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Still crunching the numbers on Barack Obama and John McCain

November 11, 2008 |  7:08 pm

One week after election day, the votes in the presidential race continue to dribble in (democracy remains a messy process).

CNN, on its Website, conscientiously keeps updating the popular vote totals. The last time we checked, it showed Barack Obama with more than 66.1 million votes. John McCain was just shy of the 58-million mark.

Democrat Barack ObamaOddly, at least to us, the CNN site has yet to reflect Obama's apparent victory in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District which, in that state, means he claims one of its electoral votes (the other four go to McCain).

Assuming the Republican retains his ever-so-small margin in the one state several news outlets have been reluctant to call -- Missouri -- the electoral count will come in at:

Obama -- 365

McCain -- 173

With the Show Me State emerging as the election's quintessential battleground, what, we wondered, were the sites of the biggest routs -- the bluest of the blue and the reddest of the red?

Setting aside the District of Columbia (which Obama carried with almost 93% of the vote), the president-elect's best showing occurred in his native state of Hawaii. The New York Times' results map gives him 71.8% of the vote in Hawaii (making it the only state where either candidate broke the 70% mark).

Obama recorded his second-best showing in Vermont, where he garnered 66.8% of the vote. On the one hand, that's no surprise.  Vermont, to many, is synonymous with liberalism. 

On the other hand, Obama's showing in the Green Mountain State underscores its amazing transformation from a bastion of Republicanism. In the 34 presidential elections between 1856, the first to feature a Republican, and 1992 (when Bill Clinton won it), the GOP candidate failed to carry Vermont precisely once -- in 1964.

In 2004, the bluest of the blue (again excluding D.C.) was Massachusetts; John Kerry won his home turf with 61.9% of the vote. That was the only state ...

... where Kerry surpassed the 60% figure. Obama, by contrast, exceeded that figure in 10 states. Republican John McCain

In 2000, the most Democratic of states was Rhode Island, which Al Gore carried with 60.9% of the vote.

Determining McCain's best state turns out to be somewhat complicated.

He racked up his highest vote percentage -- 65.6, as of the current count -- in Oklahoma (the N.Y. Times took a look Saturday at antipathy toward Obama in the Sooner State).

But McCain scored his greatest margin of victory in Wyoming. He picked up 65.2% of the vote there and, with Obama getting only 32.7%, that gave McCain a 32.8-percentage-point win.

With Obama having a slightly higher vote total in Oklahoma, McCain's winning margin there was 31.2 percentage points.

In 2004, the reddest of the red was Utah, where George W. Bush won 71.5% of the vote.

In 2000, Bush posted his best showing in Wyoming, where he won 67.7% of the vote (running a close second: Idaho, where 67.1% of the voters backed him).

Numbers ... lots of numbers to crunch, in lots of different ways -- one of the many aspects of elections that we adore!

-- Don Frederick

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Photo credits: Associated Press

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