October 1st, 2008
04:08 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Polls: Major gains for Obama in battleground states

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/01/battleground.polls/art.obama.gi.jpg caption="Obama is up in new CNN polls."]ST. LOUIS, Missouri (CNN) - New polls in five crucial battleground states that could decide the race for the White House suggest Barack Obama is making some major gains.

CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls released Wednesday afternoon of likely voters in Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada and Virginia suggest a shift towards the Democratic presidential nominee.

In Florida, the state that decided it all in the 2000 presidential election, 51 percent of likely voters say Obama is their choice for president, with 47 percent backing Republican presidential nominee John McCain. The last CNN poll taken in Florida showed the race for the state's 27 electoral votes all tied at 48 percent apiece, among registered voters. A new CNN Poll of Polls in Florida, also out Wednesday afternoon, has Obama over McCain by 5 points. The CNN Poll of Polls is an average of the new CNN poll and other new state polls.

"The campaign season is like the hurricane season. Florida lies directly in its path. Hurricane Obama hit Florida, and Hurricane McCain. Tropical Storms Biden and Palin made landfall in the Sunshine State. The impact? Over the last two weeks, Barack Obama has been gaining support in Florida," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.

Obama's also making gains over McCain in Minnesota, the state where the Republican convention was held a month ago. Fifty-four percent of those questioned are backing Obama, with 43 percent supporting McCain. That 11 point lead is much larger than the small two point advantage Obama had in the last CNN poll taken in Minnesota, one month ago.

It's a similar story in Missouri, where 49 percent of those polled are backing Obama and 48 percent supporting McCain. That's a gain for Obama, who was down five points to McCain in our last poll in Missouri, taken three weeks ago. Thursday's night's Vice Presidential debate is being held in St. Louis, Missouri. The only other new poll in Missouri, a Research 2000 survey, indicates McCain ahead by one point.

The poll also indicates Obama has a four point lead over McCain in Nevada, 51 percent to 47 percent. CNN's last survey in Nevada, taken in late August, had McCain up slightly. A new American Research Group poll in Nevada puts McCain ahead by two points.

In Virginia, a state that hasn't voted for the Democrats in a presidential contest since 1964, the new poll suggests Obama has a nine point lead, 53 percent to 44 percent. The last CNN survey in Virginia, taken in mid September, had McCain up by four points. But it's a slightly different story in American Research Group's new survey in Virginia, which indicates McCann has a three point lead.

What's behind this shift for Obama?

"Obama has gained ground among moderates in all five states," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That may have something to do with the first presidential debate. Some commentators knocked Obama for agreeing with McCain as often as he did, but moderates tend to like it when candidates appear willing to see the other side's point of view.

"In most states, Obama also won support from senior citizens and voters making more than $75,000. Those are two groups who may have been hardest-hit by the recent problems in the stock market and the financial community. Economic jitters may not last if Congress passes legislation in the next few days, but there may have been short-term gains for Obama as a result of the current economic problems," added Holland.

When factored in, the new CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls are behind a shift in the CNN Electoral College Map. CNN is moving Minnesota, and its 10 electoral votes, from toss up to lean Obama. Missouri, with 11 electoral votes up for grabs, is shifting from lean McCain to toss up. With those moves, CNN estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win states with 250 electoral votes and McCain states with 189 electoral votes, with 99 electoral votes in states still up for grabs. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to win the White House. Obama has a 61 electoral vote advantage over McCain, up from a 40 point lead in our previous electoral map.

The poll also expanded to include three third party candidates, Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. Except for a 3 percent showing by Nader in Florida and a 4 percent showing by Nader in Nevada, no one registered more than two percent in any survey.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted September 28-30, with 940 registered voters and 770 likely votes in Florida, 929 registered voters and 849 likely voters in Minnesota, 951 registered voters and 744 likely voters in Missouri, 924 registered voters and 684 likely voters in Nevada, and 925 registered voters and 684 likely voters in Virginia all questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points in Florida, Minnesota and Missouri, and 4 percentage points in Nevada and Virginia.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • CNN Polls • Florida • John McCain • Minnesota • Missouri • Nevada • Virginia
soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. 12 HOUSES to 0




    October 1, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Scary Season

    When Hillary started losing, I thought Howard Wolfson, her communications director, was losing his mind. He creeped me out because he would get on television EARLY in the morning and wouldn't even say hello to the host. He would just start spewing hateful things about Obama, and he looked possessed. It was scary.

    I'm so glad that part of the campaign is over. I've seen him since then, and he actually looks normal now.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 1, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Stella

    I am so glad Florida is stepping up. Last time Bush and his family stole the campaign by cheating. I can't wait to see what McCain is planning to do this time. Obama all the way..........

    October 1, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  4. linda from South Dakota

    do not forget to vote,,,,, and remember whose told the truth adn is workin for you,,,, one lies and fabricates things to his liking,,, the other is true and workin for us,,,,, obama/biden 08 and beyond

    October 1, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  5. get out & vote

    For you that are still undecided, just watch the Palin/Couric interview. If that doesn't convince you that Palin is is not ready, then you probably believe that the economy is fine. Just vote on election day, tell everyone you know to vote. We have to, we must win. Just do it!!

    October 1, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Michelle Marietta

    Yeah for Obama! I am so happy to see Georgia pink....I have been so blue living in a red state. This could be a very historic election...get registed in Georgia to vote by Oct. 6, 2008.

    I can feel the change coming!

    The whole country is excited for a new administration, this is a time for the US to Shine again...happy days are here again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Vote and Volunteer for Obama

    October 1, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  7. annie - never again a dem.

    I'm sure he gained ground in OH with acorn leading the voter registration fraud in OH yesterday. Along with dem jennifer brunner heading the voter registration fraud.

    October 1, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  8. annie - never again a dem.

    To Jim Schimmer – obama and the dem. lead congress has already destroyed our economy and they really want us to be a third world country so obama can play dictator. PLUS I know cnn does not post my blogs, 'cause no one ever replies to them.

    October 1, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Z

    I love all these people saying that McCain will destroy our economy, or that Bush's policies are to blame for the economic crisis. Ok, explain. I'll save you time, none of you can. You're repeating what obama says like polly parrots, completely ignorant of what you're saying. If not, then tell me what Bush policies specifically are the ones that caused it. Or what exactly McCain will to to collapse our economy. I can tell you that obamas socialist policies are a proven failure (democrats and liberals are incapable of learning from history though) and would collapse the economy. And don't be too upset if McCain wins Ohio & Florida....left-leaning news sources tend to inflate numbers.....

    October 1, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  10. Hey Italy

    To all of you Obama suppoters , if he is a head it is only a dream, weit November I will vote McCaine , why Obama dont have experience and right now we need a man who leed America not DisneyLand

    There are lots of things I want to say, but I'll be nice. Welcome to the country, and please try to improve your English grammar.

    Vote for McCain, that's what this country is about, but if Obama gets more votes, you will have to ACCEPT the fact that more people voted for him. Unlike Italy, we don't like dictators, and that's why we're voting McCain's party (GOP) out.

    By the way, I'm twenty minutes away from Disneyland, and the company is run a whole lot better than our country has been run this last 8 years.

    Don't forget Italy, "America, she's a beautiful country because of her diversity".

    October 1, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  11. Michelle Marietta

    Stop calling McCain a Maverick...is this the only vocabulary word republicans and Palin have for him. All I hear from the republicans is that John McCain is a Maverick.... Okay...got that...is there anything other words someone might like to use when speaking of McCain?

    October 1, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Katie

    3% for Nader in Florida? Do these people never learn? Obama is only 5% ahead, get with the program!

    Otherwise, it's great to see these trends–I hope they continue! Obama/Biden '08!

    October 1, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. julia johnson

    well lets hope that obama have an october surprise to counter attack them. go obama

    October 1, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  14. bobbi


    October 1, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. God Bless America

    President Barak Obama will restore HONOR TO THE WHITE HOUSE!!!
    Tommorrow's Debate will send the OBAMA/BIDEN ticket through the roof!!!
    OBAMA has shown excellent judgement again!!!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Independent, white female !

    Obama is the bomb!!!! I cannot wait till Nov 4th, I can barely wait. I will be up until every vote in state is counted and will be celebrating the historic moment that can only happen in our great nation, the United States of America. Rejoice America! Rejoice!

    October 1, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Jerry Ohio

    I am so happy for Obama,,,,,,,,If Obama win I am going to run outside and kiss the ground because is lifetime history maken I wish my mom and grandmom could see this historic event

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 1, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. Native Minnesotan

    11 points in Minnesota! That's much closer to reality than that 1-point nonsense they had after the RNC convention. After a 36-year streak, Minnesota staying blue is as certain as gravity.

    Glad to see other states are seeing the light as well. 🙂

    October 1, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. lew

    In light of what has been found out about Gwen Ifill, it would naturally imply, Biden already knows the questions that will be asked?? I believe some people are lacking intellectual acuity to accept the debate as being fair. In regards to Obama, again too many of us seem not to see what’s before our very own eyes!


    October 1, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. GA4OBAMA

    yeah people are finally getting the message. if you want REAL change and if you are tired of being blatantly LIED to vote OBAMA/BIDEN '08!

    October 1, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  21. d-man

    If or when Obama wins, it would be so nice for everyone all over the world ,from different countries, to be telecasted live waving millions and billions of american flags(sort of like live-aid or the olympics). That will show some sense of respect from other countries, and make us feel even more proud to be an american. JoBAMA '08

    October 1, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. jules

    So how many of you Obamanuts supported Bush and his war when it started? He had about 75% or more approval from the American people. There must be a lot of you that are pretty ignorant and you are falling for it again. It only takes a motto to be repeated over and over and you believe it. You guys are really good that you can turn against someone and be so vicious. Maybe it's because you feel guilty for having been so stupid?

    "I said thanks but no thanks" must not realize that his 'god' Obama and his follower Biden both voted for funding the bridge every time it came up for a vote, even after Palin had already determined that it wasn't going to work. But I guess they can be excused for being so ignorant. After all, they are just like you!

    In a way I almost hope Obama will win so that it can be proved that he is not presidential, will not improve our standingin the world but in fact make it worse, he will not complete even a few of his far-reaching tax spending giveaways, he will not work with anyone in the Republican party and will whine the entire time that Republicans are partisan, and he will end up raising taxes. It would be a prayer answered.

    October 1, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. d-man

    "In what respect Joe???" ........ Just a teaser from tomorrow's vice presidential debate.

    October 1, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. NYC for democrats

    "I'm in north carlina" SHUT UP. How old are you? 3? Your republicans have surprised america ENOUGH..

    they surprised us with Palin
    ..should I list more surprises?

    its just you making yourself feel better by THINKING that MAGIC tricks will happen with republicans...but the truth of the matter is...

    JOHN McCain is running a sleazy campaign, LIES, FLIP FLOP...HYPOCRITE, more to list?

    America do not need energy from Sara the Pain clown...she is incompetent....she is dumb. seriously...she should be a contestant in FOX's " are you smarter then a 5th grader"...

    REPUBLICANS are SCREWED....everything backfired..

    October 1, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Fred

    The problem with people, they can't see past the end of their noses when it comes to Obama. Come on people wake up. This man hasn't really done anything to convince me to vote for him, and I am a 37 year registered Democrat. I always voted for who the Democrat was, but notthis time. This man hides behind race, hides behind other people'sworks, by taking the credit for things he was against or had nothing todo with. It sickens me just to see he new what was going on before it happened. Look who ran the committee to chose the V.P.. And this also sickens me that Joe said how in experienced that Obama was and then takes the back seat to this man. I guess any road to the White House is the road for Joe. Democrat's for McCain are many more then most would believe. We want a leader
    that can truly lead and not a leader that is going to look at others to
    run the White House. How naive people are. McCain 08

    October 1, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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