(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.
Tim in Texas – You are a bigot.
GOBAMA! This is great news. I love it.
Tim in Texas should only watch Fox News so he won't get "biased" journalism. HA
It's the Death of Fascism in America! The Geezer and Gidget wallowed in the mud and are going to get their just rewards.
Finally, our long national nightmare is over!
It's an ad Tim, feel free to buy McCain one by donating to him (unless he uses the money on clothing and whatnot)
You can blame the complete ineptitude on McCain for not advertising on all the 24-hour networks.
THAT INFOMERCIAL LAT NIGHT WAS JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER INFOMERCIAL I HAVE AVER SEEN.. JUST SELLING JUNK AND SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT WORK AFTER YOU BUY IT.. HOPEFULLY AMERICANS WON'T..
IM GLAD THAT CNN AND ABC DID NOT AIR THAT GARBAGE..
I AM A DEMOCRAT WHO FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE WILL VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN AND IM PROUD TO SAY I SUPPORT JOHN MCCAIN!!
CLINTON DEMOCRATS FOR MCCAIN!!
GOOD OF COUNTRY OVER GOOD OF PARTY...
November 5th can't get here fast enough. Im tired of seeing McDesperate and Failin out there trying to do evertthing they can to scare voters. I hope Obama wins in a landslide
Why doesn't CNN review the editorials running totals? It is very interesting that the McCain campaign can claim Obama is a terrorist, a solcialist, enemy of Isreal, and unprepared when the eidrial boards, which split basically 50-50 in 2004 and historically have favored the GOP can be 222-104 for Obama and with a circulation of 21 million to 7 million.
I mean, over 40 have swiched from Bush 04 to Obama 08 and only 4 (in former confederate states) swiched Kerry to McCain.
Ooooo, no shortage of haters and deniers here this morning. Instead of grousing, why not spread the word on why McCain should be elected over Obama?
I guess it's easier to shoot the messenger and grumble than it is to defend McCain/Palin. I get it.
I guess Obama is the LESSER of the TWO EVILS! Or the common saying: "In the socety where the blinds are… the an eye blind is king!" I am feeling sorry for the American where only MONEY can buy presidency
If i understand you very well,GWB bought the presidency twice.Or do i
need to explain?Common,Vic,own up.Your candidate just can't match the organisational skill of the next president.If you don't want to be in a
critical health condition on Nov.5th,get used to it:PRESIDENT OBAMA.
AGI vs Taxable Income!
Educate yourselves liberals!
DO THE MATH!
See what hate, fear, division, scorched earth and lies bring? McCain used to be an honorable and respected man, he should be ashamed of himself. Obama supporters, keep working like you're 20 points behind!
I think cnn is the best, I watch your news all the time,I believe you are very fair to both obama & mc cain. Keep up the good workl And oh by the way i am whole heartly for obama.
John McCain and Sarah Palin have a lot of nerve trying to connect
Barack Obama to Rashid Khalidi. Here is McCain's connection:
During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.
A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, "West Bank"). The grants totaled more
OK, so I'm not rich enough to be a Republican, and not dumb enough to be a Democrat. We need to rid ourselves of these pollitical parties, as George Washington advised. With the 2 party system, there is only room for the extremes, while most people are somewhere in the middle.
We need an America of the PEOPLE, with people who are responsible for themselves and their own actions. WE DON"T NEED THE GOVT. TO WIPE OUR BUTTS FOR US OR PROTECT US FROM OURSELVES.
I guess another vote for the Libertarians in in order just as another message.
America – you do not know how lucky you are. . .
Sen. Obama is admired and respected across this world we all live in. The world has not been this excited since Nelson Mandela was released and transformed this country.
And yes, he was called every name under the sun by a lot of right wing nuts.
Sen. Obama, this South African wishes you the best for the future and look forward to you being a responsible, level-headed, smart, diplomatic (which America has been lacking for the last 8 years) president of the US of A.
I hope that every registered voter gets off their backside's and goes to VOTE!
McCain was a lousy choice: Palin was a disastrous one....
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hence, Obama's infomercial. What a waste of money. In a nation where the money seems to have disappeared, where does HE get all of this money? Well, it's wasted anyway because he'sa loser in the presidential election.
the silent majority will finally speak on tuesday..........that represents at leat 5-6 points...
the msm will look very foolish on tuesday night
MARK MY WORDS MCCAIN WILL WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As a Psychiatric Nurse, I see distrubing behavior exhibited by McCain. One moment he is grinning, the next he flys off the handle and almost spits malicious statements. His body language and facial expressions give him away even when he has his mouth under control. I know how long he spent in a prison cell , under torture, and I cannot believe this man does not have risidual mental health issues. When he is pressed by the media, his stress is evident and he does not react well. I admire his service to the country, but I don't want him as the President when we are in a time in history which requires strong, steady temperment and strategy.
Ok, Obamabots. Celebrate all you want. Once America sees all the broken promises, all the USDA Bull offered up, and see the real BHO at work, he will be one and done in 2012. If he survives that long without getting impeached.
I wish McCain would be a true American hero and accept defeat with dignity, but I'm afraid the republicans will do everything they can to steal this election. We must all vote and watch carefully to see that this is done in a just and legal way. Palin is the Anti-Christ – do not trust her or her minions!
To Tim in Texas....... that "link" at the top of the page is called an advertisement........... Im sure that if McCain offered to buy an ad on this page CNN would be more than happy to put it there...
Anyone who watched last night half-hour Obama campaign program who is an undecided voter should today firmly support him! This was, without a doubt, one of the MOST inspiring campaign ads I've ever watched! He MUST be our next President if this nation hopes to enjoy success again!!
I don't have an idea about the economy but I know how to fight. I have fought all my life and I have scars to prove it. I will continue the fight in Iraq until we take it as the 51st state of the US. I have fought Obama and I have scars to prove it, my friends. I will give the richest people a tax break. No health insurance. I shall continue with Bush's policies 90% in line with the time I have voted with him. The exception will be that Sarah Palin will get a clothing allowance of only US$ 150000 per month and a make up allowance of US$22,000 per week from the government. She will also get a jet to take her kids to school. I have nothing else to offer you. Please offer me youe vote and elect me as your President.
I think you're doing a great job of covering the election! Kudos CNN =)