2008 Presidential Election - A Quick Overview Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Presidential election, new hampshire primary, election coverage, election, vote 2008, voter information, election information 2008 Presidential Election - An overview of candidates, issues, campaigns, primaries, caucases, media coverage and everything else about the 2008 election. 2008 Presidential Election

The 2008 Presidential Election figures to be a very hard fought battle as there is no incumbent President or Vice President running and there is no clear favorite. The Democrats will make the ongoing conflict in Iraq a central issue of the campaign while the Republicans will try to maintain their historic advantage of foreign policy. On the domestic front, Republicans will argue that the economy has been expanding rapidly since 2003, though Democrats are sure to try to make the point that only the wealthiest citizens are benefitting from the current economic expansion.

Of course, before the contest becomes a battle between Democrats and Republicans, each party will hold contests to determine each party's nominee. The candidates are currently jockeying for position and will start their full scale campaign activities in time for the Iowa caucus on January 14, 2008 and the New Hampshire Primary on January 22, 2008.

On the Democratic side, Senator Hillary Clinton has all the name recognition she needs, but she has shown to be a very divisive figure in polls. Barack Obama is the party's golden child, but it is questionable if voters will think he's ready for the Presidency.

John McCain leads the pack for the GOP and has been leaning to the right politically to maximize his chances for the nomination. Experts expect that he will move to the middle if he wins the nomination. Rudy Giuliani is a formidable opponent showing very high favorable ratings in the polls.

Likely Candidates

Democratic Party


Republican Party

Hillary Clinton
John Edwards
Barack Obama
Wesley Clark
Joe Biden
Bill Richardson
Dennis Kucinich
Mike Gravel
Tom Vilsack
Evan Bayh
  John McCain
Mike Huckabee
Rudy Giuliani
Tommy Thompson
George Pataki
Chuck Hagel
Mitt Romney
Scott Brownback

Hot Button Issues

The 2008 Presidential Election will be dominated by the following issues:

Background Information about the 2008 Election

The United States Presidential election of 2008 will be held on November 4, 2008. The election will determine electors for the United States Electoral College, and whichever presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College (at least 270) will be the 44th President of the United States. If no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College then the president-elect is selected by a vote of the House of Representatives.

As in the 2004 Presidential election, the allocation of electoral votes to each state will be partially based on the 2000 Census. The president-elect will be inaugurated on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

An election without incumbents

In the three most recent Presidential administrations in which the President could not run for a third term due to term limits (those of Eisenhower, Reagan, and Clinton), the incumbent Vice President has immediately thereafter run for President (Richard Nixon lost the 1960 election, George H. W. Bush won the 1988 election, and Al Gore lost the 2000 election).

However, the current Vice President Dick Cheney announced in 2001 that he would never run for President, a statement he reiterated in 2004. While appearing on Fox News Sunday, Cheney stated: "I will say just as hard as I possibly know how to say... If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve."

The 2008 race will be a non-incumbent or "open seat" election in which a sitting President is not a candidate. Assuming Cheney completes his term in full, the 2008 race will be the first time since 1928 that neither the sitting President nor the sitting Vice President will run for President, though the 1952 general election between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson did not include a sitting President or Vice President since neither President Harry Truman (who dropped out after losing the New Hampshire Primary) nor Vice President Alben Barkley won the Democratic nomination.


Early stages

Candidates began to emerge during 2006, where the first "cattle calls" were held and at least two straw polls were taken. In 2007, because of the long lead time for fundraising and because Federal election laws require the reporting of funds raised for the primary elections, fundraising will begin in earnest.

During the "primary" the media will anoint "front-runners" on the basis of reported fund-raising totals. For example, the media treated Howard Dean as the front-runner going into the 2004 cycle, although he was initially considered by some to be a long-shot.

The South Carolina Republican Party will host a Republican Party debate May 15, 2007, at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Official primary caucus election dates

Delegates to national party conventions are selected through direct primary elections, state caucuses, and state conventions. The process continues through June, but in previous cycles, including 2004, the Democratic and Republican candidates were effectively chosen by the March primaries, because the leading candidates had collected enough committed delegates to win in the national convention. Most third parties select delegates to their national conventions through state conventions.

Possible electoral college changes

In 2006, the "DC Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act" was introduced in the U.S. House. If enacted, the act would have the effect of increasing the size of the electoral college by 1. The bill's primary purpose is to give House representation to the District of Columbia. But the bill also grants, for partisan balancing, an additional House seat to Utah (at-large until the next census), and increases Utah's electoral votes by 1, but only until the next census, when the extra seat will be reapportioned like all other seats. The District of Columbia's electoral vote count would remain unchanged at 3, as required by the 23rd amendment. The likely effect of the change, if enacted, on the 2008 presidential election would be to give a +1 advantage to the Republican candidate: Utah has not been carried by a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, and in the most recent election gave the Republican 71% of the vote. Even though the size of the electoral college would increase to 539, a candidate would still need 270 electoral votes to win.

Also, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a proposed agreement between states in the United States dealing with their allocation of electoral votes. This interstate compact would effectively shift the method of election of the President of the United States to a national popular vote system. By the terms of the compact, states agree to give all of their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, regardless of the balance of votes in their own states. The compact would only go into effect once it was joined by states representing a majority of the electoral college.

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