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. Elizabeth D

    I think this shows that the american people are smarter than I thought. It shows that our country dosent' stand for hate and racism that the McCain campaign is trying to spread.

    October 7, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  2. B Alexander

    The McCain campaign has been waged so poorly. The VP selection should have been Hutchinson and he should have stayed with the Straight-Talk Express branding. The current strategy of going so negative alienates independents even if it does thrill the base.

    October 7, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  3. nuclular weapons= PALIN NEEDS TO CHECK A DICTIONARY

    john mccain is a terrorist. he has link with rebels in nicaragua to overthrow the government. john does not know what he is doing when attacking obama. he knows that he has more dirts than obama

    October 7, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  4. Robbie

    YAY! O-man's got this thing in a landslide!

    October 7, 2008 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    The inevitable tidal wave will increase the Democratic majority in both houses and usher Obama/Biden into the White House. Isn't it ironic that Bush will be known as the President who presided over the end of Reagonomics with the Wall Street Bailout?

    October 7, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  6. nick q

    All right! We're getting closer to winning! But let's not get cocky either. let's just hope that Americans vote with their brains this time.

    October 7, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  7. Mohamed from Virgina

    I don’t want to hear 1960s-era radical Bill Ayers
    I don’t want to hear Obama's pastor of 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
    I want to hear is my 401 k is save, my kids can eat tomorrow is gas price falling I don’t want to hear their negative smear campaign.

    October 7, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  8. Kevin


    October 7, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Trent

    John McCain does not care about us or the issues.

    Win at all costs. This is becoming a joke. I hope Americans don't fall for this for the third time in a row!!!

    October 7, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. Sarah

    Great news...
    Let McSame and Palsame contineu their smear campaign and Obama/ Biden will continue to work for a better future for America
    Yes we can...

    October 7, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  11. Fla Sam

    YES!!!!! I am so glad to see American's are starting to realize that there is too much at stake here and we have to vote for what is best for America. The first four years will be rough cleaning up the mess that the Bush administration has created. With Obama as President and after some hard work from everyone, I believe we will be back on track and living good again.

    Obama – Biden 08 and 12

    October 7, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Dee G from CT

    The American people are finally waking up to the fact that the Republican party has had 8 years in power and has done more bad than good to our country. It's time for a change – A REAL CHANGE!!!

    Vote Obama/Biden on November 4th – Vote to save our Country!

    October 7, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  13. floydfix69

    keep it up, john and you'll will be a great banker,you can,t fix what you created.good man bad ideas.we are not living in the1970s ,just thinking ahead like 2015 bring people together for people buy people, for people, just six pack joe, no are leader in these times.

    October 7, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. dave g, minneapolis

    ho, hum.....
    another poll.

    I guess I'll have to change my vote to Obama because he's polling higher....not!!
    These polls don't matter.

    I'm still voting for Bob Barr and not going to throw my vote away on McBama who voted FOR the bailout, to spend $1Trillion.

    October 7, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. Chris in Columbus

    Ohio for Obama!!!!

    October 7, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  16. J.C.

    I live in Marquette,MI while listening to the news on one of our local radio stations, I heard something about John McCain, a church and known clansman David Duke winning an award. Also McCain's other ties with the Klu Klux Klan because there was another name mentioned but I cannot remember it at this time. I want to know if there is any truth to this, and if so should'nt it be known to the public? To me it is just as important as Obama's aquaintence with Bill Ayers, is'nt it? Looking forward to your response,
    Thank You

    October 7, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  17. KevinPenn Sr Alabama [Teamsters Local 402]

    Cnn can you just stick with the Obama and mccain?sarah palin is a non issue that you give to much limelight.We as the people see that she is not ready for the position of vp.We see that for ourselves and news on her eyes is stupid.We the people need change and times are getting bad.No bush-mccain !!!!!!!!! Go Obama/ Biden 08

    October 7, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  18. Never Been Polled

    Although these polls really don't mean anything, it's interesting to see the "shift" toward Obama.

    October 7, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  19. Sweetie

    If Obama wins this election we will be a nation in deep do-do!

    We can not afford his Plans or Lack of Experience!

    We need a Leader with Experience and a Track Record!

    I'm hoping after the debate Tonight folks will realize how dangerous the Left Wing Nut Job in Training Pants really is!

    PS McCain is NOT Bush!


    October 7, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  20. Parmenion

    It's over. McCain will end up losing in a LANDSLIDE.

    October 7, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  21. frodo

    $450Million has been donated to Obama's campaign...who says you can't buy an election...

    Wouldn't it be nice if that money went to help the less fortunate? No, it's nice to see it being spent on TV ads.

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


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

    Can you feel it? A change is coming!!!

    Obama '08

    October 7, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. Sheila Brown

    Whne is CNN going to report on the newest facts on Obamas' true connection to bil ayers, writing an endorsment of his book, serving on Acoran and forcing Freddie and Fannie to loosen restrictions on subprime. WHNE ARE YOU GOING TO REPORT THIS STORY??????

    Your libral bias is more than evident and undermines your reporting.

    October 7, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  25. Old Man

    *Yells at clouds*

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