POSTING (by Todd) on the Utah State Democratic Party blog
April 1, 2009

2008 Election: Obama factor in Utah

How did Utah Democrats do in the 2008 election? Well, Republicans know they lost. All you needed to determine that is to look at their faces on election night. On election night, most Democrats knew it, too. The celebration in Salt Lake City went on to the wee hours.

Obama's Contribution

The Republicans lost – their right to boast of Utah as the “reddest of red states.”

For the first time since 1980, Utah did not give the GOP their highest vote for president in this election – that honor belongs to Oklahoma (65.6%), then to Wyoming (65.2%). Utah is number three (62.9%).

Obama’s share of the vote increased 8% over John Kerry with 61,000 more votes despite turnout that was nearly 10% less.

The State Party and the Obama campaign distributed over 12,000 Obama lawn signs, an equal number of buttons, and around 5,000 bumperstickers – AND thanks to small contributors and volunteers, it cost us nothing.

The Republicans lost – the swing states where Utahns volunteered their time and effort to change the presidential race.

Utahns organized by the Obama campaign and our State Party political organizer Nikki Norton sent over 600 volunteers to Colorado and they knocked on over 100,000 doors helping deliver 9 electoral college votes. There were at least 200 Utahns in Colorado the weekend before the election. We also sent people to Nevada and helped deliver 5 electoral college votes from that state. Believe me the Republicans from Utah were doing the same. I stood in line at the local bank while a Republican tortured a teller trying to get $25,000 worth of “gift cards” to help pay for their “volunteer’s” travel.

At the same time the Obama volunteers participated in getting volunteers to distribute 30,000 doorhangers in heavily Democratic areas in Utah and made over 100,000 GOTV telephone calls including over 25,000 on election day into all of our competitive legislative districts. They registered nearly 3,000 new voters.