July 31st, 2008
11:21 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain narrows Obama's lead in key states

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/31/art.mccainstate.gi.jpg caption="McCain has narrowed Obama's lead in three key states."]

(CNN) - Barack Obama and John McCain are statistically tied in Florida and Ohio while Obama holds a clear advantage in Pennsylvania, new Quinnipiac polls out of those crucial battleground states Thursday show.

But in what could be a warning sign for Obama as voters begin to turn their attention to the general election race, Obama's lead appears to have dwindled, or barely remained steady, in all three states, even as the Democratic presidential candidate has enjoyed a wave of intense media coverage surrounding his trip abroad.

CNN Election Center: View the latest state polls

In Florida, Obama now holds a statistically insignificant 2-point lead over McCain, 46-44 percent. In a similar poll taken one month ago, Obama held a wider, and statistically significant, 47-43 percent advantage over the Arizona senator there. The difference appears to be a shift among independent voters, who now support McCain in Florida by a 5-point margin. In the June poll, Obama held the advantage among the same group of voters by a 10-percent advantage.

CNN's Electoral Map: Check out the lay of the land

In Ohio, the battleground state where a weak economy should give Democrats an advantage, Obama is ahead by a 2-point margin, 46-44 percent. That lead, also statistically insignificant, is down from the 6-point advantage the Illinois senator held there one month ago.

Obama's lead has also narrowed in Pennsylvania, though he still enjoys a clear edge there. Obama now leads McCain by a 7-point advantage, 49-42 percent, down from the 11 point advantage he had in June.

The poll was conducted from July 23-29, in the midst of Obama's trip abroad, and carries a margin of error of just under 3 points in each state.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • John McCain • Ohio • Pennsylvania • Popular Posts
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Adrian Veidt

    It's astonishing that people are so terrified of change that they would rather stick with the Republicans even after eight years of consistent failure after failure. Are we really this much a nation of sheep?

    July 31, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. M CAREY

    I am a very disenchanted Democrat who will not vote for McCain.
    Yes, I am 64, just lost my 50k+ job and I do not see anything clearly from these two candidates that would cause me to feel hopeful for the future.
    My opinion is that the media rocked and tilted the primary table and now we citizens are reaping those so-called benefits.
    Blessed be.
    mcarey, AZ

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. jen

    Yesterday in the CNN Poll Obama increased his lead over McCain from 5 to 7 percent and CNN said it remained unchanged. Today it shows Obama dropping from a 4 point advantage to a 2 point lead in Florida and CNN says it is a warning to Obama. CNN when are you going to mention that these polls do not include cell phone users which are a clear advantage to Obama.

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  4. Bill Stapp

    The run up to the political conventions is making the news.

    It is important for the media to focus on the issues and the problems facing this country... no matter who gets elected.

    Remember when the former Soviet Union spent itself into oblivion?

    Today our congress and president seem to be taking the same road.

    Bridge repair money? Gas prices and reduced revenues from gas taxes for higways, tollways, and bridges? Social Security mandates? Medicare mandates? The national debt? The interest on the national debt? Federal pension mandates? Reduced wages and lost jobs resulting in loss of revenue of local, state, and federal taxes? Mortgage crisis and the bailout for the banks? Protecting the border? FEMA and justice department corruption? The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? National health care? Public schools?

    At what point do we stop saying we have problems and start to hold the decision makers accountable. If we do not, then we will spend ourselves into oblivion, too.

    The media should force the candidates to discuss these issues... as well as the President, Senators, and Representatives... as well as state officials... as well as local officials.

    It is not a surprise that newspapers are going broke. If they covered real news and made our elected officials accountable for their actions, there would be tremendous interest by the public in the printed word.

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. LatinosforMcCain

    I have been saying that OBAMA is going down just look at the polls obama is starting to sink down. Latinos open your eyes obama is a RATON (RAT) he is not for the Latinos.

    McCain 2008

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Independent White Woman for Obama!!!

    McCain has narrowed Obama's lead in three key states.....? is does McCainr lead in any States ......He been around a long time ,he has his Attack Machine, Fox news Sean Hannity and Karl Rove He should be Leading in Every State ...Read My lips McCain will Not Win!!!!

    Obama 08/2012

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. alvin

    People are buying into McCain`s childish attacks and Obama and his campaign are deluded if they think they can win by not responding and counter attacking McCain.

    Obama is allowing those labels to stick on him. If I dont see the Obama campaign do the right thing I will stop donating money to them. Plain and simple.

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |


    I cannot wait to see the look on Mika Brazinski's face when her boy crush Obama loses in November!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The people decide, NOT THE MEDIA

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  9. JohnBoy

    McCain will win because the american people will vote for the most experienced candidate which is John McCain.

    Obamas fad is over. He is a empty suite.

    Let the debates begin.

    McCain 08, the real American.

    July 31, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  10. Wally

    People are beginning to wake up to the fact that while Obama is a great speaker he doesn't have the chops to lead yet. Give him a few more years to establish himself and he could win.

    July 31, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  11. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    I am so happy that Americans are awakening. McCain is the one with experience and judgment. He will protect our values and our pocket books.

    He wants to give us a tax holiday at the pump and also would like to see more oil drilling in America. I have to agree with his positions. He is a very smart man.

    On the other hand we see Obama wanting more of the same. No drilling, high gas prices, high energy taxes coupled with higher income taxes. That is not the change we want.

    July 31, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  12. JS

    It's going to be a close election.. so wasn't Clinton vs Dole.. until the final poll in November

    July 31, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    McCain can sit pack and do nothing at this point and still win the election.

    Even some of Obama's supporters have grown bored and weary of him.

    July 31, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  14. Chris

    If you live in these "battleground" states and you vote for McCain you deserve the horrendous economy and destruction of American values that republicans represent. Bush has made us more reliant on foreign interests, less safe in the long run, more divided internally, and less liked abroad. Oil drilling is pandering and a dumb long term policy. McCain is parroting Obama's foreign policy ideas (and they are likely to flip back on the flip flop if he ever sees office). McCain truly doesn't have any coherent message except to attack Obama, and you're a fool if that convinces you to vote for him.

    July 31, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  15. Marie in California

    Obama will.....deservedly.....go down in flames. He is not fit to lead.

    Was for Hillary, now for McCain!


    July 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. mwm

    thank you cnn,for keeping obamacans motivated,with your ,too early,polls.guess i'll go donate again to obama.

    July 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    How could the Republicans win this time?????\

    Barack Obama

    July 31, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. fleetadmiralj

    How is a 2% gain by McCain in Ohio and Florida "narrowing the lead" but Obama gaining 2% nationally is considered no change? I didn't see anything about Obama "expanding his lead" yesterday when we increased his lead nationally by 2%

    July 31, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. jn

    Big deal!!! The most important day will be election day...These polls will bounce back and forth like John McCain's memory..Lets wait and see...Go Obama 08!!!!

    July 31, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. J

    Typical, Florida and Ohio both went Bush four years ago. Shows how much they know...

    July 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    If John McCain can just remember to keep breathing for a few more months, he can win the general election.

    July 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. Obama all the way

    It is not suprising because you the MEDIA are pretending to cover OBAMA while you hide JOHN MCCAIN'S gafftes so that the voters don't get to see what mistakes MCCAIN is making. It is a shame really how the media cover these two candidates differently yet not reporting on MCCAIN'S gafftes. But remember one thing Obama will Win even though you don't care.

    July 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. John

    He is closing in key states? Who cares – he's going to get mopped up on Election Day.

    July 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  24. William Ayers

    These aren't the states that I knew.

    July 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  25. tom

    I live in Florida and there are a bunch of ignorant fools in this state. Any state that could vote to reelect Bush is not very astute. Don't expect much from the Sunset Sate.

    July 31, 2008 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
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