May 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
15 years ago

Polls: Clinton does better in the swing states

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new poll shows Clinton is in a better position to win some swing states than Obama."](CNN) - A new series of Quinnipiac polls out of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania appear to bolster Hillary Clinton's argument that she is better positioned than Barack Obama to beat John McCain in the crucial swing states.

According to the polls released Thursday, Hillary Clinton would beat John McCain in all three states by wide margins while Barack Obama would lose to the Arizona senator in Ohio and Florida and narrowly beat McCain in Pennsylvania.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said the poll could be a "early-warning sign" for Democrats, though cautioned early polls often are not predictive.

Specifically, the poll found Clinton tops McCain in Florida by 7 points (48 percent to 41 percent), in Ohio by 7 points (48 percent to 41 percent) and in Pennsylvania by 13 percent (50 percent to 37 percent).

Meanwhile the poll finds McCain would beat Obama by 4 points in Florida (45-41 percent) and by 4 points in Ohio (44 percent to 40 percent). Obama beats McCain in Pennsylvania, but by a narrower margin than Clinton does - he beats McCain by 6 points there, 46 percent to 40 percent.

According to Quinnipiac, the difference between Clinton and Obama's performances in the state can be traced to the fact that several Clinton supporters and white working class voters there say they will support McCain over Obama if the Illinois senator is the party's nominee. (Related: Can Obama win over the working class)

"This could be an early-warning sign for the Democrats, particularly since Obama did not do well in the Pennsylvania and Ohio primaries," Holland said. "On the other hand, any poll conducted in May - particularly when the primaries have not finished - may have little predictive value."

The last presidential candidate to win the White House without winning two of the three largest swing states was John F. Kennedy in 1960. (Kennedy won Pennsylvania that year, but lost Ohio and Florida.)

But the 2008 electoral map could look different than most recent elections, both the McCain and Obama campaigns have said. Each candidate has shown to strongly appeal to independent and moderate voters - meaning more states could be up for grabs this year than has been the case in past elections.

View more polling information at the CNN Election Center

soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. Olivia

    The warning signs are there and people are ignoring them.
    Helped by the worst political news team ( 50% of it cafferty, in my opinion), a slanted view is being given to the public of where Hillary's strengths are. They have printed blogs of Obama supporters calling Hillary sleeze and slimeball, while not printing msgs with legitimate concerns whenever the Obama drawbacks are questioned.

    This race is not over! By the DNC rules it's not yet over. Stop airing demands by people who has something to gain by calling for her to drop out.

    When the DNC meet on 31st May......they must give Hillary the votes she won in Fla, where neither she nor Obama campaigned.
    She must also get her votes for MI and Obama the others. was Obama who pulled his name off the list...his option....while Hillary made the wise decision to stay on it.
    Even if she loses the race, her supporters will know that justice has been done. Till we know that.....there will be resistance to Obama.

    Another point.......why do some of you want to interfere with this historical race?

    May 22, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. Maggie VT

    The Clinton's obviously do not care about this country as Hillary has now proven. She does not care about the people, as Hillary has proven. If she did, she would not be threatening the DNC. She would not be saying "the caucus's made me loose" "they were small, not alot of people" "they shouldn't be counted". What is this saying to all those people who voted? Just like Fl, I think those people in the caucus's should be honored too. They also voted for Hillary Clinton. Now she really feels they shouldn't be counted??? You can't have it both ways. I think it is time for the superdelegates to end this now!!!!

    May 22, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. DannyCali

    I think when it come to general election she might get more than that too.
    Look the people that's vote for Obama is the less experience and young only, but the one vote for Hillary majorities is old people but their have more experience their know more political and their learn more mistake
    that's why their vote for the right candidate that going to turn this country back.

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    CNN is so biased toward Obama. No wonder there are so many Obama supporters here. I've switched to FoxNews for fair news since the campaign.

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Terri

    Who cares she is not the nominee

    It is amazing that everyones concern is the uneducated, rural white vote

    So what about the minority, young and college educated whites can she gain this demographics vote I don't think so because we know better.

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Deb

    Obama is no longer a viable candidate!

    We the people will never elect in a general election a candidate that is VERY FAR LEFT, lacks experience, and has a lot of questions regarding the hate of America!

    We are looking forward to years of Peace, Prosperity and a balanced budget!

    Hillary 08

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. independent

    Give Barrack Hussein a chance to Swing states this time !

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Don't Believe It...

    CNN what are you afraid of????? Little ol me???

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Narly Hillary

    What a divisive woman, now she's trying to dredge up 2000. It is so over-give it a rest Hillary. Leave those senior citizens alone.

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Fordy

    Does this mean we should not have had the primaries? Why didn't we just conduct polls to determine who the presidential candidate should be? Like Obama has said, America is ready for change. Things as we know them will be very different in November, including the so called "Electoral Map". Furthermore, I see this election as a referendum on the Iraq war. Vote for McCain if you endorse the war in Iraq.

    May 22, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. No Obama

    Why do all the Obama supporters get posted? They are hateful and rude. If this is who supports Obama I want nothing to do with it.

    May 22, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Chuch

    In 2000 we saw this, in 2004 we saw this, and now we are seeing it again. I'm from Florida and Obama is here trying to get my vote, but he wont count my vote. He needs to get out of this state fast before he makes more Dems like me dislike him more. You cant do the same thing over and over and expect something different. He will get his butt kicked in Nov.

    May 22, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. car

    If, ultimately the results of this contest rests with the superdelegates, what as the point of this long, long campaign. Think of what all the money spent on this campaign could have been used for. The hundreds of millions of dollars raised would likely have been sufficient to put a chimp in office.

    May 22, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Venus


    Hillary is down to trying to get polls to help her win!!!

    The other day ---- she stated a poll from Karl Rove!!!

    This week ----- the gender and race card!!!

    This week------ count all the votes in MI and FL!!!

    In the mean time--– Obama has moved on to the generl election!

    Go Obama!

    May 22, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    Sometimes it seems that it would be better to be trailing in the race. You get most of the attention for the marginal areas where you're doing well. much so that it starts to feel like you are actually winning. What a strange political season this has been. And oh, by the way, the next time I'm watching a football game. when , say the cowboys are leading te Packers by, say 24 points at half time, and the packers come back strong in the second half to make things interesting, but still lose, I will write the NFL commisioner, and insist that everyone recognize that the Packers are really the better team as evidenced by the difficulty the Cowboys had in sealing the deal. I will insist that the Packers advance to the Super Bowlrather than the Cowboys because they provide the best chance for an NFC team to win.

    May 22, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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