(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.
I strong agree with Victor. OBAMA is buying the presidency. I hope the American people are not stupid...
Polls are getting closer and you will see McCain win this election. No one wants to take a chance on Obama.
What's even more awesome is the early voting numbers so far. As of yesterday, there were 160,000 votes cast for dems in Nevada versus 90,000 for republicans. We got a 70,000 vote lead in a state that Bush won last time 418,000 to 397,000. At the pace we're going, the race will be over BEFORE election day : )
Extremely disappointed that CNN/LKL would allow McCain to have 1 hour of FREE publicity and would not allow Obama to PAT for 30 minutes of time....this is only AFTER he disrespected CNN and Mr. Larry King.....I was a loyal viewer until now!!!!!! (Just know that I'm a registered INDEPENDENT voter)
The link to McCain's website is on McCain's profile page. Obama's website is on HIS profile page. Fair, and balanced.
Please exhaust all resources before making claims of "favoritism."
I agree with Victor. In these unprecedented times of crisis, unless one has a magic wand, things are not going to improve overnight. Let us all brace ourselves for some hard times before we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mccain's bosom pals took the country to the end of abyss after being at it for the last eight years and it is time, we vote for a real change.
Who says racism is not the issue; it is the only issue. Pray tell me, how many white folks out there will consciously vote for a black African American as President?
Tim in Texas:
You are one of the dingbats who pick on Obama's middle name as though it has some kind of hidden meaning. Did it ever occur to you that Cain, the name of the evil, murdering biblical son, has a little meaning itself? Ever hear of the mark of Cain? Maybe God marked McCain's face to warn us against him. Small-minded people like you never notice the bigger picture, so I thought I'd point this out.
Hey Tim in Texas, grab you bull by the horns and hold on tight, cause Obama will be the next president of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA......ONE NATION UNDER "GOD" INDIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, INCLUDING BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA....PEACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't stop! Keep voting; keep pushing others to vote. Bush & CO. has run this country into the ground and McCain wants to keep digging. Obama has a vision and his money comes from millions of everyday people like me who send $15 or $25 when they can spare it, and not from lobbyists or corporations who could care less about the future of this country.
Congrat Barack Obama, Keep doing the good work. I watch your 30 mins airtime yesterday and I love it. You are the man we have been looking for in this country. God bless your heart. We are with you all the way to the White House.
Ok folks I dont follow
One minute I hear CNN is for OBAMA
minute later I hear CNN is for McCAIN
Folks on either side need to grow up on this one, when news organizations present a news item that may not favor your candidate, it doesnt necesarily mean they favor the other candidates...you win some you lose some , but the media can never win – not that I am rendering them blameless either
Hey, Tim in Texas-
If McCain knew what the Internet was, he could also pay to have his banner ads displayed on this site. The Obama campaign paid for it. It works both ways. Obama's campaign is just smarter, frankly. Too bad your guy can't figure it out. But it's ok – he'll have plenty of time to think things over once he bows out next week.
The Palin pick can only rally a hard core Republican base. It has alienated the independents across the country. For his first major decision, McCain failed...and the rest is history (or will be on Nov 5 th).
Go Barack. Tim, Obama obviously BOUGHT that space on the CNN website, are you that blind? It's advertising...you know, positive advertising. McCain could have his own space, but he's rather send out "Terrorist" flyers and slimy robocalls. That's why he's behind and falling...negative ads don't work any more.
VOTE VOTE VOTE!! Don't settle for this polls and relax. VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN. Yes we can
GO OBAMA / BIDEN!
SEND MCCAIN AND PALIN BACK UNDER THEIR ROCKS!
I just want to take this time to Say Thank you for being a respectful person and representing yourself and family and americans the way you have. You have my vote.
Tim in Texas:
CNN is if anything bias for McCain. They carry more stories about him, and WAY more about Palin. And she seems to have a really fan club with some of the Commentators (which is Bias AND Bull)...
Perhaps tho, Obama is really NEWS–and History in the making rather than the repetetive same old hate spewing from McCain et. al. Blather blather blather. How many times should the keep covering the same story????
The only thing that's working for the McCain campaign is the daily inciting of rage, fear and hatred among the people at his and Palin's rallies.
Wow. .. I must say I was very impressed with the 30 minute slot. ... nice clean politics at its best. ... and not once did He bash John McCain or the GOP. He simply put his platform in primetime and it was really well done. ... Now that's how this thing is suspose to work. The GOP, John and Sarah will come out complaining today but will offer no solutions, they will try to distract and tie Obama to someone or something somebody said or did, but THEY will offer no solutions. .... Sad but true. ... Wow. ...
To me the decision is pretty easy - Over the last year, my decision has gotten easier and easier as the number of reasons to vote for my candidate continue to increase - NOW,
One candidate has talked about uniting the country.
The other continues to try and attck the character of their opponent rather than talking about what the country needs.
If nothing up to this point has convinced you to vote for Obama,, maybe that should.
Tim in Texas When will you Rep. learn that hate and bashing the media is considered the politics of the past by most Americans. This is the reason why you will loose this election . Your candidate has no answer to the problems we face. The rest of the country except for you few right wingers will move on the face the challenges of the future but unlike your party, we will welcome you when you decide to catch up.
Hey Tim, it's called advertising. You see, pay attention here, Obama has A LOT MORE MONEY than McFailin' right now and he's spending it on advertising. Hit your refresh button if you'll likely see something different.