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. Jeff

    The Democrats will again find out that it doesn't matter how many people vote for you but the combination of electoral college votes. Obama maybe popular but if he can't win the "swing" states, it's all over.

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Tri

    Hillary Clinton is a very strong fighter. She can beat Mccain and his running mate and their negative ads much better than Obama.

    Obama is too weak on policy.

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. GOP supporter

    Obama not only can't win the swing states, he's only been victorious in states that typically vote Republican. Good Luck Dems!!

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Maggie

    Hillary can and has won in the swing states. You can't take that away from her. She has run a good race and deserves the Nomination. I will not have the DNC decide who the Democratic nominee is and I will not vote Democrat across the board. I was a young republican until Clinton ran the first time. He turned me from a Republican to a Moderate Democrat and i am proud of it. I believe our only only hope for the future of this Great America is that of Hillary R. Clinton. I do not believe Sen. Barack H. Obama can lead us to anything but inexperienced destruction. I would vote for Sen. Obama only after he has more experience and I know more about him. This primary has set back relations between Black and white, it makes me sad.

    This should have been a race based on experience, not the color of your skin or gender. We do have the answer to an often pondered question: Does Race trump Gender? We now know the answer to that question is a great BIG YES SIR, it does.

    2008 and still racial tension.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Christine

    The reality is that Hillary lost. She CANNOT be president. The voters have picked Obama. If the super delegates disregard the votes of the people and select Hillary she can RUN for president but she CANNOT WIN. A back room deal will outrage enough voters so that Hillary WILL NOT WIN. Does anyone out there think she doesn't understand this reality? Is she so delusional that she thinks she's going to push herself in through the back door and win in the general?? I don't think so. So, the question is, why is she doing this?? Think about it people...why?? Whatever answers you come up with, "for the good of the party" and "for the good of the country" is surely not among them. Pay attention or John McCain will be president. Lord help us all if that happens.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Susan B

    I just read the comments.

    I have noticed, over the past few months, that the Obama supporters are very negative.

    Join together democrats, and don't bash the 2 Democratic candidates.

    They are both Democrats.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. Henry

    Who cares? It'll turn around. She would never win Virginia and Iowa anyway. Obama is going to win these in November.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Really I mean Really

    Just ask yourself one question .

    What demographic base will Hillary Clinton have a problem with if she steals this election. you think the uneducated will be a problem wait unitl the educated people of Amercia voice their concerns at the polls or not. Hillary has raised a problem in Amercia that has been dorment for a long time and that is RACISM is still the reason why this country will never reach it's true potential.When uneduated people start running things we never move forward.

    Also I had one Question for those who have been deemed uneducated.

    How does it feel to be called stupid by Hillary Clinton & the Media think about?

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. John San Francisco

    Images, how do they affect the way you think.
    America is being manipulated through the Media and are willing to allow it happen to themselves.

    I am suprise that many of the Bloggers do not see through the articles and images that are being potrayed by the Media.

    This Country are being like Sheeps lead to the Sluaghter House.

    How is it that so many can be filled with Hate about someone they do not know.

    The Media has been like Alcohol to most Bloggers. It allows them to say what is truly on thier Heart.

    God Bless America

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. Towka

    Obamabots are sounding scared to me "STOP Hillary" they yell, because they know she has a chance to win the presidency. Obama supporters also have no idea about the system that elects the nominee. The race is not over, you want to know why? Do some research about the system.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Scott ATL

    No she doesn't... Those states will vote Democratic no matter what. Barack also brings real swing states into the Democratic column... Not just the one's that will aready be in the Dem column...

    Quit treating us like we're stupid...


    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Samina from WI (a hurt muslim)

    Hello CNN!!..Please be fair enogh to talk about Mc Cain's pastor issue which is being covered by ABC. He's being supported by a pastor who says "AMERICA WAS FOUNDED PARTLY TO DESTROY ISLAM" and he continues to talk about islam being the biggest enemy. I am a muslim living in the US and this is apalling. ..If Mc Cain gets elected looks like America's security will remain a dream afterall. This is being widely publicised in the middle east and other Muslim countries. I therefore request you to inform your viewers accurately about this issue. Thank You!

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Louis

    If Hillary,Bill and supporters think that contributing to Obama's defeat in November is going to help Hillary or her daughter in the next elections.They making a big mistake. they will alienate the blaks electors who has been voting for white candidate thinking this party welcome share their values. No white democrate candidate can win whihout the black votes.THINK ABOUT IT for the unity of the party and future of the Clinton's (and Daugther). Do not think Blacks are stupids and will forget that the democrate party had a unique oppotunity to prove they deserve the minorities support. NO, THEY WILL NEVER FORGET.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Cathy

    To stupid and narrow minded Obama supporters, don't dream that Clinton supporters will unite and vote Obama if Hillary is not in the race – but again you guys have no substance, the only things you are good at is chanting " Change we can believe in (don't ask us what changes since we have no idea nor our candidate but it sounded nice!) ". So keep on dreaming ! You will all lose in November!

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. OGirl

    The current polls don't mean much this early. And when people really focus on Obama vs. McCain, the swing state dynamic changes. If Obama puts a woman on the ballot, the swing state dynamic changes even more. Cynthia McKinney would make a great VP choice.

    May 22, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. vic nashville,Tn

    This polls shows that DNC have problems with their primary elections process
    I hope by 2012 they will fix it
    There is no clear winner in Democratic party
    I am life long Democrat this time me, my friends and my family members may vote for Mc Cain in November
    This is nothing do with Obama we are mad at DNC and some Media

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Gary in VA

    I agree Obama can win with out two of the big three. With CA, NY and his mid-west base and getting the eastern states. He would win. If he gets TX it's a sure thing. I highly recommend Bill Richardson as VP. He can get the TX, NM, CA that would put him over the top.

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. People are you listening

    Once again I state. If a poll is not for Hillary it is not mention. If it is for Hillary then it is means everything. But once again Obama is not stated he can win by the same electoral map we have lost over and over again. He is going to create a new one.

    But forget all that. Let's be frank. The Obama supporters are being generous because they are ahead. Obama played by the rules set forth and is winning. Clinton wants to change the rules for she can win. Now seriously if the happens do you really think the close to 19 million when consider the caucuses voter, are going to support Hillary.

    That's stealing an election.

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |

    Hillary will not be running against McCain. Obama will.

    So what's the point of talking about how she would do against McCain? It's not going to happen.

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Benjamin Columbus, OH

    I wonder what the poll says about states like Virginia, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina & New Mexico which will be in play with an Obama candidacy.

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Ron in Texas

    Now Clinton thinks his daughter belongs in the White House. Hey dude, you had better go see a doctor, and a darn good one. You are losing it! Nope, already lost it. Like someone said, from the White House to the Dog House.

    Ronnie Boy in Texas

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Was Dem, Now Independent in Oregon

    Bottom Line:

    Voters see Hillary Clinton in the White House Oval Office patiently working with a clueless Barack Obama to explain the in's and out's (and realities) of foreign affairs, the economy, and medical coverage for all Americans.....

    for starters.

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. emma

    HILLARY the dems way to the white house!!! GO HILLARY...make history!

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. bringin the pain

    NOBAMA ever

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. Tam/Stone Mountain

    Get ready Obama supporter for a loss in November. Hillary is the better candidate!!!!!!!!! Obama was set up by the left of the democratic pary to be the nominee.. Moving up South Carolina, Nevada for the minority vote. The hispanic community stayed with the Clintons. The DNC has tried to steal this election by forcing Obama down our throats.

    Obama will have to have Hillary as his VP to win in November, he needs her and lets see who will be blamed for dividing the party if they do not make the obvious choice.

    May 22, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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