2008 United States presidential election in Delaware
|Elections in Delaware|
The 2008 United States presidential election in Delaware took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 3 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.
Delaware was won by Democrat nominee Barack Obama with 25.0% margin of victory. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. His running mate, Joe Biden, a longtime U.S. Senator from Delaware, also helped assure a highly likely victory. Only one county went for McCain, the more rural area of Sussex County by a margin of approximately 7,000 votes or 8.58%. This is also the best result for a Democratic presidential candidate in Delaware.
- 1 Democratic primary
- 2 Republican primary
- 3 Campaign
- 4 Analysis
- 5 Results
- 6 Results breakdown
- 7 Electors
- 8 References
The Democratic Primary was held on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, and had a total of 15 delegates at stake. The winner in each of Delaware’s subdivisions was awarded those subdivisions’ delegates, totaling 10. Another five delegates were awarded to the statewide winner, Barack Obama. The 15 delegates represented Delaware at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Eight other unpledged delegates, known as superdelegates, also attended the convention and cast their votes as well.
|Delaware Democratic Presidential Primary Results – 2008|
Barack Obama’s win in the Delaware Democratic Primary can be traced to a number of factors. According to the exit polls, 64 percent of voters in the Delaware Democratic Primary were Caucasian and they favored Clinton by a margin of 56-40 compared to the 28 percent of African American voters who backed Obama by a margin of 86-9. Obama won all age groups except senior citizens ages 65 and over who strongly backed Clinton by a margin of 56-38. Obama also won middle class and more affluent voters making over $30,000 while Clinton won lower middle class and less affluent voters making less than $30,000. Obama also won higher-educated voters (college graduates 60-35; postgraduate studies 66-32) while high school graduates backed Clinton 51-44; both candidates evenly split voters who had some college and/or an associate degree 47-47. Registered Democrats favored Obama 54-42 while Independents also backed him by a margin of 50-44; he also won all ideological groups. Regarding religion, Obama won all major denominations except Roman Catholics who backed Clinton with a 60-35 margin – Obama won Protestants 51-47, other Christians 71-24, and atheists/agnostics 60-35.
Obama performed best in New Castle County, the most populous and urban part of the state which contains Wilmington as well as several African Americans, which he won by a 56.49-39.69 margin of victory. He also narrowly won neighboring Kent County to the south, which contains the state capital of Dover, with 51.76 percent of the vote. Clinton won Sussex County in Southern Delaware, the more rural and conservative part of the state, with 52.73 percent of the vote.
Results by county.
▇ John McCain
The Republican primary was held on February 5 (Super Tuesday). A total of 18 delegates were selected. The Delaware Republican Party rallied behind John McCain, and was the declared winner of the primary election after successfully taking all three Delaware counties. McCain was followed by Mitt Romney in second and then by Mike Huckabee in third.
*Candidate withdrew before primary
McCain was the expected favorite in the 2008 primary among the Republican candidates; his campaign was led by Delaware’s only House representative, Rep. Michael N. Castle.
In Delaware, 27,412 of the 102, 455 registered Republicans voted in the election, resulting in a 26.76 percent turn-out rate.
Winners of Previous Primaries
There were 17 news organizations who made state-by-state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:
- D.C. Political Report: Democrat
- Cook Political Report: Solid Democrat
- Takeaway: Solid Obama
- Election Projection: Solid Obama
- Electoral-vote.com: Strong Democrat
- Washington Post: Solid Obama
- Politico: Solid Obama
- Real Clear Politics: Solid Obama
- FiveThirtyEight.com: Solid Obama
- CQ Politics: Safe Democrat
- New York Times: Solid Democrat
- CNN: Safe Democrat
- NPR: Solid Obama
- MSNBC: Solid Obama
- Fox News: Democrat
- Associated Press: Democrat
- Rasmussen Reports: Safe Democrat
Obama won every single pre-election poll taken in the state, and each one by a double-digit margin of victory. He won the last poll by a 30-point margin.
John McCain raised a total of $340,736. Barack Obama raised $1,010,740.
Advertising and visits
Delaware was once a noted bellwether state. It supported the winner in every presidential election from 1952 to 1996. However, it broke this trend in 2000, when Al Gore carried it by 13 points. It supported John Kerry by a slightly narrower margin in 2004, and is now reckoned as part of the solid bloc of blue states in the Northeast. The last Republican to win Delaware was George H. W. Bush in 1988. Obama was already favored to win Delaware going into the election. However, what little chance McCain had of winning the state ended when Biden joined the Democratic ticket.
In recent years, any discussion of statewide elections in Delaware has begun and ended with New Castle County, home to the state’s largest city, Wilmington. Part of the Northeast megalopolis and the Philadelphia metropolitan area, New Castle contains 55 percent of Delaware’s population and elects a substantial majority of the Delaware General Assembly. New Castle has turned almost solidly Democratic in recent years, mirroring the trend in the rest of the Northeast. The state’s other two counties, Kent (home to the state capital, Dover) and Sussex, are more rural and more Republican, but combined have less than half of New Castle’s population. In 1992, 2000 and 2004, the Republican candidate carried Kent and Sussex, but lost New Castle by double digits—enough of a margin to swing the entire state to the Democrats. The 2008 election was no different. Obama carried New Castle by over 104,000 votes, which would have been more than enough to carry the state. He also carried Kent by 10 percentage points. Sussex was the only county to support McCain; it has only gone Democratic in a presidential election twice since 1948.
With Biden on the ticket, Democrats had a very good year down ballot as well. The Democrats continued their 15-year run in the Governor’s Mansion as State Treasurer Jack Markell was elected with 67.52% of the vote over Republican Bill Lee. Incumbent Ruth Ann Minner was barred from a third term. Democrats picked up two seats in the Delaware Senate and seven seats in the Delaware House of Representatives. The latter victory gave the Democrats control of the state house for the first time since 1987, and gave the Democrats complete control of state government for the first time since the 1970s.
|United States presidential election in Delaware, 2008|
|Party||Candidate||Running mate||Votes||Percentage||Electoral votes|
|Democratic||Barack Obama||Joe Biden||255,459||61.94%||3|
|Republican||John McCain||Sarah Palin||152,374||36.92%||0|
|Independent||Ralph Nader||Matt Gonzalez||2,401||0.58%||0|
|Libertarian||Bob Barr||Wayne Allyn Root||1,109||0.27%||0|
|Constitution||Chuck Baldwin||Darrell Castle||626||0.15%||0|
|Green||Cynthia McKinney||Rosa Clemente||385||0.09%||0|
|Socialist Workers||Róger Calero||Alyson Kennedy||58||0.01%||0|
By congressional district
Due to the state’s low population, only one congressional district is allocated. This district, called the At-Large district, because it covers the entire state, and thus is equivalent to the statewide election results.
Technically the voters of Delaware cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Delaware is allocated 3 electors because it has 1 congressional district 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. 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.
- “A Super Guide for Super Tuesday”. CNN. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- “Election Center 2008: Primary Results for Delaware”. CNN. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
- “RESULTS: Delaware”. CNN. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
- D.C.’s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
- Presidential | The Cook Political Report Archived May 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
- Adnaan (2008-09-20). “Track the Electoral College vote predictions”. The Takeaway. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- Election Projection: 2008 Elections – Polls, Projections, Results
- Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily
- Based on Takeaway
- POLITICO’s 2008 Swing State Map – POLITICO.com
- RealClearPolitics – Electoral Map
- CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008 Archived June 14, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- “Electoral College Map”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- “October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs”. CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- “Winning the Electoral College”. Fox News. 2010-04-27.
- Election 2008: Electoral College Update – Rasmussen Reports™
- Presidential Campaign Finance
- “Map: Campaign Ad Spending – Election Center 2008 from CNN.com”. CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- “Map: Campaign Candidate Visits – Election Center 2008 from CNN.com”. CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- “Official General Election Results” (PDF). State of Delaware. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- “Electoral College”. California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Delaware Certificate of Ascertainment, page 1 of 2.. National Archives and Record Administration.