How Barack Obama Won—by one of the most lauded political journalists of our time, and one of the most respected pollsters in the business—gives us not only the inside state-by-state guide to how Obama achieved his victory, but also the essential toolbox for understanding the political implications of the 2008 presidential election—where the country stands vis-à-vis Red and Blue states, where it currently is and is headed politically, and whether a political realignment has taken place.
The book features an introduction by Chuck Todd, putting the 2008 presidential election in political and demographic perspective, even as it reveals national trends. The final electoral map will appear in the front matter, as will unexpected "fun facts." The book is divided into four parts, each of which proceeds alphabetically state by state: Battleground States (e.g., Colorado, Florida, Idaho); Emerging Battleground States (e.g., Arizona, Georgia, Montana); Receding Battleground States (e.g., Michigan, Pennsylvania); Red and Blue States (e.g., Idaho and Mississippi, California and New York).
The votes in each state for Obama and McCain are broken down by percentage according to gender, age, race, party, religious affiliation, education, household income, size of city, and according to views about the most important issue (the economy, terrorism, Iraq, energy, healthcare), the future of the economy (worried, not worried) and the war in Iraq (approve, disapprove). Comparative figures for the 2004 Bush–Kerry election are provided. Each state profile is comprised of a table of numbers—with crucial lines highlighted—and analysis. From the book's treasury of facts you will learn about:
First Time Voters: The ratio of first-time to previous voters was identical to the 2004 split. Eleven percent (11%) of the electorate voted for the first time in 2004 and 2008. In 2008 70% voted for Obama whereas in 2004 only 53% voted for Kerry.
White Voters: Obama won the white vote in 18 states and the District of Columbia: CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, ME, MA, MI, MN, NH, NY, OR, RI, WA, WI and VT. Obama received less than 35% of the white vote in 13 states, with Louisiana (14%), Mississippi (11%) and Alabama (10%) picking up the rear.
The Bush Factor: With the exception of Missouri (which barely went to McCain), Obama won every state where Bush's approval rating was below 35% in the exit polls; he lost every state where Bush's approval rating was above 35%. Bush's approval rating was highest in Utah (47%), which supported McCain by a 29 point margin, and lowest in Washington,D.C. (8%), where McCain received only 7% of the vote.
Florida: Votes for McCain were 25,000 fewer than for Bush in 2004; Obama's exceeded Kerry's by 540,000.
Ohio: Votes for Obama were 34,000 fewer than for Kerry in 2004; McCain's, however, were 350,000 short of Bush's.
By the way, since 1928 there has not been a winning Republican presidential/vice-presidential ticket without a Bush or Nixon.