(CNN) - If Barack Obama is betting on Nevada, he may find a pleasant payoff. A new poll suggests that the Democratic presidential candidate is widening his lead there.
That's contributing to an increase in territory for Obama in CNN's Electoral College Map. The map estimates what would occur if the election were held today, by reviewing state polls, voting trends, campaign visits and advertising.
In the Nevada survey - one of five CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation state polls released Thursday morning - 52 percent of likely voters say Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing John McCain. That seven-point lead is up from a five-point advantage Obama held in a poll taken one week ago.
Nevada narrowly voted for George W. Bush in the last two presidential contests.
"Obama is racking up support among blue collar voters in Nevada," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Two weeks ago, he had a six-point lead among people with no college degree. Now he has a 23-point lead over McCain among that group. If the unions are making a big push for Obama in Nevada, it seems to be working."
The new numbers in Nevada, along with similar findings from other new polls in the state, are factors that led CNN to move Nevada and its five electoral votes from a "toss-up" state to "lean Obama" in its new Electoral College Map.
With that change, CNN estimates that if the election were held today, Obama would win 291 electoral votes compared with 163 for McCain; another 84 electoral votes are up for grabs.
A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
On Wednesday, CNN switched Colorado and its nine electoral votes from "toss up" to "lean Obama," thanks to a number of new polls, including a CNN/Time/ORC poll that suggests Obama has an eight-point lead in Colorado.
CNN also changed Indiana, which has 11 electoral votes, from "lean McCain" to "toss up." A new CNN Poll of Polls suggests McCain holds a two-point lead over Obama in Indiana, which hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1964.
The Poll of Polls is an average of the latest state surveys.
The state of Washington was also moved from "lean Obama" to "safe Obama," though that move doesn't change the electoral count.
With the prospect of losing some of the states that President Bush won four years ago, McCain, R-Arizona, has his eyes on Pennsylvania and its 21 electoral votes.
McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and surrogates are spending a lot of time campaigning in the state. McCain hopes to become the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since 1988.
A new poll, however, suggests that McCain's efforts may not be paying off.
Fifty-five percent of likely voters in Pennsylvania say they are backing Senator Obama, D-Illinois, with 43 percent supporting McCain. That 12-point lead for Obama is up from a nine-point advantage he held in CNN's last poll in the state, conducted last month.
"Pennsylvania is the keystone to McCain's electoral college strategy, but he faces a tough task," said Holland. "Obama has an edge in Philadelphia, of course, but also in the Philly suburbs, and he's ahead by six points in the western part of the state."
Another state McCain needs to keep in the Republican camp is Ohio, where 20 electoral votes are up for grabs. The new poll indicates Obama holds a small four-point lead, 51 percent to 47 percent. Both campaigns are spending a lot of time and money in Ohio in this last week before the election.
It's a simliar story in North Carolina, which last voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 1976, when Jimmy Carter was running. A new poll suggests Obama has a six-point lead over McCain, 52 percent to 46 percent.
Obama was up by four points in our last poll, conducted last week.
"Other polls are showing North Carolina is essentially tied, but our poll shows Obama picking up support among younger voters and the blue-collar segment. Those are two reasons the race in North Carolina has gone from a 49-49 tie in early October to a 52-46 edge for Obama, at least in our results," Holland said.
The poll indicates McCain holds a small lead in his home state of Arizona - 53 percent to 46 percent. Another poll released this week suggests the race is closer in Arizona, which McCain has represented in Congress for 26 years.
The poll was also expanded to include the major third party candidates, Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney.
None of them are polling over 3 percent in any of the states surveyed, and none seem to be a factor in the outcome of the results in those five states - other than Ohio, where Nader's 3 percent showing could have an impact.
The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Tuesday. It surveyed 807 likely voters in Arizona, 684 likely voters in Nevada, 667 likely voters in North Carolina, 779 likely voters in Ohio, and 768 likely voters in Pennsylvania.
The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points in Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania and plus or minus 4 percentage points in Nevada and North Carolina.
Senator Obama has been called every name in the book, has had people threaten his life, had almost the entire American population question his faith, etc., etc., etc.,
Whether anyone is willing to admit it or not, this Presidential race will likely go down in history as one of the nastiest in American politics.
The only tangable thing Senator Obama had going for him (besides his intellect and an excellent campaign staff) was the extra money little people like me were willing to donate to the campaign.
He needed every penny of it to fight the double standards that still exist in this country. Those of us who donated know that without the extra money for additional adds and staffers for the ground game, the polls would not be where they are.
When you are fighting for the chance to get the United States back on track and you just happen to be African American you have to pull out all the stops.
McCain is such a liar and Palin has the audacity to point fingers when she has done nothing but abuse her power. McCain is still harping on the fact that Obama has raised more money and he is still whining at this late date. The only reason he didn't raise money on the internet is because he doesn't know how to even use a computer! That's the only thing he couldn't copy from Obama!
FINALLY voters are using common sense, and voting for a man of intelligence and foresight. We've had enough stupidity in the White House.
it will be hilarious if this thing turns and McCain wins. I expect it is going to be a lot closer than Obama Networks like CNN / MSNBC are trumpeting. It will definitely show the media bias. And if McCain were to win, the spontaneous combustion of all the libs will be just hilarious.
In the meantime – as a 250k+ wage earner – I have already found $30K in in tax management areas (legal / legit) to offset what The Socialist is planning to steal from me. It's like when gas went up to $4 – you don't look at all of the angles to use to save until you are pushed to a certain level.
What a country!!!!
um da man......
well, look at it realistically.... a lot of the extremist out there can't stand the fact that a black man (actually, a bi-racial) man may infact be the Next President of the United States. He's offering a change and for the ignorant prejudice people out there ... that is just a little too much for them to stomach.... GO OBAMA GO!!!!!!!!
Obama brings hope and optimism to not only to us but to the entire world. He will be a great president that every american can be proud of.
McCain and Palin should go riding into the sunset, thats about all they both agree on.
Jordan, get a life. You'll be better off under Obama than you are now. You don't have to like him, you just have to be honest with yourself. He's the better deal by far! Ask Bill Clinton, the last great president who led the country to prosperity!
I can't stand Mccain and Palin with their negative attacks. They are desperate and it shows! Any idiot who supports Gop with all their corruption, deserves to lose their fortunes and house!
Obama, I believe in and I know he will save the United States from it's downfall.
These numbers continue to provide hope that the American people have finally woken up to what the Republican party and it's shills have done to our country.
OBAMA / BIDEN 08
Don't let the lines scare you, or the threats deter you. Make your voice heard. Obama will close this deal, because he is simply the better choice to lead this country. He will be president for all of us, even the idiots who believe the lies.
If Obama is elected, within a week the DOW will drop 1000 points. It will bottom out at 7500. That's only IF he's elected.
Just a warning. Don't say I didn't tell you you so.
It's been fun to watch the McPalin campaign – like a slowmo train wreck. You know it's coming, you know it's going to be ugly, but you just can't turn away!
I see Exxon made another 15M, you all better run out and vote for McCain so he can give them more tax breaks, they're a hurten.
Keep poking fun, Republicans, while your basement is flooding…
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
I wonder who this wonderful American would vote for.
After the 30 minute infomercial I realized he was right. I do want that Ronco knife set! Great job!
I want the good life of the 90's back. I want Barack Obama as President. How can some people not see through the fake talk and the fake smiles McCain is displaying. I cannot stand watching him talking or holding speeches at his rallies.
I am surprised McCain brought up the palestinian American Khalid, Obama went to a dinner Khalid attended.
McCain was the chairman of a group that gave half a million dollars to Khalid so lets see Obama ate with this guy McCain funded this guy's radical activities, are you kidding me Mr McCain
Can any white american tell me why is it that you hate black people? I don't understand this. Barack Obama is mixed. His mother is white and his dad is black. This is the time now that we have merged. We have someone that is bringing us together finally. My father was mixed. My Grandmother was black, and my Grandfather was white. I have a half Aunt and Uncle that is fully white that I have never met. My parents are now deceased. I have always wished that I could meet them, but I never did. Because of the prejudice of the south. I always felt that they never wanted me. I know where they live and their names. I truly wish that one day we can all come together and love each other like GOD has intended for us to do.
VOTE OBAMA help bring respect and understanding back into America.
If CNN was catering to Obama so much as you say, why
did it conduct an interview with John McCain last night allowing him to make more verbal attacks but refused to
allow an interview for Obama at a later time before the election? So much for your pro- Obama theory. All you have to do is listen to CNN for a couple of hours and you can pretty much tell who they really promote.
I think the margin of error in the polls this year are a little understated. There will be many surprises favoring Obama this year. I think the heart and will of the people are underestimated.
Obama/Biden for the next 8 Years!
Republican's no doubt love America, they just hate half the people in it. Ladies and Gentleman the President of the United States Barack Obama.
"Obama is bad"
Is that you Sarah Palin?