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. Chipster

    Team Obama: it doesn't matter how many states are won if their electoral votes fall short. Sen. Clinton wins the states with the highest electoral states because moderate Republicans support her over McCain. So prepare to celebrate a victory of a lot of smaller states and a loss of the White House.

    I don't care if Clinton is female. I don't care if Obama is black. My support for Sen. Clinton is based on her performance and delivery on education, civil rights, veterans benefits, children's health care....for more than 2 decades.

    Media hype doesn't trump results in my book. I'll vote for Hillary. Obama will lose anyhow because moderates and conservatives won't vote for him. His record is extremely liberal so I might as well support the more qualified candidate.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Proud1of 26% in WV

    This election is like no other election ever seen.There are 537 or so electoral votes in which 270 are needed to win.Total up Flordia 27,ohio 21,Pennsylvania 20,WV 5,Ky 8,MI 17 that totals 98.that leaves 439 left to get your 270 from.So as important as these states are it is possible to win without any of them.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Jackson

    Marc in Virginia: And I guess its time for Clinton to go back to New York, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Illinois, or wherever.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Golly

    Umm, the people want Obama. If it was all based on "electability" as compiled by these polls why do we even have a primary election? We'll just take polls! We'll save so much money!

    HRC is bad news, I do not want her to be the president. Her tactics, lies, pandering, delusions, her conduct, make me sick and as far as I am concerned her experience matches Obama's. I don't know why people keep saying nice things like she is a formidable candidate. Shaa, right!

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Paul

    Oregan, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota. ALL SWING STATES. Quit picking and choosing which ones are most convenient for Hillary.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Slim

    I just want to know why McCains Pastor isnt an issue on CNN.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Tiachi

    this speculation about a LOSING candidate and rhetoric is none-sense and wreckless. How can anyone say this is NOT about race. They would not be looking for ways to STEAL this from Obama if were not black. She is literally trying to steal this away from him. Appauling.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Silly Obama

    All of the uneduacated simple white Democrats that you, Howard Dean took for granted, will be voting for John McCain for President.

    So chalk up another loss for Deans Dozen. I would rather die than vote for Obama. All of my Democrat friends say the same. In reality I am glad, because Dean you turned your back on us, shoved Obama down our throats, now we're throwing up.

    Seems like you old school Dems, Dean, Kennedy, Dodd, Kerry really pissed us off this time. You turned your back on the Democrat's most viable candidate, Hillary. Now we are going to return the favor. I am going to turn my back on YOUR CHOICE Howard Dean, and will be voting Republican for the first time in my life.

    At least I know McCain is a patriot, has pride, and shows and has shown his loyalty to his country. Therefore I will vote for McCain with a smile on my face.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Rosey

    The Clintons are hated and she would lose to McCain. If Obama loses because some poor whites would rather get poorer then vote for a Black. Then parish. Who cares....He should not and will not be denied a chance to be president because of his color and some racist white voters. Hopefully the majority of the country does not feel that way and will vote for the best candidate (Obama) otherwise this racist attitudes will parish them along with the rest of us.

    May 22, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Jerry in Boston

    NEVER underestimate the ability of the Democratic Party to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Independant for Obama says...."If the voters picked a candidate that loses, so be it."

    That demonstrates EXACTLY, the purpose of the Superdelegates. To save the party from people like Independant for Obama.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Will

    The Quinnipiac polls have been the most favorable to Hillary throughout the election process. They should be investigated

    There has been a significant discrepancy between Quinnipiac and other sources during the entire primary season. Something interesting to note

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |






    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Anne

    Florida a big dog. LOL.....................Please. Florida is full of old farts in tornado attracters.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Mike, IA


    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Doug R.

    Two-faced McCain will lose big in Illinois, California, New York, Texas...just to name a few.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |

    I don't care if obama was purple I would not vote for him. He is just too unfit to run this country and I know he does not have Americas best interest at heart. The white boys in congress think they can control him (especially Kennedy) but he'll wipe you right off they board. You seem to have no idea how dirty obama plays. You give him power in this country and it will never be the America that we know and love, especially our freedoms. I don't think we'll ever be able to pull it out of the mess we're headed for (under obama). Howard Dean and the DNC are traitors to this country for giving this election to obama.I will never vote for this unfit person.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Dennis

    I'm not so sure that you can read too much into this poll. Right now, there are still two Democratic candidates. If there were two Republican candidates, I'm willing to bet the results would be even further skewed. Once there is a Democratic nominee, and the other candidate ends his/her campaign, I'm willing to bet these numbers change again.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Stats and polls are just that stats and polls

    Stats and polls are just that stats and polls, polls said Hillary would clinch the nomination on super Tuesday. The American public has spoken with the votes, you can say anyone is unelectable in a primary after Hillary steps aside Obama will get those swing states.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Super D

    I want to throw my support to all the Hillary voters who will vote for McCain. I want to thank them for being true Americans and putting the country's best interests first.

    An Obama presidency would be a disaster of epic proportions and the country cannot have a naive, appeasing, ultra liberal in the exact mold as Jimmy Carter as the next President.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. We love you Good bye

    This is new America, they where swing state in Old Washington Politics and America is changing unless you have not figure out that yet. She lost that is the fact we do not pick a nominie by the swing states we us votes and those votes said Obama which part don't you understand.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. Matt

    Duh, this isn't anything new. She's obviously a more deserving candidate regardless of what "propaganda Jack" Cafferty says.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Silly Obama

    Hillary or McCain ..........take your pick.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |

    i don't see what the point of these polls are, if for some reason Obama don't get the nomination, democrats will not win the white house in November. We will feel cheated, and will not vote, and the democratic party will be weaken in years to come, so that poll means nothing to me. Bring it on.

    May 22, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. Bill, Richmond, VA

    Sen. Obama (whom I voted for in the Virginia Primary, and will support in the general election) has a Clinton "problem." He CAN'T put her on the ticket and win, as no other Democrat will energize the consevative base of the Republican party like HRC! At the same time, he obsolutely needs the support of her base to win the election. He has to offer her an olive branch (and VERY soon) and a high profile administration position OTHER than veep, to be named after the election.

    This is called being between the proverbial rock and hardplace.

    May 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Tired of all the Flap

    I am a woman and I stand for women rights also. Hillary Clinton is acting like the scorned b--h as if someone has done her wrong and this race that she has been running is being taken away from her like the 2000 election from Al Gore. If she is so tenacious about this why wasn't she as tenacious and fact finding when Bill Clinton was right in the White House under her nose in someone else's pants. Hillary and Bill are the exempliary factors of sore losers. She and her husband are trying to get every rule changed within their own party such as caucuses, popular vote count and agreeing not to count 2 states before the primaries even begun but now we need to break the rules and include them AS IS. What a crock!!!!!!!!

    Bill Clinton now says that Chelsea maybe going into politics – two things I have to say about that: 1) If she doesn't talk to the press then what good will it do her and 2) If she is going to answer "none of your business" to questions asked by her voters what good will it do her. She, Bill and Hillary needs to stop thinking that they are the ROYAL FAMILY of America and stop being the ELITIST!

    May 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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