United States presidential election, 2008 facts for kids
|‹ 2004 2012 ›|
|United States presidential election, 2008
|November 4, 2008|
|Nominee||Barack Obama||John McCain|
|Running mate||Joe Biden||Sarah Palin|
|Contests won||28 + DC + NE-02||22|
Electoral college votes for 2008. The winning candidate needs 270 electoral votes out of a total of 538, which is just over 50%.
The United States presidential election, 2008 is a political event which took place on November 4, 2008. During that day the President of the United States and Vice President of the United States were selected. Barack Obama from the Democratic Party defeated John McCain to win the presidency, and is the first African-American president. He was sworn in as President on January 20, 2009. In a United States presidential election, a person must get 270 electoral votes to win.
The main contest during the Democratic primaries was between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, which was a very close race. Clinton won the popular vote, but ultimately Obama won more unpledged delegates and therefore the nomination.
All candidates except Mike Gravel, who switched to the Libertarian Party during the election, supported Barack Obama.
Barack Obama chose Joe Biden as the vice-presidential candidate on August 23, 2008.
|Barack Obama||Joe Biden|
|for President||for Vice President|
|U.S. Senator from Illinois
|U.S. Senator from Delaware
- Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York (withdrew on June 7, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama)
- John Edwards, former U.S. Senator from North Carolina (withdrew on January 30, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama)
- Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico (withdrew on January 10, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama)
- Dennis Kucinich, U.S. Representative from Ohio (withdrew on January 24, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama)
- Joe Biden, U.S. Senator from Delaware (withdrew on January 3, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama)
- Mike Gravel, former U.S. Senator from Alaska (withdrew on March 25, 2008 to run for the Libertarian Party nomination. After losing the nomination, he endorsed Jesse Johnson)
- Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator from Connecticut (withdrew on January 3, 2008 and endorsed Barack Obama)
- Evan Bayh, U.S. Senator from Indiana (withdrew on December 15, 2006 and endorsed Hillary Clinton. He later endorsed Barack Obama)
- Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa (withdrew on February 23, 2007 and endorsed Hillary Clinton. He later endorsed Barack Obama)
The candidates running for the nomination of the Republican Party were John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Alan Keyes, Jim Gilmore, Sam Brownback, and Duncan Hunter.
Most of the candidates withdrew early. As a result, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney emerged as the three people most likely to win the nomination. Ron Paul became popular among libertarians.
John McCain was nominated by the Republican Party (by a decisive victory).
He chose Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential candidate.
|John McCain||Sarah Palin|
|for President||for Vice President|
|U.S. Senator from Arizona
Governor of Alaska
- Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts (withdrew on February 7, 2008 and endorsed John McCain)
- Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas (withdrew on March 4, 2008 and endorsed John McCain)
- Ron Paul, U.S. Representative from Texas (withdrew on June 12, 2008 and endorsed Chuck Baldwin)
- Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City (withdrew on January 30, 2008 and endorsed John McCain)
- Fred Thompson, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee (withdrew on January 22, 2008 and endorsed John McCain)
- Alan Keyes, former U.S. ECOSOC Ambassador from Maryland (withdrew on April 15, 2008 to run for the Constitution Party nomination. After losing that nomination, he ran as the America's Independent Party nominee.)
- Duncan Hunter, U.S. Representative from California (withdrew on January 19, 2008 and endorsed Mike Huckabee. He later endorsed John McCain)
- Tom Tancredo, U.S. Representative from Colorado (withdrew on December 20, 2007 and endorsed Mitt Romney. He later endorsed John McCain)
- Sam Brownback, U.S. Senator from Kansas (withdrew on October 18, 2007 and endorsed John McCain)
- Tommy Thompson, former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (withdrew on August 12, 2007 and endorsed Rudy Giuliani. He later endorsed John McCain)
- Jim Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia (withdrew on July 14, 2007 and endorsed John McCain)
Former HHS Secretary
(Withdrew on August 12, 2007)
The president during the election, George W. Bush (who eventually supported John McCain), was very unpopular due to the 2007-09 "great recession", and because of that, the Obama campaign compared McCain to Bush several times.
There were four television debates during the campaign: three of them were between the two presidential candidates, and one of them was between the two vice-presidential candidates.
|Candidate||Votes||%||States led||National ECV|
|Barack Obama (Democrat)||69,498,516||52.9%||28+DC+NE-02||365|
|John McCain (Republican)||59,948,323||45.7%||22||173|
|Ralph Nader (Independent)||739,034||0.56%||0||0|
|Bob Barr (Libertarian)||523,715||0.40%||0||0|
|Chuck Baldwin (Constitution)||199,750||0.15%||0||0|
|Cynthia McKinney (Green)||161,797||0.12%||0||0|
|Total||131,313,820||100.00%||50 + DC||538|
Results by state
|State||Obama Popular Vote||Obama %||McCain Popular Vote||McCain %||Electoral Vote|
|District of Columbia||245,800||92.46%||17,367||6.53%||3|
Images for kids
George W. Bush, the incumbent president in 2008, whose term expired on January 20, 2009.
Obama campaigning as a symbol of change in Cleveland, Ohio with a "Change We Need" sign
Cartogram of the Electoral Votes for 2008 United States presidential election, each square representing one electoral vote. The map shows the impact of winning swing states. Nebraska, being one of two states that are not winner-take-all, for the first time had its votes split, with its second congressional district voting for Obama.
Swing by state. States are listed by (increasing) percentage of Democratic votes, showing how the share of the vote changed between 2004 and 2008. Excluding the candidates' home states, only five states trended more Republican: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Popular vote by county. Red represents counties that went for McCain, Blue represents counties that went for Obama. Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont had all counties go to Obama. Oklahoma had all counties go to McCain. Alaska does not display its boroughs on this map.
United States presidential election, 2008 Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.