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. audrey 4 Obama

    The numbers speak for themselves.

    October 7, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  2. Lee from FL

    Polls change because people are not stupid!
    Bush is laughing all the way to the bank when everyday people cant pay bills and cant find a job.

    October 7, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  3. Keith

    A month is an eternity in a political contest. I predict that McCain will tarnish himself further in the debate tonight and keep sliding in the polls. Carter won 6 states against Reagan, maybe "Honest John" and his pet Moose can take 7.

    October 7, 2008 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  4. greedyboy

    Obama continues to address the issues, while McCain and Palin attack. He has responded with a punch of his own, but is showing why he should be the next President by sticking to the issues and what he is going to do for the country.

    October 7, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  5. Keith

    I predict Obama will win in Arizona, where the people are experiencing really tough times and the housing market is a disaster.

    October 7, 2008 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  6. David Lutes

    Fact Checking. Wisconsin did go Democratic in the last two elections. Al Gore and John Kerry carried Wisconsin 10 electoral votes

    October 7, 2008 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  7. BH

    It breaks my heart to see a hero like McCain ditch his sense of honor to win this election. It seems from these polls that between vetting Sarah Palin and watching McCain and the Bushies implode, America has had enough. On the upside, Obama seems like a straight shooting, mellow, informed and focused person. I believe he will do a find job as President.

    October 7, 2008 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  8. Keith

    Finally, I predict that Alaskans will also go Obama, as they will have become sick and tired of being made to look like extras from the Trailer Park Boys by a woman who comes across as a Seinfeld character.

    October 7, 2008 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  9. bill

    come on my fellow hoosiers WE CAN show these rightwing liars we are not going to take their smear tactactics get out the vote YES WE CAI BY GOD YES WE WILL OBAMA INDIANA 08 VOTE VOTE VOTE

    October 7, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  10. Republican Woman For Obama

    People say it's the economy but I think it's a perfect storm of many things:

    Palin is too ridiculous to be PTA President much less Vice President
    Economy is tanking
    Obama is just simply smarter and more presidential

    The republicans have screwed us!


    October 7, 2008 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  11. Rob

    Obama = change- promise- presidential- positive – healthy – leader
    friendly – answers questions – great V.P. pick

    McCain = Liar – nasty – old man – old issues – no economic plans – has had cancer 4 x's – bitter – avoids answering questions – idiot V.P. pick

    October 7, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  12. Jamal

    It's Over, John.

    October 7, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  13. wtobias

    why not just let cnn decide who wins that way we can just sit at home

    October 7, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  14. Obama Fo SHO!

    Goooooooooooooooooooo Obama! I'm so PROUD of you!!! You are in GODs favor Sir!!! There is NOTHING the GOP can do to stop you now!!!

    October 7, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  15. Euphemia Lynch-Guevara

    Let the polls keep rolling on, on ,on – for Sen Obama for the White House.

    While McCain sharpens his war-mongering trait on a dispicable, sleazy campaign.

    If there is a Lord above and Americans are through their 'brainless wonder' stage, we will have a REAL Leader, President Obama in November.

    The world is holding its collective breath!

    October 7, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  16. Jason

    Could it be that the American people are not only finding McCain's policy positions untenable, but also are being turned off by his campaign's gutter politics and outright slander?

    If it was one poll, or just one state, then maybe that question would be up in the air. But the entire country is shifting towards Obama!

    Nothing short of a heartfelt apology by McCain in tonight's debate could turn the tide at this point. And as an Obama supporter, I'd like to see that.

    October 7, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  17. Jim Hall


    October 7, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  18. faktur

    Women will continue to support Obama as long as Palin stands out as the wrong symbol for the great American women who intend to run for president in the future. Her character and personality is blocking the chances of other meaningful women. She is a liability. Simple!

    October 7, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  19. Dave in Indy

    Just goes to show that people are finally starting to wake up to the smear campaigning that the Rethugs try to pull every election cycle. Now if we can just get everyone in the MSM to start fact checking as part of the main article and not separate articles then maybe we will start seeing larger shifts.

    October 7, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  20. Sam_from_ PA

    Go Obama all the way. No one can stop you, not McCain, not Failing ..oops Pailin. We are interested in the issues, not negative attacks from McShame and his maid girl (McFlirting).

    October 7, 2008 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  21. mike

    be fair, you have been pro obama since the primaries!

    October 7, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  22. Joe

    America is tired of the McCain attacks. They are realizing he and his joke of a candidate have nothing to over this country.


    October 7, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  23. Jim

    Well, when the choice is the steady, levelheaded leadership of Obama vs. the erratic, disingenuous panic of McCentury, the decision is clear:

    Obama/Biden '08!!!!!

    October 7, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  24. vicandjaye

    John McCain has lost all credibility. He has lost any honor he held, and has turned into a raving lunatic. He is scary, and his lack of clear knowledge of the economy, of world politics, and of the common people, is just plain scary.
    Senator Obama has my full support.

    October 7, 2008 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  25. George w. McCain

    I love the smell of Republican desperation in the morning.

    October 7, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
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