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. tidho

    As soon as she stops undercutting him his numbers in those states will go up.

    We've got Democrats playing the 'operation chaos' game trying to get their gal the nomination in the smoked filled back room of the DNC.

    Hillary supporters don't want the war to continue, will not like McCain's economic plans, and aren't going to risk Roe v. Wade. Her racist base might but the vast majority of her supporters will not.

    May 22, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Susan MO

    She is the one who can beat McCain, so democrats, vote for her!!!!!

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Richard T. Brady

    Pathetic. One excuse after another. Serving her own distorted view of herself is quite remarkable.

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. Eric-PA

    Based on living in NJ for 20+ years, my sense is that NJ will go to McCain if Obama is the nominee, but will go to Clinton if she is the nominee.

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. ???

    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 scandals and lies!

    Chelsea is just another liar!

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Jeanine

    Wake up people...!! Really....! He may win the nomination but he will never be this should be another fun 4 years with republicans....! If Hillary isn't the nominee say hello to President McCain....plain and simple! Obama can't beat him with out her supports.....! The only way I would vote for him is if she was other way! It would be nice CNN if you would post at least ONE of my comments.

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Major Mike in Lorton, Virginia

    The media, CNN included, constantly keeps making the predictive comparison of the strength of Hillary verses Obama. against McCain. If Hillary is so more electable and performing so well in the polls, then why didn't she win the pirmaries? Give it a break. In addition, do actually beleive that all those voters who voted for Hillary are going to vote for McCain? With all the barking against Obama, when the pedal meets the metal, they will vote for Obama because they surely don't not want or do they need another four of a derivative of the Bush Administration.....and that you can take to the bank.

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Brenda

    Who cares what all those uneducated white blue collar people think. They should get educated, and vote for sen obama because he is very smart and knows how to change the world. God has sent him here to save us. Make the right vote for sen obama or don't vote at all.

    May 22, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. what a shame

    Its a shame some white folks wont vote for Obama because he is black. They cant phatom the fact that a Black person can actually lead a country where whites are a minority. I guess the fact that his mother is white doesnt count for anything. I thought we had moved on as a nation, but its clear we really havent.
    We have never had a black President in this country, yet we claim to be equal, yeah right !.
    The eyes of the world are upon us. If some people in America arent really equal and free, how can we preach equallity and freedom to other parts of the world.
    Its a shame.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Misty

    Who wants Clinton? The Republicans so they can beat her during general election. So of course the polls are having her win. Also as the Presidential nominee Barack is/will be focussing on these states and re-introducing himself (If Clinton goes home– she is becoming utterly annoying).

    McCain cannot win: He is out of it– wait for his medical record: its not just his physical health that is failing it is also his mental health!

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. sher

    What's your problem? Let everyone have a say (not just you) before giving the prize away. Does anyone really KNOW anything about Obama? At least we know about all of Hillary's warts. Has it occurred to anyone that Obama's campaign rhetoric, almost verbatim, is the same as Baby Bush's back in 2000?

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. JoR

    Obama will not win the presidency without Hillary Clinton. The comments that she brings nothing to the table is such nonsense. She'll bring PA, OH, WV, KY and much more. I have heard her supporters say that they will write in her name or vote for McCain. The boys club of the Democratic Party will probably prevent Obama from choosing her. Then it will be a lost for the Democratic Party. I have been a Democrat all my life. This election has opened my eyes to its blatent sexism.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. SickOfDems

    I am sick and tired the Obama supportes slamming our candidate. You have no dignity or respect. As a life long democrat I am sick of this party. I have switched to Independent and will no longer support any of you – I am not alone.

    I don't think I could vote McCain but you definitely will not have my support going into November.

    Go team.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. S

    CNN–Please create a link to this poll from your front page instead of burying it in the middle of the political ticker, as has frequently happened with other pro-Hillary news items.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    Oh please, just look at McCain, I know the guy had it rough in Vitnam, and I thank him for his service, but he doesn't even look healthy enough to be president.

    The president is supposed to look like him after his 8 years in office, not before. I'd hate to see what he would look like after 8 years of service, well I don't think he'd make it, he'd have to step down before his term ended.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. JB

    This is so stupid. Once it is down to Democrat vs. McCain all this changes. So long as Hillary sticks around (without any chance of the nomination) these polls are skewed.

    Obama has more states, more delegates and more popular vote...period.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Maggie VT

    Everyone is saying Obama has a "problem" with white voters. Can the same be said about Clinton with "black" voters now???

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Eric-PA

    Independent for Obama,

    It's not over yet. Hillary will win the popular vote, the ultimate indicator for the will of the people and she will win over the superdelegates. Perhaps Obama will be VP or he can go back to being a community organizer. lol

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Bob

    Any Democrat that says that they would vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee cares more about individual egos than about the future of this country. Period.

    Voting (or not voting, as the case may be) for a candidate with opposing values and goals to your own out of spite – just to "get back" at the candidate who beat out YOUR candidate in the primaries makes absolutely no sense. Stop looking at the micro and start focusing on the macro! Cutting off your nose to spite your face doesn't solve anything.

    Clinton and Obama are both great candidates. One of them had to win. And most importantly, one of those two HAS to win this November. For the sake of the country.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. John Zeger

    Now the question is whether the Democratic superdelegates will be stupid enough to vote for Obama anyway knowing in advance that he will likely lose to John McCain.

    May 22, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Kim

    It amuses me to listen to so many say Obama can't win and yet he keeps winning. It is also interesting to note so many people saying that the supedelegates need to get a backbone and select Hillary for the nomination. Know that millions of people do not want Hillary to be selected because we have elected Obama as the eventual nominee. It is past time for all democrats to unite behind the senator. All of us have a right to our decisions in the general yet I am happy that without hesitation I can say now, my vote will be cast for Obama.

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Ms. GA

    If Hillary's supporters move towards John McCain if Obama gets the nomination, then it should be very obvious race is an issue! It also shows that people are not looking at the issues, they are looking at race! I am a huge Obama supporter but if he didn't win I would care enough about our country to pick someone with similar views not McCain.

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. Nicole in NE

    Well gosh, then maybe the nomination shouldn't have anything to do with the most seated delegates or THE POPULAR VOTE, which Hillary did NOT win!

    CAUCUS VOTES COUNT, like it or not!

    Don't disenfranchise FLORIDA and MICHIGAN AND DON"T DISENFRANCHISE ME, I voted and IT COUNTS SO THERE!!!!!

    You cannot pick and chose which people's votes counts and which ones don't!
    This IS America last time I looked – right?

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. Montana is Obama Country

    CNN spins once again in Hillary's corner.. &.. favor...
    Truth is they are dead even in most states based on cultural differences..

    YES...WE...CAN... in 2008

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Joe - Wilmington, DE

    Why aren't the superdelegates putting a stop to the Clinton BS machine NOW!

    Are Hillary's feelings more important than party unity?

    Anyone with any sense knows what she is trying to do - attempting to cause Obama to make some kind of "mistake" so she can enter the back door to "save" the party.

    And the Michigan/Florida vote - why wasn't she crying foul several months ago when she signed off on the DNC ruling?

    Stop Hillary! Your oversized ego is causing oversized problems.

    May 22, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
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