September 10th, 2008
04:08 PM ET
3 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. Accountant Guy

    People will see through the McBush/McPawn ticket and see they are fakes and will be just like Bush,e xpcept one will be wearing a dress!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. DJ Los Angeles

    Interesting column. Looks like the results will be very similar to 2004 with a good possibility that Obama wins over a few "red" states.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Obama even wins Arizona.

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. p Coleman

    Bet Hillary is getting alot of 3AM calls, asking what to you think now you could have done to win when I was doing this to you??????????

    September 10, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. Screened Door

    DEMOCRAT MALE DOMINATION SUSTAINED BY SWINGING THE ROE VS WADE AXE OVER WOMEN"S HEADS.

    WHY DIDN"T B.O. PICK CLINTON:
    FEAR OF HER APPEAL AND STRENGTH IN HER NUMBERS

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Erika, KS

    Ha! Ha! Ha!
    You Obamabots and The Chosen One himself thought this would be a slam dunk!!! Welcome to the real world Junior Senator. See, you really are out of your league and those of us with brains knew it all along.LOL

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Tired of the Nonsense

    How can anyone support a ticket with someone on it who you have only known for 8 friggin weeks?!?!?!

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Nevada Democrat

    Looks like it's going to be a barn yard burner!

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. sensible Cape Coral FL

    McCain/Palin:

    God help us all.

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. william

    I would like to say thank you to the crew at CNN for all they have done in bringing light to the world about a problem in America. Racism is not dead and I don't think it would every. I just hope God will heal the wounds and pain of all who have suffered under this Republican part for the last Eight years. Vote Barack Obama 2008!

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Charlotte

    If Kerry and Gore both lost, how cana greenhorn like Obama win?

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. bob

    Obama 273, McCain 265
    I believe this also.

    September 10, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. If You Liked Bush You Will Love McCain

    Hey Michigan and Virginia. How's those energy prices, unemployment, foreclosures, food prices, health insurance prices working for you? Have you sent in your $31,000 to cover your share of the national debt yet?

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Independent Voter in Missouri

    Anyone know how many total votes were cast in the primaries?

    How many of those were republican and democrat?

    I think we have some new voters now.

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. hey-liberals...

    ... starting to look familiar? Dims blowing a big lead as usual after the voters start really paying attention to the election.

    Oh well, you can now start planning for 2016.

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Alaska and Arizona POW for Obama/Biden

    Vote smart this November. Vote good judgment. If you say that our economy is good now, you are an elitist and you do not know our struggle to put food on our bellies and gas in our cars. John McCain that elitist think the economy is good and has no plan to help us. He wants more wars, more tax cut for big corporate that ship our jobs oversees. Ohio, Michigan,Pennsylvania I know that your economies are hurting and you must vote smart and vote someone who understand your econoics struggles. It is not time to support someone just for race or gender, it is time to take our country back and get our respect back around the world. Vote Democratic this November if you are a true American who put America first. We need change in Washington and the Democratic party has that change for us this November.

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Ariana

    I live in Northern VA.

    TRUST ME, we are NOT voting for that psychotic McCain and Palin!

    stupid war mongers.

    Palin can't even control her own daughter!

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Kar

    Mccain and his parrot can't avoid the issues forever!!! Soon america will wake up and realize that Mccain/Palin have nothing to offer! All of this lipstick sexism crap is just the republicans just trying to fill the void because they know nothing about the issues!

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    From the AP:

    WASHINGTON - Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties improperly engaged in sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

    THIS IS THE CORRUPTION OF THE REPTILICANS, especially those in bed with Big Oil, Like McSame and the Barracuda!

    September 10, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. John in Ohio

    The fact that Virginia, former headquarters of the Confederacy, is a battleground state for an African American candidate shows how far our country has come and how well Obama is doing.

    Here's a fact: If Obama takes all the Kerry states (Missouri and Virginia not included), and picks up Iowa (where he has a sizable lead), New Mexico (sizable lead), and Colorado (slim lead), he wins. He wins without Virgnia, without Ohio, without Florida. He pushes any of those three over, and its just that much more help.

    September 10, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Chris - WI

    It is absurd to see how many Americans are willing to take a chance on an unknown governor who changed her college 6 times over 6 years to complete her degree in journalism for being next in line to become our president!

    Well wait, we also had enough value voters vote Bush & Dick into office for the past 8 years...that went really well. Thanks a lot and I can't wait to have 4 more years of the McSame.

    Europe and Canada are looking better and better all the time...

    September 10, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. Tired of the Nonsense

    "You do the actuary tables, there's a 1-3 chance if not more, that McCain doesn't survive his first term and it will be President Palin," Damon also said, adding later "I think there's a really good chance Sarah Palin could be president, and I think that's a really scary thing, because I don't know anything about her, and I don't think in eight weeks I am going to know anything about her.”

    - Matt Damon

    September 10, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. arc, Lugano CH

    The blame for the failing economy, the dependence on foreign loans and oil, the quagmire of a costly and ineffective illegal war in Iraq and the irreparable damage to the position of the United States in the world falls solely on the Republican Party and its 1943-era ‘values’ voters. It’s their fault and it’s their fault alone.

    September 10, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Paul

    Remember the Titanic? In the polls, BHO is the Titanic of politicians.
    Going down!!!!

    September 10, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Love My USA

    YES! MCCain in 08.. The American people are finalyy seeing the light.!

    BO known as Dr. No is on his way down and out.....!

    September 10, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. david,baltimore,mamryland

    The bridge to nowhere is located between Palin's ears.....once this buffoon opens her mouth to an objective interviewer she is absolutely finished,...she can certainly run and is proving it but she cant hide.....maybe she will talk in tongues and heal the blind...that should really be impressive

    September 10, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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