MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
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For Immediate Release

14 November 2008

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations

2008 Election Overview

As expected, Obama garnered approximately 52% of the popular vote. A Democrat piecing together a popular-vote majority is an extraordinary accomplishment, however, it's not a mandate just as George Bush didn't receive a mandate with his narrow victory in 2004.

The pundits calling the election had predicted that the black vote and the youth vote would put Obama over the top. That didn't happen. Nationally, black turnout increased from 11% to 13%, and the 18 to 29-year-old vote increased from 17% to 18% compared to 2004. Rather it was the increased margins toward the Democrat candidate of those two voter categories that tilted Obama to victory.

One demographic that swung dramatically was the wealthy vote. In 2004, voters earning more than $200,000 voted 63% to 35% for Bush, according to CNN. This year, they voted 52% to 46% for Obama--a far higher margin than Obama enjoyed among the middle class.

Obama did greatly exceed expectations with his large Electoral College win. Capturing historically Republican Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina is a tremendous victory for the Democratic nominee.

Democrats made big gains, however, Republicans have fought off the threat of a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority, for now. With the election of two sitting senators to executive office that leaves two Senate seats that will need to be filled, not to mention the unresolved senate contests sitting out there that will likely take months to decide. Should the Democrats win 60 Senate seats they would have a super majority and the ability to pass any legislation they please with no procedural opposition from the minority party.

As for Motorcyclists, it was a decent election. All of our current bill sponsors and caucus leaders were re-elected and nearly all of our supporters were re-elected. In Michigan, we saw Knollenberg (R-MI) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) lose and in upstate New York we lost Randy Kuhl (R-NY).
They will be missed and we wish them well.

We don't have a lot of history on Obama but during his time in the US Senate he did vote against an amendment in 2005 that would have reinstated the national universal mandatory helmet law and he also had a favorable rapport with ABATE of IL when he served in the IL State Senate from 1997-2004.

Many of the newly elected members of the House and Senate have a good relationship with the motorcyclists of the state that sent them to the National stage. We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation look forward to working with the new Congress and President to preserve motorcycling freedoms and the expansion of motorcycle safety and awareness.


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(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists'

rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.


The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.