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2008 United States presidential election in New York

←  2004 November 4, 2008 2012 →
Turnout63.51% Increase 1.07 pp
 
Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
Party Democratic Republican
Alliance Working Families
Home state Illinois Arizona
Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
Electoral vote 31 0
Popular vote 4,804,945 2,752,771
Percentage 62.88% 36.03%


President before election

George W. Bush
Republican

Elected President

Barack Obama
Democratic

The 2008 United States presidential election in New York took place on November 4, 2008, and was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 31 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

New York was won by Democratic nominee Barack Obama with a 26.9% margin of victory. Obama took 62.88% of the vote to McCain's 36.03%. At the time this was the highest Democratic vote share in New York State since 1964, although Obama would outperform his 2008 showing in New York just four years later in 2012. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. Located in the Northeast, a region of the country that is trending heavily towards the Democrats, elections in New York are dominated by the presence of the heavily populated, heavily diverse, liberal bastion of New York City where Democrats tend to be heavily favored to win.

As of the 2020 presidential election, this is the last election in which Chautauqua County voted for the Democratic candidate.

Primaries

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

Polling

Obama won all but one pre-election poll. Since September 15, Obama won each poll with a double-digit margin of victory and each with at least 55% of the vote. He won the final Marist poll with a 36-point spread. The final 3 polls averaged Obama leading 63% to 31%. [14]

Fundraising

McCain raised a total of $12,582,856 in the state. Barack Obama raised $58,161,743. [15]

Advertising and visits

Obama and his interest groups spent $1,148,016. McCain and his interest groups spent just $7,310. [16] The Republican visited the state 11 times and the Democratic ticket visited the state 4 times. [17]

Analysis

Voting taking place in a New York City polling station

New York was once reckoned as a powerful swing state with a slight Democratic lean. However, the last time the state went Republican was for Ronald Reagan in 1984. Michael Dukakis narrowly won it against George H. W. Bush in 1988, but the state has not been seriously contested since then. It is now considered an uncontested blue state, and was heavily favored to vote for Obama by a significant margin.

Elections in New York are dominated by the presence of New York City, a Democratic stronghold for more than a century and a half. It is made up mostly of white liberals as well as ethnic and religious minorities—all voting blocs that strongly vote Democratic. Obama won Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx by margins of 5-to-1 or more and carried Queens by a 3-to-1 margin. The only borough McCain carried was Staten Island, traditionally the most conservative area of the city. Obama's combined million-vote margin in the Five Boroughs would have been enough by itself to carry the state.

However, Obama also dominated heavily Democratic Western New York, including Buffalo and Rochester, and the Capital District ( Albany, Schenectady and Troy), as well as the increasingly Democratic Long Island and Syracuse areas. Even when New York was considered a swing state, a Republican had to carry Long Island and do reasonably well in either Western New York, the Capital District or Syracuse to make up for the massive Democratic margins in New York City. Obama also won a number of traditionally Republican-leaning counties in Upstate New York and became the first Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson to win an outright majority of votes in the Upstate (although Democratic candidates had been consistently winning pluralities of the vote since 1992). Barack Obama dominated in fiercely Democratic New York City, taking 2,074,159 votes to John McCain's 524,787, giving Obama a 79.29%–20.06% landslide victory citywide. Excluding the votes of New York City, Obama still would have carried New York State, but by a smaller margin. Obama would have received 2,730,786 votes to McCain's 2,227,984, giving Obama a 55.06%–44.93% victory.

Voters lined-up outside a polling station in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan

At the same time, Democrats in New York picked up three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008. In the 13th district, which consists of Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, Democrats picked up an open seat that was vacated by former Republican Vito Fossella who resigned after he was arrested for getting a DUI. Democrat Michael McMahon solidly defeated Republican Robert Staniere by a two-to-one margin, 60.79–33.26%. His victory made the city's delegation entirely Democratic for the first time in over 70 years. In the 25th district, centered around Syracuse, Democrat Dan Maffei handily defeated Republican Dale Sweetland 55% to 42% for the open seat vacated by Republican Jim Walsh. In New York's 29th congressional district, which includes Canandaigua, Democrat Eric Massa narrowly defeated incumbent Republican Randy Kuhl by 1.7 points. This reduced the Republicans to only three of the state's 29 seats in the House—the fewest the GOP has ever won in an election. At the state level, Democrats picked up a seat in the New York State Assembly and two seats in the New York State Senate which gave Democrats control of the Senate and ultimately both chambers of the New York Legislature for the first time since 1966. This gave the Democrats complete control of New York's state government for the first time since 1935.

Results

2008 United States presidential election in New York
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama 4,645,332 60.80%
Working Families Barack Obama 159,613 2.09%
Total Barack Obama Joe Biden 4,804,945 62.88% 31
Republican John McCain 2,418,323 31.65%
Conservative John McCain 170,475 2.23%
Independence John McCain 163,973 2.15%
Total John McCain Sarah Palin 2,752,771 36.03% 0
Populist Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 41,249 0.54% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 19,596 0.26% 0
Green Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 12,801 0.17% 0
Socialist Workers James Harris Alyson Kennedy 3,615 0.05% 0
Write-ins Write-ins 3,272 0.04% 0
Socialism and Liberation Gloria La Riva Eugene Puryear 1,639 0.02% 0
Constitution (write-in) Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 646 0.01% 0
Independent (write-in) Ron Paul 341 >0.01% 0
America's Independent (write-in) Alan Keyes Brian Rohrbough 35 >0.01% 0
Socialist Equality (write-in) Jerry White Bill Van Auken 18 >0.01% 0
Socialist (write-in) Brian Moore Stewart Alexander 10 >0.01% 0
Independent (write-in) Lanakila Washington 3 >0.01% 0
Heartquake '08 (write-in) Jonathan E. Allen 1 >0.01% 0
Independent (write-in) Michael Skok 1 >0.01% 0
Totals 7,640,943 100.00% 31
Voter turnout (voting age population) 52.1%

New York City results

2008 presidential election in New York City Manhattan The Bronx Brooklyn Queens Staten Island Total
Democratic-
Working Families
Barack Obama 572,370 338,261 603,525 480,692 79,311 2,074,159 79.29%
85.70% 88.71% 79.43% 75.09% 47.61%
Republican-
Conservative-
Independence
John McCain 89,949 41,683 151,872 155,221 86,062 524,787 20.06%
13.47% 10.93% 19.99% 24.25% 51.66%
Populist Ralph Nader 2,187 475 1,720 1,933 598 6,913 0.26%
0.33% 0.12% 0.23% 0.30% 0.36%
Green Cynthia McKinney 1,288 425 1,292 1,019 210 4,234 0.16%
0.19% 0.11% 0.17% 0.16% 0.13%
Libertarian Bob Barr 1,378 209 876 768 217 3,448 0.13%
0.21% 0.05% 0.12% 0.12% 0.13%
Socialist Workers Róger Calero 252 124 207 252 49 884 0.03%
0.04% 0.03% 0.03% 0.04% 0.03%
Socialism and Liberation Gloria La Riva 110 103 153 128 24 518 0.02%
0.02% 0.03% 0.02% 0.02% 0.01%
Others 351 42 203 124 107 371 0.02%
0.05% 0.01% 0.03% 0.02% 0.06%
TOTAL 667,885 381,322 759,848 640,137 166,578 2,615,770 100.00%

By county

County Barack Obama
Democratic/Working Families
John McCain
Republican/Conservative/Independence
Various candidates
Other parties
Margin Total votes cast
# % # % # % # %
Albany 93,937 63.79% 50,586 34.35% 2,743 1.86% 43,351 29.44% 147,266
Allegany 7,016 38.12% 11,013 59.83% 377 2.05% −3,997 −21.71% 18,406
Bronx 338,261 88.71% 41,683 10.93% 1,378 0.36% 296,578 77.78% 381,322
Broome 47,204 53.14% 40,077 45.11% 1,556 1.75% 7,127 8.03% 88,837
Cattaraugus 14,307 43.86% 17,770 54.48% 540 1.66% −3,463 −10.62% 32,617
Cayuga 18,128 53.28% 15,243 44.80% 651 1.92% 2,885 8.48% 34,022
Chautauqua 29,129 49.54% 28,579 48.60% 1,094 1.86% 550 0.94% 58,802
Chemung 18,888 48.81% 19,364 50.04% 443 1.15% −476 −1.23% 38,695
Chenango 10,100 48.45% 10,337 49.59% 410 1.96% −237 −1.14% 20,847
Clinton 20,216 60.64% 12,579 37.73% 542 1.63% 7,637 22.91% 33,337
Columbia 17,556 55.85% 13,337 42.43% 540 1.72% 4,219 13.42% 31,433
Cortland 11,861 54.11% 9,678 44.15% 381 1.74% 2,183 9.96% 21,920
Delaware 9,462 46.41% 10,524 51.62% 403 1.97% −1,062 −5.21% 20,389
Dutchess 71,060 53.71% 59,628 45.07% 1,614 1.22% 11,432 8.64% 132,302
Erie 256,299 57.99% 178,815 40.46% 6,871 1.55% 77,484 17.53% 441,985
Essex 10,390 55.88% 7,913 42.55% 292 1.57% 2,477 13.33% 18,595
Franklin 10,571 60.34% 6,676 38.11% 273 1.55% 3,895 22.23% 17,520
Fulton 9,695 44.42% 11,709 53.65% 420 1.93% −2,014 −9.23% 21,824
Genesee 10,762 40.02% 15,705 58.40% 423 1.58% −4,943 −18.38% 26,890
Greene 9,850 44.10% 12,059 53.99% 426 1.91% −2,209 −9.89% 22,335
Hamilton 1,225 35.91% 2,141 62.77% 45 1.32% −916 −26.86% 3,411
Herkimer 12,094 44.49% 14,619 53.78% 471 1.73% −2,525 −9.29% 27,184
Jefferson 18,166 46.72% 20,220 52.00% 500 1.28% −2,054 −5.28% 38,886
Kings 603,525 79.43% 151,872 19.99% 4,451 0.58% 451,653 59.44% 759,848
Lewis 4,986 44.77% 5,969 53.59% 183 1.64% −983 −8.82% 11,138
Livingston 13,655 45.29% 16,030 53.17% 484 1.54% −2,375 −7.88% 30,149
Madison 14,692 49.30% 14,434 48.43% 676 2.27% 258 0.87% 29,802
Monroe 207,371 58.18% 144,262 40.47% 4,781 1.35% 63,109 17.71% 356,424
Montgomery 9,080 45.01% 10,711 53.09% 384 1.90% −1,631 −8.08% 20,175
Nassau 342,185 53.84% 288,776 45.43% 4,657 0.73% 53,409 8.41% 635,618
New York 572,370 85.70% 89,949 13.47% 5,566 0.83% 482,421 72.23% 667,885
Niagara 47,303 49.65% 46,348 48.65% 1,621 1.70% 955 1.00% 95,272
Oneida 43,506 46.10% 49,256 52.20% 1,603 1.70% −5,750 −6.10% 94,365
Onondaga 129,317 59.25% 84,972 38.94% 3,950 1.81% 44,345 20.31% 218,239
Ontario 25,103 49.20% 25,171 49.34% 746 1.46% −68 −0.14% 51,020
Orange 78,326 51.54% 72,042 47.40% 1,614 1.06% 6,284 4.14% 151,982
Orleans 6,614 39.88% 9,708 58.54% 262 1.58% −3,094 −18.66% 16,584
Oswego 24,777 50.21% 23,571 47.76% 1,001 2.03% 1,206 2.45% 49,349
Otsego 13,570 51.95% 12,026 46.04% 525 2.01% 1,544 5.91% 26,121
Putnam 21,613 45.75% 25,145 53.22% 486 1.03% −3,532 −7.47% 47,244
Queens 480,692 75.09% 155,221 24.25% 4,224 0.76% 325,471 50.84% 640,137
Rensselaer 39,753 53.73% 32,840 44.39% 1,393 1.88% 6,913 9.34% 73,986
Richmond 79,311 47.61% 86,062 51.66% 1,205 0.73% −6,751 −4.05% 166,578
Rockland 69,543 52.61% 61,752 46.71% 898 0.68% 7,791 5.90% 132,193
Saratoga 56,645 50.85% 52,855 47.45% 1,887 1.70% 3,790 3.40% 111,387
Schenectady 38,611 55.28% 29,758 42.61% 1,473 2.11% 8,853 12.67% 69,842
Schoharie 6,009 41.72% 8,071 56.04% 322 2.24% −2,062 −14.32% 14,402
Schuyler 3,933 45.73% 4,542 52.81% 125 1.46% −609 −7.08% 8,600
Seneca 7,422 50.35% 7,038 47.74% 281 1.91% 384 2.61% 14,741
St. Lawrence 23,706 57.36% 16,956 41.03% 664 1.61% 6,750 16.33% 41,326
Steuben 17,148 40.92% 24,203 57.75% 560 1.33% −7,055 −16.83% 41,911
Suffolk 346,549 52.53% 307,021 46.53% 6,209 0.94% 39,528 6.00% 659,779
Sullivan 16,850 54.04% 13,900 44.58% 433 1.38% 2,950 9.46% 31,183
Tioga 10,172 43.98% 12,536 54.20% 423 1.82% −2,364 −10.22% 23,131
Tompkins 29,826 70.09% 11,927 28.03% 799 1.88% 17,899 42.06% 42,552
Ulster 54,320 60.93% 33,300 37.35% 1,529 1.72% 21,020 23.58% 89,149
Warren 16,281 50.49% 15,429 47.85% 535 1.66% 852 2.64% 32,245
Washington 12,741 49.52% 12,533 48.71% 456 1.77% 208 0.81% 25,730
Wayne 18,184 44.30% 22,239 54.18% 622 1.52% −4,055 −9.88% 41,045
Westchester 261,810 63.39% 147,824 35.79% 3,410 0.82% 113,986 27.60% 413,044
Wyoming 6,379 36.11% 10,998 62.25% 290 1.64% −4,619 −26.14% 17,667
Yates 4,890 47.57% 5,269 51.25% 121 1.18% −379 −3.68% 10,280
Totals 4,804,945 62.88% 2,752,771 36.03% 83,232 1.09% 2,052,174 26.85% 7,640,948
County Flips:

Counties that flipped from Republican to Democratic

By congressional district

Barack Obama won 26 of the state's 29 districts, both candidates carried two districts won by the other party.

District McCain Obama Representative
1st 47.62% 51.44% Tim Bishop
2nd 43.09% 56.13% Steve Israel
3rd 47.27% 51.90% Peter T. King
4th 41.35% 57.99% Carolyn McCarthy
5th 36.06% 63.24% Gary Ackerman
6th 10.68% 89.03% Gregory W. Meeks
7th 20.37% 79.12% Joseph Crowley
8th 25.45% 73.70% Jerrold Nadler
9th 43.92% 55.32% Anthony D. Weiner
10th 8.70% 91.03% Edolphus Towns
11th 9.07% 90.49% Yvette D. Clark
12th 13.12% 86.17% Nydia Velasquez
13th 50.56% 48.74% Vito Fossella ( 110th Congress)
Michael McMahon ( 111th Congress)
14th 20.92% 78.19% Carolyn B. Maloney
15th 6.17% 93.21% Charlie Rangel
16th 5.04% 94.76% Jose Serrano
17th 27.53% 71.92% Eliot L. Engel
18th 37.57% 61.66% Nita Lowey
19th 48.37% 50.65% John Hall
20th 47.70% 50.70% Kirsten Gillibrand ( 110th Congress)
Scott Murphy ( 111th Congress)
21st 40.00% 58.14% Paul Tonko
22nd 39.31% 59.23% Maurice Hinchey
23rd 46.59% 51.81% John M. McHugh
24th 47.97% 50.33% Mike Arcuri
25th 42.62% 55.74% James T. Walsh ( 110th Congress)
Dan Maffei ( 111th Congress)
26th 52.15% 46.43% Thomas M. Reynolds ( 110th Congress)
Christopher Lee ( 111th Congress)
27th 44.03% 54.19% Brian Higgins
28th 30.29% 68.47% Louise Slaughter
29th 50.46% 48.24% Randy Kuhl ( 110th Congress)
Eric Massa ( 111th Congress)

Electors

Technically the voters of New York cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. New York is allocated 31 electors because it had 29 congressional districts under the 2000 census and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 31 electors, who pledge to vote for their candidate and their running mate. Whoever wins the majority of votes in the state is awarded all 31 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. [18] An elector who votes for someone other than their 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 31 electors were pledged to Barack Obama and Joe Biden: [19]

  1. Velda Jeffrey
  2. June O'Neill
  3. Dennis Mehiel
  4. David Paterson
  5. Andrew Cuomo
  6. Thomas DiNapoli
  7. Sheldon Silver
  8. Malcolm Smith
  9. Maria Luna
  10. Robert Master
  11. Pamela Green-Perkins
  12. Helen D. Foster
  13. Jon Cooper
  14. Hakeem Jeffries
  15. Richard Fife
  16. Deborah Slott
  17. Terrence Yang
  18. George Arthur
  19. George Gresham
  20. Alan Van Capelle
  21. Inez Dickens
  22. Suzy Ballantyne
  23. Alan Lubin
  24. Bethaida Gonzalez
  25. Christine Quinn
  26. William Thompson
  27. Stuart Applebaum
  28. Maritza Davila
  29. Ivan Young
  30. Barbara J. Fiala
  31. Frank A. Bolz

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Presidential". May 5, 2015. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "Vote 2008 - The Takeaway - Track the Electoral College vote predictions". April 22, 2009. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Electoral-vote.com: President, Senate, House Updated Daily". electoral-vote.com. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway.
  6. ^ "POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map - POLITICO.com". www.politico.com. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map". Archived from the original on June 5, 2008.
  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 (November 4, 2008). "The Electoral Map: Key States". The New York Times. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "October – 2008 – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs". CNN. October 31, 2008. Archived from the original on June 19, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Winning The Electoral College". Fox News. April 27, 2010.
  12. ^ "roadto270". hosted.ap.org. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  13. ^ "Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports". www.rasmussenreports.com. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  14. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  15. ^ "Presidential Campaign Finance". Archived from the original on March 24, 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. ^ "Electoral College". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2008.
  19. ^ U. S. Electoral College 2008 Election - Certificates