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. rumpusgoopus

    Do you have any idea how big of an explosion there would be if the superdelegates overturned the pledged delegates?

    By the way, last I checked there were other swing states than these.

    May 22, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. anon

    Oh jeez.. here we go with the polls again.

    If I see another poll about ANYTHING, I might throw up inside my mouth....

    May 22, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Xavier, St. Louis, MO

    Please, the polls change like the wind. Next week it will be something totally different. Personally, I don't know why they are still including Hillary in the polls, she's finished. Stick a folk in her, she's done!

    May 22, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. JoeMamma

    This should work out fine for her as McCain's VP.
    They agree on everything. It's a natural fit.
    (and probably the ONLY way McLeiberCain can beat Obama)
    We would be guaranteed 4 more years of fighting Israel's wars.

    May 22, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. B.K.Armstrong

    Thanks CNN that's good information. We'll keep that in mind in 2016!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Only Hill can win the general election

    Stop the "fairy tales" about new states turning blue! The Obama kiddies are gonna blow this whole election for us. THere is only one nominee that can actually win the general election, and the polss prove it – Hillary!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    The Clintons are DISHONEST AND UNTRUSTWORTHY! They are getting a lift from REPUBLICANS to defeat Dems for now!

    If the Clintons ever get beyond primaries, they will become a favorite target to aim for their scandels and lies!

    Chelsea is just another liar!

    May 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Wayne

    To those polls I what. Do polls that change daily outweigh PLEDGED DELEGATES, STATES WON, SUPER DELEGATES and VOTES?

    I dont think so..talking about Hill v. McCain amounts to crying over spilled milk..the Dem race is OVER!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Darth Vadik, CA

    Ok listen, not everybody that votes for Barack is sexist, not everybody that votes for Hillary is a racist. It still exists, but the kids are the future, and they seem to be more tolerant, maybe everybody should follow their example for once.

    May 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. jim

    Hey "Independent for Obama" – you're a dope – you can't be a "true" democrat because he's gonna lose in the end – all of Hillary's supporters are voting for Mccain or staying home and watching Obama go down. It's that simple – she's been treated so poorly by the media, Obama supporters and the democratic party itself that we will do anything to stop Obama from winning and that means becomming an "independent". Democrats never learn.

    May 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. michael in K'ville MO

    See you in Nov. fellow Dems – – this one will be doing his part to see that Obama does not make the presidency.

    May 22, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  12. AoA - Seattle

    So why don't we just do the polls and stop wasting millions voting if the polls are all we need. God....CNN must be dominated by morons!

    May 22, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. rachel

    hmmm for the first time in my life I very well may stay home. I don't know if I can bring myself to vote for barrack, and cant stomach mccain. As an African American woman I am very disappointed this primary season.

    May 22, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Enlightened Voter

    If she is so called more electable why is she losing every category – states, pop vote (counting michigan and florida split), delegates and supers?

    May 22, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  15. trellskig

    I say (PULL OUT) Senator Obama and pull out now... It's obvious some people don't want and are not susceptible to change. It's ok because they will be missing out on the best president the U.S. has and will ever have.

    May 22, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  16. Sandy from Ohio

    I don't see the big deal the primaries are the primaries When it comes to the general election it will be different I really don't think that McCain stands a change and that the American people have brains The primaries are different because we have a women running and a African American man running at the same time and of course there are people for both sides but when the nominee is pick they will fall in line and vote for anyone but the republicans So Clinton need to stop the dramatics's and get on with getting behind the party or switch parties no great loss to the Democrat's Obama 2008

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. brandon

    that's why hillary should be president.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Its amazing...anyone who would vote for Clinton.. bet – every day

    Experience? nope...wasn't even in one cabinet meeting

    Pandering...depending on your state...thats her new position

    Someone this country needs....nope....never! Try researching the many faces of Hillary Clinton

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  19. Popular Vote

    Hillary has won – she has the popular vote. The superdelegates better wake up. Obama will not win in the general election. I have stopped donating to the DNC until I see who will be formally announced as the nominee. If Obama is the nominee I will stop being a democratic. The way this campaign was handled towards Hillary has been really lousy. She might as well have been run out of town by the media and the delegates. I will not back Obama, and I will leave the democratic party. I will vote for McCain.

    The people want Hillary – that is clear. The DNC pushed Obama all the way and we will have our say in November.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. White/female/age 55/Texan

    Lets remember, Obama has not campaigned in Florida. They hardly know him there. Also, even though Hillary did not campaign in Florida, either, I would guess name recognition alone gave her that unofficial win

    Hillary – show us the money.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. lois

    The left of the party wants Obama for whatever reason I am not sure. Maybe they feel they will have more control over him. Should we follow the money to see where the real power is? Seeing him working on his VP just continues to show how arrogant he is. I didn't think you normally do that until the nominee was determined. I am so disappointed with the arrogance and the hatred coming from the Obama followers, which I believe is coming from the top down..

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Darth Vadik, CA

    Plus, the only reason Hillary is still in and "threatening" to go to the convention is to twist Obama's arm into making her his VP, let's be honest. So lets TRY to be polite to each other.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. bill in pa

    The democrats could run anyone but clinton and win this year. She carries almost 0% of the independents and moderate republicans. This is one independent that will vote republican if she is anywhere near the general election ticket.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. RT

    HA! HAHAHA! This is ridiculous. Wait until the Clinton distraction is over and Obama can focus on McCain. Those numbers will change rapidly. Obama's trend is that he does better as time goes on. Once he starts debating McCain, everyone will see what an old, confused fogie he is. Not the maverick who ran in 2000. Read the Huffington Post on Hillary comparing FL and MI to Zimbabwe and how she is demamnding to have the states sat as they are without ANY compromise. She is the one trying to corrupt this election. She cares not for the Democratic party but just her own legacy.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Harry

    This election is nothing like any past elections and we need to stick to the rules (which keep getting bent in every direction). Whatever candidate gets the most delegates gets the nomination. End of story.

    May 22, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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