September 24th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Polls in battleground states show Obama gaining ground

ALT TEXT

Obama is leading in key battleground states (AP PHOTO)

(CNN) - Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama appears to be gaining ground in some of the crucial battleground states that could decide the presidential election, according to a CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Wednesday.

In Colorado, 51 percent of likely voters questioned in the survey back Obama, with 47 percent supporting his GOP rival, John McCain. And Obama's edge over McCain in Colorado is six points when looking at a larger pool of all registered voters. That's a switch from late August, when CNN last polled in Colorado and found a five point lead for McCain. That survey was taken as the Democrats' presidential nominating convention, held in Denver, was just getting under way.

Colorado hasn't voted for the Democrats in a presidential election since 1992. But President Bush won the state by only five points over Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and the Democrats made major gains at the state level in the past two elections. That has led to hopes in the Obama campaign of turning the state - and its nine electoral votes - from red to blue.

"The new poll indicates that Obama is winning Denver and the surrounding suburbs and losing everywhere else in the state," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Since our first Colorado poll was taken as the Democratic convention began in that city, it's possible that Obama is still capitalizing on a local convention bounce."

Obama has also apparently won supporters in Pennsylvania, which has voted for the Democrats in the last four presidential elections. The new pollindicates Obama has a 9 point lead over McCain among likely voters, 53 percentto 44 percent, and a similar 9 point advantage among registered voters. That'sup from a 4 point advantage Obama held in the Keystone state in late August,the last time CNN polled there. Twenty-one electoral votes are up for grabs in Pennsylvania.

"Obama's biggest gains in Pennsylvania come in the areas of the state that have been hardest-hit by the economy - particularly rural areas in the western and central part of the state," Holland said. "That may be an early indication that the financial crisis on Wall Street will help Obama even in
places like Altoona and Erie."

The poll also indicates Obama may be gaining a little ground in Michigan, which has 17 electoral votes. Among likely voters, Obama holds a 5 point lead, 51 percent to 46 percent, and a seven point lead among the larger sample of registered voters. Obama had a 4 point margin in the last CNN poll in Michigan, conducted at the beginning of September.

Michigan has voted for the Democratic candidate in the last four presidential contests, but Kerry's victory over President Bush in 2004 was by only three points.

The new poll also includes Montana, a state that President Bush won by 20 points in 2004. But the Obama campaign has spent time and money this year trying to turn the state from deep red to light blue. The new poll suggests they've made major gains from the 2004 results, but still have a ways to go.

McCain holds an 11 point lead over Obama in Montana among likely voters, 54 percent to 43 percent.

It's a similar story in West Virginia, a state that used to vote reliably for the Democrats. But President Bush won there by 13 points four years ago. McCain has a four point lead over Obama in that state, 50 percent to 46 percent.

"Overall, the financial crisis may be boosting Obama's chances,'" Holland said. Our latest national poll shows that the public blames Republicans by a two-to-one margin for the financial crisis."

Taking into account these new poll numbers, the CNN Electoral College Map estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would capture 223 electoral votes and McCain would take 200, with 116 electoral votes still up for grabs. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to win the White House. The CNN Electoral College Map is based on several factors, including polling, voting trends, campaign visits, and ad spending.

"McCain may not be the incumbent president or vice president, but he represents the party in power. That's not a good place to be right now," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted by telephone September 21-23. In Colorado, 932 registered voters and 794 likely voters were questioned. In Michigan 966 registered voters and 755 likely voters were polled. In Montana, 903 registered voters and 737 likely voters were questioned. In Pennsylvania, 920 registered voters and 730 likely voters were polled. And in West Virginia, 876 registered voters and 694 likely voters were polled.

The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters and 3 percentage points for registered voters.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. jaye

    McCain is not a good choice for president – period.

    September 24, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. Teresa of Orange County

    Obama is going to be POTUS.

    September 24, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. cecil

    McCain camp issues its own account of talks with Obama..;p

    Notice How They Jump Right On This.

    Already Aligning There Campaign To Use This Delay As A Talking Point.

    Don't Be Fool America, It's Not About Puting Country First.
    It's About Sen McCain and The Polls!

    September 24, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. joseph from Georgia

    @Ready for Change,
    Yeah, just Like Obama called McCain about the 9/11 jojnt meeting and McCain Camp acknowledge Obama initiated it a true leader!
    Besides McCain camp isn't lying they are just playing word smart they said" The TOPIC was not discussed" Probably true, since he would have had to talk to McCain to Discuss, they did not however say that the TOPIC was not mentioned! Obama calls McCain at 8:30 in the Morning during a National Economic Crisis, what did they think Obama wanted to talk about; How clueless you are..Please???

    September 24, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. Gracie

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL!!

    September 24, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Independent-Latina-for-OBAMA

    PERHAPS THERE IS HOPE THAT WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE POLITICS OF.........ATTACKS,PROPAGANDA AND LIES!

    THE REPUBLICANS WERE IN CONTROL OF CONGRESS 1994-2007 (January)

    THE REPUBLICANS HAVE DOUBLED OUR NATIONAL DEBT........NOW ALMOST..........$11.5 TRILLION.......

    THE REPUBLICANS NEED TO BE THROWN OUT!

    COME ON AMERICA DO NOT BE FOOLED THIS TIME!

    September 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. IAMWMD

    Lets just give him the keys right now you fools.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 24, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. John McShame

    More of the same from John McShame

    John McLame says, “I don’t know much about the economy, I still need to be educated”

    “It would be acceptable if we had to stay in Iraq for another 100 years.”

    We need to “bomb, bomb, and bomb Iran”

    “I have voted with Bush 90% of the time because he has been right 90% of the time”

    Sarah Failin says,

    “I have foreign policy experience because you can see Russia from Alaska and I went to Mexico on vacation once.”

    “I welcome any investigation into my past because I have nothing to hide, oh never mind I will not meet with any investigators for any reason ever.”

    She believes the Bush Doctrine is a “World View” hahaha

    She says she said “No Thanks” for the Bridge to nowhere when she was actually the one who got it approved

    She says we may have to go to war WITH RUSSIA

    She decreased her own responsibilities when she was the mayor of a town small enough to be run by a fifth grader

    September 24, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Agnes

    OBAMA should win by a huge margin.... if people can't have the means to support themselves after the mess of past 8 years, time to make a change.... VOTE smart, time to take our country back, and bring back the jobs here!

    September 24, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Enlightened Voter

    After mccain's stunt today, it should be a shoo in for Obama. And for the other article, Rangel should just refuse to testify, apparently it okay. Palin did.

    September 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. He Just Scarrred

    And now since McSame is to scarrred to debate, Obama will take even larger leads after more polling is done.

    September 24, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Sian

    What would anyone expect when the Republican nominee changes his message, his tone, and his very words from hour to hour. The McCain campaign is one step away from life support

    September 24, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. temi

    LETS INCREASE THIS GAP TO AT LEAST 10 POINTS.

    MCCAIN IS NO MATCH.

    September 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. I think I speak for all of Canada...

    I tried to post this earlier, but comments closed on me...

    As a person who is watching this election unfold from the comfort of my igloo up here in the great white north, I can't help but wonder why your elections officials are "all of a sudden" worried about their systems not being able to handle an election that has been coming for FOUR YEARS!!!! Old stuff didn't work last time, and the new stuff isn't gonna work this time? This is only one of the many reasons why your government has made your country (which is lovely BTW) the laughing stock of the world. Shari said it best…

    It may be cold here, but at least we can mark an X in the correct box for god's sake…

    Oh, and another thing… why in the world would any of you waste your vote on a 72 year old man who can't remember what he bought for whom and when and is one poorly chewed bite of cheeseburger away from the grave, to run your country the same way it's been run for the last eight hilarious (at least to us) years? Give your collective heads a shake!!!

    September 24, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. joyce

    AMEN
    amen
    amen
    and again i say

    ====A MAN

    September 24, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. How can I get some of that amazingly-good liberal PR??

    THIS JUST IN TO THE CNN NEWSROOM IN ATLANTA:

    Mondale is pulling ahead!

    September 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  17. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Pedro

    And if McCain doesn't chickens out of the debate giving a lame excuse then these leads will only increase!
    Now he doesn't has any morale to speak about Obama refusing is proposal for Town-hall debates.

    September 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  19. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Based on alot of different polls, and giving McCain Florida and Ohio the result looks like this:

    Obama 282 McCain 256 (and Florida is getting close as well...this does NOT look good for McCain)

    Pack your stuff President Obama, you're moving.

    But people...it only happens if you VOTE....show up if you want it, make it heard! School, work, rain, natural disaster, sniper fire from republicans....VOTE AT ALL COSTS....our future and the existance of our country depends on Obama winning.

    September 24, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Tiffany

    I am inclined to believe that any other year with the same conditions the incumbent would be at a major disadvantage. But this year, I think it's because the republicans nominated someone who has flaws that most reasonable people just cannot risk putting in the oval office.

    September 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Rena

    McCain is justing running because he can't face Obama, he himself admitted that Obama is good. If you can't handle the pressure McCain then do us all a favor drop out. Obama has shown real leadership throughout this whole election process. I mean really to our Africian Americans this just shows us that this race is set up. They didn't think that this black man would get this far and he has proven them wrong. And now they are using every tactic they can to dereal this election. White American don't want this black man in bottom line. No, I'm not saying all White Americans but there are obviously still many fools who are still stuck in the past just refuse to let go of racism and many of them are quite naturally wealthy. This is a sad day for America. All other Nations eyes are on us and I am sure they are laughing and some may be very disappointed in this Nation who suppose to be so powerful and influentual but not anymore! As the Iranian president said last night, "The once prospersou US in now collasping". What a shame because he made a true statement.

    September 24, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Sam

    PENNSYLVANIA FOR OBAMA!

    September 24, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Fred

    Why don't the people in the battle ground states wake up and smell
    the coffee. Obama is running on the race card and twist all things
    that McCain said in past. Get a copy of these things and see the
    truth, like me a registered Democrat who is voting for McCain. I just
    can't fathom people voting for a liar and who says he is black and is
    yet only half black. He is not making any kind of history, do to the fact
    he is not an African American running for anything, because he is
    not African American. WAKE UP VOTERS

    September 24, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Asta la victoria Siempre

    and CNN is reporting this
    just yesterday they said it was a tie.........

    mm CNN please

    September 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. Jr

    TURN TO BLUE

    TURN TO BLUE

    TURN TO BLUE

    GO OBAMA ALL THE WAY TO WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!

    September 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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