost him Tennessee, and the election. In contrast, it was one of the few regions in the country which voted more Republican than in 2004.[18] This is largely due to a growing social conservative trend in the region, particularly in the Nashville suburbs; some of the most politically active churches in the state are located there.

On the other hand, Barack Obama did improve relatively well upon John Kerry's performances in the traditionally Democratic cities of Nashville and Memphis. In the former, support amongst progressive whites led to a 3-2 victory for Obama in Davidson County.[18] In Memphis, heavy African American turnout ensured him the largest margin in the state in Shelby County, although far from enough to outweigh his losses everywhere else in the state. McCain, however, carried the third- and fourth- most populated cities of Chattanooga in Hamilton County as well as Knoxville in Knox County.

During the same election, at the state level, Republicans picked up four seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives and three seats in the Tennessee Senate to obtain control of both chambers of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.

As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Houston County and Jackson County voted for the Democratic candidate or where the Democratic candidate won over a million votes.

ResultsEdit

United States presidential election in Tennessee, 2008[19]
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,479,178 56.85% 11
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 1,087,437 41.79% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 11,560 0.44% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 8,547 0.33% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 8,191 0.31% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 2,499 0.10% 0
Write-ins Write-ins Write-ins 2,333 0.09% 0
Socialist Brian Moore Stewart Alexander 1,326 0.05% 0
Boston Tea Charles Jay Thomas Knapp 1,011 0.04% 0
Totals 2,601,982 100.00% 11
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 55.5%

Results breakdownEdit

By countyEdit

County Obama% Obama# McCain% McCain# Others% Others# Total
Anderson County 36.10% 11,396 62.32% 19,675 1.58% 499 31,570
Bedford County 32.42% 5,027 65.89% 10,217 1.70% 263 15,507
Benton County 40.82% 2,645 57.05% 3,696 2.13% 138 6,479
Bledsoe County 31.71% 1,517 66.18% 3,166 2.11% 101 4,784
Blount County 29.53% 15,253 68.88% 35,571 1.59% 821 51,645
Bradley County 24.50% 9,357 74.19% 28,333 1.31% 501 38,191
Campbell County 30.62% 3,867 67.59% 8,535 1.79% 226 12,628
Cannon County 36.85% 2,011 60.88% 3,322 2.27% 124 5,457
Carroll County 34.17% 3,980 64.01% 7,455 1.81% 211 11,646
Carter County 25.66% 5,587 72.82% 15,852 1.52% 330 21,769
Cheatham County 33.47% 5,498 65.14% 10,702 1.39% 228 16,428
Chester County 27.82% 1,797 71.02% 4,587 1.16% 75 6,459
Claiborne County 29.54% 3,078 68.86% 7,175 1.60% 167 10,420
Clay County 41.68% 1,248 55.98% 1,676 2.34% 70 2,994
Cocke County 26.76% 3,340 71.67% 8,945 1.57% 196 12,481
Coffee County 34.30% 7,132 63.73% 13,250 1.96% 408 20,790
Crockett County 32.58% 1,967 66.16% 3,994 1.26% 76 6,037
Cumberland County 30.68% 7,889 67.81% 17,436 1.51% 387 25,712
Davidson County 59.90% 158,423 38.91% 102,915 1.19% 3,148 264,486
Decatur County 32.88% 1,566 65.11% 3,101 2.02% 96 4,763
DeKalb County 40.08% 2,832 57.82% 4,085 2.09% 148 7,065
Dickson County 38.45% 7,506 59.82% 11,677 1.72% 336 19,519
Dyer County 30.53% 4,411 68.23% 9,859 1.25% 180 14,450
Fayette County 35.80% 6,892 63.22% 12,173 0.98% 189 19,254
Fentress County 27.17% 1,831 71.06% 4,789 1.77% 119 6,739
Franklin County 37.94% 6,613 60.46% 10,539 1.61% 280 17,432
Gibson County 34.85% 7,406 63.60% 13,516 1.56% 331 21,253
Giles County 39.47% 4,614 59.05% 6,902 1.48% 173 11,689
Grainger County 27.54% 2,066 70.60% 5,297 1.87% 140 7,503
Greene County 28.82% 7,110 69.52% 17,151 1.66% 409 24,670
Grundy County 42.55% 1,971 55.33% 2,563 2.12% 98 4,632
Hamblen County 30.03% 6,807 68.41% 15,508 1.56% 354 22,669
Hamilton County 43.55% 64,246 55.38% 81,702 1.07% 1,572 147,520
Hancock County 26.95% 604 70.86% 1,588 2.19% 49 2,241
Hardeman County 52.67% 5,919 46.50% 5,225 0.83% 93 11,237
Hardin County 27.84% 2,794 70.52% 7,077 1.63% 164 10,035
Hawkins County 28.18% 5,930 70.13% 14,756 1.68% 354 21,040
Haywood County 60.25% 4,893 38.97% 3,165 0.78% 63 8,121
Henderson County 27.88% 3,021 70.79% 7,669 1.33% 144 10,834
Henry County 38.04% 5,153 60.41% 8,182 1.55% 210 13,545
Hickman County 41.93% 3,563 56.30% 4,784 1.78% 151 8,498
Houston County 50.03% 1,678 47.94% 1,608 2.03% 68 3,354
Humphreys County 47.49% 3,600 50.37% 3,818 2.14% 162 7,580
Jackson County 49.41% 2,224 48.54% 2,185 2.04% 92 4,501
Jefferson County 27.94% 5,178 70.65% 13,092 1.41% 262 18,532
Johnson County 27.87% 1,837 70.11% 4,621 2.02% 133 6,591
Knox County 37.73% 70,215 60.73% 113,015 1.53% 2,856 186,086
Lake County 45.76% 1,024 52.50% 1,175 1.74% 39 2,238
Lauderdale County 46.28% 4,322 52.83% 4,933 0.89% 83 9,338
Lawrence County 32.22% 5,161 65.96% 10,566 1.83% 293 16,020
Lewis County 37.32% 1,804 61.05% 2,951 1.63% 79 4,834
Lincoln County 28.14% 3,695 70.30% 9,231 1.55% 204 13,130
Loudon County 27.31% 6,058 71.29% 15,815 1.40% 311 22,184
Macon County 27.99% 2,060 69.90% 5,145 2.11% 155 7,360
Madison County 46.09% 20,209 53.12% 23,290 0.79% 347 43,846
Marion County 39.40% 4,506 58.98% 6,746 1.62% 185 11,437
Marshall County 38.27% 4,320 59.84% 6,755 1.90% 214 11,289
Maury County 38.67% 13,058 60.08% 20,288 1.25% 421 33,767
McMinn County 29.49% 5,539 69.13% 12,984 1.38% 259 18,782
McNairy County 30.05% 3,131 68.46% 7,134 1.50% 156 10,421
Meigs County 32.38% 1,372 66.01% 2,797 1.60% 68 4,237
Monroe County 30.12% 5,053 68.45% 11,484 1.43% 240 16,777
Montgomery County 45.50% 25,716 53.39% 30,175 1.11% 627 56,518
Moore County 29.84% 881 68.09% 2,010 2.07% 61 2,952
Morgan County 28.86% 1,969 69.14% 4,717 1.99% 136 6,822
Obion County 32.17% 4,308 66.26% 8,873 1.58% 211 13,392
Overton County 42.25% 3,419 55.57% 4,497 2.17% 176 8,092
Perry County 44.30% 1,329 53.20% 1,596 2.50% 75 3,000
Pickett County 31.97% 854 66.87% 1,786 1.16% 31 2,671
Polk County 32.67% 2,124 65.64% 4,267 1.69% 110 6,501
Putnam County 35.65% 9,739 62.60% 17,101 1.74% 476 27,316
Rhea County 26.18% 2,907 72.41% 8,042 1.41% 157 11,106
Roane County 31.04% 7,224 67.27% 15,658 1.69% 394 23,276
Robertson County 33.74% 9,318 64.83% 17,903 1.42% 393 27,614
Rutherford County 39.77% 40,460 58.87% 59,892 1.36% 1,385 101,737
Scott County 25.36% 1,720 72.70% 4,931 1.95% 132 6,783
Sequatchie County 31.58% 1,717 66.40% 3,610 2.02% 110 5,437
Sevier County 25.35% 8,604 73.43% 24,922 1.22% 415 33,941
Shelby County 63.41% 256,297 35.99% 145,458 0.60% 2,425 404,180
Smith County 38.65% 2,992 58.95% 4,563 2.40% 186 7,741
Stewart County 44.85% 2,470 53.68% 2,956 1.47% 81 5,507
Sullivan County 28.68% 18,354 70.02% 44,808 1.30% 835 63,997
Sumner County 31.96% 21,487 66.86% 44,949 1.18% 792 67,228
Tipton County 31.33% 7,931 67.80% 17,165 0.87% 220 25,316
Trousdale County 45.54% 1,475 52.11% 1,688 2.35% 76 3,239
Unicoi County 29.17% 2,107 69.38% 5,011 1.45% 105 7,223
Union County 28.58% 1,829 69.81% 4,467 1.61% 103 6,399
Van Buren County 38.49% 849 58.66% 1,294 2.86% 63 2,206
Warren County 38.30% 5,515 59.46% 8,562 2.24% 323 14,400
Washington County 32.54% 15,941 66.03% 32,341 1.43% 700 48,982
Wayne County 24.52% 1,355 73.75% 4,076 1.74% 96 5,527
Weakley County 33.57% 4,596 64.68% 8,855 1.75% 239 13,690
White County 34.95% 3,372 63.26% 6,103 1.78% 172 9,647
Williamson County 29.78% 27,886 69.26% 64,858 0.96% 902 93,646
Wilson County 31.05% 15,886 67.62% 34,595 1.33% 678 51,159

By congressional districtEdit

John McCain swept the state and carried seven of the state's nine congressional districts, including three districts held by Democrats. Barack Obama carried the state's two congressional districts anchored by the two largest cities of Memphis and Nashville.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 69.77% 28.77% David Davis (110th Congress)
Phil Roe (111th Congress)
2nd 64.21% 34.28% John J. Duncan, Jr.
3rd 61.87% 36.86% Zach Wamp
4th 64.06% 34.25% Lincoln Davis
5th 42.94% 55.85% Jim Cooper
6th 61.87% 36.59% Bart Gordon
7th 64.76% 34.29% Marsha Blackburn
8th 56.01% 42.73% John S. Tanner
9th 22.51% 76.92% Steve Cohen

ElectorsEdit

Technically the voters of Tennessee cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Tennessee is allocated 11 electors because it has 9 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 11 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 11 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.[20] 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 11 were pledged to John McCain and Sarah Palin:

  1. Sara Sellers
  2. Jim Haslam
  3. Wayne Cropp
  4. Lisa Wheeler
  5. Beth Campbell
  6. Albert McCall
  7. Shirley Curry
  8. Marilucile Counce
  9. Colin Richmond
  10. Winfield Dunn
  11. Chrystal Horn

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries". Dcpoliticalreport.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  2. ^ "Presidential". Cookpolitical.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  3. ^ [1] Archived April 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "President, Senate, House Updated Daily". Electoral-vote.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  5. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  6. ^ "POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  7. ^ "RealClearPolitics Electoral College". Realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  8. ^ [2] Archived September 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Who's Ahead". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. October 31, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
  12. ^ "roadto270". Hosted.ap.org. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  13. ^ "Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™". Rasmussenreports.com. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
  14. ^ [3] Archived November 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Presidential Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  16. ^ "Map: Campaign Ad Spending - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  17. ^ "Map: Campaign Candidate Visits - Election Center 2008 from CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Election Results 2008". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 3, 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  19. ^ "Official General Election Results". The Green Papers. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  20. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.

See alsoEdit