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Which of the following states did Barack Obama carry in the 2008 election? a. Georgia   b. Virginia   c. Mississippi   d. South Carolina   e. Texas

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Of the states that you have listed here, only Virginia voted for Barack Obama in the presidential election of 2008.  Obama won the 2012 election in Virginia as well.  The result in 2008 was something of a surprise.  This is because it was the first time since 1964 that a Democrat had won Virginia’s electoral votes. 

The South has been solidly Republican for a long time.  This trend started in the late 1960s.  It was caused in large part by the Democratic Party becoming more liberal on issues of race and on foreign policy.  For this reason, Obama lost all of the other states that you mention both in 2008 and in 2012.  Political scientists believe that Virginia has become more of a swing state (one that is not certain to vote for one party or the other) because of demographic change.  The northern part of Virginia has come to have a large population of people who are closely connected to Washington, D.C.  This has brought in a group of people who are relatively dissimilar to voters in the rest of the state.  The growing numbers of these suburban voters has made it so that the Democrats can compete in Virginia.

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