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. Northern Exposure

    It's the economy, STUPID!

    October 7, 2008 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  2. Willy

    Obama gains, Obama gains. Only in your liberal sleep democrats.

    October 7, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  3. Stew

    The rise before the fall. I predict Obama will slip on a banana peel and fall flat on his face, looking so awkward that no one will vote for him.

    October 7, 2008 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  4. Jo W

    Actually, the last Democrat to carry North Carolina was Bill Clinton in 1996. Clinton carried the state in both 92 and 96, so North Carolina going Democratic in a presidential election is not a farfetched idea at all.

    October 7, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  5. some guy in New Hampshire

    It was McSame. Now it's McShame.

    McCain's decision to abandon the issues and try to build a presidency on a framework of lies, distortions, and smears about Obama's character insults voters, trivializes the crises we face, and shames and dishonors McCain himself. In six months, McCain has transformed himself from an American hero to an object of pity.

    October 7, 2008 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  6. scoot

    it doesnt matter, were screwed this election no matter which which one wins. Thats why Iam just going to the vote booth to get the senator Iam for and let the rest of you pick the pres. I dont feel good about ether of them

    October 7, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  7. mirmn

    McCain pull out of MN too. Hell has frozen over my evangelical mother-in-law is voting for Obama!!!

    October 7, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  8. TW

    And to cambat this, McCain has decided to throw in the towel by turning his campaign into the Jerry Springer show?

    Ashamed to have once been a Republican.

    October 7, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  9. Tim E

    Into the jaws of the enemy's stronghold, again and again and again. Man, you gotta love a fighter. A man who knows he's going to be slimed but he just won't quit. Better than a Timex. Kicking you know what in the polls, in the debates, in the ideas and in the plans, and taking names. Wasn't that supposed to the "mavericks" role? Looks like the old maverick's been branded a rogue instead. America is fortunate to have a leader who can expose lies to the light, and you know what happens when you turn the lights on McCockroach; he runs for the cover of slime.

    October 7, 2008 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  10. stan

    The GOP is reaping the harvest it has sown.

    October 7, 2008 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  11. Canadian

    Pain and Panic needs to suspend their campaign again, its so obvious

    October 7, 2008 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  12. HONG

    Portland, Or

    We can do this! Less than one month to go!

    October 7, 2008 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  13. Central Scruitinizer

    John McCains campaign ,(to borrow a Monty Python quote) is,"Its not resting, it's dead.Breathed of life,it has ceased to be. If you hadnt nailed it to the perch , it would be pushing up the daisies. It is no more. This is a late campaign. It has run down the curtain and joined the chior invisible."

    October 7, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  14. Tiff of lithia springs

    He needs to be shaking in his boots. These empty allegations are the reason why this country is in the mess that it's in. McCain is living up to the pet name of McNOSHAME. I can't believe that after the annoucements of Ayers episode. Something that occurred when OBAMA was 8 and a lot of us weren't even born, that voters would even consider John M and Failin' as viable candidates.

    October 7, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  15. ONEIL

    The people are beginning to wake up. Can someone please tell John McCain the smear tactics isn't working? The people want to hear the issues and not just unnecessary attacks.

    October 7, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  16. leapfrog

    To all those in these battleground states: If you vote in advance or on the day, please vote for Obama. We need to end this GOP attack machine, this right-wing leech that sucks our economy dry to fill their own pockets, who starts wars that kill tens of thousands, and who impinge on civil liberties in the name of religion. Stand up for economic strength. Stand up for peace and stability. Stand up for individual freedom to express yourself without fear. PLEASE vote Obama.

    October 7, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  17. Bob Twelvepack

    Mrs. Palin, soon it will be time for you to run back into the wilderness.

    October 7, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  18. Bruce

    When you tell the truth and have a PLAN the people will listen. McCain has no PLAN and does not know what the truth is anymore. He has failed. FAILED the nation

    October 7, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  19. Mike

    So all of the despicable lies and negative attack AD's from Angry Johnny McCain and ignorant,intolerant Gomer Palin are not working?
    McCain / Palin = Unstable / Unable

    October 7, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  20. Keite, Fort Worth, TX

    Tick, tick, tick...

    Come on....say it with me.

    President Obama.

    October 7, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  21. jimmy

    CNN. you did not post my comment yet and you say I have already said that? Why are you so biased agaisnt John MCCain?

    October 7, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  22. jon

    Obama will be a disaster.

    Meek in the international stage. Russia, Venezuela, china, middle east, these people are just looking to take on the us.

    Democratic tax and spend festival at home. Shift wealth from productive people that earned it to nonproductive people that spend it on consumer garbage. The government doesn't create jobs.

    October 7, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  23. Stephen

    The polls don't lie. The American people are trully tired of the failed policies of the Republican party and are eager for change. Obama has shown that he has what he takes to lead this great nation forward.
    Obama/Biden '08

    October 7, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  24. Doug

    Obama is ahead, that's why the McCain campaign is going so negative. I wish we could just focus on the issues of the country and stop all this partisan jibber-jabber! But I guess that would be a loser for the Republicans?

    October 7, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  25. napoleon dede

    As a viewer from Nigeria and an ardent follower of most us elections. I was surprised to read few viewers saying that Palin won the debate. She dodged most of the questions and answered only the ones that came close to her crammed talking points even though totally different from the question asked!

    If Palin is all that the GOP has to offer then the election is as good as over. There is nothing wrong in admitting that her choice is a sheer error of judgement or Mccain simply wants to insult the intelligence of the American public.

    October 7, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
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