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United States presidential election in California, 2008: Map

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The 2008 United States presidential election in California took place on November 4, 2008 throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbiamarker, which was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 55 representatives, or electors, to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

Californiamarker was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama with a 24.0% margin of victory, one of the highest in the history of the state's presidential elections. The state was generally considered as "solid Obama" or a safe blue state during the 2008 election. No Republican has carried the state in a presidential election since 1988. Obama won this state with 61.01% of the popular vote and all of California's electoral votes. Republican candidate John McCain won 36.95% of the popular vote.

Primaries

On February 5, 2008 presidential primaries were held by all parties with ballot access in the state:

Campaign

Polling

Obama won most opinion polls taken prior to the election. In the final three polls he averaged 59%, while McCain averaged 34%; which is close to the results on election day.

Fundraising

Obama raised a total of $124,325,459 from the state. McCain raised a total of $26,802,024.

Advertising and visits

The Obama campaign spent almost $5,570,641. The McCain campaign spent $1,885,142. Obama visited the state six times. McCain visited the state eight times.

Candidates

In California, the six political parties which have ballot access can put one presidential and vice presidential candidate on the ballot. Voters cast their ballots for the party's ticket. Other candidates could have qualified for the ballot by petitioning; the petition requirement in 2008 was 158,372 signatures from registered voters. No candidate met this requirement in 2008 but several candidates did qualify as official write-in candidate. The ballot listed candidates were:



There were also several write in candidates: Chuck Baldwin, James Harris, Frank Moore, and Ron Paul.

Analysis

California was once a Republican stronghold, supporting Republican candidates in every election from 1952 through 1988, except in 1964. However, since the 1990s, California has become a reliably Democratic state with a highly diverse ethnic population (mostly Latino) and liberal bastions such as the San Francisco Bay Areamarker and Los Angeles County. The last time the state was won by a Republican candidate was in 1988 by George H. W. Bush.

Obama won by a historic margin, with 61.01% of the votes. The last time the margin was higher in the state was in 1936 when Franklin D. Roosevelt won by 66.95%.

In San Franciscomarker and Alameda Countymarker (which encompass Oaklandmarker and Berkeleymarker), four out of five voters backed the Democratic candidate. Elsewhere in the Bay Area, Obama won every county by a three to two margin or greater. In Los Angeles County, Obama won almost 70% of the votes. In traditionally Republican counties Obama also made headway. Fresno Countymarker, for example, a heavily populated county in the Central Valleymarker, went from giving Bush a 16% margin to a 1% margin for Obama. San Diego Countymarker, moved from voting narrowly Republican to voting Democratic by double-digits. San Bernardinomarker and Riverside Countiesmarker went from double-digit Republican victories to narrow Democratic wins. Ventura Countymarker, also moved from Republican to Democratic. In Orange Countymarker, a long-standing bastion of conservative Republicanism, Obama polled over 47% of the vote, the closest a Democrat has come to carrying the county since 1936.

Voter turnout was also fairly higher in the election. The 79% turnout of registered voters was the highest since the 1976 presidential election.

Results

The following are official results from the California Secretary of State.

United States presidential election in California, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 8,274,473 61.01% 55
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 5,011,781 36.95% 0
Peace and Freedom Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 108,381 0.80% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 67,582 0.50% 0
American Independent Alan Keyes Brian Rohrbough 40,673 0.30% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 38,774 0.29% 0
Independent Ron Paul (write-in) Gail Lightfoot 17,006 0.13% 0
Independent Chuck Baldwin (write-in) Darrell Castle 3,145 0.02% 0
Independent James Harris (write-in) Alyson Kennedy 49 0.00% 0
Independent Frank Moore (write-in) Susan Block 36 0.00% 0
Valid votes 13,561,900 98.68%
Invalid or blank votes 181,277 1.32%
Totals 13,743,177 100.00% 55
Voter turnout 79.42%


Results breakdown

By county

The results below are primarily compiled from the final reports available from the Secretary of State. The "others" category also includes write-in votes.

County Obama Votes McCain Votes Others Votes
San Franciscomarker 84.2% 322,220 13.7% 52,292 2.2% 8,353
Alamedamarker 78.8% 489,106 19.3% 119,555 2.0% 12,368
Marinmarker 78.0% 109,320 20.3% 28,384 2.0% 2,866
Santa Cruzmarker 77.5% 98,745 19.9% 25,244 2.9% 3,747
Sonomamarker 73.7% 168,888 24.1% 55,127 2.5% 5,817
San Mateomarker 73.5% 222,826 24.8% 75,057 1.6% 4,965
Mendocinomarker 69.6% 27,843 26.8% 10,721 4.0% 1,620
Santa Claramarker 69.5% 462,241 28.6% 190,039 1.8% 12,255
Los Angeles 69.2% 2,295,853 28.9% 956,425 1.9% 64,352
Montereymarker 68.2% 88,453 29.9% 38,797 2.0% 2,533
Contra Costamarker 68.0% 306,983 30.3% 136,436 2.2% 9,825
Yolo 67.1% 53,488 30.9% 24,592 2.1% 1,669
Napamarker 65.2% 38,849 32.7% 19,484 2.0% 1,214
Solanomarker 63.5% 102,095 34.9% 56,035 2.1% 3,458
Humboldt 62.3% 39,692 34.1% 21,713 4.0% 2,559
Imperialmarker 62.3% 24,162 36.1% 14,008 1.6% 631
Alpinemarker 61.0% 422 36.4% 252 2.6% 18
San Benitomarker 60.5% 11,917 37.7% 7,425 2.3% 446
Santa Barbaramarker 60.4% 105,614 37.5% 65,585 2.4% 4,208
Sacramentomarker 58.5% 316,506 39.5% 213,583 2.4% 12,770
Lakemarker 58.2% 14,854 38.9% 9,935 3.3% 840
Monomarker 55.6% 3,093 42.3% 2,354 2.2% 124
Venturamarker 55.3% 187,601 43.0% 145,853 2.2% 7,587
San Joaquin 54.5% 113,974 43.8% 91,607 2.2% 4,727
San Diegomarker 54.2% 666,581 44.0% 541,032 2.3% 27,890
Mercedmarker 53.4% 34,031 45.0% 28,704 2.1% 1,316
San Bernardinomarker 52.1% 315,720 45.8% 277,408' 2.2% 13,206
Nevadamarker 51.5% 28,617 46.2% 25,663 2.1% 1,138
San Luis Obispomarker 51.4% 68,176 46.1% 61,055 2.0% 3,924
Trinitymarker 50.8% 3,233 46.2% 2,940 4.0% 257
Riversidemarker 50.3% 325,017 47.9% 310,041 1.7% 11,216
Fresnomarker 50.3% 136,706 48.2% 131,015 2.1% 5,727
Buttemarker 49.8% 49,013 47.5% 46,706 2.7% 2,606
Stanislausmarker 49.9% 80,279 48.2% 77,497 2.3% 3,736
Orangemarker 47.7% 549,558 50.2% 579,064 2.2% 25,065
Del Nortemarker 45.4% 4,323 52.2% 4,967 2.4% 231
Inyomarker 43.9% 3,743 53.1% 4,523 2.9% 243
El Doradomarker 43.7% 40,529 54.2% 50,314 2.6% 2,466
Placermarker 43.4% 75,112 54.7% 94,647 2.3% 4,053
Siskiyoumarker 43.3% 9,292 53.7% 11,520 3.5% 752
Plumasmarker 42.8% 4,715 54.8% 6,035 3.1% 343
Mariposamarker 42.5% 4,100 54.9% 5,298 2.9% 279
Tuolumnemarker 42.5% 11,532 55.2% 14,988 2.3% 631
Maderamarker 42.4% 17,952 55.7% 23,583 2.2% 939
Calaverasmarker 42.2% 9,813 55.1% 12,835 3.3% 773
Kingsmarker 42.1% 14,747 56.2% 19,710 1.8% 618
Amadormarker 41.5% 7,813 56.1% 10,561 2.3% 436
Yubamarker 41.5% 8,866 56.2% 12,007 2.3% 492
Tularemarker 41.5% 43,634 56.9% 59,765 2.0% 2,126
Suttermarker 40.8% 13,412 57.5% 18,911 2.1% 698
Kernmarker 40.2% 93,457 57.9% 134,793 1.8% 4,111
Colusamarker 40.0% 2,569 58.1% 3,733 2.3% 146
Glennmarker 37.8% 3,734 59.9% 5,910 2.3% 225
Sierramarker 37.4% 743 58.2% 1,158 4.9% 97
Tehamamarker 36.7% 8,945 60.8% 14,843 3.1% 772
Shastamarker 36.0% 28,867 61.7% 49,588 2.2% 1,734
Lassenmarker 31.5% 3,586 65.8% 7,483 3.2% 364
Modocmarker 29.8% 1,313 67.5% 2,981 2.2% 95


By congressional district

Obama carried 42 congressional districts in California, including all 34 districts held by Democrats and eight districts held by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.
District McCain Obama Representative
31.69% 65.60% Mike Thompson
56.10% 41.43% Wally Herger
48.81% 49.28% Dan Lungren
53.98% 43.83% John Doolittle (110th Congress)
Tom McClintock (111th Congress)
28.40% 69.62% Doris Matsui
22.01% 75.95% Lynn Woolsey
26.43% 71.40% George Miller
12.38% 85.22% Nancy Pelosi
9.87% 88.13% Barbara Lee
33.14% 64.66% Ellen Tauscher
44.47% 53.79% Jerry McNerney
23.88% 74.32% Jackie Speier
23.81% 74.38% Pete Stark
24.88% 73.11% Anna Eshoo
29.69% 68.42% Mike Honda
28.83% 69.55% Zoe Lofgren
25.78% 72.14% Sam Farr
38.98% 59.24% Dennis Cardoza
52.12% 46.03% George Radanovich
38.70% 59.55% Jim Costa
56.32% 42.06% Devin Nunes
59.67% 38.30% Kevin McCarthy
32.31% 65.30% Lois Capps
47.65% 50.49% Elton Gallegly
48.34% 49.45% Howard McKeon
46.96% 51.03% David Dreier
31.69% 66.12% Brad Sherman
22.04% 76.16% Howard Berman
30.37% 67.59% Adam Schiff
27.90% 70.44% Henry Waxman
17.83% 79.87% Xavier Becerra
29.81% 68.17% Hilda Solis
11.69% 86.81% Diane Watson
23.15% 74.73% Lucille Roybal-Allard
14.14% 84.37% Maxine Waters
33.52% 64.39% Jane Harman
18.70% 79.59% Laura Richardson
26.62% 71.27% Grace Napolitano
32.43% 65.48% Linda Sanchez
51.14% 46.63% Ed Royce
54.18% 43.66% Jerry Lewis
53.19% 44.88% Gary Miller
30.09% 67.96% Joe Baca
48.57% 49.51% Ken Calvert
46.94% 51.52% Mary Bono Mack
49.77% 47.94% Dana Rohrabacher
37.78% 60.14% Loretta Sanchez
48.55% 49.30% John B. T. Campbell III
53.01% 45.14% Darrell Issa
47.08% 51.26% Brian Bilbray
35.48% 63.11% Bob Filner
53.42% 44.98% Duncan Hunter
29.87% 68.17% Susan Davis


Electors

Technically the voters of California cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. California is allocated 55 electors because it has 53 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 55 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and his or her running mate, to the California Secretary of State. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 55 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 Columbiamarker 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. In California the 55 electors meet in the State Capitol buildingmarker in Sacramentomarker to cast their ballots.

The following were the members of the Electoral College from California. All were pledged to and voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

  • Jaime Alvarado
  • William Ayer
  • Joe Baca, Jr.
  • Ian Blue
  • Roberta Brooks
  • Nathan Brostrom
  • Mark Cibula
  • Robert Conaway
  • Ray Cordova
  • Lawrence Du Bois
  • James Farley
  • John Freidenrich
  • Mark Friedman
  • Bobby Glaser


  • Audrey Gordon
  • Robert Handy
  • Ilene Haber
  • Mary Hubert
  • Aleita Huguenin
  • Richard Hundrieser
  • Fred Jackson
  • Patrick Kahler
  • Mary Keadle
  • LeRoy King
  • Vinz Koller
  • Mark Macarro
  • Alma Marquez
  • Ana Mascarenas


  • Betty McMillion
  • Michael McNerney
  • Gwen Moore
  • Jeremy Nishihara
  • Gregory Olzack
  • Joe Perez
  • Nancy Parrish
  • Lou Paulson
  • Anthony Rendon
  • Frank Salazar
  • David Sanchez
  • Larry Sheingold
  • Lane Sherman
  • Stephen Smith


  • Juadina Stallings
  • Kenneth Sulzer
  • Aaruni Thakur
  • Norma Torres
  • Silissa Uriarte-Smith
  • Sid Voorakkara
  • Greg Warner
  • Karen Waters
  • Sanford Weiner
  • Gregory Willenborg
  • Kelley Willis
  • James Yedor
  • Christine Young


Failed election reform

There was a proposed ballot proposition in the state to alter the way the state's electors would be distributed among presidential candidates, but the initiative failed to get onto the ballot.

See also



References



External links




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