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McCain wins Missouri's 11 electoral votes; Obama still president-elect

November 19, 2008 |  3:30 pm

Fifteen days after the presidential election, John McCain was declared the unofficial winner of the state of Missouri, his 0.12% victory over Barack Obama delivering the Show Me State's 11 electoral votes to the Republican ticket.

Unfortunately for the Arizona Republican, that still leaves him on the short end of a 365-173 electoral total, with Democrat Obama easily topping the 270 mark needed for victory.

The narrow McCain Missouri victory, by just 3,902 votes out of 2,888,000 cast, means that Missouri sided with the presidential loser for just the second time in the last century.

Missouri also "got it wrong" in 1956, when it delivered a narrow 3,984-vote win to Democrat Adlai Stevenson over Republican incumbent President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The state had remained unclaimed this year as election officials awaited final results from four locales -- the city and county of St. Louis, Jackson County near Kansas City and from rural Montgomery County. Those tallies arrived Wednesday at the Secretary of State's office.

McCain gained 31 votes in the final returns, while Obama actually lost 235 votes. Election officials found that a figure for the ...

... Illinois senator had been improperly entered and corrected the error in the new totals, said spokesman Ryan Hobart.

The razor-thin margin was not the state's closest in a presidential race. In 1908 Republican William Howard Taft won the presidency with the help of Missouri over Democrat William Jennings Bryan, his 449-vote victory amounting to just 0.06 percentage points.

Democrats had hoped for better and, indeed, they won most other statewide races handily on Nov. 4, including Jay Nixon's more than 540,000-vote walloping of Republican Kenny Hulshof for the governor's office.

State elections officials will do more double-checking before they certify the results Dec. 9. But representatives of both campaigns said they had no reason to believe the outcome would change.

-- James Rainey

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