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United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 2008

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United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 2008

United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 2008

November 4, 2008

Nominee Barack Obama John McCain
Party Democratic Republican
Home state Illinois Arizona
Running mate Joe Biden Sarah Palin
Electoral vote 12 0
Popular vote 1,904,098 1,108,854
Percentage 61.80% 35.99%

Voting results by municipality

President before election

George W. Bush

Elected President

Barack Obama

The 2008 United States presidential election in Massachusetts took place on November 4, 2008 in Massachusetts as in all 50 states and D.C., as part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 12 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice President.

blue state. No Republican presidential nominee has won a single county in the state nor obtained over 40% of the vote since 1988.[1][2] In 2008, Democrat Barack Obama captured the state's 12 electoral votes winning 61.80% of the popular vote to Republican John McCain's 35.99%.



Massachusetts Democratic Primary, 2008

February 5, 2008 (2008-02-05)

Nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton Barack Obama
Party Democratic Democratic
Home state New York Illinois
Popular vote 705,185 511,680
Percentage 56.01% 40.64%

The Massachusetts Democratic primary took place on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, and had a total of 93 delegates at stake. The winner in each of Massachusetts's 10 congressional districts was awarded all of that district's delegates, totaling 61. Another 32 delegates were awarded to the statewide winner, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The 93 delegates represented Massachusetts at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. Twenty-six other unpledged delegates, known as superdelegates, also attended the convention and cast their votes as well.

Polls indicated that Clinton was leading Barack Obama in the days leading up to the contest in Massachusetts.[3]

Hillary Rodham Clinton won a convincing victory in Massachusetts over Barack Obama due to a number of factors. According to exit polls, 85 percent of voters in the Massachusetts Democratic Primary were Caucasians and they opted for Clinton by a margin of 58-40 percent compared to the 6 percent of African American voters who backed Obama by a margin of 66-29. Hispanics/Latinos, which comprised 5 percent of the total voters, backed Clinton by a margin of 56-36 percent. Clinton narrowly won the youth vote (those ages 18-29) by a margin of 49-48 and tied the vote among voters ages 30-44; she also won all voters over the age of 45 by a margin of 60.5-38. Pertaining to socioeconomic class, Clinton won all levels of family income except highly affluent voters making $200,000 or more a year, as they backed Obama by a narrow margin of 53-47 percent. As for educational attainment levels, Clinton won all categories except those with postgraduate degrees who backed Obama by a margin of 51-47 percent. Among self-identified Democrats in the primary, which made up 65 percent of the total electorate, they went for Clinton by a 58-41 margin while Independents, which comprised a healthy 33 percent of the electorate, also went for Clinton by a 54-42 margin. She also won all ideological groups. Clinton also won most major religious denominations – Protestants 53-46; Roman Catholics 64-33; other Christians 51-47; and other religions 49-46. Obama won Jews by a margin of 52-48 as well as atheists/agnostics by a margin of 53-45.

Clinton performed extremely well statewide, carrying a majority of counties and sweeping most of the major urban areas and cities. Obama won Boston by fewer than 10,000 votes, while Clinton won other urban and conservative towns[4] such as Springfield and Worcester.

Obama had picked up major endorsements from the Massachusetts Democratic establishment prior to Super Tuesday. Both U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry threw their support behind Obama, along with Governor Deval Patrick. Clinton also picked up a number of top-tier endorsements from Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Salvatore DiMasi along with U.S. Representatives Richard Neal and Barney Frank, one of the three openly gay members of the U.S. Congress.

Party Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
  Democratic Hillary Rodham Clinton 705,185 56.01% 55
  Democratic Barack Obama 511,680 40.64% 38
  Democratic John Edwards 20,101 1.60% 0
  Democratic Uncommitted 8,041 0.64% 0
  Democratic Write-ins 3,279 0.26% 0
  Democratic Joe Biden 3,216 0.26% 0
  Democratic Dennis Kucinich 2,992 0.24% 0
  Democratic Bill Richardson 1,846 0.15% 0
  Democratic Mike Gravel 1,463 0.12% 0
  Democratic Christopher Dodd 1,120 0.09% 0
Totals 1,258,923 100.00% 93
Voter turnout %


Massachusetts Republican primary, 2008

February 5, 2008 (2008-02-05)

Nominee Mitt Romney John McCain
Party Republican Republican
Home state Massachusetts Arizona
Popular vote 255,892 204,779
Percentage 51.92% 41.68%

The Massachusetts Republican Primary took place on February 5, 2008, with 40 national delegates.[5] Polls indicated that former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney was leading rival John McCain;[6] Romney ended up defeating McCain by roughly 10% of the vote.

Official Results[7]
Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
Mitt Romney 255,892 51.12% 21
John McCain 204,779 40.91% 17
Mike Huckabee 19,103 3.82% 0
Ron Paul 13,251 2.65% 0
Rudy Giuliani* 2,707 0.54% 0
Fred Thompson* 916 0.18% 0
Duncan Hunter* 258 0.05% 0
All Others 1,685 0.34% 0
Uncommitted 1,959 0.39% 0
Total 500,550 100% 38

* Candidate dropped out of the race before the primary



There were 17 news organizations who made state by state predictions of the election. Here are their last predictions before election day:

  1. D.C. Political Report: Democrat[8]
  2. Cook Political Report: Solid Democrat[9]
  3. Takeaway: Solid Obama[10]
  4. Election Projection: Solid Obama[11]
  5. Strong Democrat[12]
  6. Washington Post: Solid Obama[13]
  7. Politico: Solid Obama[14]
  8. Real Clear Politics: Solid Obama[15]
  9. Solid Obama[13]
  10. CQ Politics: Safe Democrat[16]
  11. New York Times: Solid Democrat[17]
  12. CNN: Safe Democrat[18]
  13. NPR: Solid Obama[13]
  14. MSNBC: Solid Obama[13]
  15. Fox News: Democrat[19]
  16. Associated Press: Democrat[20]
  17. Rasmussen Reports: Safe Democrat[21]


Very early on the election polls were tight, but Obama swept all polls taken after March 18. He won each by a double digit margin since August 8. The final 3 polls averaged Obama leading 56% to 36%.[22]


John McCain raised $4,072,206 in the state. Barack Obama raised $24,358,264.[23]

Advertising and visits

Obama spent $46,839 while the Republican ticket spent nothing.[24] Neither campaign visited the state.[25]


Richard M. Nixon won reelection.

Barack Obama won the state's 12 electoral votes with 61.80% of the vote to John McCain's 35.99%. This is slightly higher than Kerry's victory in 2004. Despite that, four counties in the state trended away from the Democratic party: Bristol, Plymouth, Norfolk, and Worcester.

Both of Massachusetts's U.S. Senators and all 10 of its U.S. Representatives were Democrats, and Democrats held supermajorities in the Massachusetts Legislature. At the same time in 2008, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry was reelected with 65.86% of the vote over Republican Jim Beatty's 30.93% as were all of the state's delegates in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the state level, Democrats picked up three seats in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and one seat in the Massachusetts Senate.


County Results
United States presidential election in Massachusetts, 2008
Party Candidate Running mate Votes Percentage Electoral votes
Democratic Barack Obama Joe Biden 1,904,098 61.80% 12
Republican John McCain Sarah Palin 1,108,854 35.99% 0
Independent Ralph Nader Matt Gonzalez 28,841 0.94% 0
Independent Others (Write-In) 14,483 0.47% 0
Libertarian Bob Barr Wayne Allyn Root 13,189 0.43% 0
Green-Rainbow Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 6,550 0.21% 0
Constitution Chuck Baldwin Darrell Castle 4,971 0.16% 0
Totals 3,080,985 100.00% 12
Voter turnout (Voting age population) 62.1%

By county

County McCain % McCain Votes Obama % Obama Votes Others % Others Votes
Barnstable 42.1% 55,694 56.1% 74,264 1.8% 2,395
Berkshire 22.5% 14,876 74.9% 49,558 2.6% 1,696
Bristol 37.2% 90,531 60.4% 146,861 2.4% 5,728
Dukes 23.1% 2,442 75.0% 7,913 1.9% 198
Essex 38.8% 137,129 59.1% 208,976 2.1% 7,357
Franklin 24.8% 9,545 72.5% 27,919 2.8% 1,065
Hampden 36.1% 71,350 61.4% 121,454 2.5% 4,916
Hampshire 25.9% 20,618 71.5% 56,869 2.6% 2,083
Middlesex 33.9% 245,766 64.0% 464,484 2.2% 15,781
Nantucket 30.8% 1,863 67.3% 4,073 1.9% 116
Norfolk 39.7% 136,841 58.2% 200,675 2.1% 7,400
Plymouth 45.2% 112,904 52.8% 131,817 2.0% 5,096
Suffolk 21.2% 57,194 76.9% 207,128 1.8% 4,900
Worcester 41.8% 152,101 55.6% 202,107 2.6% 9,386

By congressional district

Barack Obama swept all 10 congressional districts in Massachusetts.
District Representative
McCain Obama
1 John Olver (D) 33.54% 64.17%
2 Richard Neal (D) 38.88% 59.04%
3 Jim McGovern (D) 39.39% 58.74%
4 Barney Frank (D) 34.67% 63.66%
5 Niki Tsongas (D) 39.41% 58.92%
6 John F. Tierney (D) 40.71% 57.65%
7 Ed Markey (D) 33.34% 64.96%
8 Mike Capuano (D) 13.74% 85.58%
9 Stephen Lynch (D) 38.50% 60.37%
10 William Delahunt (D) 43.60% 54.87%


Technically the voters of Massachusetts cast their ballots for electors: representatives to the Electoral College. Massachusetts is allocated 12 electors because it has 10 congressional districts and 2 senators. All candidates who appear on the ballot or qualify to receive write-in votes must submit a list of 12 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 12 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.[26] 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 12 were pledged to Obama and Biden:[27]

  1. Brenda Brathwaite
  2. Mary Ann Dube
  3. Patricia Marcus
  4. Faye Morrison
  5. Carol Pacheco
  6. Corinne Wingard
  7. John Brissette
  8. Raymond Jordan
  9. Joe Kaplan
  10. Melvin Poindexter
  11. Samuel Poulten
  12. Jason Whittet


  1. ^ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  2. ^ [1][2]
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ D.C.'s Political Report: The complete source for campaign summaries
  9. ^ Presidential | The Cook Political Report
  10. ^
  11. ^ Election Projection: 2008 Elections - Polls, Projections, Results
  12. ^ President, Senate, House Updated Daily
  13. ^ a b c d Based on Takeaway
  14. ^ POLITICO's 2008 Swing State Map -
  15. ^ RealClearPolitics - Electoral Map
  16. ^ CQ Politics | CQ Presidential Election Maps, 2008
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ roadto270
  21. ^ Election 2008: Electoral College Update - Rasmussen Reports™
  22. ^ Election 2008 Polls - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections
  23. ^ Presidential Campaign Finance
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Massachusetts Democratic Party

See also

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