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.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. ginger

    McCain/Palin have hired some of the same swiftboat team that derailed McCains Presidential race in 2000. "My friends, that's not change, it's more of the same."

    Think he's not like Bush? Well, he hires the same people. I hope American is ready for four more years of the same.

    September 10, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Rob

    Today Rep. Cohen said in defense of Obama that Jesus was a community organizer. Well Cohen your opinion does not count with Palin because in her Church it is preached that terrorism is God's punishment on Jews.

    September 10, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Shari, NY

    If there is a dead head, this spells trouble for Sen. McCain because most of Obama's myriad of supporters are incognito.

    September 10, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Frank

    We the people are plenty smart already, and as they learn more about McCain's policies, they will continue to gravitate to Obama. McCain is a hero with a compelling story, but he has no vision or plan for the future of our country. Voting with the Bush administration 90% of the time is all the proof I need.

    September 10, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. Joseph in Dallas

    Why is no one talking about her affliation with the AIP....Alaskan Independence Party!!!!!

    I heard this woman say and I quote, "Keep up the GOOD WORK"....

    THE AIP WANTS TO SEPARATE FROM THE US!!!! THIS IS NOT PUTTING "COUNTRY FIRST"!!!!

    September 10, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  6. INDEPENDANT VET.

    IS YOU READY FOR THIS EVENING NEWS . WELL GET PREPAIRED , THE MEDIA'S DARLING HAS A NEW OUT SPOKEN SUPPORTER .

    I STILL LIKE THE LATEST BUMPER STICKER , THE DIFF BETWEEN BIN LADDEN AN OBAMA

    L I E S AN MORE L I E S

    September 10, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. ENOUGH ALREADY

    McCain has a lot steeper climb to 270 than Obama does. It's obvious the media wants it to seem closer.

    September 10, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. sb

    Matt Damon is correct, This mentally stunted Palin is as scary as hell. Bible in one hand, rifle in the other. Hopefully these Key states will help give the world a sigh of releif and elect Obama/Biden.

    September 10, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Jason

    The left is hate. I am a democrat and large government on the scale Obama wants scares me. I could probably get past it but McCain's energy policy and cutting government spending makes sense. Lower deficit the economy will get better. The dollar is so low because our credit is over extended we need to reign it in. Grossly increasing the size of government won't do that. Oh and all the smears and lies the bloggers and lefties are using is having the opposite affect you are warned. Hypocracy of hate is killing the democrats right now. Obama's own hypocracy is killing him right now get smart stop the hate or the election is gone.

    September 10, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Polls may be valuable in getting a macro view

    but it won't be known until the last vote (by the electoral college) is counted.

    September 10, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Lynne

    yOU WANT TO EVEN BEGIN TO TALK ABOUT ARROGANCE HERE?

    hE ONLY HAS TO STAND BY AND PROTECT HER AND HE WILL BE THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA??

    WE WILL BE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE WORLD.

    LIKE A "STEPFORD WIFE" SHE COMES OUT TO PLAY AND SAY ALL HE WANTS HER TO SAY AND SHE ISN'T ALLOWED TO EVEN ANSWER QUESTIONS!!!! wow, so much for woman's lib.....right down the drain....I GUESS IT WAS THE BIKINI AND GUN THAT DID HER IN????

    September 10, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Just Wondering

    "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...."

    What a brilliant polling expert CNN has. "Hampton Roads" is not a city, it's a generic regional term used to describe Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, I should know since I have lived here over 50 years. If he doesn't know what cities he is polling how valid are his polls?

    September 10, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. KenB, MI

    McCain has lost control of his campaign...Palin will slowly show her true hue which is transparent...Sanchez on cnn will have to resort to more canid news channel reporting to be heard over the crashing train.

    no pseudo mavericks

    no egg shell politics

    September 10, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Carl from MI

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

    They are starting to see right through Palin and McCain's lack of anything on the issues... nothing but empty suits!!

    Obama/Biden

    WAKE UP, AMERICA!! VOTE SMART.... NOT SENILE!!

    September 10, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. MT, Texas

    Obama's steam is starting to run out ... he's quickly becomming a has-been.

    If it only takes one speech by Palin to deflate his chances this much ... he doesn't stand a chance to hold onto the electoral votes he's got.

    McCain voluntary stuck to campaign financing limits, and since Obama lied and decided to opt for raising and spending more lobbyist money on the election, he'll way out-spend McCain.

    And with all of that, it will just serve as emptying rich liberal pockets ... which will be a good thing for our country!

    September 10, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. NO Bama

    The tide is turning.
    It's facinating to hear all these so-called "informed" pundits saying Palin doesn't have the experience and she's a "heartbeat away from the Presidency" when it's clear that she has more experience than O'Bama and both she and McCain have a better track record on change than either OBama or Biden.

    The Dem's are so desparate to get the Oval office they will say and do just about anything. Truth and logic have been totally thrown out the window.

    Too bad most of the major media has drunk the cool aid. Unbiased reporting has definitely become a thing of the past.

    Yes CNN – I mean you!

    September 10, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. DAN

    Thanks to cnn false news on Sarah, McCain keeps getting stronger, keep up the good work.

    September 10, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Ken

    For those attending rallies in these battleground states, another article on CNN said: "Palin's selection 11 days ago to the GOP ticket has drawn record crowds to McCain campaign rallies and generated a wave of enthusiasm among the base of the party."

    Yes, I agree, the [R] rallies are now like circus sideshows, and they draw from two major catagories of people: (1) the curiosity seekers that want to see the strange pig that wears make-up; and (2) the cultural trailer-trash who want to see and worship one of their own who's made it to the big-time - somebody near the top, appearing on TV (and not even on "Bad Boys"!), who they can relate to: spouse supports secession; already more kids than they can take care of, but ready to breed into their advancing reproductive age to produce even more; acts on the god-given right, spelled-out in the book of Leviticus, to hunt god's creatures from a helicopter; jumps at the chance to be a grandparent when child gets mixed up with high school redneck; burns books and Beatles albums; attends church to learn a foreign tongue......

    It looks like 'anonymous' goes to these rallies, and seems to be taking heart in seeing all the people standing there slack-jawed viewing the hideous [R] political scene.

    September 10, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Travis

    I believe everyone here wants to know ALL the truth..not just bits

    So here are a few questions Ms Palin before the election:

    1. Since you were pregnant and you started to leak fluid, during a
    speech in Texas, you chose to finish your speech and then fly for
    11 hours back to Alaska. And then drive for 45 minutes to a hospital
    in a small town to have a baby with health problems.

    How so?...you would think that you would want the best care possible
    for yourself and the baby at a large city to handle your needs.

    2. I read in your newspaper that you gave birth to a 6lb 2oz baby boy.
    Which you have told us that he was born 4 weeks premature.

    Does a premature baby not weigh less if premature?..just asking.
    Did you transport yourself and baby to a neo-natal unit because he was premature?..No because you were back to work 3 days after giving birth. THAT'S ODD

    3.Why are all the family pictures taken off the govt and other websites?

    Are there things there you don't want us to see?...Too late we've already seen them.

    4. It's odd that the only baby's parents name that was born in the hospital on that day was definitely NOT Palin. Newspapers are printed

    Looks like the MSM hasn't the gazoo's to check on these questions because the Repub will call it "sexist"

    HERE'S MY TAKE ON IT....

    You got a phone call when in Texas that Bristol was going into labor, so you booted it for home to make a good coverup.

    Either there are going to be a lot of people perjure themselves, either way you and McWar are in a whole pile of hurt.

    WAIT FOR IT.....NATIONAL ENQUIRE IS DOING MSM'S HOMEWORK

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Kevin from Florida

    Lets talk after the debates when McCain & Palin are forced to talk about things the electorate actually cares about like the economy & health care & not lipstick on a pig & a bridge to nowhere.

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    So today my comments supporting Gov Palin are not being shown today??????

    I am saddened by CNN but not surprised.

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Ron

    we just had a preview of sen. Obama handling a set back . his voice is changing, he's calling people names, he's totally losing it. this we want for president. what is his problem, just because gov. Palin got a little attention makes him blow a fuse. what do you think of the great Obama now. experience judgment. yeah right

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Former Hillary supporter

    Polls are up and down but I believe in one thing: Obama has lost the support from women including me! He and his followers scared me!

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. RYAN kr Jr

    Obama all the way to the White House. We CAN'T afford 4 more yrs of stupidity. No way No How McCain/Palin=Fraud.

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Karen

    well it seems to be a McCain/Palin on the horizon.
    i told you so.! Hillary for 2012!

    September 10, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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