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. Dylan

    Uh, CNN... ITS MAY!!

    Shows us these polls again in September and October when they actually matter. You know... after Obama and McCain have actually campaigned against each other?

    Show me who's winning in Ohio and Florida AFTER the debates...

    May 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Rich

    The DNC created the super-delegates so that the party bosses could pick who they believed has the best chance to win. This has become Hillary's argument for staying in the race.

    She will take her fight to the convention and some way (lie, cheat and threaten) she will be victorious and get the nomination. Her major campaign supporters have already threatened to cut off funding if Hillary is not the nominee. Will the super-delegates follow the will of the people, or the money to their pockets?

    If by the grace of God she losses, her only objective will be to stop Obama so she can run again in 2012.

    May 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Paula hi again moderator!

    Obama is fighting TWO camps at the moment which is not only draining but weakening the Dems hopes of winning in November. It's all about Hillary and as far as the "rural white voters" goes.. it is all about race.
    My dream ticket would be to see Colon Powell jump party lines and be vice president to Barack!
    Nobody knows how this will end but as a Barack Obama supporter up in Canada I believe he will win.I pray he will win..
    Hillary is slashing and burning the party she so "loves" if she can't win nobody can. The DNC needs to step in right about know and cart her off somewhere, her , Chelsea and Billy , go away just go away Clintons.You all look like loonies.

    May 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. Hilda




    May 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. Pat

    Maybe if Hillary did the right thing and endorse Obama, the polls would change, maybe if the Clinton loyalists let go of their grudge and vote for Obama the polls will say something different

    Obama has the most delegates so lets move on-Clinton is causing a disaster for the democrats by not stepping aside

    May 22, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Kenneth M


    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Justin, Chicago

    It will straighten out after Hillary drops out and we start focusing on Obama and McCain.

    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. teesha

    CNN should made adjustment on the obama score card. he gots more delegates total as today's date. Thank you

    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Henry Haider

    At the moment many voters are hurt and disappointed because their candidate could not win their state or does not look good to clinch the nomination. Once the candidate is nominated and the loosing party starts to campaign for the winner things will change. I can bet that the Democratic Party will win the election no matter who the candidate is.
    The wounds will heal and the voters will move on.

    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Greg

    These poles mean nothing right now because once Hillary is out the Party will begin to unify behind Obama.

    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  11. Kentucky

    We the people have just given the media the right to decide how this election will end. Do you think that they have super powers – that they can see what will be happen six months for now. If they are that powerful they should have been able to informed us about the status of this country within the next week.

    We the people you and I will decide who win this election. We will decide the issues and study which of the candidate best addresses a solution for dealing with theses issues. My issues are the high gas prices, the high cost of food, people losing their homes, people living in this country sleeping in their cars at night or in a park, no jobs, and most of all getting out of a war that we should never gotten into.

    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Ed, Santa Fe NM

    meaningless information here.... Obama will wipe McCain off the electoral map since the country does NOT want Bush III

    May 22, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |

    For you Clinton voters, you got beat fair and square. All you are doing is destroying the Party and be asured that John McCain will be the next President. I didn’t vote for Hillary but if she beats Obama in a fair contest, follows the rules ,you can beat I would vote for her. So here it is, if Hillary voters that got beat fair & square, and can not support Obama because he won by following the rules, then ya’ll have succeeded and destroyed the Demo Party and John will be the next President. Sad situation isn’t it!???!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Sam

    Hillary Clinton is nothing but a joke! Face it she tell people anything to get elected . The party is almost over thank god!

    May 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. Kathy

    Please update your RACE FOR THE WHITEHOUSE page. Last night on John King`s Chairman of the Board segment He showed OBAMA having 1974 and Clinton having 1769. What is the current count. I know you have different counts from other Websites and I understand why, but you constantly have different figures in articles by your own reporters and your live TV reports. You rarely change the RACE FOR WHITE HOUSE page and mention new endorsements and they are not reflected in the count. HOW HARD IS THIS?

    May 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. supporter

    As Obama is looking for a running mate, trying to make up to MI and FL voters his supporters are still saying hate things to the Clinton supporters. I thought these people were smart. Can't they see that it looks like the blacks against the whites? There was over 300 comments bad mouthing Clinton, at this time why? Does this help the democratic party unite? I could vote for Obama over McCain without Clinton on the ticket but the supporters are the ones that turn me off. Is this the America they want? Is this the change they want? Do they not realize that the party should now unite even without Clinton? Hillary worked hard to win she should be respected for that and Obama should do everything to stop his supporters attacking anyone.

    May 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. PT

    Swing states mean NOTHING for her...Republicans are NOT worried about her..they are worried about Obama!!!
    From Politico:

    Once optimistic about Sen. John McCain’s prospects for the fall general election, Republicans are increasingly concerned that he could wind up badly outgunned, saddled with serious deficiencies in money, organization and partisan intensity against the likely Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama

    May 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  18. Pappu

    Well, I'm swinging to McCain. After the way the media and the vitriolic Obama supporters have come down on Hillary, there is no way I'm voting for Obama.

    May 22, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. I am sick and tired of Clintons

    Yes!!!!! +1

    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 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. John San Francisco

    Once again, look at how the Media use Subliminal Propagana to manipulate the public.

    In the pictures displayed above, Obama is potrayed as looking un-confident and bewilldered. McCain is looking at Obama with suspicician, and Hillary is looking confident.

    This display is to the have the obsever look at Obama as a incopetant person, Mc Cain as a perinoide old man, and Hillary as a Power Conifedent White Woman.

    To the readers, ask any Professional employed in the Advertisement Industry and they will tell you that this article and the display of the pictures of the Canidates are devisive and setup to creat a subliminal opinon of the reader.

    You be the judge.

    May 22, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. Joe - Wilmington, DE

    Give me a break! Once the Clinton BS machine is told to stop the nonsense and Obama is permitted by Clinton royalty to convey his unfettered, realistic and honest message I think he will do just fine in these so-called swing states.

    May 22, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. James Nelson

    More politics of fear, brought to you by the old regime.

    Anyone who would place their faith in a poll taken in May for an election occurring in November is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    May 22, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. lol

    she has more of the popular vote, and she does better on the electoral map than mccain, obama is behind mccain. superdelegates and dnc, what does that tell you? if you want a democrat to win hillary can beat mccain, obama can't. "hillary democrats" will never unify behind obama, so don't count on that ever happening. if not hillary, mccain will be the next president.

    May 22, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. Adam

    Not just these three states, a poll from surveyusa yesterday showed Clinton beating Mccain in NC, while Obama lost handily. It's still time superdelegates to get your act right. Obama is the best chance Mccain has.

    May 22, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. Northern View

    The Clintons don't seem to get it at all. Obama is ahead in all the delegates counts the Democratic Party has to offer. Barack Obama & family couldn't celebrate on stage Tuesday night when he reached his milestone in case he upset Hillary's voters. It's a shame, as he was entitled to that. The Clintons need to say goodbye & put more time & effort into teaching their daughter it's okay to lose.

    May 22, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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