May 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Polls: Clinton does better in the swing states

A new poll shows Clinton is in a better position to win some swing states than Obama.

A new poll shows Clinton is in a better position to win some swing states than Obama.

(CNN) - A new series of Quinnipiac polls out of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania appear to bolster Hillary Clinton's argument that she is better positioned than Barack Obama to beat John McCain in the crucial swing states.

According to the polls released Thursday, Hillary Clinton would beat John McCain in all three states by wide margins while Barack Obama would lose to the Arizona senator in Ohio and Florida and narrowly beat McCain in Pennsylvania.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said the poll could be a "early-warning sign" for Democrats, though cautioned early polls often are not predictive.

Specifically, the poll found Clinton tops McCain in Florida by 7 points (48 percent to 41 percent), in Ohio by 7 points (48 percent to 41 percent) and in Pennsylvania by 13 percent (50 percent to 37 percent).

Meanwhile the poll finds McCain would beat Obama by 4 points in Florida (45-41 percent) and by 4 points in Ohio (44 percent to 40 percent). Obama beats McCain in Pennsylvania, but by a narrower margin than Clinton does - he beats McCain by 6 points there, 46 percent to 40 percent.

According to Quinnipiac, the difference between Clinton and Obama's performances in the state can be traced to the fact that several Clinton supporters and white working class voters there say they will support McCain over Obama if the Illinois senator is the party's nominee. (Related: Can Obama win over the working class)

"This could be an early-warning sign for the Democrats, particularly since Obama did not do well in the Pennsylvania and Ohio primaries," Holland said. "On the other hand, any poll conducted in May - particularly when the primaries have not finished - may have little predictive value."

The last presidential candidate to win the White House without winning two of the three largest swing states was John F. Kennedy in 1960. (Kennedy won Pennsylvania that year, but lost Ohio and Florida.)

But the 2008 electoral map could look different than most recent elections, both the McCain and Obama campaigns have said. Each candidate has shown to strongly appeal to independent and moderate voters - meaning more states could be up for grabs this year than has been the case in past elections.

View more polling information at the CNN Election Center

soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. Independent for Obama

    She may be, but IT DOESN'T MATTER! It is over, she didn't win, so can we PLEASE move on to the general?

    If the voters picked a candidate that loses, so be it. The voters get to choose, not CNN. But talking about how if the voters had picked someone else, maybe that person would do better DOESN'T DO ANYONE ANY GOOD!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Tony


    Now if only the Democratic Party and the superdelegates could get that through their heads before selecting a nominee, we would take back the White Houe and Congress come November.

    WAKE UP!

    May 22, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Steve

    I find it hilarious when news channels constantly mention Florida as a swing state. Texas is more of a swing state this year than Florida.

    May 22, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. Mr. McGoo and Co.

    Geez those pictures really do the candidates justice. If the pictures alone don't show a biased.....

    May 22, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Jeff

    If the poll question was: "Who would you vote for, the Republican nominee or the Democratic nominee", the answer would be landslide for the Democrat. We still have Clinton people saying they'll vote for McCain, and even (though a smaller portion of) Obama people saying they'll vote for McCain, if their respective candidates do not win the nomination.

    Maybe Hillary continuing her campaign will actually help lull Republican voters further into sleep. I predict a landslide of epic proportions will put Barack Obama in the White House, and possibly save our nation from the ruin Bush & Co. have tried to bring to us.

    May 22, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Manuel TX

    I don't know that this will make any difference.

    The lefties in the Democratic party are determined to nominate Obama for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with actually winning in November.

    As a centrist Democrat, and possibly former Democrat, I can only shake my head.


    May 22, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Marc in Virginia

    Need we say more? Time to go back to Chicago, Hawaii, or Indonesia or wherever. Hillary could get the Dems back in the White House but Obama looks like another Dukakis. It's up to the supers. Don't let America down by putting Mr. Blank Screen/Empty Suit in the ring with McCain.

    Hillary 2008

    May 22, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Ladies United for BO!

    give it a rest CNN.. this is why this crappy race has gone on for as long as it has....give it a rest please?

    May 22, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. truth Hurts BZotch

    Its a moot point now!

    May 22, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Mike

    Funny, they forgot to poll swing states like Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia.

    May 22, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. The Truth

    Chelsea: "Daddy why is everybody being unfair to mommy and not let her win? They let the Bush family get all their turns?"

    Bill: " Dont worry dear I took my turn, mommy will get her turn, even if we have to lie and cheat. And then after Jeb's turn it will be your turn."

    Chelsea: " Oh thank you daddy, for making America play fair."

    Bill: "Thats right dear America needs to understand that this is not a two party system…its a two family system."


    May 22, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. C from the D

    Just wait till the general.... His campaign has been handcuffed by Hillary's presence.

    May 22, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Stephen

    good luck to any candidate that cant win these big swing states

    May 22, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Tony

    HELLO! What have we Dem. voters with a brain been saying for months? If we want to beat Mc"Bush" in November, the rest of the Democratic Party better get a clue before selecting Obama as the nominee.

    If not, kiss the White House goodbye.............AGAIN!

    May 22, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Team Obama

    What about North Carolina? That state is turning Blue. What about Colorado, that State is turning Blue. These polls are also because Hillary is in the race. Once she is out, things will change. Besides, srcew FLORIDA, They suck!

    May 22, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  16. MANDY, California

    Intersting since Obama does better in Colorado, Michigan, and other usually republican states. Maybe instead of looking at swing states we should look at the number of traditionally republican states that have McCain losing to Obama/Clinton.

    May 22, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. oil rules

    Florida dems – I'm sure the Republican party would be glad to have your votes and even count them. Too bad your party didn't care, at least not until they thought they meant something.

    May 22, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga




    May 22, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. AZM

    Good article... people forget this is where it's won. Most states go the same way each election... Illinois for instance has been blue my entire life. It seems Ohio, PA and Florida are the big dogs... it's going to be close by the time it's over, no matter who the nominee is!

    May 22, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. JJ

    This isn't surprising at all. The swing states are very loyal to her and her husband. It took a poll to figure this out?

    May 22, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Alexis

    Dear Hillary,

    Can you please just drop out already, you are making yourself look bad, real bad, like if your husband hasn't done enough! REally! Florida and michigan should not count, They broke the rules, and moved their primaries up, they knew the consequences, and they still did it, and then both party's agreed not to campaign there, and look at what you are doing, campaigning there! I hope Florida sees Right through you, you are only kissing butt because you need their vote, you are using them. Shame on you for thinking that your campaign is an exception to the rules. BOW OUT GRACEFULLY, so that our up coming candidate can get ready for election in November, to take the Rep. over!!! You are a mess!



    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  22. pat ny

    I told you Obamabots that he was unelectable!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Amy

    No Obama. And don't give us the angry hateful face!

    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  24. Rich

    They also forgot to pull Oregon and Washington, and this isn't news Clinton has polled better in these states for three months now. Must be a slow day.

    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. chien

    Obama wil lose in November. You mark my words!

    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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