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. stag

    The elite racist will not win.

    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. dectra

    Your polling may (or may not) be correct as it currently stands, but I know I used to be a Hillary Supporter, and I will now work very hard to elect Obama.

    May 22, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. Chicago for HILLARY !!!

    Mrs Clinton is the best Candidate for Presidency at that moment.
    obama is just good orator and seaker to build up his carrier (Rezko link) shows, that he is weak to be pulled for private profits !!!!!!
    McCain is army person and to old to have vital energy to be energetic as a President !!!!
    HILLARY IS THE BEST CANDIDATE: Experienced, smart, full of energy to help the Country to be better for Americans (Clinton 90s are the best to prove, that Clintons are GOOD FOR AMERICA)
    VOTE FOR HILLARY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Nancy

    Poll this!!!!! I think there will be some surprises in the way folks vote in November. Why don't we ever hear about the states that Obama would win and not Clinton????? Oh yes, this is CNN site.

    go obama!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. John San Francisco

    Why is Hillary Clinton Still Running?

    Today in a small rural community, a 12th Grader was caught cheating on the SAT exam.

    The teacher who discovered the student cheating said the student violated the exam rules of not bringing a calculator to the exam.

    The teacher pointed out the fact that all the students had been given the rules prior to the exam.

    The student responded to the teacher by saying “ Why do the rules apply to the students, but the rules do not apply to Hillary Clinton when it comes to Ms. Clinton refusal to respect and observe the rules of the DNC regarding the Primaries of Michigan and Florida.

    This is just one incident that has been a reflection of how when as adults we make a double standard when it comes to Rules.

    It is amazing at the number of Americans along with National Media Networks that will not stand up and enforce the fact that Ms. Clinton along with other Democratic Candidates agreed to the DNC rules and now Ms. Clinton continues to ignore the Rules that were agreed upon.

    What this is doing to our youth is showing them that what is important in our society is not following the Rules, but bending, changing, or out right ignoring the Rules in order to benefit the person who has broken the Rules.

    I have really begun to understand that the Clintons have no Integrity and are willing to do anything to have POWER. I also see that the National Media is willing to support this because they are not ready for a Black President. Just listen to how they describe what Hillary Clinton is doing in regards to the Michigan and Florida Primaries.

    The Clintons are going to steal the Nomination from Mr. Obama, and the National Media along with the remaining Super Delegates are supporting Hillary’s attempt to do this hateful deed.

    Man, no wonder this country is falling apart.

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. D.

    Then hopefully those states will swing toward Senator Obama after Senator Clinton swings in another direction for Americans.
    Wonder if she will run for Governor or be recommended for The Supreme Court?

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Berat, Park Ridge, IL

    The headline of this article is incredibly misleading. Since when are Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio the only swing states? Obama and Clinton both can make Virginia a swing state, and Obama also has a better shot in "other" swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Colorado. PLUS, he makes North Carolina, Mississippi (especially if Ray Mabus is his veep), Georgia, and Louisiana VERY competitive, meaning McCain will be forced to spend money where no Republican should have to spend money.

    This poll is bunk, and this headline is stupid. Report ALL the news, CNN, not just some of it!

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. David

    Thats funny. They are only focusing on the swing states Hillary Does well in. What about Missouri? All the states in the south which Obama won such as North Carolina, South Carolina. Maybe Georgia. Also Oregon, Colorado.

    Oh yea, by the way WHO CARES! Obama is winning the contest between the two which means he does better OVERALL.

    Go Obama, Hypotheticals are for losers

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. sophia nyc


    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. JJ

    By the way.....
    This is all Clinton needs to hear to try and make her argument that she's the better candidate. Here we go!!!!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Mai

    Senator Clinton cares about all the citizens in our country, Senator Obama does not. Simple as that.
    I consider Obama dishonest and corrupt without the judgment needed to make difficult decisions. Therefore, I will never vote for the candidate. He has no expertise, not even in one area.

    Senator Clinton still has a chance to win and she should stay until all votes are counted and all delegates have made their selection known.

    May 22, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Y

    Enough of these stupid polls. They mean nothing. The polls said Hillary would be the Democratic Nominee and she isn't. If we want to elect people based on polls then what's the purpose of this primary? Pundits and Pollsters are not Prophets.

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Tony






    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. TIRED!!!

    I look at Clinton whom I once supported and I've gotten so tired of her back and forth. Tired of her attacks. She's begging for rules to be changed that she signed off on and agreed to. And we all know. Hillary fans as well, that if it was the other way around and she didn't need Michigan and Florida and in fact it would help Obama, SHE WOULD NOT WANT TO COUNT THEM. She is in serious debt, about $20 Million in debt, and she wants to balance our budget and get us out of a recession! She could care less about the fact that Obama wasn't on the ballot at all in Michigan, she wants 100% of those delegates since NO ONE VOTED FOR ANYONE ELSE... That's just crazy. And it's so hard to see all this stuff and Hillary fans don't see the craziness. It makes me wonder. And in November she has some legal issues from funding issues from her Senate election that is still unresolved. PLEASE!!!!! Just tired of this mess and how people doen't see this. Please do your research!

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    CNN...what do those polls say about the other states that might be put into play this fall like Colorado, Virginia etc.??????

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. fred

    I think the media are the one deciding not the democrat voters about who will be the opponent of Mccain in November. They are so bias for Obama specially CNN where most if not all are for Obama.

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. La Raza

    forget the polls. let's end this madness already. 1 week to go.

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. Democrats

    Does it matter. The democrats have there nominee by June 3th. Then they will show clips of gas prices going up from $1 to $4 dollars! in the last 8 years. They will show clips of McSane saying Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran. And they will show body bags coming home with breaks of McSane stumping for this stupid Iraq war.

    Really any democrate can win from this GOP.....

    The core republicans might not vote for a democrate but they just stay home... No person with any common sence will vote for this Idiot of the GOP

    Democrates 08

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. snaz

    hmmm..let me guess...what did the poll says at the begining of this contest??..shame on you cnn

    May 22, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. Blake, San Diego

    November is a long ways away, I highly doubt McCain can walk away with this one, regardless of who the candidate is.

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Vince in NC

    Obama, opens up new states that weren't even in play before, NC, Va, SC, Miss, Alabama. These are all states that went strongly for him in the primaries, they have substantial African-American populations who will rally to him.

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. Ed

    Is this News story or lack there of, spin to keep Sen. Clinton hopes alive? Obama can win States Democrats never dreamed of winning before that's why he's the change candiddate.

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. David from Canada

    Hillary supporters are paying politics with the polls to help her bolster her argument, once she gets out of the race the polls will shift dramatically.

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. @americans

    that's old school politics!

    this year, with Obama being the nominee the electoral map is gonna change...and that's real politics of change. we are gonna put GA, TN, NC, MS, Louisianna and all the southern red states into play!

    so get rid of that poll CNN! – there is a new sheriff in town – OBAMA!

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. David, Silver Spring, MD

    So if HRC would drop her vanity campaign and support Barack Obama's candidacy, he'd be unstoppable, right?

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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