September 3rd, 2008
04:10 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Obama widening lead in battleground states

Obama is up in key battleground states.

Obama is up in key battleground states.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - A new poll suggests that Barack Obama is widening his lead over John McCain in two battleground states but indicates the race is dead even in Ohio, the state that decided the last presidential election.

In a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corp. survey out Wednesday afternoon, 55 percent of Iowa registered voters who were questioned said that Obama, D-Illinois, is their choice for president, with 40 percent backing McCain, R-Arizona.

That’s more than double the lead that Obama had in a University of Iowa poll taken early last month.

"Obama is winning in all regions of the state - even in the western counties where George W. Bush beat John Kerry by 17 points," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Obama is winning rural voters in Iowa - not something you see in many other states."

Iowa’s caucuses kicked off the presidential primary season and launched Obama towards the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Iowa was Barack Obama's breakthrough state,” CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider said. “He won the Democratic caucuses with a powerful organization. John McCain barely competed in the Iowa Republican caucuses. He came in fourth. Obama retains a strong organization in Iowa, where McCain is just beginning to get started.”

It appears to be a similar story here in Minnesota, where the Republicans are holding their national convention this week.

The poll indicates that Obama has a 12-point lead over McCain, 53 percent to 41 percent. That’s up slightly from a 10-point lead Obama held in a Humphrey Institute survey taken last month.

"It's important to note that today's polls don't reflect any boost McCain might get from the GOP convention, because nearly all the interviews were done before the festivites started in Saint Paul," Holland said. "This could be Obama's high-water mark in those states."

It looks like a very different story in Ohio, which has 20 electoral votes up for grabs.

President Bush’s narrow victory in Ohio four years ago clinched his reelection. It looks like it could be just as tight this time around in Ohio. The poll suggests he has a 2-point lead over McCain, 47 percent to 45 percent, which is a virtual tie when taking into account the survey’s 3.5 percentage-point sampling error.

So why’s Ohio different that Iowa and Minnesota?

“In Iowa and Minnesota, white voters are backing Obama,” Schneider said. “In Ohio, white voters are supporting McCain. What about those blue-collar white voters that were so important for Clinton in Ohio? They're pretty solidly for McCain.”

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corp. poll was taken August 31-September 2, with 828 registered votes in Iowa, 742 registered voters in Minnesota, and 685 registered voters in Ohio questioned by telephone.

soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. middle-age female from Oklahoma

    If McCain hadn't picked a running mate that could be re-hashed again and again by the American people and the media, Obama was probably going to win. But the race is now an actual race and I think most people will be watching with more interest than before. I've seen lots of elections and many different presidents over the years and my vote is still undecided. Polls don't win elections. When was the last time the poll won the election? People win elections and in the case of the Presidency (a team wins and a team loses). Hold on to your hat it really should be interesting between now and election time.

    September 3, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Obama/Biden 08

    It looks like America is finally coming to its senses.

    September 3, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. voter


    our voices will be heard and it will be loud and clear. People will say EIGHT IS ENOUGH. We need jobs and someone with intellect to run the country which McCain and Palin obviously lack. I am a woman who is not falling for the pandering of the republicans. The republicans do not believe in equal pay for women but now they are the party of women's rights. Please. at least davis from the mccain camp was honest that the election for republicans are not about issues. they don't know what the issues are because they believe the last 8 years was good. out of touch much.

    September 3, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Michael

    Fact September 3rd, 2008 4:41 pm ET

    Just so we are clear on records:

    Fact: More Chicago Public Students have been killed in the last 12 months than serviceman from the state of Illinois.

    Now that is a statistic CNN should be reporting!!

    Yes, this may be true, what is your Point?????

    By the way, there are over 400 thousand Children in the Chicago Public School system, Far more that the entire number of our service men and women in Iraq!
    Again, I as wat is your point?!?!?!?!

    September 3, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Asian for Obama

    Clinton 8 Yrs (Democrat ) National budget = Surplus
    Bush 8 Yrs(Republican) National budget = 7 Trillion Deficit



    September 3, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. christine

    Why on earth would someone supporting Hillary Clinton considering voting for McCain? They are miles apart on issues. I mean are you really serious in wanting to give up 4 more years to the Republicans. We are in a desperate situation. Please think about it. George Bush has destroyed this country. He has not protected us from anything. People losing there homes, jobs, and hope.

    September 3, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Ohio voter

    I live in Ohio and our election process is still crooked . Forget the stories about the polls – the media needs to do a service to all Americans and examine closely the election process and any problems that exist BEFORE November – and start in Ohio.

    Otherwise – more of the McSame – long lines to vote in heavily Democratic precincts due to purposeful understaffing; disqualified absentee ballots because they folded it incorrectly; machines that lose their memory – again in heavily Democratic precincts.

    September 3, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Steve

    That is crazy. How come everytime I see Obama on TV, all his statements are prepared? I almost never see him doing question and answer sessions. All he does is walk on some stage with his sleeves rolled up at some podium cracking jokes. All he is is a stand up comedian. How could anyone even consider voting for him is beyond me?

    September 3, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Marylander for Obama

    Exactly, wait til Governor Barracuda starts to negatively impact the polls thus allowing Senator Obama to increase his national lead. What was McCain thinking? Wait, he wasn't. We all know that if this was Obama's 17 year old daughter who was pregnant – not even his daughter, his third cousins daughter – all of you Republicans would be having a field day with the news and somehow claim that this would impair his judgment and he absolutely could NOT be our Commander in Chief. What's the saying...getting a taste of your own medicine?


    September 3, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. texas

    Im getting so excited already planning a big party for nov 4th

    September 3, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Chip

    "Polls are meaningless" –> Yes, true.

    But just wait til the actual vote. All the young Obama voters with no landline phone (only cellphone) don't show up in any polls. They're the "hidden margin" for Obama.

    McCain skews to older voters that all have landline phones. Ha!

    Obama / Biden 08

    September 3, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Donna for OBAMA!!!

    McCain has run the dirtiest smuttiest TV campaign ads I have ever seen!!! Barack Obama has tried to rise above it all but has been forced to start getting dirtier with his TV ads as well now for effectiveness. Very sad it has come to that!
    Yet he stands on his high moral and ethical horse as a "conservative Christian" along with pushing his VP pick's moral conservative family values as well, trying desperately to sway the Evangelical vote!!!!

    September 3, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Chip

    No How, No Way, NObama!!!

    September 3, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Jacqueline J. Russell 55

    Hooray!!! God has answered our country's needs....McCain/Palin..

    September 3, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. The Calculator

    Polls only call into land lines. Most young people of voting age have only cell phones and will overwhelmingly vote Obama. +10% to Obama.

    The Ron Paul message is growing in volume and will take a lot of Republican votes away from McCain. -3% from McCain.

    Given the US mortality rate and the age of many McCain voters, another 1% of McCain's votes will have have shuffled off this mortal coil before November. -1% from McCain.

    if the media factored any of this in they would lose readership/viewership ... it's in their interest to make the race seem closer than it is.

    September 3, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Mr Bubbles

    Ok Governor Palin was picked for 3 reason's only....
    1) For all the Evangelical women
    2) All Hilary voters
    3) Because Obama stand's for change and History...
    So I guess this pick is History changing just like the first Blk Pres, Funny right. Im a die hard Obama voter not because hes Blk because he's my PARTY LEADER........Im satisfied with Obama and Joe. This is the Dems time.

    September 3, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Joseph, Los Angeles

    The Republicans true colors are showing this week. There is great reason why they are losing.

    Note: It's not the Liberals that are angry.

    September 3, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. brian

    Don't be fooled again USA. For eight years, the GOP has pulled the wool over your eyes. Every citizen deserves a basic medical plan, not just the few who can afford it.

    September 3, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. William, from Cali!

    I really don't care which party "saves this Country, and turns it towards a new direction"; but all of this crazy madness, about "things, people, nonsense, and name calling" is getting a little much to bear........

    September 3, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. Jacqueline J. Russell 55

    WE SUPPORT MCCAIN.... and don't want a non-vet in the White House... as commander and chief of the armed forces.... NO Way
    I also think that our next pres.McCain... needs to carfully ,watch
    and finish the GOP convention before speeding full steam ahead.
    We here in Broward county,Florida will be voting ....issue,prolife...McCain

    September 3, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. Bob 72

    McCain’s first wife … a former model; McCain’s second wife a wealthy model; John McCain’s VP pick a former model… any questions???

    September 3, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. the real Abby

    Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and former John McCain adviser, Time columnist, and MSNBC contributor Mike Murphy were caught on tape disparaging John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

    "It's over," Noonan said.

    When Chuck Todd asked her if this was the most qualified woman the Republicans could nominate, Noonan responded, "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this political bullsh!t about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and that's not what they're good at, they blow it."

    September 3, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  23. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    Swing on, Obama!

    September 3, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. Arizona

    Look what the Republicans and their focus group from the fake church that they were praying for rain during the Democtratic party's convention. It turned out was a beautiful day, wasn't it?? what goes around, comes around isn't it?? It turned out to be a disaster day during this Republican's convention, isn't it? They are nothing but devil's minds. Obama for change in America that we can believe in!!!

    September 3, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. McCain=Bush, 8 is enough

    It seems as if most of us have gotten Bill Clinton's message, "...they (the republicans) want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more."

    September 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12