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. ONE LESS McCain VOTER

    Check the polls numbers "AFTER" Thursday night's VP debate.

    October 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Darcey (dem from OK)

    I can't even express how happy this makes me feel. I know we've still a ways to go, and we shouldn't count chickens before they hatch, but I'm feeling such enthusiasm because of the polls.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!
    YES WE CAN!

    October 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Texas Chic NOT voting for Va-jay-jay...

    The only problem is that Hurricane McCain will cause destruction and mayhem and there isn't enough money to fund repairs...

    October 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. CW in PSL

    Little by little we are going to turn the country BLUE!

    Go Obama!

    October 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. reggie

    america is waking up. after the debate tomorrow i think we will see what a big mistake john mccain made picking sarah palin .LETS ROLL AMERICA. OBAMA/BIDEN

    October 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Nimi from NY

    Stop all these polling thing. It's making me duzzy. I am an Obama supporter but this polling thing is making me crazy. It comes up like every minute with different results that I don't know what to make of it. I am glad he's doing well but I hope the media is not hyping these numbers to slow our momentum. Obama supporters please don't slow down. Keep the momentum going in to Nov 4.

    October 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Independent

    John McCain needs another terrorist attack if he hopes to win.

    The economy is the big issue and it is obvious to everyone that he does not have command of it.

    McCain's stunts and gimmicks are starting to wear thin.

    I expect McCain to attack Obama's character in the coming days, but I think people will see him as desperate and it will probably backfire.

    October 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. tulsa

    Can't wait to see the republican posts come up.... Should be fun to see how Scott L, Rusty, Molly, etc. try to spin THIS.

    Big Bad Republicans... HA!

    Here's a flash; WE ARE TIRED OF YOU IDIOTS. YOU SOLD THIS COUNTRY DOWN THE RIVER AND WE ARE GOING TO TAKE HER BACK.

    October 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Veteran for Obama

    We are registering new voters in record numbers. Yes we can and yes we will!!!

    Obama/Biden 08!!!

    October 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. ANGIE

    Be very careful senator obama aint no telling what mccain will do do remember karl rove and the whole bush gang is on his campaign mcbush is going to become very angry CAREFUL WATCH THE LIES AND SPIN NOW OBAMA SUPPORTERS YOU AINT SEEN NOTHING YET OUT OF MCBUSH!

    October 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. Kaye- Jacksonville FL

    Florida here....Obama will take the sunshine state....no doubt. I am only one lone volunteer among literally thousands that will work day and night to give him our 27 electoral votes. A McCain-Palin administration would bring NO good to anyone in this country, except the special interests and the wealthy – more of the same!

    FLORIDA FOR OBAMA-BIDEN – YES WE CAN – YES WE WILL...

    October 1, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Glenn in California

    Uh oh. This doesn't bode well for Obama, as McLame will now be calling on the Tonya Harding playbook since the Karl Rove playbook didn't work out. Dirty tricks over the next month will be the norm as McSame's sold his soul and abandoned his morals and values to win this election. I really use to respect him and now feel sorry for how pathetic he's become.

    Just say NO to Bush 44.

    October 1, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Judy

    Obama is ahead because people can believe him. He wisely thinks and asks pertinent questions before blindly surging ahead and making a fool of himself like John McCain. John McCain is desperately trying to distance himself from Bush and his mess by inventing a new political party! You can put lipstick on a Maverick but it is still a Republican. People are not stupid!!

    October 1, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Never Barak Obama (PUMA)

    Socialism a/k/a Barak Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Howard DEan will destroy our economy.

    October 1, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Wait until after the VP debate and the margin will grow even larger!!!

    October 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Patrick

    No doubt McCain is in BIG trouble. Keep fighting DEMS. The nightmare is almost over.. KEEP FIGHTING. Registar!

    October 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Bob Indianapolis IN

    WE need to make this happen in a big way like 2006, so it can't be stolen through vote caging and Diebold "glitches."

    October 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Avembe

    Please people do not trust the polls!!!do not trust the polls
    Please people polls mean nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Dutch-VA

    Please don't refer to Virginia as a battleground state. Virginia is not John McCain country as his billboards suggest. He is in for a rude awakening 11/4/08.

    VIRGINIA WILL BE BLUE

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    October 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Joseph Adewole

    I wonder why John McCain is still in his Party; seeing all the happenings all over the places....He will be welcomed to The Dems.......Let this be the greatest shock the century please.

    October 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Michael Ray Thompson

    Wow, I can't believe it. Barak Obama is going to be our next President. Come on pollsters. Obama is a liberal black. He has about as much opportunity tio become our next President as a man in the Moon.

    October 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  22. Republicans Hate America

    here we go people the president will be out now announcing a major terrorist attack on US soil was thwarted.

    October 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. N.S of Huntsville, Al

    I'm a Obama fan, however I don't care about the polls, just make sure that all the voting places are ready. That would be the best CNN news reported. Make sure that all the polling places are ready and stop all the trickery. Nov 4th is going to feel like Halloween, its going to be so much trickery there will be a rise of diabetes.

    In Alabama the gov. stop inmates from registering to vote. The law in Al is that convicted felons can vote as long as they haven't committed a violent crime it was on the news. The NAACP is appealing this to see why there stoping peoples right to vote. So people check the rules register and if your not sure let them tell you no. But make sure you register! And find out you rights.

    October 1, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. I said Thanks, but No Thanks to another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    baby mama: No it's a death sentence to illiterate racists, like you.

    Obama-Biden 08: Stop the racists in their white muslin sheets.

    October 1, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Italy

    To all of you Obama suppoters , if he is a head it is only a dream, weit November I will vote McCaine , why Obama dont have experience and right now we need a man who leed America not DisneyLand

    October 1, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12