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. Brandon

    Thats it... Lets disregard the elections and award the race based on a few state polls taken 6 months prior to the election, one of which also shows Obama leading, and the other two where he is within the margin of error.

    Anyone apousing that these polls should decide the primary should do some serious thinking about what democracy means to them...

    May 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Maxine

    There has also been put into question that a lot more states will be going purple this year. How come you don't talk about this? I have listened NPR and they suggest that this election will have a different look and we won't be able to judge by past presidental races of blue/red states.

    It makes sense, if you were really do your reporting you would research how many independents and republicans have registered democratic this year and are voting for Obama.

    So there is a change and we can't go by the past experience.

    May 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. bwel

    The fact of the matter is that Clinton is better positioned to beat McCain in November. Moonbats + Egg Heads + Youth Vote + African American voters do not / will not = 51% in November. The left will get their candidate in Obama. And John McCain will win 40+ states. This is porn for patriots and oh soo schweet!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Joel King

    To bad there is no possible way she can get the nomination.

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Lindsay

    I live in Central PA and pretty much everyone I know except a few of my far-left friends from college refuses to vote for Obama. My grandparents, my parents and myself will all switch to McCain if we have to do so, and we've all been democrats for as long as we could vote. Obama fans are idealists who think that his vague aspiration of "change" is something worth risking another 4 years of Republican rule. Well, I suppose they will learn their lesson in Fall if they push Clinton out of the race with their biased media coverage.

    Do what's best for the party, Democrats - NOMINATE THE CANDIDATE WHO CAN WIN IN NOVEMBER!

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. ???

    The media is STILL trying to divide us. Shame on you CNN!!!! Yes, Obama may be losing in Ohio and Florida, but for the first time in a long time North Carolina and Colorado could swing for Obama, how about reporting that for change.

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  7. Christoffel van Vuuren

    These myriad of polls won't vote come November.

    McCain: Sturdy, steady and ready!

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Mish

    The Clintons are like a nightmare that never ends!!!
    Chelsea is nice but she lacks the political personality
    she is NOT exciting to listen to or watch.
    They are mean, nasty and devisive
    Everyone is missing the big picture here
    Americans are sick and tired of Bush politics
    when they get in that voting booth they are going to ask themselves
    do I really want 4 more years of BUSH policy
    IF so then they must like to wallow in misery!!!!!
    The superdelegates and the NDC are delusional if they think
    this primary is not dividing their party
    They need to step in and end this soon and give their vote for the person who has earned it and kept the race on a high road
    Senator Obama

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Geoff

    Seems to me Obama is gaining ground in Florida verry rapidly!! If he picks Bloomberg as his VP he will win Florida (and Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa etc)

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Kenneth M


    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. masgap

    Hillary is the better candidate all around

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. Bob, Lyons Oregon,

    Well, look at the states they polled, you can pick polls to pretty much say anything you want. These polls don't mean anything, they have been wrong before, lots of times. Obama is our next president. and he is the best choice for our country.

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. RufusVonDufus

    I think we have found out that this year, as well as many other years, the pollsters aren't quite getting it right. Because of the racism and feminism introduced into this race, people are lying when asked who they would vote for. I find that I do not believe anything I hear about polls and the pundits all have their own agenda based on their networks. Obama will win Ohio and any other state Clinton won.

    May 22, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. arun

    Yes but it is Obama who is ahead. Choose Hillary now and you are finished.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Gringo

    Doesn't really matter, does it. The Dem leadership is hell-bent on Obama at all costs. and it will cost them, make no mistake.

    This whole election has been rigged anyway.
    Case in point... how can Clinton carry Texas by over 100,000 votes and still come out with five less delegates after the caucuses were over. What a load of crap.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |

    I hope it is abudantly obvious to every one why the elite are trying to run Hillary out of the race. It's all about money.

    With George W. Bush, big oil and Halliburton run the country.

    With Obama, liberals such as Bloomberg, Sorros, and Buffet will run our country. They have all endorsed Obama. Look at CNBC. That's the news station owned by Bloomberg.... They are so biased I can't even watch it. Their comment about pimping out Chelsea was so tasteless.

    Don't play games boys... We the people know what's up.

    Say no to corporate control. Help Hillary take back America.

    Hillary or McCain. period.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Matthew

    By making Obama the nominee, the Democratic Party is essentially choosing to take itself over a cliff. He cannot and will not win the essential swing states we need to take back the White House. He lost them all in the primaries and the polls have consistently shown him losing them in the general. The only reason he is leading is because he organized well in some small caucus states (mostly red by the way) and got some lopsided wins because Hillary didn't contest them (not a wise move by the way). Even if he puts some states like Colorado and NC into play (big ifs) it won't offset the losses in the big swing states. And Democrats shouldn't have to spend time and resources defending territory in places like Pennsylvania. The superdelegates exist for a reason and this election is it. Unfortunately, I think they will ultimately back Obama for fear of offending specific voting blocs (youth and African American voters) even if it means losing in November. Obama's strategy relies on bringing out more of these groups of voters than have come out in the past. Hillary would have gotten them at the same levels as Kerry and Gore, but would have also pulled back in the Reagan Democrats, who will surely vote McCain over Obama. Game set and match.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Anthony-MN

    Crap, Total Crap! The argument that no democrat has won the White House without MI, PA, OH or any other state is "OLD POLITICS" thinking. States that were traditionally Red(republican) can go Blue(democrat) in the fall due to the political, economic climate. Americans are disgusted with Republicans so states that would normally vote Republican can go Democrat in November.

    Have a new thought process about this election, its a movement and change of not just how Obama leads every politician in history in fundraising, bringing new voters to the table, etc. He is changing how the pundits are supposed to view Washington Politics. Get with the program people or get left behind.

    Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, Colorado, even Georgia are on the table to be taken away from Republicans, who cares about OH, PA, MI. they are old news and will no longer determine the outcome of an election

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. macbeth

    These polls are nonsense. Go!! Go!! operation choas. Those sly republican dogs.

    If Hilary Clinton somehow overturns the will of the democratic electorate this will quite simply lead to American Civil War 2, starring morally outraged people and the Clintons. Under the rules of the DNC she has lost this.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. jr

    The polls are now starting to show that her arguement is getting stronger, therefore so will her will to carry on through the summer to the convention. Her strategy is simple. Give him the whole summer to fall on his face and when he does I'll be there for all of you in August. Does anyone really think the DNC has the intestinal fortitude to tell her she's done and she needs to go away? I don't think so!

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. teesha

    Doesn't matter as long macbush is out.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Truth

    So it's a "wide" margin when clinton leads by 7 points but slim when obama leads by 6 points? Hmm, and the slant continues...

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. CJ

    Hillary makes all these promises to her supporters – like the "Gas Holiday" knowing full well she can't deliver it. I would be totally humiliated being called uneducated, white and poor. No person should be labeled like that. Hillary does not care about her supporters just give her the power to be president. Everything she says are lies and people fall for it.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Old White Female 4 Barack

    This country is in bad shape, high prices for everything, no jobs, kids dying for lies, and if this country puts another one of them in the white house, we deserve exactly as we get. And I say that everybody who votes for McCain because Barack is black, they need to put their kids and grandkids in the war. If she is so good as she says she is, why has she not won all of the states? The media keeps asking "why has he not put her away"? Why has she. a Clinton, not put him away and won ALL of the states as she knew she was going to when she started?

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Lindsay

    John San Francisco - Howard Dean pointed out that the rules agreed to take away HALF of the delegates for such a violation. That is why there is a meeting on May 31. Get all your info before getting up on your soapbox.

    May 22, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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