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. g

    You nobama morons whining about Gov. Palin' s degree in jounalism need to realize that one of your liberal heroes JFK also got his degree in journalism. You looney lefties' arguments sound like preschool kids tantrums. Get a life.

    September 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. RCLGuard

    Thank you for reporting this. Now you need to have a front page story on how Obama has reached the 50% mark in the Gallup poll.

    Keep it coming, CNN!

    Obama/Biden 08, 12

    September 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. karen

    I guess Iowa and Minnesota aren't as impressed with Sarah Palin as the Republican party leaders and their mouthpieces are. No bounce?

    September 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |







    September 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. Election Watcher

    Obama and his supporters are all talk and empty attacks. These hits are so random, like the boxer who has been sucker punched and starts swinging wildly when he starts to comes to.

    September 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. Tim

    Republicans are insulting women voters by thinking they are ignorant enough to change their vote solely for a woman on their ticket.
    I hope a modern woman voter can see through this horse hockey.

    September 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Kiah

    Get used to losing McCain as you have been the ENTIRE campaign.

    Obama/Biden – Judgment to Lead

    September 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Jeff, Az

    This could well be a landslide win for Obama. He is rolling in traditional blue states, and is ahead in many red states. The race is even getting competitive here in McCain's home state of Arizona. The poor choice of Palin as VP will seal McCain's doom.

    September 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Sylvia

    Thank you McCain. Continue to make irrational decision and poor judgement, its paying off for us democrats. We appreciate it, McCain.

    September 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Poor Comsumer

    Why does republicans prey on old white people fears? That RNC convention last night does not represent America unless I'm living in disbelief and in the center of Moscow.

    "One white to another" Where its the change?

    September 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. I'm a woman too

    Obama's up in the polls because the women that Mccain thought he'd pander to by picking Palin, aren't stupid.

    Obama's up in the polls because Americans are beginning to see which candidate has the better judgment.

    Ohio will come around too.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Patricia in SF

    This is all over except for the death rattle we're hearing from St. Paul. McSame lost whatever remaining shreds of credibility with Independents when he made this erratic, idefensible choice of a VP with zero experience, and who is an AGENT OF INTOLERANCE to boot.

    September 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Mark Wagner

    It's funny to watch these anti-Obama people screaming "POLLS MEAN NOTHING" but when Obama and McCain were tied in the daily Gallup poll, they were all foaming at the mouth.

    Funny how polls only mean something if they indicate that the person you support is winning.

    September 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. bakersfield


    September 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  15. Ted

    Yeah, Obama!!!! You're winning in Iowa!!!

    Only 48 more to go... since you don't count Alaska as important.

    September 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. Debby

    Well without Ohio, PA, and Florida it will be tough for Obama to clinch the Presidency.

    September 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. Dandelion.

    There once was a woman named Palin
    Whose background was made up of failin'
    After two hours vetted
    McCain's veep selected
    And now in the polls they're both trailin'

    September 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Jack

    A 2% lead is enough! By November it will be 5%. Wait until the debates. Would you like to debate next to Obama?

    September 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. misty santana

    Please tell me that Amerian's are not foolish enough to vote the Mc Cain Palin team-why not just toos America's future in the largest dumpster you can find! To be a Governor in Alaska is vastly different than any other state in America- it has a small population and a lot of frozen and endangered land! My husband, a Vietnam Vet works in Ecological restoration in the Alaskan Arctic BECAUSE it is so polluted!
    To destroy Anwar when there are far more intelligent choices to make is to have one's mind in the dark ages! Has no one watched VP Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth?! Wake up America as a woman I would never vote for this team I would switch parties if I had to!
    Two maveriks does not a good President make and lets face it one needs a hell of a lot more content than that!


    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Ex-Republican for Obama

    The true numbers are coming in, as we get closer to the election you will see the better candidate rise in the polls.

    McCain can go buy his coffin now, and Palin can go continue to spend her 'bridge to nowhere' money that she never gave back.

    Obama needs to pack, he's moving to Washington soon.

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Esther

    CNN, where is the story on Politico that "Obama responds to McCain's spokesman Davis who says the election is not about issues"? McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told Washington Post editors Tuesday that issues will have an impact on undecided voters but will not be conclusive. “This election is not about issues,” Davis said. “This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates.”
    Obama's response: “Which probably explains why last night when they were speaking, all these speakers [at the Republican National Convention] came up, you didn’t hear a single word about the economy,” Obama said at an economic forum in New Philadelphia, Ohio. “Not once did people mention the hardships that people are going through” .“I guess I don’t blame them,” Obama dded, “because if you don’t have any issues to run on, you want it all to be about personality. If you have got George Bush’s track record and John McCain voting 90 percent of the time in agreement with George Bush, then you probably you don’t want to talk about issues either.”

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Polls?

    I wonder if any one of the 145,000+ college students enrolled in the top 5 universities in Ohio have been polled. Or the other thousands upon thousands of students in the 300+ campuses across the state. I bet not – since they all carry cell phones.

    Remember, Bush won the state by about 50,000 votes in 2004. Obama will win Ohio with even half of the students showing up in November, because they support him 5 to 1.

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. FLAGLA

    Palin and Putin going toe to toe. Scary!

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Mary (Texas)

    Put OBAMA on the Alaskan bridge to nowhere!!!!

    McCain 2008
    Hillary 2012

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Molly

    NOT So Fast –
    I think our VOTES will be Heard Loud & Clear in November –
    we will NOT be SILENT!

    Obama is not qualified to lead our country – and Millions of Americans feel the same way.

    CNN – please post my comments – or – is this media biased – only pro-obama comments can post????

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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