IOWA 7 Electoral Votes
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader 
In Nov. 2004 Republicans enjoyed a narrow registration advantage of 609,046 (30.89%) to 601,388 (30.50%) for the Democrats and 761,301 (38.61%) No Party.  By 2008 that had disappeared.  At the time of the Jan. 3, 2008 precinct caucuses Democrats led by 606,209 (31.50%) to 576,231 (29.94%) for the Republicans and 742,124 (38.56%) No Party.  During 2008 Democrats achieved further registration gains.  From the Jan. 3 registration report to the Nov. 1 registration report, Democrats increased their registration numbers by 92,630 while Republicans increased theirs by 16,166; by Election Day the Democrats' registration advantage was more than five percentage points: Democrats 698,839 (34.87%), Republicans 592,397(29.56%) and No-Party 711,705 (35.52%).

The lengthy Iowa caucus campaign and subsequent county, district and state convention process provided a strong grassroots infrastructure for the Obama campaign to build on in the general election (interview).  According to Iowa Campaign for Change field director Trip Wellde, cited in a Feb. 12, 2009 article in The Collegian (University of Richmond student newspaper), the Obama campaign focused on a) on getting 125,000 weak voting Democrats to vote and b) winning 125,000 Independent votes.  Iowa saw relatively few appearances by the candidates and their wives in the fall (similar to neighboring Minnesota and Wisconsin), but the McCain campaign did not give up on the state, and there was a flurry of visits in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)
741,898 (49.23)
+Bush/Cheney (Rep.) 751,957 (49.90)

plurality: 10,059 votes (0.67 percentage points)
counties: Bush 67, Kerry 32

+Obama-Biden (Dem.)
McCain-Palin (Rep.) 682,379 (44.59)

plurality: 146,561 votes (9.54 percentage points).
counties: Obama 53, McCain 46

Travel  compare...
Five Months (June 1-Nov. 4, 2008)
Barack Obama - 3 visits (3 days)
Joe Biden - 1 visit (1 day)
Michelle Obama (solo) - no visits
Jill Biden (solo) - 1 visit (2 days)
John McCain - 6 visits (7 days)
Sarah Palin - 3 visits (3 days)
Cindy McCain (solo) - no visits
Todd Palin (solo) - no visits

Newspaper Endorsements
Des Moines Register  (Oct. 25)   138,519
Globe Gazette [Mason City]  (Oct. 19)
The Hawk Eye [Burlington]  (Oct. 19)
Iowa City Press-Citizen  (Oct. 29)
Ottumwa Courier  (Oct. 27)
Quad-City Times [Davenport]  (Oct. 26)
Storm Lake Times
The Gazette [Cedar Rapids]  (Nov. 1)
Creston News Advertiser  (Oct. 30)*
Fort Dodge Messenger  (Oct. 19)
Marshalltown Times-Republican 
Newton Daily News  (Oct. 22)*

Sioux City Journal  (Oct. 26)

same endorsement, fromTom Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Shaw Newspapers Dixon, Ill.

MINNESOTA 10 Electoral Votes
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader  |  Baldwin 
The 2008 Republican National Convention, held at Xcel Energy Center in Minneapolis-St. Paul from Sept. 1-4, 2008, helped boost the state's economy, but couldn't tip the Minnesota into the Republican column.  Gov. Tim Pawlenty was one of the final runner ups in McCain's vice presidential search.

The candidates made relatively few visits.  On the Democrats' side there were just three visits (two Barack Obama and one Michelle Obama) in the five months from
June 1-November 4.  The last appearance by any of the Republican principals was Todd Palin's visit of October 16-17.

The Minnesota Independence Party held a presidential endorsing convention > on Oct. 25, 2008; about one hundred people showed up but they decided not to make an endorsement.

Minnesota traditionally has high voter turnout; in 2008, boosted by the heated Norm Coleman-Al Franken U.S. Senate race, Minnesota had the highest voter turnout of any state.

+Kerry/Edwards (DFL)
Bush/Cheney (Rep.) 1,346,695
plurality: 98,319 votes (3.48 percentage points)

+Obama-Biden (DFL)
McCain-Palin (Rep.) 1,275,409 (43.82)

plurality: 297,945 votes (10.24 percentage points).
counties: McCain 45, Obama 42

Travel  compare...
Five Months (June 1-Nov. 4, 2008)
Barack Obama - 2 visits (3 days)
Joe Biden - no visits
Michelle Obama (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
Jill Biden (solo) - no visits
John McCain - 5 visits (6 days)
Sarah Palin - 2 visits (3 days)*
Cindy McCain (solo) - 1 visit (4 days)
Todd Palin (solo) - 2 visits (3 days)
*Sarah Palin's 3-day total is for public appearances; she spent an additional 2 days in her hotel doing speech prep. in advance of the convention.

Newspaper Endorsements

Star Tribune  (Oct. 26)   322,362
Rochester Post-Bulletin  (Oct. 28)
St. Cloud Times  (Oct. 19)
Winona Daily News (Oct. 28)

La Prensa de Minnesota  (Oct. 23)
Bemidji Pioneer (Oct. 26)
Duluth News Tribune (Nov. 2)
The Journal [New Ulm] (Oct. 19)
West Central Tribune [Willmar] (Oct. 21)
Worthington Daily Globe (Oct. 24)
Red Wing Republican Eagle (Oct. 23)
International Falls Daily Journal (Oct. 29)

St. Paul Pioneer Press

WISCONSIN 10 Electoral Votes
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  Nader 
In 2000 and 2004 Wisconsin was decided by a margin of less that one percentage point.  2008 proved to be a very different story. 

As in other states the Obama campaign built an extensive field organization with about 58 offices around the state, hundreds of organizing teams and thousands of volunteers, major outreach to students, and also a rural outreach effort. 

In contrast to the intense travel by candidates and their wives in 2004, particularly in the closing stretch of the campaign, none of the principals campaigned in the state after Sen. McCain's appearance in La Crosse on October 10.  (For the Obama campaign the final appearance was Sen. Obama's October 1 visit, also to La Crosse). 

Slightly fewer total votes were cast in the presidential race in 2008 than in 2004.

+Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)
1,489,504 (49.70)
Bush/Cheney (Rep.) 1,478,120 (49.32)
Others and Scatter
plurality: 11,384 votes (0.38 percentage points)
counties: Bush
45, Kerry 27
+Obama/Biden (Dem.)
1,677,211 (56.22)
McCain/Palin (Rep.) 1,262,393 (42.31)
Others and Scatter
plurality: 414,818 votes (13.91 percentage points)
counties: Obama 59, McCain 13

Travel  compare...
Five Months (June 1-Nov. 4, 2008)
Barack Obama - 5 visits (5 days)
Joe Biden - 2 visits (2 days)
Michelle Obama (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
Jill Biden (solo) - no visits
John McCain - 5 visits (7 days)
Sarah Palin - 3 visits (4 days)
Cindy McCain (solo) - no visits
Todd Palin (solo) - no visits

Note that all of Sarah Palin's appearances were joint events with McCain.

Newspaper Endorsements
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  (Oct. 25)  217,755
Wisconsin State Journal  (Oct. 12)
The Capital Times  (Oct. 22)
Chippewa Herald  (Oct. 26)
Kenosha News  (Oct. 26)
La Crosse Tribune  (Oct. 26)
Marshfield News Herald  (Oct. 31)
Shawano Leader  (weekend of Nov. 1-2)
Sheboygan Press  (Nov. 2)
Stevens Point Journal  (Oct. 24)
Wausau Daily Herald  (Oct. 28)
UW - Badger Herald  (Oct. 30)
Green Bay Press-Gazette  (Oct. 24)
Beloit Daily News  (Oct. 29)
Daily Jefferson County Union [Fort Atkinson]  (Oct. 30)
Oshkosh Northwestern
Fond du Lac Reporter
Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter
Superior Daily Telegram
Ashland Daily Press

Copyright © 2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action