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. leapfrog

    I can see the light, Sen. Obama. It's going to happen.

    September 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Jon

    It is puzzling to me that Obama is not ahead by at least 20 points; the Republicans have run the country into bankruptcy at home and disaster overseas. Also, McCain admits he knows nothing about economics and a week ago made the totally laughable statement that the country was sound as to its economic fundamentals.

    The only explanation I can see for what is still a close race is considerable residual racism, despite four decades of hard work for civil rights for all citizens.

    Jon

    September 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    JOHN MCCAIN IS DEEP IN THE FAILURE OF THIS ECONOMY. MCCAIN'S SON WAS CEO OF SILVER BANK AND QUIT 2 MONTHS BEFORE IT FAILED CLAIMING IT WAS FOR PERSONAL REASONS. JOHN MCCAIN WAS IN ARIZONA EVERY WEEKEND DURING THIS TIME. YOU DO THE MATH AND IT STINKS AND IT'S YOUR MONEY. DO YOU WANT A PRESIDENT WHO KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO LOSE YOUR MONEY AND DID NOTHING. JOHN MCCAIN SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED JUST LIKE HE WAS IN KEATING 5.

    September 24, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Vote08

    The wool is being pulled over Americans eyes. Somebody please tell me what Obama has done as a senator which makes him someone ready to lead America. Anyone? That's what I thought. He hasn't done anything except tell us a bunch of good stories, which he is clearly good at as seen in the two books written on himself.

    Obama...good at making up stories bad at running America.

    September 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Jr

    BLUE LIKE HAVEN SKY

    OBAMA 08

    September 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. RECOVERING FROM A KNOCKOUT BY IKE

    The Republican Party is not a synonymn of the Christian Church or the American Patriot people!!!

    I am independent minded, but listening to some of the ignorance of the republican supporters on these blogs pushes me further and further to the democratic ticket!!!

    Yall never have a valid reason for why McCain/Palin is better! You just continue to spit the talking points of the day of the Rep. party like they teach you to recite them in church!

    I love the Lord and I don't think he smiles happily down on the hate in your hearts!

    September 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. EDW

    worth repeating:
    McCain needs to debate himself first anyway. Is he for the Bush tax cuts or against them? For off-shore drilling or against it? For ethics reform or against it? For deregulation or against it?

    September 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  8. leapfrog

    Interesting that McCain wants to pull out of the debate after he starts slipping in the polls. I think this man can taste defeat in the air and is running pell mell from it as fast as he can.

    September 24, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. James Carville

    ALL HUMBLE SENATORS VOTE YES OR NO.
    ELITE SENATORS VOTE PRESENT OR ABSENT

    September 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Carl from MI

    It's going to be a LANSLIDE victory for Obama come November.

    People are finally seeing thru McCain and Palin's lies and see that they're too risky to vote for and just not ready or qualified to lead our nation. Isn't that right, my friend the Nightingale??

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

    September 24, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Bigbubba

    McCain is trying to avoid Obama in the debate he has tried so hard to set up.

    I think that the people running the debate should put a cardboard cutout of McCain up in his place. Then whenever Obama answers a question and explains how he and the Democrats would change things (proposals, ideas, actual context on the issues, etc), a speaker behind the cutout would say things like: "Obama is a bad man; I was a war hero". If really preesed on the issues it could say, "Washington is broken and after the election I am certain I can come up with some idea of how to fix it. I haven't come up with the idea in over 20 years, but after the election, it is coming"

    September 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. blaising

    The cream always rises to the top...

    "It's easy for me to go to Washington," said McCain, "and frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have."

    Get yer debate on old man..

    September 24, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Obama 08

    He's leading by 9 points in PA! That's great!

    September 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. victor,nj

    LETS OBSERVE THE CURRENT GIMMICK BY MCCAIN. OBAMA CALLED MCCAIN EARLIER TO MAKE A JOINT STATEMENT WITHOUT NOTIFYING THE PRESS. LATER ON MCCAIN HOLDS A PRESS CONFERENCE HURGING BOTH CAMPAIGNS BE CANCELED. MCCAIN CAMPAIGN THINKS WE ARE FOOLS.

    September 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. KH

    If McCain didn't want to politicize this, he would have worked with the Obama campaign in the background instead of coming out on public television and making his declarations.

    September 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. jimmy

    AMERICANS PLEASE NOTE: IT WAS MCCAIN WHO INITIATED THE CALL TO OBAMA TO GO TO WASHINGTON AND JOIN THE BIPARTISAN DEBATE ON RESCUING OUR FAILING ECONOMY WHICH IS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE IF SOMETHING IS NOT DONE QUICKLY.. IT WAS MCCAIN WHO PUT POLITICS ASICE AND PUT HIS CAMPAIGN ON HOLD TO BE PRESENT IN CONGRESS.
    NOW IT APPEARS THAT OBAMA WILL NOT EVEN VOTE PRESENT
    WHEN A VOTE IS TAKEN IN CONGRESS: OBAMA'S ANSWER:
    NOTE THIS AMERICA, OBAMA'S VOTE WILL NOW CHANGE FORM "PRESENT" TO ...... A-B-S-E-N-T-.

    September 24, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. dave g, Minneapolis

    also, your statistics of 51% and 47% don't match many polls that show Bob Barr polling at 10%. Your math doesn't add up. Or did your poll just ask "who will you vote for? McCain or Obama?" Your polls are flawed.

    September 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Audacity

    Change is Coming.

    September 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. No Hillary = No Obama

    Mr. Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice – that's what Obama is made of – pure sweet nothings.

    September 24, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. April Garlow

    McCain is doing the presidential thing, he is not shifting his responsibility onto others. Go McCain, you know how to lead. Obama is going to keep campaigning and trust the same bozo's that got us into this financial crisis,to fix it, reminds me of Bush during Katrina staying on his ranch and saying "good job Brownie".Shows the difference that experience makes when there is a crisis.

    September 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. W Stands For Worst !

    George-Worst-President-Bush is talking again tonight, but up until this time he spoke to the public for 11 minutes on this crisis. Two minutes in the garden, and 9 minutes on the steps. So finally he's coming out of hiding, again.

    Historians are saying Bush will undoubtedly be on the top ten list of worst presidents. The last information I read had him as 2nd from the bottom. The worst president was James Buchanon, who did nothing to stop the Civil War, one of the darkest times in our country's history. I find it ironic that James Buchanon was just before Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest presidents.

    Just 40 more days folks, and we'll be rid of W.

    September 24, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  22. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    While Palin is speed-dating foreign dignitaries & running scared of the press, McCain is trying to interfere & use the financial crisis for political gain while running scared of the debate. What a trainwreck!

    No wonder Obama is gaining in the polls.

    September 24, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Franky

    And let me tell you something...

    According to this poll, he's up barely in Colo, right? People wanna see their leaders up close!!! Do you know that some Americans live in cities?? Or in rural areas?? If you are out, people are gonna recognize you BUT if you are gone, people are gonna forget about you...

    And is not only this state!! Other states where traditional Red States have been safe for other GOP nominees. That's tough man, Senator McCain better hope this doesn't last all the way to Saturday because TRUST ME, it won't look good.

    September 24, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. Julie-Washington State

    I think this goes to show you that people are tired of the same old thing. Obama; if you really listen to him makes sense on the marjority of what he says and where he wants to lead our Country.
    John McCain really has not proven to me he would be too different from the Administration we have now. By putting a "gag order" on Sarah Palin people are realizing this may not be the team of "Marvarick's" they wanted people to believe they are. You cannot just get by on "cuteness" Some leader told Sarah Palin she was pretty and he might have to hug her.....did she call him a sexist like she has the press and Obama/Biden???

    September 24, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Michael

    The Only poll hat really really matters in on Nov. 4th.....

    That being said, things are looking Good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden

    September 24, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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