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)
  1. Jon

    It's funny how voters can change their core beliefs (i.e., life-long Republicans voting for a very liberal Democrat) when said Democrat spouts out buzzwords like change and judgment in spite of towing the party line for an entire career with very little bipartisan effort.

    Let me know how it goes when every job in America is unionized. Seems to be working out great for the auto industry.

    October 7, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. Ron was a REP now a DEM

    John McCain give us the names of the Senators that added PORK to the bailout bill.

    Was the statement to" make these people famous" a political stunt?

    October 7, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. Bullwinkle kicked Palin Out of Alaska

    Come on Hoosiers!
    Make it TRUE BLUE!
    We are all behind you!

    Obama 08

    October 7, 2008 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Bruce

    If McCain does not address the issues, answer the questions, and give some concrete proposals as to how he is going to lead , tonight, but just attacks these lead will be become bigger.
    McCain does nto get it, that the negative campaigning is not working. We, the voters, want to k now what he will do and how, somehting neither he nor Palin have done.

    October 7, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Elizabeth, New Hampshire

    Obama / Biden will win because they will be able to Unite the country.
    Palin is a separatist and a divider, and not qualified to run a diverse
    country. It was pretty clear in Palin's "he's not like us" propoganda,
    that she has an un-American agenda, of which we should be wary .
    Palin will sink John McCain's ship.

    October 7, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  6. November 5

    I'm taking Nov. 5th off so I can laugh all day at the GOP.

    Laugh with relief that we won't have to put up with their anti-environment, anti-blue collar, use war to get to peace, give money to the rich so it will help the poor (??!!), lie all day if it gets you elected, the I-thought-you-were-Christian, anti-immigration, anti-minoirty, anti-choice, anti-gay, anti anti anit fear-mongering, hate supporting, arrogant party.

    I may start laughing early and put one less scoop of sugar in my coffee – life is sweeter already.

    October 7, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  7. Gifty

    This Poll does not count.

    Go Palin 08

    October 7, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. Charlie

    The poll numbers are looking good. The poll on 11/4 is the one that counts. Obama and his supporters can't rest. We need to make sure that we get out the vote on November 4th. Our future depends on making sure that McCain and Palin are not put in control of our great country.

    October 7, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  9. American Watchdog

    No wonder Obama is leading in Ohio. Ohio has a loophole that allows people to register and vote on the same day. So, what do you think Obama's supporter's are doing? They are taking all the homeless people (and probably some who aren't as well) and driving them to the polls so they can vote (but only taking those who will vote for Obama, other homeless are out of luck). There are no checks in place that prevent them from taking these people to multiple polling places and voting multiple times. Obama will stop at nothing to get him in power. Typical Chicago-style politics.

    Will CNN allow this post? Highly unlikely.

    October 7, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  10. Morningstar

    “The Bradley -Wilder effect” is very well alive so the reality is that Obama needs to lead by more that 7% to be ahead. McCain compaign knows it. Reporting that Obama is ahead by less than 7% is not real.

    October 7, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. WhoIsPalin?

    Obama has ran the most impressive and exemplary Presidential Campaign in the History of America. He deserves to be POTUS.
    CNN on WaPo it's reported that somebody at Palin's Rally said Kill 'em while referring to Sen.Obama, why are you guys not reporting this. Your Pro-McCain Bias is showing again!!

    October 7, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. Ron M

    No matter what negative ads the McCain campaign produces, it the economy, war, and environment that are most on the minds of the voters (in that order). Obama has plans that clearly address each of these issues and has shown flexibility when conditions changes or new information becomes available. McCain's website contains vague plans that lack substance and he has shown his unwillingness to change positions or show openness to new solutions or ideas.

    Vote Obama/Biden

    October 7, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  13. Bruce

    McCain has FAILED. His attacks are wrong! He has lost contact with the real ISSUES.

    October 7, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  14. Tracy

    I am proud to see that Obama's lead is widening. I was a bit disturb to hear on CNN and MSNBC last evening that John McCain's camp wants to turn the page on the economy and talk about Obama's character. That is sad that this what the election has come to. I don't like negative campaining at all...I think it destroys the real issues...however, Obama can not just be attacked on character and not respond. But, I guess since the McCain believes they can't win on the economy, they will win on character. McCain or Palin have no room to talk at all.

    October 7, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  15. Bobby, Triangle, VA

    I believe the american people is starting to see that it's not about black or white, it's about getting it right! We can not afford 4 more years of the same Bush policies! As for Sarah Palin, bad judgement call on McCains part!

    October 7, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  16. katiec

    I hope the dirtier Mccain/palin get the more the numbers
    go up for Barack Obama.
    We need to prove to them we are not the stupid people
    they seem to think we are.

    October 7, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  17. TJ

    I highly recommend for voters the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine to find out more who the real John McCain truly is. I certainly would not want him for to be our next president. With his vile temper and disrespect for men and women, McCain would bring big humiliation of USA to throughout the world and new wars with other countries. He is very dangerous and riskier because for the way he is!

    In addition, he is a very angry old man with hate. John McCain doesn't play by his rules as keeping his campaign clean and honest...he has to stoop so very low to attack someone taller than he is!

    October 7, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  18. Independent Voter

    Sarah Palin and John McCain are the best campaigner that Barack has. As long as they keep their tatics of avoiding the "straight talk" on the economy, they are doing the democrats a huge favor. Not just Obama, all democrats. This will be his legacy as well. I pity him and I think they are now trying to post up Sarah Palin for a run in 2012. This race is over and tonihgt's debate will probably confirm it.

    October 7, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  19. patriot

    A new poll of MN likely voters just released also shows Obama/Biden making large gains in that state.

    October 7, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  20. Erin

    And people said that Obama's "50 state strategy" wouldn't work. HA! I love the fact that he chooses not to play by the pre-defined rules, and things work out better for him that way. I think this shows how an Obama presidency might be... he picks a different way to get to a better result.

    Heck – He's even got Palin going to Nebraska because he thinks OMAHA will give him an Electoral Vote. Amazing!

    October 7, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. MDer for Obama

    While these polls are great news, let's not rest. We must get out and cast our votes for Obama. Don't let the strong polls suggest it's a done deal and for Obama supporters to stay home We must vote for the Change We Can Believe In! Let's own a part of it with our donations and our vote!

    October 7, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. Kathryn

    Thank God people are waking up! The prospect of a McCain/Palin administration is SCARY. More and more people here in the Raleigh area of NC are realizing that a McCain presidency would be another 4 years of the same deal they've had under Bush. In the more rural areas, the religious zealots and racists will close their ears and minds to common sense and vote for the GOP.

    October 7, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  23. Lee

    Woo Hoo!!! It's great to see those reds turn to pink and the yellows turn to light blue. People are FINALLY starting to wake up and see that the path we've been on, led by the Red State Party, is the wrong path to be on.

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 7, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  24. Obama for America

    YES! Obama we stand with you.

    October 7, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  25. Democrat Gone Republican

    Only in the eyes of CNN would Obama win the black house and begin the destruction of America.

    October 7, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
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