October 1st, 2008
04:08 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Polls: Major gains for Obama in battleground states

Obama is up in new CNN polls.
Obama is up in new CNN polls.

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) – New polls in five crucial battleground states that could decide the race for the White House suggest Barack Obama is making some major gains.

CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls released Wednesday afternoon of likely voters in Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia suggest a shift towards the Democratic presidential nominee.

In Florida, the state that decided it all in the 2000 presidential election, 51 percent of likely voters say Obama is their choice for president, with 47 percent backing Republican presidential nominee John McCain. The last CNN poll taken in Florida showed the race for the state's 27 electoral votes all tied at 48 percent apiece, among registered voters. A new CNN Poll of Polls in Florida, also out Wednesday afternoon, has Obama over McCain by 5 points. The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the new CNN poll and other new state polls.

"The campaign season is like the hurricane season. Florida lies directly in its path. Hurricane Obama hit Florida, and Hurricane McCain. Tropical Storms Biden and Palin made landfall in the Sunshine State. The impact? Over the last two weeks, Barack Obama has been gaining support in Florida," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

Obama's also making gains over McCain in Minnesota, the state where the Republican convention was held a month ago. Fifty-four percent of those questioned are backing Obama, with 43 percent supporting McCain. That 11 point lead is much larger than the small two point advantage Obama had in the last CNN poll taken in Minnesota, one month ago.

It's a similar story in Missouri, where 49 percent of those polled are backing Obama and 48 percent supporting McCain. That's a gain for Obama, who was down five points to McCain in our last poll in Missouri, taken three weeks ago. Thursday's night's Vice Presidential debate is being held in St. Louis, Missouri. The only other new poll in Missouri, a Research 2000 survey, indicates McCain ahead by one point.

The poll also indicates Obama has a four point lead over McCain in Nevada, 51 percent to 47 percent. CNN's last survey in Nevada, taken in late August, had McCain up slightly. A new American Research Group poll in Nevada puts McCain ahead by two points.

In Virginia, a state that hasn't voted for the Democrats in a presidential contest since 1964, the new poll suggests Obama has a nine point lead, 53 percent to 44 percent. The last CNN survey in Virginia, taken in mid September, had McCain up by four points. But it's a slightly different story in American Research Group's new survey in Virginia, which indicates McCann has a three point lead.

What's behind this shift for Obama?

"Obama has gained ground among moderates in all five states," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That may have something to do with the first presidential debate. Some commentators knocked Obama for agreeing with McCain as often as he did, but moderates tend to like it when candidates appear willing to see the other side's point of view.

"In most states, Obama also won support from senior citizens and voters making more than $75,000. Those are two groups who may have been hardest-hit by the recent problems in the stock market and the financial community. Economic jitters may not last if Congress passes legislation in the next few days, but there may have been short-term gains for Obama as a result of the current economic problems," added Holland.

When factored in, the new CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls are behind a shift in the CNN Electoral College Map. CNN is moving Minnesota, and its 10 electoral votes, from toss up to lean Obama. Missouri, with 11 electoral votes up for grabs, is shifting from lean McCain to toss up. With those moves, CNN estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win states with 250 electoral votes and McCain states with 189 electoral votes, with 99 electoral votes in states still up for grabs. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to win the White House. Obama has a 61 electoral vote advantage over McCain, up from a 40 point lead in our previous electoral map.

The poll also expanded to include three third party candidates, Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. Except for a 3 percent showing by Nader in Florida and a 4 percent showing by Nader in Nevada, no one registered more than two percent in any survey.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted September 28-30, with 940 registered voters and 770 likely votes in Florida, 929 registered voters and 849 likely voters in Minnesota, 951 registered voters and 744 likely voters in Missouri, 924 registered voters and 684 likely voters in Nevada, and 925 registered voters and 684 likely voters in Virginia all questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points in Florida, Minnesota and Missouri, and 4 percentage points in Nevada and Virginia.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • CNN Polls • Florida • John McCain • Minnesota • Missouri • Nevada • Virginia
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Nom Deplume

    Nifty60, seen MSNBC lately? It is basically the DNC's commuications office. And don't get me going on Rather, or the twerp from the Times that came on Letterman and flipped off Cheney and Bush. Yeah, unbiased reporting, brought to you from the liberal bastions in Boston, Philadephia, and NYC.

    Don't like it, don't watch it, and don't come to my farm looking for food when Obamanomics fails as miserably as it is in Venezuela right now.

    October 1, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Proud to be American

    We must remember the real poll on November 4th.... rock the vote and get rid of the GOP.... we all now see that GOP means:
    G = Good
    O = Old boy
    P = Party

    America is for all not the selected few..... "Rich Folks" it is for the 90% of us making >250K a year

    Obama and Biden - the change America can not do without!

    October 1, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. jt

    thanks God, finally people are seeing through this, 8 years of bad policies are really enough, something is always better than nothing...

    October 1, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. Susan

    Blue baby, blue and blue now!!!!

    October 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. Yes, We Really Can

    I guess so, anybody with half a brain would vote for the Obama ticket. After watching Sarah for the last two or three days, I'm ready to vote now. I wish they'd open the polls tonight, forget the debates, let's go.

    God bless you Beau Biden, come back safe.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  6. Yes, We Really Can

    "Aint no stoppin' us now, we're on the move..."

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  7. Joe in Kentucky

    Let's have some fun and send more donations to Obama. Then watch MCain try to scramble all over the country to battle Obama in all these states – like trying to stop the tide from coming in to the beach.

    October 1, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Yvonne, CA

    Okay, we have 33 more days to go. Just 33 more days until we can really make a difference and we will soon prevail. Our country is counting on us.

    We will take our country back and we will do the best we can to change all the hateful policies of the Bush Administration.

    October 1, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  9. Sandra

    Hard to believe people are so easily swayed back and forth. Doesn't matter what they do or say, or how polished they are with their speeches. Too many people cast their vote based on empty promises. It's all about basic principles..........either you like more taxes on everything or you don't!!

    October 1, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. Im in North Carolina ( Now a swing state )

    To all Obama supporters, Independents, and Leaning Republicans. Be on notice for a bombshell, "October Surprise". Do not let it falter you. Stay strong. We only have 1 month to go, then we can take a deep breathe, and enjoy Clinton-esque utopia.

    October 1, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. Jack

    The suggestion that Sarah's "Troopergate probe" is being run by the Obama campaign is just way too ridiculous!

    This probe was started before John McCain selected her and she welcomed the probe but, now with those outside the Alaska Inner Circle watching, Sarah wants to go hide.

    October 1, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Leslie, ME

    John McCain doesn't even know how many homes he owns. Do you think he is really going to solve our economic problems? Really. He is not, and the reason he won't is because he doesn't think there is a problem. The circles that he travels in are light years away from the average person.

    Sure, he gives bar-b-ques for reporters, but that's just because he wants favorable press. Otherwise they are considered pawns in his game of life.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. angie in dallas 28

    to Italy, --if you are from italy, you have NO say...
    save your time and use it to better your grammar.

    October 1, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Natalie, MD

    Barbara Walters asked Elizabeth Hecklehoff why she thought Sarah Palin would make a good president. Elizabeth immediately asked her why she thought Barack would make a good president, like an eight year old.

    The view is hillarious with Elizabeth. She is such a clown.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. aki

    Time for truth about Obama, enough media cover up!

    October 1, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. Mike, DC

    I hope the race won't be close so that there won't be any dispute as to whether or not the winner wins. I also hope the winner is Barack Obama.

    October 1, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. 107 yr old white woman

    I'm really glad to see Bill Clinton back on the trail supporting Obama. Obama has been working his but off trying to get votes. He could still use help from the "Big Dogs" who haven't done too much to help him out. Obama has been carrying his own weight but some of the other leaders need to step it up now.

    Save that hamburger for next week. Donate five dollar to the Obama campaign today!

    October 1, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. our future our children our lives

    Dear Senator Obama
    many many people are behind you, we have hope for our children, for their children, for ourselves,

    this week in my block alone, 6 new signs in different front yards with your Name on it, were placed, more and more people realize that tehre are people that truly love this country no matter their race, their skin color, their name..

    you keep inspiring so many people, so many from little kids to the oldest .........

    may you and the senators, workers around you be guided by the ideals that guided our founding fathers who wanted a better america for us , not just democrats not just republicans, not just independents, but for ALL AMERICANS

    we need you voice and you in the white house more than ever

    Obama Biden 2008,2012,

    October 1, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. shirley crockett las vegas

    i just got a email stating that the mcain campain sending absentee ballot application to registered democrates or people who have donated to the obama campain which is dilberately misleading people and it has postage-paid,retuyrn address that are for election clerks out of state. people votes will end up not counting and pedople could ne cited for election fraud saying that you already voted absentee. which is only happening in swing stted if i get one i'm turning them in to the obama head quarters.

    October 1, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Lonnie, GA

    The rethugs are out in droves. They are calling on the ghost of Rev Wright (I guess it's October), and other stupid tricks. Keep your heads up America and register as many people as you can. We need to take our country back, now more than ever.

    McCain's rantings about reform is nothing more than a ploy to make people believe he's a changed man. Well, he's not. He's the same man who cheated on his wife, left his kids and used everyone to get to where he is today. Let's not reward him. He says he cares about this country, but do you really think he cares? Anyone who would leave the country in the hands of Sarah Palin, does not care about this country.

    McCain cares about himself. His mother raised him stupidly, and he shouldn't be rewarded–at all.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Devon Spencer

    Just wait until the VP, and the two remaining presidential debates.

    Obama-Biden '08

    October 1, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. mitch

    barack has moral values. palin wears baby polar bear hat in alaska.

    October 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. Larry

    If you don't think the Obama tax increases are going to be payed by you,your'e dumb.The companies are going to add it to your price,every thing you buy!!!

    October 1, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. Ronnie in Gregory, TX

    I'm waiting for Texas to turn BLUE and for the lights to come on in people's heads in my home state. Why the dickens is our state doing still red? That is utterly ridiculous!!

    October 1, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. A NATION OF WINERS for OBAMA

    AMERICANS ARE SLOW TO SUSPECT

    DISHONESTY & DISHONOR, BUT LORD

    HELP YOU WHEN WE DO. BUSH & MCGREEDY

    WILL NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF THIS

    NATION BE CONSIDERED HONORABLE MEN.

    October 1, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
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