September 10th, 2008
04:08 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN battleground polls: Race a dead heat in key states

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Obama campaigned in Virginia Wednesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New state polls indicate that the race for the White House remains a dead heat in four crucial battleground states that could determine the outcome of the election.

CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls for Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire and Virginia out Wednesday suggest the race between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain is statistically tied.

The survey has Illinois Senator Barack Obama up 4 points, 49 percent to 45 percent, in Michigan and ahead by 6 points, 51 percent to 45 percent, in New Hampshire. Both states voted for Democrat John Kerry in the last presidential election.

The poll has Arizona Senator McCain up 5 points in Missouri, 50 percent to 45 percent, and leading by 4 points in Virginia, 50 percent to 46 percent. President Bush kept both states in the Republican column four years ago.

Virginia hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon Johnson took the state 44 years ago. But Obama is working hard to try and turn the red state blue: He's made numerous campaign stops there, including events Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

"The geographic patterns in Virginia are pretty much the same as in 2004, with one exception: In the area around Norfolk, Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach - a region John Kerry lost by four points - Obama appears to have a 13-point advantage. That's surprising for an area with several naval bases, and the headquarters of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. “Obama's getting about the same support in Northern Virginia that Kerry did four years ago,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But that wasn't enough to turn that state blue in 2004, and it's not enough in 2008. Obama needs to do better in Northern Virginia if he hopes to carry the state."

Michigan has voted for Democratic presidential candidates in the past four elections, but it's a state that McCain hopes to turn red this time around. McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, campaigned in the state on Friday.

“Something may be happening in Michigan,” adds Holland. “Oakland and Macomb counties, the Detroit suburbs that were the home of the Reagan Democrats, went for Bush in 2004 by a combined total of just one percentage point. But today McCain has an 18-point lead over Obama.

“So where is Obama making up the ground he is losing in the Detroit suburbs? In the southwestern part of the state, Obama currently has a 9-point edge, even though that area gave Bush a 19-point margin four years ago," he says.

While the overall political climate appears to benefit the Democrats in 2008 - thanks to an unpopular Republican president, an unpopular war in Iraq, and an ailing economy - the race for the White House remains tight, both in national polls and state polls.

"All four states are voting the same way they voted in 2004, although all are close and the Democratic ticket is doing slightly better in each,” says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. “It's as if very little has changed in four years. In all four states, partisans are lining up solidly with their party Independents are the key swing group. Independents are voting for Obama in New Hampshire and Michigan and for McCain in Missouri and Virginia."

The CNN Electoral Map suggests that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 243 electoral votes to McCain's 189, with 106 electoral votes still up for grabs (270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House). CNN's Electoral College estimate is based on several factors, including the most recent state polls, voting trends and campaign advertising spending.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted Sunday through Tuesday, with 966 registered voters in Michigan, 940 registered voters in Missouri, 899 registered voters in New Hampshire, and 920 registered voters in Virginia questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points in Michigan, Missouri and New Hampshire and 3.5 percentage points in New Hampshire.

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soundoff (193 Responses)

    Congratulations to the Party of Pigs for advancing in the context of Soap Opera Politics. Congratulations to Obama for winning the Electorial College.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. John Pittsburgh

    What does McCain mean by country first? What is this Nazi Germany? My family comes first!!

    September 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |

    i still can't believe people would actually vote for her

    September 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. JC

    People are becoming smart about Obama and his bag of cronies and what he stands for.
    This is one democrat that will vote McCain / Palin!
    Keep beating up on Palin...I have heard many women and men changing their vote to the Republican ticket cause of the way you're trying to drestroy a good woman! These women had a career, took care of the house and children also! Your antics worked on Hillary but not on Palin! That's the reason polls are not favoring your Obama!
    Also, people have said they will vote against CNN! You show far too much bias to Obama! It's coming back to bite you on the butt and hurt Obama!
    When you own 4 hair salons, you (I) hear a lot!

    September 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. mike

    vote for barack Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |

    Smarten up?? They voted for Bush ...TWICE...nothing smart there.

    Healthcare, Education, Taxes, ECONOMY, Iraq, issue after issue, McCain = Bush

    September 10, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Chuck

    INDEPENDANT VET. September 10th, 2008 4:59 pm ET


    Independent: (I'll leave of the Vet as if you are a Vet a sorry one a that):

    You have no clue what the difference is between anything. Not even the difference between someone with a brain and someone as you with nothing but air between your ears.

    September 10, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Dazed of Seattle

    Let's be honest. Allof these polls are conducted to people who own home phone lines from Ma Bell:)!!!!!! They are as ancient as the person they are choosing to vote for. Look at it like this, we as democrats are still in the race within your spectrum you dumb conservatives. You would like for the world to continue to bow to your irresponsible acts and keep us all in fear of you. I will tell you, these polls are so skewed by old white people (not saying all old white people) who are for no change. Let's keep all of these minoroty idiots doing our dirty work and we will reap the rewards for their labor. They have stolen every idea they have ever presented to the public. How can you continue to be part of this elitist environment and say that you are not a bigot or racist? Let me know if you can read this........

    September 10, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. John B in Canada

    First off, I find it fascinating that John McCain, who is refusing to vote for the GI Bill for our troops because "it's too generous," is himself getting $58,000 a year, tax-free, from the US government for his military service. Had McCain been getting that amount every year since Vietnam, that would total $2,000,000 for the man who isn't into overgenerous government. I just find that interesting.

    I mean, the man built his own lake to go fishing at one of his 8 or 9 houses. Yes, he served his country. But something is wrong when we're paying millionaires $58,000 a year, especially when those same millionaires complaine that we were being "overly-generous" to our troops currently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the very least, it's terribly hypocritical.

    September 10, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. LifeLongDemocrat

    Barack, hit 'em hard. Don't let the Republiccans get away with their Rovian techniques. The got John Kerry over a barrell AND THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED.

    I think Karl Rove picked Palin and has tried to get us back into the culture wars and away from real issues. This country has a lot of pressing issues and we cannot afford this craziness.

    Republicans STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |

    Boy you GOPers are mean

    September 10, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Vigla

    Ron and Former Hillary,

    Are you scared? Why don't you go home to momma. We have real issues to discuss to save our nation. Stop acting like children.

    September 10, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Florida Voter

    This Palin circus of media obsession will die out in the next week or so and the issues will take over. People are getting tired of the American Idol in politics.

    There is a HUGE sub-terrainean movement that these polls and the MSM are not picking up.....the young blackberry crowd. The Carl Rove / McBush / Neo-Con politics of fear mongering will so be coming to an end!!!

    OBIDEN '08/'12

    September 10, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Kb

    So many of us do not have enough to put our children through college.
    So many of us do not have enough to pay our bills.
    So many of us do not have enough for gas.
    So many of us do not have enough for health care.
    So many of us do not have enough to pay our mortgage.
    So many of us do not have enough.

    But there is something we have had enough of.
    Enough of Bush.
    Enough of McCain.

    Enough is Enough.

    Kevin B

    I'm saying it now: President Barack H. Obama, Jr., 2009 – 2017

    September 10, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Susan from Illinois

    LOL, anonymous, now where in the heck to you think people have already started to "smarten up" from reading this article!???!! It clearly states that things are still in a dead heat!

    From the looks of things in the other articles in the Ticker today, about 90% of the comments are totally disgusted with McCain's latest ads, along with the non-stop smears from the McCain Camp, and keeping Palin from taking any questions from the press and voters!

    If she wants to be in a race for the White House, then she better step up to the plate like the other 3 have been doing and are doing! Oh wait, she's still going thru Campaigning with Lies and Distractions 101 and How to Avoid Discussing the Issues 102 with Karl Rove!

    Obama/Biden all the way!

    September 10, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Bodysnatchers

    When Palin's 'real life' surfaces (beyond all the lies and ethics problems she faces), McCain will plument - Because he has NEVER RUN ON ISSUES. He is PROMISING NOTHING. He is talking about NOTHING. Palin is reading Bush speechwriter-prepared speeches. She is good at telling stories, but she offers NOTHING to the ticket either.

    September 10, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. william

    Chris – WI,

    I totally agree!

    Barack Obama 2008

    September 10, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Ron

    i think the voters want somebody with a little maturity for president, not a nominee and a party that throws a temper tantrum, because the new kid on the block stole his limelight., jees give us a break, she's a VP not a presidential candidate

    September 10, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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