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. Veterans 4 Obama

    Yahoo....go Obama!

    Get ready Alaska we are sending Sarah back to you, I'm feeling for you.

    I really hope she remembered to put in for her Moose Permit, because she is going to have plenty of time to hunt come November 5th!

    October 1, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. The beatings will continue until morale improves

    Hey, how did all of this polling work out for you in 2004? Wasn't John Kerry up?

    So how did that work out for you?

    Oh, that's right, the election was "stolen." Somehow, some eeeeeevil Republican managed to craftily steal 10 Million votes into the Bush corner. Is that what you tell yourself when you're curled up at night in your Obama pajamas?

    October 1, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. v.ananthan

    I SEE THAT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE DESCRIBING OBAMA AS A
    "SAVIOUR ".....

    THAT IS NOT A GOOD SIGN.

    October 1, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Brock Landers

    Ive watched gwen Ifil for years and though her leanings are democratic, she is 100% professional. i have full confidence she can moderate a debate with total impartiality.

    for me, IM 100% FOR OBAMA!!!

    O-BAMA!!! O-BAMA!!! O-BAMA!!!!

    October 1, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Mike In Albany

    God Bless America!!!

    Why don't all you nasty crybaby Repugs just get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Road To Hell Is Paved With republicans

    October 1, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Arkansas Undertaker

    Im glad he is gaining but I am not taking this gain for granted. I think the Rethuglicans have an October surprise up their sleeve.

    October 1, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Dexter in Houston TX

    You know, I am very happy for Senator Obama. Anyone who can overshadow O.J. Simspon Lindsay Lohan and Brittney Spears in the media has my vote!
    Dx

    October 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. BatCat05

    Maybe Gov. Palin can get Geraldine Ferraro to stand in for her in tomorrow's debate . Geraldine would probably do a better job and she doesn't like Obama.

    October 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Rick

    Obama is the most corrupt politician ever to run for president. If he wins we are in serious, serious trouble.

    October 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. laughing all the way to a democratic victory

    This is just the start. America may finally be waking up and getting disgusted with the way the repulican party is running the country into the ground and dividing it like we have never seen before. They are learning just how out of touch McCain really is with the American people. He cannot relate at all. From all the McMansions, to the many cars, to the maids and butler's. You don't think Cindy does the laundry. Throw in preacher Palin and you have what in other countries start wars. A leader totally out of touch with it's populace, and a religious evangelical sidekick trying to take the rights away from millions of Americans by using religion. These are the two most inept both morally and socially I have seen in a long time.

    October 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Nifty 60, female and white

    I am still amazed how republicans can call the media biased. There is no more biased network than FOX news. I actually saw and heard Billo (the clown) O'reilley tell a catholic priest that there is no rascism in this country. Heard it with my own ears. If the media comes across as biased it's because the report the truth and the people that don't want to agree with it lable it biased when in fact it is nothing more than racism. If Senator Obama was white he would be elected president unopposed. No person in their right mind would vote for McWack and Moose Barbie after the economic crises their party has forced on us. A crises we will pay for until infinity and yet they are still willing to vote for 4 more years. UNBELIEVABLE !!!! Having said that, I don't think it's actually unbelievable, they are with the democrats on this one but their hatred is bigger than their love for this country. I know there are enough voters that will prevent racism to rule this country.

    OBAMA '08

    October 1, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Vote!Vote

    VOTE! VOTE

    Rain, Sun, Snow, Storm weather, long lines...it does not matter, each and every vote is crucial and this election is very crucial for each one of us...Please to all the democrates, get your a..to the poling booths.

    October 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. gEnie

    Obama/Biden, a better leadership we need now .........and yes they can make a better judgement in this country with their own judgement.

    October 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Becky CA

    Great news. I am disappointed with the McCain campaign on bringing up Gwen Ifill's qualifications. She has moderated previous VP debates and done a good job. I also watch her show on PBS on friday nights and she is always smart and well informed. Are we saying Jim Lehrer was partial to McCain because they are both white? No, that would be absurd. Same goes for Brokaw. I believe the moderators will do a good job.

    October 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. lopez

    I feel like leaving Texas. How in the world can McCain be leading (according to the CNN electoral election map) by more than 50% to Obama's 30%. Am I living in a state of morons? Just because the current is from Texas we're all brainwashed or what?? Come on, Texas!! Wake up!! Don't be suspicious of smart–be suspicious of dumb!!

    October 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Kamau-Kenyan

    Obama Kenyans loves youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

    October 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. lopez

    Texas must be full of liars because surely McCain is not leading in my state by the margin of 50+%. I just cannot believe my state is that stupid!

    October 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Cuban-mama-4-OBAMA

    NO ONE IS DESCRIBING SEN. OBAMA AS SAVIOUR!

    ITS INSULTING TO EVERY CHRISTIAN TO SUGGESTS A SAVIOUR OR MESSIAH OTHER THAN............CHRIST JESUS!

    YOU FAR-RIGHT-NUTS THAT MAKE THESE COMMENTS NEED TO KNOW THAT ITS EXACTLY THESE MEAN ATTACKS AND COMMENTS THAT HAVE SO MANY OF US, INDEPENDENTS, VOTING AGAINST.......THE RIGHT-WING-HATE-AND-FEAR-MONGERS!

    October 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Matt

    Oh goodness, typical liberals, typical article that you would see on certain media websites. All the left-liberal-nutjob articles always say that 'Obama is gaining' or 'Obama wins debate'. It's time for some straight-talk and voting McCain is the only way to get it in Washington. He's a maverick, and he has made a great choice in Governor Palin as a running-mate. The McCain/Palin duo would be one of the best combos EVER in Washington. WAKE UP, people... start thinking about how the media tells you to vote liberal everytime. Think about your two options hard... and vote MCCAIN/PALIN 2008!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. 4 Obama

    BILL CLINTON + McCAIN must be very very worried at this wind of change!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Mike

    Great news!

    But Obama/Biden supporters, do not let up for one minute! We need to keep working as hard as we can to get every single vote we can get. You know that as the republicans increasingly feel that they are getting backed into a corner, the worst of the Karl Rove campaign smut will be heading our way. Be prepared for it, and keep contributing effort and dollars, as you can, to this campaign. Your help has never been as important as it is now!

    October 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. the knightingale who sings in berkley square

    OBama 08!!!!!!!!!!

    No more of fascism from the right wing, no McCain, No Palin!

    October 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. lopez

    Be glad you don't live in TX where McCain is leading...I'm so ashamed!!

    October 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. History Repating

    hmmh..This topic reminds me of the late primaries.!.The momentum is back .! Or did it take a certain debate for some to see the same light the germans came to witness ?

    These polls are made to soften up the voters just like in 2004.
    Dems wont drop their guard this time.Let see what the medias say in 4 weeks!
    WASP
    0/B '08

    October 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. April Garlow

    More corrupt tactics by Obama supportersThe fact that Gwen Ifll stands to make millions from her book if Obama wins the presidency seems very unethical.She should have the sense to step down as moderator for the debate.Even with the best intentions she could subconciously sabotage the Republican candidate.Money makes people do all kinds of things.I feel it was either corruption or irresponsibility by the Presidential Debate Committee, to allow this to get to this point, and perhaps allow it to slip through under the radar.

    October 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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