HOW BARACK OBAMA WON 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 results -with key factors 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.
From NBC's political director and elections director. Readers who pick this up for, say, a quick check of McCain's margin of victory in Montana will find themselves tempted to embark on a full cross-country trip through these pages. States here are divided into four categories: "Battleground States," "Receding Battleground States," "Emerging Battleground States," and "Red and Blue States" (not clear why that wasn't two separate lists). Entries are from two to five pages long, more for states in flux than the true Blue or Red ones, with a clear format of both textual and tabular information on the state's 2008 presidential choice, its party support in the past, and what to keep an eye on in future elections. A final section of tables analyzing the 2008 electorate is fascinating. For all interested readers.