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. Bullwinkle kicked Palin Out of Alaska

    His lead show continue to grow until Election day. He should have a 15 point margin by then.

    McCain-Palin are frauds. They have no policies,answers or plans. They are only left with smear tactics.

    Americans are too smart and insulted by their campaign.

    Go Obama-Biden!

    October 7, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  2. Orlando

    great news, I can't wait till President Obama is sworn in.

    October 7, 2008 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  3. DB in NoVa

    May the real maverick win!!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 7, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  4. pat C.

    i pray the american people know who is best for our country and elect barack obama for our president. mccain and his snake-oil sidekick are poison for this country.

    October 7, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  5. MIke

    RIP to McCain's political career....i Predict after the election, he would have to answer alot of questions such as putting his political career before the country etc.
    Right now Palin is too over confident that she would stumble very soon. it's just a matter of time.

    October 7, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  6. jimmy

    America in this time of Global Economic crisis needs to elect a new President with the courage, proven leadership, experience and mature judgement in addition to the Country-First Dedication of the
    man who most deserves to be COMMANDER IN CHIEF of our great nation and in these dangerous times. That man our great nation needs is John S. Mccain.The economic mess our country is in cannot be blamed entirely on the Bush Administraion. And certainly not on John Mccain. It was and is the greed of the many Banks and Financial Intitutions with their CEO's who caused this Global Economic crisis..

    October 7, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  7. Terry in NY

    Try as you will CNN to influence the election and get your liberal Obama elected. People will come to there senses and vote for someone they know will protect our country and stand up for us.
    We tired of the do nothing Dems in washington that just want to throw mud. It's time America took back their country from the blood sucking journalist who'll say and do anything for a story.

    October 7, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  8. CM

    Odds over at intrade are that Obama is three times to win in a landslide than McCain is to win at all.

    Johnny is a gambling man, someone should ask if he would take those odds.

    October 7, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  9. Rick

    Why worry either of them will raise taxes, they already did by voting for the bailout, just read the add ons. Also forget about economy, neither one can fix it, they are both pawns of the system and neither works for the people, they just blow alot of smoke up our .............

    October 7, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  10. Larry

    With over 300,000,000 people in the U.S., less than 1% are politicians. It's a shame and disgrace that we can not get 2 decent candidates to run for president. Sara Palin is taking a lot of heat from the press and the public for not being more informed on foreign issues , policy, economy, etc. She needs to stop listening to the McCain advisers and start being herself. Tell the people she is not a Washington insider and hasn't made a career in politics in DC but she has the ability to stand up to the president and say "no" when "no" needs to be said. Be honest with the people. As for Biden, he's happy the media is focusing on Palin and not him, a career politician. Use some common sense people.

    October 7, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  11. DebM, Allentown, PA

    The McCain and Palin campaign continue to descend further each day into the abyss of lies, smears and misrepresentations. They have proven themselves to be morally and ethically bankrupt, yet they hold themselves out to appeal to the Christian right? Puhleeze. They're so unChristian it's not even funny.

    We need to stand up and tell McCain and Palin that we won't take it anymore. No more negative ads...we want answers on ISSUES. Write to your home newspapers, and VOTE! No matter how long it takes to stand in line, do it. Offer to take an elderly neighbor along. We CANNOT allow McCain and Palin to further emasculate this one great country.

    GOOOO Obama/Biden! And Joe, thinking of you today. Our sincere condolences to you and Jill.

    October 7, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  12. Dealt

    it may be that Americans aren't going to be deceived by Republican mud-slinging tactis this time. Still, I expect that McCain, having unleashed his .... female dog, will try to appear fatherly and benign in today's debate. As if he hadn't said anything at all negative about Obama or trying to make it seem as if Obama started the mud-slinging fracas (I've read this wild version a few times).

    "We have to stop this crisis by fixing corrupt practices in Washington (oops... what was Keatings about?)"... is McCain's slogan. He also shows a disturbing (to me) trait... has anybody counted the times he says "I am pround of..." (list of things he did or dreamt he did). He seems inordinately pround of himself (and I for one can't see anything outstanding in him). He was a POW, yes, and acquited himself well during his imprisionement, but so did plenty of others, who had the same bad luck of becoming POWs. It's time he stops talking about some long-past war and thinks instead about keeping this new generation out of some of these useless wars that are getting young men and women killed and imprisioned NOW! He keeps insisting the surge has worked but... has it? If I surround my house with 10 policemen it won't probably be robbed, but if that level of law-enforcers were needed for a long stay it still wouldn't be a good neighbourhood.

    October 7, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  13. Tasha S.

    I am voting Democrat because Obama and Biden gives me answers to how and what they would do in their administration instead of McShame and that Palin lady, which all they are good at is avoiding questions and not talking about issues. I am a woman and Palin does not represent me in any way, she is the most ignorant person I have ever seen on the political stage, she does not equal Hillary. She's good at talking nonsense but dosen't know anything about policy! I would never vote nonsense into the VP spot when I have to think about student loans, gas prices, my job, and my retirement. And by the way I don't know any average Joes how make 6 figure salaries, has a jet to sell on ebay and can duck court cases!

    October 7, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  14. J.S.

    You know, I haven't been polled once in this long political season. Do they just poll the same voters over and over?? Have the pollsters figured out yet that it takes Obama 3 paragraphs just to anser How are You?

    October 7, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  15. TX Independent for Obama

    People are figuring this out. Once again Palin connected at a superficial level, but her underlying message was rather vacuous. McCain, meanwhile, cannot muster anything that is coherent, consistent and compelling. Right now, he's his own worst enemy.

    Obama can win if people actually vote for him on the 4th.

    October 7, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  16. Jean, Indiana

    Great whiteboard in the sky:


    We will do it! Yes, we can!

    Hoosiers haven't seen presidential campaigning in over 40 years. Obama (along with Michelle, Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and a flurry of other surragates) crisscrossed the state before our May 6 primary. Obama has more than 30 campaign offices in the state.

    McCain is Johnny-come-lately to Indiana. Wasn't smart to take us for granted when we have a declining manufacturing base, one of the poorest education and environmental records in the country and, as Crossroads of America, greatly affected by gasoline and energy issues.

    October 7, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  17. Nicole in Ga

    Take note John McCain...All you had to do is be cool, calm, honest, lay out your plas to America and work hard to win America's trust like Barack Obama did. The work is surely paying off !

    October 7, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  18. Susan

    President Obama & Vice President Biden on November 5, 2008. Bank on it.

    October 7, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. only me!

    Living in the Cincinnati suburbs, there is a huge difference with four years ago. At that time Bush yard signs and bumper stickers vastly outnumbered Kerrry ones – by a factor of at least five to one. Now, Obama signs and stickers are most definitely in the majority.
    Last time our church had a voter registration drive and a huge promotion for "Vote your values". Neither of these has been true and, whilst the church is still wildly Republican (unlike me!), I think far, far fewer will vote this year.

    October 7, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  20. Sophia, 23, FL

    YES YES YES!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA '08

    October 7, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. scot

    Hey Sarah do you believe you are qualified to be VP? "Uh well no, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."
    John, what does being president mean to you? " Well I've done my time both as a POW and member of Congress... and I deserve my prize!"

    October 7, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  22. Jim in Indiana




    October 7, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  23. New England Yankee

    This is terrific news, but the poll that counts is Nov. 4th. Please keep working hard and don't get cocky.
    Has anyone noticed that Palin is now refering to herself as "the vice-president"?

    October 7, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. Pat

    If Americans vote for McCain, a man who has chosen to win at any cost even if it means resorting to outright lies, slanderous, outrageous attacks and racist slurs than they are voting for the leader they deserve! These Americans are without a doubt the hard line Republicans who would even vote for Bush again regardless of the damage it will bring upon their Nation, rather than change party loyalties! Given the comments from around the World before and after the economic disaster, if Republicans win this election America won't have a friend in the World except for their fair weather Iraq who will never cut off the hand that is feeding them! Hopefully these loyal Republicans will wake up before it's too late and before they don't have a prayer!

    October 7, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  25. AndrewK

    Here's where Sarah Palin is the biggest liability. She can't do interviews. Unlike Joe Biden she is unable to become the daily news in the States, Counties, and Cities of America. People are going to notice that Palin stumped in there town, but was too big to talk to the local reporters. That's not very folksy of you Palin. Not very folksy at all.

    October 7, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
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