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. M. Townsend

    Who really wants to see good old Palin next to Putin, Sarkoszy, Merkel or Olmert. At least with Barack we have been familiar with his foreign policy thinking dating bak to 2003 when he discouraged us on goingn into Iraq and explaining why and that we rather finish the work in Afganistan to his recent standing toe to toe with same foreign leaders and his work on nuclear proliferation and on behalf of soldiers at Walter Reed. It could very easily happen soon that Palin is standing next to Putin given McCains age and twice cancer history. This is real! Country First!

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Michael from Forsyth County, GA

    The latest poll numbers from Iowa and Minnesota offer further evidence that this will be a heavily Democratic year. If Senator Obama can lead in areas of Iowa that President Bush won by seventeen percentage points then Senator McCain has little to no chance of winning Iowa. From the polling data I have seen, Senator Obama seems to be over performing in many traditionally Republican areas. Senator McCain's selection of Mrs. Palin as his running mate may have been the final nail in the coffin of the McCain campaign.

    September 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Michael in Houston

    An African American could never win Ohio, being a native of Ohio, there are too many Dixie transplants there. Yeah Obama will win Cleveland, Columbus, Cincy, maybe Dayton but there are too many Ohioans, in other cities, who wouldn't vote for Jesus Christ, because he is not white. No gig shocker there if you are from that region. Obama will do well in the South, East Coast and West, so I dont think Ohio will be a major player this election. I think the South and West Coast will decide this election , not the Midwest. McCain can chalk up the East Coast, I don't think he will win a state there. Just like outside of Iowa and Illinois, Obama does not stand a chance in the Midwest. He is just the wrong color.

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

    ahhahahahahaah ..........nice try CNN. I think I'm gonna have to end up banning you from my household just as I did with MSNBC. Look what happened to their ratings. Tread lightly. You're pissing us women off even more!

    September 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Marie in California

    It ain't over till it's over.....wait and see.

    Country first....Chicago politics and party last!

    NO WAY....NO HOW.......NOBAMA!

    McCain-Palin – 2008

    September 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Debbie

    Iowa's got it goin' on!

    September 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Rob

    Polls are useless. I suspect after the debates Obama will DOUBLE his lead. And if Palin is still around by the time she has to debate Biden, it will increase even more.

    Americans do not want right wing ideologicial zealots running our country. If McCain wanted to be a maverick and appeal to Democrats, he wouldn't have made a fly-by-night VP choice that is a member of the extreme religious right.

    Obama has shown the wisdom, judgement, and TEMPERMENT to be President. That man has endured hidious attacks on his patriotism, experience, and religion from not only the Republicans but his own party and he has been as dignified as one can be. Sure, he's gone on the attack to, but only when he has to, and he attacks his opponents policy stances.

    Maybe fear mongering worked in 2004, but we are all a bit wiser in 2008 and it is just not fathomable that good decent people who are struggling to get by, will be willing to give the Republicans the White House for another 4 years. Just not possible.

    September 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Filipina

    Hope, Change.....Yes We Can.
    Vote for Obama/Biden.

    September 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Turner In Washington

    I am totally disgusted with the Republican Party and thier hypocritical Guns, God and Patriotism theme. 4 more years of this nonsense could easily ruin what little economy we have left. These same people that bashed teenage pregnancy for the last 20 years now wear buttons proclaiming " I support un-wed Mothers". Being a Christian my entire life I fail to see any comparison between Christ and these gun toting neocons.

    Barack said it best ...'ENOUGH'

    September 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. Deb, Allentown, PA

    Great poll numbers but please don't be lulled into a false sense of complacency. We need to get out and vote to make sure that McCain/Palin don't take this country further down the path to ruin.

    And ct, you really can't blame the people of Ohio. The GOP played a lot of dirty politics in Ohio in 2004 and basically stole that state from Kerry...lost voter registrations, polling places moved at the last second, people turned away from the polls, etc...

    September 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. priti rana

    Barack is barely ahead ever after his camp and this stupid liberal media shredded gov Palin . Women have long memories you idiots .... keep bashing Gov Palin and see what happens
    Mccain/Palin 08

    September 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Tyrone Brown

    As a Proud Obamacrat I know there is still much work to be done and that we must not rest on our laurels. We must stay focussed on these 18 battleground states (all 50 states for that matter) and fight for every single vote come November 4th. The Republican Party will soon finish having their say and then we can move forward to make sure Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. I am personally committed to doing my small (but important) part everyday to make sure this happens.

    God Bless the United States of America!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Saul-Independent

    One thing i observe about republicans is that whether they agree with their candidate or not they all flock in droves to support their party. If democrats would just do the same, they will have a huge victory.

    September 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Educated, Young, Independent, and Black

    Did anyone happen to hear about how McCain cancelled an interview with CNN because he felt that Campbell Brown took her interview "too far?" She asked only legitimate questions that could be brought up in any political debate. If a mere interview was too much for a "staunch" McCain supporter to handle such that the campaign cowers from further questioning, how can anyone believe that McCain can handle being President of the most powerful nation in the world. New Flash: When you are President of the United States of America, you can't just cancel because it got a little tough. Please think and PRAY before you vote!

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. v.a.

    thank you john mccain for underestimating the intelligence of the hillary supporters and picking your flop of a VP. it'll be obama/biden for sure now!!

    oughta vet a little better next time.

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. john

    OBAMA 08

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    As a former Iowan I couldn't be prouder of my compatriots there. There's a strong progressive streak in Iowa that doesn't always get mentioned in the national media.

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. eric

    I can't wait for the October surprise we already know is coming. The report about Palin's abuse of power scandal will be released on October 31st. It's already obvious what happened so the outcome shouldn't even be in doubt. But I'm sure a lot of people will forget so it will be great to have a reminder of just how corrupt Palin really is right before the election.

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. R. Cooper

    Way to go, President Obama!!!

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |


    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Obama 08

    Thanks to all the people in the battleground states!
    Welcome to the family.

    September 3, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Helena

    Americans have had enough of the last 8 years. I predict Obama & Biden will win huge.


    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!

    September 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Michael in Houston

    Wow Patriot - that was masterfully put. Job well done. I've been trying to day the same thing!

    September 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. meme

    Of course he is. McCain truly hadn't thought this out. They look like political hillbillies. The republicans have divided the states, and it's super clear that the red states are the least intelligent of the two. They keep winning because it's more of them than us. However, it seems there's some education going on in these red states that are slowly turning blue. Give me break on the Palin chick she's annoying..

    September 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Ken

    It really does not matter what Obama does, by not choosing Hillary Clinton for his VP is going to cause him to lose the election. He has no one to blame but himself.

    I am a Hillary Clinton supporter that is going to vote for McCain/Palin and then in 2012 I will again support Hillary Clinton.

    September 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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