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. Candy West Virginia

    If you republicans knew just how bad the RNC, mccain and palin are lying to you and have played you regarding Obama you would be horrified. If your interested do your own research. go to this independent website stopthesmears.com or do your own research and find out the truth for yourselves and see just how horribly you've been lied to. It will turn your stomach. I know some don't want to hear the truth and that is fine but there are some enlightened people out there.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  2. Richard

    Why would Obama bring up the keiting scandal where 5 democrat senators were accused of criminal charges and Mccain was the only one republican and was also the only one who was vindicated?

    Did Obama think that by tearing out a slice of this scandal and paint some lipstick lies on it, he can fool voters into not seeing that this was a Democrat scandal?

    I guess desperation makes people do stupid things.

    October 7, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. Spencer from VA

    The more and more the McCain camp goes negative the more thhey push Obama up in the polls. They have no one to blame for this except for themselves. I can't wait until Obama destroys McCain tonight and puts him out of his misery.


    October 7, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. Paul Thompson

    Barack started the negative campaigning....
    and he's got some bump out of it....
    let's see where it ends.

    October 7, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. rich

    This poor ignorant McCain is not smart enough to realize that the nastier he gets the worse he will lose. All he is now doing is preaching to the base; no one else will listen to this trash. He is a disgrace to the uniform he once wore; he has no honor and we will not forgive him.

    October 7, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  6. vicandjaye

    Senator Obama will not win Indiana, but hopefully he'll win the remaining swing states.
    Wonder how many times John McCain will use P.O.W. in tonights debate?
    I think his "Maverick" line was pretty much put away by Joe Biden in last weeks VP debate.
    Anyway, our country is too important and in too dire straits to hand it over to John McCain and his uneducated Sara Palin.
    Putting our Country First means voting for Obama-Biden.

    October 7, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Mccain-Palin are a Team of Liars

    Mccain is a Liar that is why everyday he is sliping in the polls and No matter what lies he puts out about Obama he is getting votes by the day while old mcbush is losing them Obama Biden the only choice in this election

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

    McCain's stunt of choosing Palin as a running mate have blown up in his face.

    He has counted on the ignorance of the American people, especially white women across America, to NOT see through his gimmick of choosing a woman to try and secure the votes of woman across the country.

    Hey Johnny, we are no longer drinking the Kool-Aid.

    October 7, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    I just read all the commentary on the next topic. I think it is a fair sampling of the American people. There are about 500 comments there. I trust that CNN is putting comments up as they come in fairly. The majority are for Obama, otherwise we would see more for McCain. And most of the McCain comments truly lack substance just like his campaign.

    Obviously, McSame and McBarbie appeal only to those voters who cannot think for themselves. We would probably see more of them, because they are just as swift boat inclined as the McCain Camp. I suspect most of them are either listening to Rush Limbaugh or tuned into FOX News.

    There is no fairness with their ilk or commonsense, merely hate. And that is where the McCain camp is headed with Palin in the lead. Perhaps she should return to Alaska and have another exorcism for demons. She sounds possessed of late... .along with McCain, who appears to have sold his soul to the Devil!

    October 7, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  10. G. Robinson

    Obama should be gaining more ground because he looks more Presidential than McInsane. Senator McInsane and his hinchmen and hinchwoman look more and more like criminals. He said at the beginning of his campaign that he would run a clean campaign. I guess he forgot to add "unless he's losing miserably and doesn't have a snowball chance in hell of winning this election."

    Shame on you McInsane and Governor Fakelin for dishonoring God by acting like animals. I thought you two were supposed to be God fearing people. You are hypocrites and God will judge you for your sins against Barack Obama. You keep putting your mouths on Obama by demeaning him and slandering his good name and character. You will reap what you sow and the end result will be your LOSS on November 4, 2008 when Barack Hussein Obama becomes President of the United States.

    Obama/Biden 08-12

    October 7, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  11. Dr Roy

    Not so fast! Typically, one candidate will get a bump about a month before the election, only to have an "October Surprise" hit them. More info is hitting the voters about the Democrats' involvement in the housing crisis – the CDA, the Republican's stance in 2003 and 2005, the donations, and the former Fannie Mae execs working on the Obama team – look for that to bubble up within the next few days. I have received a LOT of e-mail traffic about it over the past few days, and I am a DEM!! My advice to the media is to get it on the table NOW – waiting for a week will only hurt.

    October 7, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  12. legare

    Now is time to turn up the heat Obama. Do not relax and go into a prevent defense. Keep the heat on McCain let everyone else respond to the attacks and stay focused on the issues.

    October 7, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  13. rich

    I think the McPalin camp has been looking at the same polling data. That would explain their desperate and below the belly attacks on Obama. The hand writing is on the wall for a big win by the Obama camp, and fear and desperation has taken over McPalin.

    October 7, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  14. sarah (not palin, duh)

    if you do the math, mccain could win all of the battleground states but one, such as va for example, and he'd still lose.

    its no wonder he's campaigning out of desperation at this point.

    October 7, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  15. JDC

    I cannot understand people wanting to vote for an angry black man; just look at his facial expressions!

    October 7, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  16. Switching to Obama

    Wow, this election may end up not being close at all. In fact, we might end up knowing who the new President is by 10:30pm EST. Way before the polls close on the west coast.

    Sorry Sen McCain but I am now going to vote for Obama. With your fumbling Palin pick and the events of the past two weeks, I am truly convinced that you really don't have much to offer.

    October 7, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  17. Glenn; North Carolina

    As long as Sen. Obama continues to address the issues while Sen. McCain continues to attack out of what appears to be desperation, Sen Obama will continue to gain in popularity and in the polls. Sen. McCain is creating a self fufilling prophecy of defeat. Gov. Palin is doing nothing to help by spouting yesterday;s accusations that were proven inaccurate then, and reflects a lack of knowledge on her part. Sitting on the sidelines it's like watching someone throw gasoline on a house fire. You know it's not the smartest thing in the world, but you can't help but to watch it. Sen Obama is doing exactly what he needs to do to win it all in 28 days. My deepest condolences go out to Sen. and Mrs Biden.

    October 7, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  18. Michigan Voter

    As always, polls are meaningless, there's no way they can reflect the true thinking of ALL voting Americans. The sample they choose will always be too small or too weighted one way or the other.

    The only poll that matters will be the one on November 4, and there's still a very good chance that McCain will win that one.

    October 7, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  19. Steve

    John McCain's campaign's decision to go negative is the dumbest political move ever. It really begs the question how smart these so called strategists are, and more importantly, whether McCain has any solutions in the wake of an economic crisis. This truly speaks to McCain's lack of judgment and character. He has previously condemned (and there is video evidence) smear politics and said only those who don't have true solutions engage in personal attacks. McCain's inability to stick to his principles when things got tough, says to me that he'll be a puppet in the White House and at the mercy of his advisors. His poll numbers will be even worse next week.

    October 7, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  20. Average American

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    McWar is a desperate old man willing to say or do anything to get elected, no matter what damage it does to our country. McWar is a divider and his kook sidekick is unqualified for the job he has selected her for.

    October 7, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  21. MarioB. from Berlin for OBAMA/BIDEN

    wtg. look at rcp!!!!
    Results without Toss-Ups!:
    Obama leads by 190(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) points. He can lose some of the battlegrounds and still win in a landslide.
    Remember, 190 points lead!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden in a landslide;)

    October 7, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  22. Tired of W, OH

    Google "McCain Iran-Contra". It seems Johnny boy has ties with this scandal, too.

    October 7, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  23. Goodson

    Anyone heard Lieberman talking about how God will help Palin win, hope it's not the same God that helped him loose in 2000.
    Pathetic soul.

    October 7, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  24. Independent, white woman

    With the verdict "true" about John MCcain about the Keatingeconomics.com, Obama's poll numbers will be sky rocketing!!! Mccain/Palin both made a huge mistake bringing up old stories, and this one hits home in today's economic crisis!!! Thanks but no thanks! Mccain/Palin are going on a bridge to nowhere!

    October 7, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  25. Chris

    I think with our economy going down hill, it's only best to place a Dem. in the White House so that we can regain our economy back as well as our respect around the world. The Rep. have done enough damage and yes it's time for a change. I have made up my mind on who I will vote for and there is nothing McCain can say to me going forward that would change my vote.

    October 7, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13