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)

    McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra case

    October 7, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. Turnabout is fair play

    Keep'em coming! Change is coming and it's not just a slogan. Obama is changing McCain's red to blue and it's going to happen even faster after this next debate. McLame can keep attacking Obama directly instead of telling this country what he will do to help our economy but since he has NO plan to do that, all he can do is these lame @55 attacks that are failin like Palin. Obama is going to win in a landslide, watch what I tell you.

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

    McCain linked to private group in Iran-Contra case

    The U.S. Council for World Freedom was part of an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America. The group was dedicated to stamping out communism around the globe.

    October 7, 2008 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  4. Tiff of lithia springs

    GOOD! I don't think American want to hear about what happened with Obama was 8. I sure don't.

    October 7, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  5. Bubba

    Barack will likely carry Georgia. Our Republican governor is not making friends, and nobody seems to care that we can't get gas. Throw out the rascals and put new rascals in, and in four years throw them out too. A plague on both your houses.

    October 7, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. Erik

    Why? Because Obama has vision, dignity, a compelling leadership presence and is ripe with potential in the JFK and Clinton tradition. It doesn't hurt to have him running against an ill-tempered geezer who, according to Congress itself, has used "poor judgement."

    October 7, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  7. larry haney

    Americains should be proud to have a bright young man runnin for president.who is liked 75% worldwide.

    October 7, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  8. PA for Obama

    Please America, wake up. Every single VOTE counts! Obama has played fair game throughout this election. The talks about the issues that you and I face on a daily basis.

    I am so disgusted with the tactics of McCain/Palin. From what I see, greed is making them do anything to get into the White House to the point of bringing RACE into the picture. I am a minority and it hurts to see two officials being discriminatory towards other cultures. If this is his behavior, how is he going to face other senior officials from other countries if he was to be a president. Is he going to be as arrogant as he is, we have seen it during the debate, he would not even look at Obama's face during the debate...the respect we once had with the rest of the world is gone...we need someone who is civilized...

    October 7, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  9. mc shameful mc senile, mc dummy, mcsame

    mcnn get a clue, your polls mean nothing..........

    we need to see the real polls

    other polls
    cnn is desperate adn will say and do anything to make it "the best news team,"


    October 7, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  10. Susan

    This is the nastiest, name calling presidential race ever. It is more bashing than talking about issues.

    We're getting tired of both candidiates.

    October 7, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  11. louise

    I was a republican until 8 years ago. I changed my party because I knew Bush was a gamble. If the Republicans were counting on people like me to come back to the party why are they playing to lose. McCains pick of Shara Palin, the running back to Washington to single handily fix our economy and now calling Obama a terrorist. Stop, all we want and need is someone that's going change the direction that our country has been led down. We can not afford 8 more years of the same.

    October 7, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  12. Bulldog

    Palin and McCain are pretty brave to throw stones when there are plenty of bricks that can be thrown right back. Good luck with that one.

    October 7, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  13. auggie

    vote Obama-Biden, mccain-palin keep reaching in their bag of tricks, but all they can seem to come up with is more garbage.

    October 7, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  14. California Gold

    Obama's steady gain in the polls explains the McCain campaign strategy to question his patriotism and attempt to link Obama to anything negative. Mr. Ayers was a 1960's radical and Obama was a small 8 year old little boy. McCalin, that's such a sick stretch for you.

    McCain is dead-on-arrival on the issues and he made the worst choice in the history of this country for a VP running mate. Rather than campaign as a man of honor would campaign, he can't so he does what he does best: resort to lies. Even worse is he seems to derive pleasure in doing so. Only a sad little man would do that and McCain certainly fits that definition.

    October 7, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. Jackie

    1. Why is the news not discussing Palin's ( and her husband's) refusal to appear in court even after the judge upheld the subpoenas? This is not Joe-six pack, she is like me, folksy – all the things that Sarah tries to portray. More importantly, if as she espouses – she has nothing to hide – she should want this issue settled before voting day. Also, I as a voter want to know her actions as she is potentially the VP or the President – is guilty of the charges against her before she becomes elected and can claim a Cheney-executive privilege failure to follow the law.

    2. The charges she suggests from the stump against Obama should create another lawsuit for defamation of character-basically planting the seed that he is a terrorist as evidenced by the crowds comments.

    This is well beyond the negative campaigning.

    October 7, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  16. Tony

    McCain has turned into one angry, bitter, self-absorbed old man.

    When you have no record of your own to run on, no answers, no solutions, ideas or plans to beging to get the country and the economy back on its feet, the only alternative is to LIE, DISTORT, ACCUSE and ATTACK and hope taht the American people are ignorant enough to believe it.

    McCain and Palin ahve finally been exposed for who they really are and will pay dearly in November.

    October 7, 2008 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  17. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Case in point. Americans are tired of the old "it's my way or the highway" negativity that has prevailed in the White House for the past eight years as is just continuing with the McCain Palin ticket. Our economy is going to hell in a hand basket. After 6 years, the war in Iraq is still waging and the Republicans have absolutely nothing to offer but "swift boat" tacts.

    October 7, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  18. Camille - Richmond, VA

    I pray that Obama sustains his lead and wins.

    I saw the footage of Sarah Palin and her mean-spirited speech about Barack and I heard people in the crowd yelling "Kill him!"

    Tnis is just beyond the pale. This woman calls herself a Christian? If she's a Christian then I'm the Queen of Egypt.

    If McCain/Palin get in the White House we are doomed.

    October 7, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  19. Lo

    That's because voters are finally starting to see what the GOP has become and how far they've strayed from the dignified party they once were.. GW has lowered the standard so badly and McCain/Palin are just reinforcing the fact that the Repubs need to do a LOT of cleaning house before any person in their right mind would re-elect them.

    Obama/Biden 2008 by a landslide

    October 7, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  20. Mr.Hernandez-Democrat

    They say you reap what you sow. I think the Mc Cain campaign is feeling the agony of some bad decision making and devastating karma. With the economy struggling so bad right now-the Republicans are desperate situation backed up deep in their own territory.

    Everyone one should double check to make sure their voting information is correct before time runs out!

    I think some shady business is going on. I checked my information on line and some of it was changed and incorrect. I know I'm not the only one. YES WE CAN!

    Good luck people

    October 7, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  21. Charles I Am

    Since Obama is the only one focusing on the economy, this may be a cake walk. It's pretty sad when all McCain has left to argue is smears, race baiting and lies.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  22. BT

    Ayers and Rev. Wright were exerting a right we have in America called 'Freedom of Speech". Todd Palin joined a group that wants to start their own nation. There's a big difference! Add that with the economy and you see a nation finally waking up! I don't really care that Palin goes to a witch doctor, in America we have that choice. However, I don't feel that someone who goes to a witchdoctor is stable enough to be in the number 2 spot.
    When it comes to mcCain vs Obama the choice is easy. Obama is intelligent – McCain obviously is not (just look at the mess is campaign is in, not learning his lesson from the Keating 5 mess), etc. etc, etc.
    Vote for the smart man with one house – we don't need another less than intelligent, richer than the rich man in the white house for another four years.
    OH YEAH! We know what Obama's middle name is – what a lame argument. My mother's name is Lizzie – you know like Lizzie Borden? That doesn't make her a murderer.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  23. Rubin Wilson

    As a retired military combat soldier of Desert Storm and one that has service over twenty-three years of honorable service that has voted for President Regan, President Bush Sir and President Clinton, who all did a great job while in office. However, when it comes to this election I felt that John McCain and Sarah Palin has continue to resort to negative comments about Obama that are just not true. As a soldier I believe my leaders should be held to the highest standards and should display Loyalty, Respect, and Integrity for all no matter what the cost. I felt John McCain has lost all respect by allow Sarah Palin to make statement about Osama’s, loyalty to this great nation when she has issues of Loyalty and Respect herself with the people of Alaska. A soldier does not act like this especially one that was on the receiving end of torture as a POW because he knows how it feels to be disrespected when you have not done anything wrong to desire it. Therefore, I felt that John McCain should have stayed with the issues and ran a respectful campaign without result to a shameless display of disrespectful tactics.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  24. Desmond Sequeira

    It is clear as crystal that the McSame/Failin' gang cannot win this election honestly. The key now is for voters to base their votes on substance, integrity and hope and NOT to be swayed by the FAILIN' SCARE tactics which are the way of people who are bankrupt and hopeless.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  25. Cindy

    I have been a registered Repulican for more than 40 years. Most of that time, I voted along party lines. Yesterday, I changed my registration to Democrat. Why? Sarah Palin. It is one thing to be arrogant, but the combination of arrogance and lack of knowledge and understanding pushed me over the top. As a former Republican, I have to ask the Party is she the best you have? If so, your party is in serious trouble.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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