October 7th, 2008
08:00 AM ET
14 years ago

CNN Polls: New Obama gains in battleground states

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/07/art.1008map.cnn.jpg caption="Obama makes major gains on the new CNN Electoral Map."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Polls in five key battleground states in the race for the White House released Tuesday suggest that Sen. Barack Obama is making major gains.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls of likely voters in Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin reflect a significant nationwide shift toward the Democratic presidential nominee.

Check out the latest CNN Electoral Map

In Indiana, 51 percent of likely voters say Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, is their choice for president, with 46 percent backing Obama. Indiana went for George W. Bush by 21 points four years ago; the Democrats have not carried the state since 1964.

Obama has made significant strides in New Hampshire, a state which is credited with reviving McCain’s GOP primary campaign in both 2000 and 2008. Fifty-three percent of the state’s likely voters are backing Obama, while 45 percent are supporting McCain. Obama’s eight-point lead is larger than the five-point lead held by Obama in the last CNN New Hampshire poll taken in the beginning of September.

Bush squeezed out a slender one-point win in the state in 2000 - but four years ago, John Kerry narrowly carried the one-time GOP stronghold.

In North Carolina, the two major party nominees are locked in a dead heat, with McCain and Obama each claiming the support of 49 percent of likely voters.

“Obama's strongest region is in the Raleigh/Durham area,” noted CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “McCain does best in Charlotte and the surrounding counties.”

The last Democrat to carry North Carolina was Jimmy Carter in 1976. The state’s 15 electoral votes are considered to be critical to any successful Republican presidential campaign.

McCain currently trails Obama by three points in Ohio; 50 percent of likely voters favor Obama, while 47 percent favor McCain. No Republican has won the White House without carrying the state.

“McCain has a six-point lead in the Cincinnati area,” said Holland. “But a GOP candidate normally needs to do better than that in southwestern Ohio in order to win the state. And overall, Obama actually has a two-point edge among suburban communities across the state.”

In Wisconsin, which hasn’t voted Republican since 1984, Obama is holding a 51 to 46 percent lead among likely voters.

“Obama continues to maintain a ‘home field advantage’ in the southern Wisconsin counties that border Illinois,” noted Holland. “He has nearly a 30-point lead in the city of Milwaukee, although he loses the Milwaukee suburbs by nearly as large a margin.”

The new CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls are behind several new shifts in the CNN Electoral College map.

CNN is shifting North Carolina, with 15 electoral votes, from leaning toward McCain to toss-up. CNN is moving Wisconsin and its 10 electoral votes, and New Hampshire and its four electoral votes from toss-up to “lean Obama.”

Finally, CNN is switching Michigan and its 17 electoral votes from leaning toward Obama to safe for Obama. The McCain campaign announced last week that it was shifting its resources out of the once hotly-contested Rust Belt state, instead intensify efforts in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.

With these moves, CNN estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win states with 264 electoral votes and McCain would win states with 174 electoral votes, with 100 electoral votes still up for grabs. To win the White House, 270 electoral votes are needed. Obama’s lead has expanded by 29 electoral votes when compared his margin in CNN’s last electoral map, which was released on October 1.

The CNN/Time Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conduced October 3-6, with 677 likely voters in Indiana; 813 likely voters in New Hampshire; 666 likely voters in North Carolina; 749 likely voters in Ohio; and 859 likely voters in Wisconsin, all questioned by telephone.

The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points in New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin, and plus or minus 4 percentage points in Indiana and North Carolina.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • CNN Polls • Indiana • John McCain • New Hampshire • North Carolina • Ohio • Wisconsin
soundoff (323 Responses)


    October 7, 2008 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  2. MATT WILL, W-S N.C.

    This tells me the race is about over. McCain has not done anything in the race and now it is showing. Palin's one liners and smart mouth is not doing the race any good. People want solutions, not cutt downs by the McCain campaign. They just don't get it.

    October 7, 2008 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  3. Nwando from Britain



    October 7, 2008 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  4. Matt

    John McCain has his voters screaming that Obama is a terrorist now. It’s just a matter of time before his followers try to take there matters in to there own hands, and McCain will look innocent, and we can possibly loss and other great leader to the republican party like others in so many of our life times. That type of talk is life threatening and they know it, shame on them.

    October 7, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  5. Al

    Game over!

    October 7, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  6. Tony

    McCain is a bitter, angry, desperate old man.

    At a time when this country is in the worst economic mess since 1929, Mccain has no answers, solutions, ideas or plan to get the country and the economy back on track.

    People are sick of his and Palin's whining, lying and try to dredge up the past becaue they are unable to talk about the present and the furture.

    McCain will lose and lose big in November becaue he has underestimated the intelligence of the vast majority of Americans.

    October 7, 2008 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  7. Nancy

    Obama '08.

    October 7, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  8. The Point Man

    Take that Fox News! For all of your biased reporting in favor of the GOP, people are seeing right through it!

    October 7, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  9. Tony

    McCain is a Desparate, erratic, bitter, angry arrogant old man with old ideas.

    Vote Obama / Biden!

    October 7, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  10. I want to be under the sea

    Right on!

    October 7, 2008 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  11. ncharge

    OMG: Sarah did another interview and was speaking gibberish again. The map should be changing just based on McCain pick – Palin is a total disgrace. I have never witness an election like this before she makes Dan Q. look like a genius. Sarah does not need to sit down interviewing until she learn how to give one with meaning! She's a total Joke!

    October 7, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  12. Watermann

    The next poll after today`s debate should more or less predict the result of the election. Thus a lot of mud will be in the air tonight. Hopefully senator Obama can keep it cool and focussed.

    October 7, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  13. Sherrie F.

    Goooooo Voter's For Obama! You know REAL people with REAL change to better the people in our country... which will make it better for all of us! Positive people make for a much better environment!

    McCain is a depressing "me-man". At least Bush is stupidly funny; things would be worse with McCain because he's stupidly mean... and Palin? Be honest with yourself... a gossipy small town, clueless follower! Did you know that Wasilla is less than 12 miles long?! Crazy to even think of her suddenly leading and making decisions for our Nation now!

    October 7, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  14. blaising

    well...the cream always rises to the top, doesn't it?

    Back in '00 and '04 there were floaters in the bowl.

    October 7, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  15. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    The lead is just going to get larger for Obama as the McCain campaign goes on the attack with lies and slander. People are too smart for these tactics after ending up with Bush for the past 8 years they aren't going to fall for the same old same old.

    The pick of Palin is also turning out to be wackier than first thought as people are getting a good glance at how simple minded she is turning out to be.

    October 7, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  16. Josh

    It's time for the people in my state of Ohio to use their brains and vote for Barack Obama. Because we were under Republican leadership for nearly 20 years and the economy pretty much has tanked under Republican rule. Obama has new ideas, dreams and the intellect needed to fix my state as well as the country.

    October 7, 2008 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  17. Tracey

    I believe that the numbers are much greater than those. We playing the numbers game. We all will have to wait until Nov.4

    October 7, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  18. Republican for change

    The GOP ship is sinking.

    October 7, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |

    Please, please, please, McCrypt, tell us the Poor Old Warrior story for the 4,157,820th time, we just cannot hear it enough, especially since it is so pertinent to the economic meltdown!

    Until you get a clue, the polls will continue drop just as the stock market.

    Ironic, is it?

    October 7, 2008 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  20. Rob indetroit

    It's over mCbush your unhinged, just like palin.

    October 7, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  21. Khalid

    America, please stop the negative campaigning and get back to how to fix the recession we are getting into. The fact is America needs to show leadership in the world and i dont think this negative campaigning helps America's image.

    October 7, 2008 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  22. Renee

    Mccain/Palin are lying about Obama this is so awful Obama is no terriost !!!!! Mccain/ Palin is not what this country need!!!! Mccain/Palin show thier supporters how to hate!!! and Mccain/Palin is spreading lies ENOUGH!!!!

    October 7, 2008 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  23. Rob indetroit

    I hope Obama Humililate 's MCcnut's-MCpalin.

    October 7, 2008 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  24. Steve in CT

    After finding out Obama licked off his political career in the livingroom of a terrorist being invited and sponsored by a terrorist group (proven fact) it should be a flag to everyone. Combine that with how fast he rose through the ranks to presidential candidate you need to realize that doesn't happen without owing a lot of favors.

    October 7, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  25. rick in nc

    HOW DO YOU SPELL DEFEAT?.....P-A-L-I-N.....End of story!

    October 7, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
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