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. Pipo

    That is the biggest BS I've ever heard. Please rich kid, ask your daddy for a job.
    OBAMA all the WAY babe....

    May 22, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. PatrickTM

    HilBilly has done her damage to Obama - by failing to admit she campaigned porry, had a poor campaign structure, had to demote a key advisor for conflict as an active lobbyist while working for her campaign (can you imagine what she would had done/said if that had been in Obama's campaign), and by continuing to campaign as thought FL and MI were treated unfairly, she is doing the damage. By continuing to threaten to wage a battle at the convention, by her surrogates (and not so surrogate BillyBoy) trying to make a case they are enttiled to the nomination because they are entitled to it, and by her negative attacks on Obama, of course he is behind - but look carefully 4% is the margin of error in polling. HilBilly did not suffer the negavtive campaigning from Obama (but he is being accused of being sexist) that he suffered from her. She was also freed from the negative campaigning from the Republicans who only went after him. Now, she is campaigning unscathed and ignored by those who see her as a threat. If she were really interested in not having a McCain-Bush whitehouse, she would be be more concerned about the damate she is doing running a hopeless campaign, lying, changing the rules, pandering, and being good ol" dishonest HilBilly, and start working for Obama. Remember, McCain is running the general election. Obama hasn't started t yet - but he will.

    May 22, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Kevin-ID

    It is too bad that Hillary loses to McCain in California. And nobody mentions that Obama actually takes several of the red states from McCain. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah all would go Obama rather than McCain. Mainly because of how McCain beat Romney. Some of the purple states would be solid blue such as Nevada and New Mexico. Even Texas is more on the fence with Obama vs. McCain.

    The Democrats have tried the least possible number of states to win strategy the last two elections, and we have lost. We need to try something new rather than just the same old thing. If we lose, we lose. But even if we lose, we have made an impact on the system.

    Obama. 08. Oh, yeah.

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. T. Churchill

    Clinton may have done well in these "swing" states, but for different reasons. And who's to predict that Senator Obama won't do well in these states in the general election, where people are more prone to voting for their own interests, rather than against them.
    You can look behind Senator Obama at any of his campaign rallies and
    see white people. And I am sure that they work. How else will they
    survive? To create this misnomer to try and deny that some, not all,
    and maybe this particular voting block of white Americans who won’t vote
    for him because of his race, is anything other than typical racists,
    who aren’t going to vote for him anyhow, is preposterous. Maybe he
    can’t “relate” to them because they don’t want to be related to outside
    of their narrow minded thinking. The reality is, they live in America,
    which cannot cater to that type of thinking. Someone needs to tell them the truth. That they are in the minority.

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Oregon Mike

    Why is it that CNN and every news organization is stuck in the past believing that ONLY florida, ohio, and pennsylvania are the swing states in play. These organizations have dinasour enertia which cannot pivot to the reality that there are other states in play. Montana elected a Dem for state senate in 2006 for pity sakes. Let them do their polls of the past while Obama changes the map and colors the entire country purple. The tsunami is coming and the times they are a changin'.

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. B in Baltimore

    Obama should stop wasting time in Florida and never again set foot in Ohio. It wasn't even that close in FL last time around. If my math is right, he can win Wisconsin and Virginia, hold PA, and that will do it.

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. 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 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Robert in Toronto,ON

    As Jeffrey Toobin stated on CNN WEEKS AGO...

    "The poll results in the primaries RARELY IF EVER reflect the final polls in November." As Lanny Davis would say "...and that's a fact."

    And I can't stand Lanny Davis.

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. bob in L.A.

    More polls!
    Those same polls say American want a major change in the way the country is run, yet all three candidates are career politicians.
    The words are different but thier game is the same- say whatever it takes to get elected. Mc Cain became a "conservative" Obama wears a lapel pin now, Hillary went from super tough to almost motherly.
    They will do what it takes to make us think they are what we need.
    We need Bill C's personality, Nixon's toughness, and Roosevelt's vision- is that person will to run?

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. big ed

    ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross, who brought to us former Rev. Jeremiah Wright's video loop, which cause so much media driven controversy around Sen. Obama, has another report on still another controversial pastor.....Rev. Rod Parsley of OH, who in his quest to be excepted as a staunch conservative by the Christian Right, Sen, John McCain sought out this controversial pastor's endorsement~

    Check out the VIDEO:

    *Wonder if the same sort of media scrutiny will be paid to this it was for Obama? While I am not a big fan of this sort of side issue in campaigns....the selective outrage that some have about this is unfair as well as very disconcerting.*

    May 22, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  11. Reese

    Hillary Clinton liar and racist. She help separate the democratic party, she and can't keep his pants zipped up Bill. I do not care what the polls say things happen that could turn it around. Why should we vote for a woman that openly lied to America about a trip to Bosnia that she did not have to lie about. Why should we vote for a woman that has help to separate the democratic party? This woman thought that a black man could not win, and that is what she has told her inner circle. This woman is a civil rights leader when it suits her, and a racist when it suits her. She is not the type of president I want because she will lie and steal. How can she get up and smile at America when she has told so many lied?

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  12. Ron in Texas

    Man, the Clinon's think they deserve it all, at whatever cost and whatever it takes to put every spin available to the super delegates.

    Go home. What do they think? I know, Clinton's in the White House forever.

    Forget it. IT IS OVER.

    Ron in Texas

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Michael, an indepedent

    What's the purpose of this article?

    Is this another CNN ploy to divide the Democrat party? It certainly has become increasingly obvious that CNN does not want Obama as President.

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. zap

    No democrat can win PA or Ohio without the balck vote
    I can tell you this, if Clinton is the nominee black folks won't vote for her.Trust me

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Earl

    HELLO!!! That's EXACTLY what I've been trying to say! Dem Superdelegates need to THINK HARD about who they are going to cast their vote for.

    Obama will only lead to another Kerry-like result. In Obama's defense, he should do better than Kerry but will still lose to McCain IMO.

    And, for the record, I plan to vote for Obama in the general if he is elected even though I am a staunch Hillary Supporter.

    But I think people need to see the more conservative, older segment of Hillary's (and the Dems) base are probably going to go for McCain.

    Its all about name recognition, comfortability with the candidate and experience.

    THINK HARD Superdelegates!

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Anonymous

    I'd venture to say I'm older than any of you and have voted in more elections. Every year since I've been voting, these three states have picked the President.

    Listen up superdelegates! Let's get it right this time!

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. JIM

    Hilliary does not seem like she will be the nominee so Bill puts it out there that they may try Chelsea some time down the road. Give Me A Break

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. ltd1974

    How much is Hillary paying for reports????

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. not her please

    does anyone care if she could ever win over the educated (non hardworking) americans.

    May 22, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. John Karsten, Virginia Beach, VA

    Sorry CNN, you should only have a few more days to cover the queen and then you are in real trouble. I cannot wait to her drop out. I wonder how is it going to go down. I can only hope she goes out quitely so we as DEM's can unite and beat the GOP.....that is our goal people. The in-fighting has got to stop.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Josh from TX

    While the polls may be an indication of what would happen in November, I think the polls largely sample the feeling of the moment. As we have seen throughout the primary season, the polls have not provided consistently accurate predictions, even when taken days before a primary of caucus. With the rift that currently exists in the Democratic Party, and particularly given Hillary's recent surge of support and emotionally-driven supporters, the results are not all that surprising. If Obama captures the nomination, which appears likely, his VP candidate selection and his efforts during the actual presidential race may change voters minds.

    As a Democrat, I hope that cruel rhetoric and personal attacks will stop between Obama and Clinton supporters. Most Clinton supporters would have little to gain from voting for McCain, other than perhaps the personal satisfaction of feeling like you played a part in Obama's failure, which I imagine would be short-lived. The same holds true for supporters of Obama. Overly defensive, agressive reactions to the supporters of candidates you oppose only reveal your own insecurities in your choice for nominee.

    Just try to relax people. Most of the comments I've read vastly oversimplify what are actual very complex issues. I would suggest doing a bit of research on some of these issues prior to commenting on them. Check several news sources. Investigate the history of the issue. The media focuses on the hype because it makes them money. Be an informed consumer of information, and decide you don't have to take everything you read at face value.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. chuks

    Those are pools for now reflecting hillary supporters being angry. And the polls always change so stop this madness CNN and play fair.

    There is a flip side that Hillary supporters are not aware of. Obama has to WIN, scratch that, Obama MUST WIN for any Clinton to ever have any chance of running for office again. You see, we Obama supporters can also be show stoppers for Hillary in any General Election. And we are efficient because we have AA vote with us, and I know the press say you hillary supporters are uneducated but please please tell me you know no DEMOCRAT can WIN as POTUS without the AA votes in the south. So you guys had better pray and work your butts off for Obama this GE otherwise the Republican party will rule America for the next 50 years for real. I mean, have you ever considered that you are dealing with the new generation of Americans interested in politics for the first time?

    Stop making threats the truth is that you guys should be the ones afraid of the consequences of Obama losing the GE if you back stab the DEMOCRATIC party. The choice is yours.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Tejano

    It is too bad that she will not have a chance to prove it. The Party has bought into the Obama craze. That leaves us conservative Democrats with only McCain to stop this madness and prevent our country from being destroyed from within.

    No Bama in our whitehouse. Not this time not in 2012.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. Dave

    big deal, it's a 50 state race. ask Hillary how that strategy turned out for her.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. shannon

    of course she does, which is why the Dems will nominate Obama. No one knows how to lose like the Democratic Party.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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