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. Jay Moyer

    Looks encouraging doesn't it?
    Is it that none of us seem to remember the Diebold Black Box e-machines with their vote dropping script in 33 states? Is it that none of us seem to be aware that the Repugnantcans are busy in the Swing States and many others fixing the number of voters with Voter Purge efforts, INVALIDATING REGISTRATIONS??
    They intend to make it look like a Horse Race all the way to a photo Finish! Remember how none of us could believe that King George beat Kerry in Ohio, then found out that the deck was stacked, stacked, stacked???
    GET READY TO DUMP ALL THE TEA IN THE POTOMAC!

    October 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  2. Jordan - San Marcos TX

    In fairness there hasn't been a poll taken in Texas since the Republican post-convention bounce. Taken today, a poll would probably show McCain's lead here back down to 9 or 10...just a guess. It's still unacceptable to me that so many people in my home state would be blind to what is going on. Change is coming though...even in Texas...just wait about a decade and it'll be a swing state again.

    October 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Shawn - GA

    Obama stood in front of the senate and gave the EXACT same speech he has been giving at campaign stops. This is pathetic, why are there so many people falling for his antics? I can put a speaker inside one of my shirts and put a jacket and pants with it, then speak through a microphone the very best words ever heard. In the end all you have is an empty suit with someone else’s words spoken with style coming from a speaker.

    October 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. the knightingale who sings in berkley square

    I can't wait for this race to be over,so I go back to not watching politics anymore. I used to hate this topic.

    October 1, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. DB - Colorado

    And the winner is...OBAMA!!!

    People are finally becoming concerned about the 'real' things that matter; economy, jobs, keeping their homes, healthcare, national security, etc and not fear of terrorists behind every bush (no pun intended).

    GO OBAMA!!! CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Kevin from Seattle

    I agree 100% with you Bruce, we can't get lax. We need to keep doing is working for us and do it 100 times better. Keep the momentum going. Keep up the good work everyone and make your donations as well!! Go Obama!!

    October 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Maureen / Newman, California

    Be prepared for more slimeball tactics from McCain and Palin. Losers in every sense of the word.

    October 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. Sarah Bell

    The most patriotic thing McCain can do now for his country is vote for Barack Obama. It's unpatriotic for him to continue to run with Sarah Palin on his ticket. The women is not smarter then a 5th grader. I wish I could debate her. Biden get's all the fun. Join WASP now!!! WomenAgainstSarahPalin

    October 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Missouri Mom

    Missouri for Obama!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. tennisguypitt

    This is great news! But the only poll that matters is 11/4.

    Don't get too excited yet, fellow Obama supporters.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 1, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Hispanic Female Republican

    Go McCain/Palin '08!!!

    Obama will never get my vote!

    Wake up people, he is a socialist! That concept will destroy America!

    October 1, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  12. NJ DEM

    If McCain and Palin win the election, then I'm packing my bags. If Palin becomes President for whatever reason, I'm leaving the country. OOOHHH WAIT!!!!

    That will never happen. Obama and Biden will be the next President and Vice-President of this country and restore our nation and our reputation to other countries.

    For those that wished Hillary was selected as V-P; she should have thought about that before she started her negative attacks. I really like her, but she relied too much on her name as the ticket for winning the Primary.

    October 1, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  13. Christina

    Today is a HAPPY, HAPPY day!!!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  14. Jack

    Well despite racism being alive and well in America enough ordinary people see that four years of McCain/Palen is a continuation of the past eight years and we can't afford that.

    I see the smug look on the republican congressional leaders faces and wonder how working people can look at them and still vote republican?

    I hear the same comments coming from the republican party today that my father heard from Herbert Hoover and his republican colleagues back in 1929. Folks, do you really want a repeat of a Great Depression?

    October 1, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Phil in KC

    Very encouraging! But a lot can happen in a month....

    October 1, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  16. Ivy

    For those who say we democrats want the economy to tank...Do we look like we don't have anything to lose? I don't know about you but my family and I don't have seven houses and thirteen cars, and we work from nine to five and have to pay for college and we are barely getting by! Don't dehumanize us! We are in this mess together!

    October 1, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Glenn in California

    Dear lopez:

    Concerning your shame with the polls in Texas. Don't be ashamed. After all, it's the state that gave us the idiot we have in the White House now. In another month, lord willing, we'll all be redeemed.

    Just say NO to Bush 44.

    October 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Tulsa

    I think the people are waking up in this country, not only about the economy but I think the thing that is hurting McCain now more than anything is his running mate Palin........after the few interviews she has had and how poorly she has done in them, she has shown us that she is not VP material.
    Now the McCain campaign is keeping her on a ball and chain and keeping her out of the media, not letting the people of this country see her for who she really is. Letting her out there only when they want to put her out there and to say only what they have told her what to say. , she is the one dragging him down in the polls, but after all this is his VP choice and how he is Reapping what he has sown..........

    October 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Jack

    Well despite racism being alive and well in America enough ordinary people see that four years of McCain/Palen is a continuation of the past eight years and we can't afford that.

    I hear the same comments coming from the republican party today that my father heard from Herbert Hoover and his republican colleagues back in 1929. Folks, do you really want a repeat of a Great Depression?

    October 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  20. Carmen

    You TX that will not last long.

    October 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  21. Pam

    I was a Hillary supporter who now happily and proudly supports Barack Obama here in Minnesota.
    The time is now to stand up and take back the White House.
    Register to Vote if you are not already registered. Make your voice be heard. Each of us does count but we must speak up in order to be counted!

    Obama / Biden 2008

    October 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. ohio

    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Smartest guy i have ever seen after CLINTON from our government

    October 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. Remy

    Republican destroyed the stock markets and other financial systems and now ask the democrats to bailout the mess Bush/Mccain created. Dont these McCain supporters feel shame on the last 8 years of Republican rule?

    McCain is always for DEREGULATION. That deregulations let the CEOs of the big financial and other companies stole the people's money and made the companies bankrupt!

    If this simple fact cannot be understood by the Republicans or PUMAS, they are real idiots!

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. Terry

    We love you Obama !!!!!

    October 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  25. Debby

    9 hundred here 7 hundred there and not a mention what part of the state they polled. Those are not alot of people to change the map CNN. Its not even a fraction of people in each state and you have Obama clobbering McCan. Not to biased are we.

    October 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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