September 10th, 2008
04:08 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN battleground polls: Race a dead heat in key states

Sen. Obama campaigned in Virginia Wednesday.

Sen. Obama campaigned in Virginia Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - New state polls indicate that the race for the White House remains a dead heat in four crucial battleground states that could determine the outcome of the election.

CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls for Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire and Virginia out Wednesday suggest the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain is statistically tied.

The survey has Illinois Senator Barack Obama up 4 points, 49 percent to 45 percent, in Michigan and ahead by 6 points, 51 percent to 45 percent, in New Hampshire. Both states voted for Democrat John Kerry in the last presidential election.

The poll has Arizona Senator McCain up 5 points in Missouri, 50 percent to 45 percent, and leading by 4 points in Virginia, 50 percent to 46 percent. President Bush kept both states in the Republican column four years ago.

Virginia hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson took the state 44 years ago. But Obama is working hard to try and turn the red state blue: He's made numerous campaign stops there, including events Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

"The geographic patterns in Virginia are pretty much the same as in 2004, with one exception: In the area around Norfolk, Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach - a region John Kerry lost by four points - Obama appears to have a 13-point advantage. That's surprising for an area with several naval bases, and the headquarters of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. “Obama's getting about the same support in Northern Virginia that Kerry did four years ago,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But that wasn't enough to turn that state blue in 2004, and it's not enough in 2008. Obama needs to do better in Northern Virginia if he hopes to carry the state."

Michigan has voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the past four elections, but it's a state that McCain hopes to turn red this time around. McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, campaigned in the state on Friday.

“Something may be happening in Michigan,” adds Holland. “Oakland and Macomb counties, the Detroit suburbs that were the home of the Reagan Democrats, went for Bush in 2004 by a combined total of just one percentage point. But today McCain has an 18-point lead over Obama.

“So where is Obama making up the ground he is losing in the Detroit suburbs? In the southwestern part of the state, Obama currently has a 9-point edge, even though that area gave Bush a 19-point margin four years ago," he says.

While the overall political climate appears to benefit the Democrats in 2008 - thanks to an unpopular Republican president, an unpopular war in Iraq, and an ailing economy - the race for the White House remains tight, both in national polls and state polls.

"All four states are voting the same way they voted in 2004, although all are close and the Democratic ticket is doing slightly better in each,” says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. “It's as if very little has changed in four years. In all four states, partisans are lining up solidly with their party Independents are the key swing group. Independents are voting for Obama in New Hampshire and Michigan and for McCain in Missouri and Virginia."

The CNN Electoral Map suggests that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 243 electoral votes to McCain's 189, with 106 electoral votes still up for grabs (270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House). CNN's Electoral College estimate is based on several factors, including the most recent state polls, voting trends and campaign advertising spending.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted Sunday through Tuesday, with 966 registered voters in Michigan, 940 registered voters in Missouri, 899 registered voters in New Hampshire, and 920 registered voters in Virginia questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points in Michigan, Missouri and New Hampshire and 3.5 percentage points in New Hampshire.

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soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Angie

    This isn't a race, it's a joke! Too many women in this country are getting duped by the fact that Palin is female. She represents nothing that Hillary stood for, and solidifies the fact that they are voting just for gender! The other problem is this racist country of America! They will not vote for Obama because he is black, in spite of his superior ability to help this country. McCain himself admitted he knew "very little" about the economy! 60% of America says she cannot run the country!

    September 10, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Adam

    People will smarten up! 8 years is enough of the same old thing! Its time for actual changes in policy, not just talk of change. You can't put the same old present in different wrapping and call it change!

    September 10, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I am a disabled American who needs gov help and the help of others. I am near the poverty line. I STILL have more in common with the GOP and its ideals.

    I joined the GOP this year not because I am a fool but because I see foolishness on the Democratic side over and over again.

    I am an example of those that the Dems say they will help but I fear they will mess up the economy with so much spending there will be little left for myself and others that depend on the it.

    I see the Dems talk about helping others but all I see is talk.

    When I see the Democratic party of today I see a bunch of self serving snobs.

    The GOP is not perfect but nothing is and I can live with ‘its’ imperfection far more than the Democratic Parties failings.

    I don’t want to rely on the help of others but I know the kindness of the GOP is real yet that of the other side is all talk.

    I see a difference between helping others that need the help as opposed to throwing and giving money to those that do not.

    (I am more of a libertairan but vote and am a member of the GOP)

    September 10, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Phil Thompson

    Obama 273, McCain 265

    September 10, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Colo Sprgs, CO

    Ralph Nader and Ron Paul will be the death of John McCain on the Electoral Map. John McCain may temporarily have a 1% edge, but he's already lost on the Electoral Forecast. OBAMA/BIDEN @@@

    September 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Robert

    How is this happening? Half of what Palin says has already proven to be:


    So many things Palin has claimed are provably false, but she keeps repeating them in her stump speech. Ebay plane, bridge to nowhere, etc.

    Fellow believers, isn't HONESTY something God talked about? Doesn't it matter? What does the Bible say about dishonest leaders and their hearts. As a Christian I think this Palin stuff is insane.

    September 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Paizley

    If people voted the issues and nothing else, this race would not be as close as it is. Obama/Biden would be running away with. Please look past the color of the guy running and see what he really stands for.

    September 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Cyrus K.

    You guys should really replace your pollsters and statisticians. I am still trying to look up what a "Poll of Polls" is?! An aggregate of results from random sampling by different polls who don't ask identical questions? Nice!

    September 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Alabama Hill's / for McCain

    We hope to change that very soon!

    September 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. USMC Mike

    anonymous September 10th, 2008 4:29 pm ET

    People will smarten up – they've already started!!



    Obviously, you're not among them ...

    September 10, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Pat - Overland Park, KS

    Polls don't mean a thing this year. People that have cell phones cannot be polled and most people under the age of 35 cannot be polled.

    Most of the persons 35 and under are for Senator Obama.

    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Martin

    Considering this is CNN, it is not surprising they are trying to suppress the rise in support McCain/ Palin have received.

    The Obama tools/fools working at CNN couldn't be honest if they tried.

    McCain is gaining HUGE, and is winning in most electoral college maps.

    McCain-Palin is the only choice for America in November!!!!

    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. Chris B.

    I challenge any McCain/ Palin supporter to post her views on Foreign Policy, the economy, social issues, or energy and back it up with one shred of proof that this is where she stands. "Because McCain believes, hence by the theory of political relativity, so does she," does not suffice. Do you hear the silence? Because no one knows. Yet, their supporters remain energized? Must be the first electrical currents flowing through their their brains in a very long time. Wake Up!

    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Alabama Hill's / for McCain

    We hope to put McCain over the top very soon!

    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. EAM

    you people can dog PALIN about her daughter all you want, but at least her daughters boyfriend is man enough to raise his child, bet you wish you could say that about BLACK MEN !

    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  16. Screened Door

    WOMEN, are you going to continue to stand down and witness attacks on "Another Female Threatening Obama's Election" ?

    Are you more loyal for the opportunity to continue
    "TO CARRY WATER" and
    than realize how B.O. and the rest of the DEM faithful essentially
    shut women out of the process by
    hanging ROE vs WADE over our heads.


    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. Paizley

    If people voted on the issues this racewould not be as close as it is. Obama/Biden would be running away with it. Please look past this man's color and see him for what he stands for. It's imperative.

    September 10, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    polls schmolls, they mean NOTHING!!!

    the intelligent independents in this country see through the totally transparent lies and manipulations of sarah palin, mccain, and the rest of the horrible GOP!!! they are all damaged, ugly-spirited "people" who will do what they ALWAYS do to win--lie, cheat, and steal!!! same ol' same ol'!!!!

    September 10, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Jean

    The battleground will be the White House lawn if Obama wins this election.

    September 10, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. TONY

    What is most pathetic of all is people who vote ONLY THIR PARTY. Whether or not they believe their candidates are good for the country does not even enter their minds.

    They vote either Demorcrat or Republican, simply becasue tehy calls themselves a Democrat or Republican.

    The really terrifying thing about any election is those kinds of people.

    September 10, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Irene

    BRING ON THOSE DEBATES !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. FL4OB

    It is time to take our country back.

    Go Obama! God bless America!

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Kurt in PA

    Well, Anonymous, you have have several more weeks to entertain your delusions...

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Debbie


    Just why are you voting for Palin/McCain? What are their stand on the issues that matter most? Can I get a real answer instead of the same old sound bytes that come through the e-mails and the never ending negative adds against the other candidate?

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Left Coaster

    I think Obama will win Virginia. People care about education, healthcare, our troops, and our economy. Four more years of the GOP will damage this country even further.

    Obama – Biden!

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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