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. Chuck

    As McCain increases his attack ads on Obama's character, Americans have seen this as a lack of character on McCains part. You don't see many of the republican candidates stumping for McCain. They felt betrayed when he picked the dim bulb from Alaska. Even his own party has found some of his decisions and practices deplorable. And Caribou Barbie, what can we say about someone who cannot answer a direct question without making you cringe due to stupidity and a lack of any form of leadership and knowledge of the issues. If you look at the crowds that are gathering for the Republicans, they are all white, christian zealots, and definitely "NOT" a portrait of America. Maybe McCain and Barbie could be president and vice president of Alaska.

    October 7, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. LWE, Registered Republican, Central FL

    Thank goodness the American people are not falling for McCain's desperate measures to defame Obama! It is a sad thing to see such an formerly honorable man resort to such tactics. Fortunately most people are able to see through the "swift boating" tactics; anything to distract from talking about what's really important!

    October 7, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. Palin has more experience than Obama

    We will see if the polls are right. They are right 100% of the time.

    "Why the Democratic Party keeps sealed the following.(Unprecedented about Presidential candidate)
    1-Certified copy of his birth certificate.
    2-Record of Baptism.
    3-Parents marriage certificate.
    4-Selective Service registration.
    5-Locations and names of all half -siblings and step-mothers.
    6-Acces to his grandmother.
    7-Medical records.
    8-Columbia college records,and thesis papers.
    9-Harvard college records.
    10-Illinois State records.
    11-Trips outside US before 2007."

    October 7, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  4. tatanka

    The map will get bluer and bluer the closer we get to the election as more and more people finally wake up tothe fact that Obama is the leader for next 4 years. Sara Palin will make sure that the undecided voter has a clear choice. With all the lies and slander she is spouting it makes the decision a whole lot easier.

    October 7, 2008 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. Sue in MI

    I wish McCain and Palin would do two things: stop attacking, and start telling the truth about what they would do for the US. It's becoming obvious that they either have no plan, or don't care to share it. And these attacks seem to be driving people away from them. I will be voting Democratic, but I cringe every time I turn on the TV because I am so tired of the lies, manipulative language, and smirks from the Republican candidates. McCain reads an attack line, looks down, and smiles before his partisan audience even reacts. They are preaching to the choir, and turning off everyone else big time. If this is how they expect to win, they are in for a rude awakening...it's not working. McCain in April promised a clean campaign about issues...he is not even close to providing that sort of leadership for his camp...he chose a pit bull, and now will be complaining tonight because the dirty tactics are backfiring. We don't trust or like Palin, and we are rapidly losing respect for McCain. Nice job.

    October 7, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  6. Karin Grana

    Woo hoo!! It just keeps getting better and better!! We are going to crush McCain come November!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  7. Dave

    Here is how change looks like!

    October 7, 2008 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  8. mohandas thopil, Goa India

    I whole heartedly support OBAMA to be the next president of America.

    October 7, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  9. alvino

    It will be interesting to see how much shift McCain/Palin will get from the untrue character attacks on Obama. We need a president with a plan for our economic meltdown and an exit strategy for the unnecessary war in Iraq. McCain has neither. I wonder if voters will forget these issues and buy into false attack and fear.

    October 7, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  10. Aussie Onlooker

    I wasn't as excited about the Aussie elections last year as I am about the US elections this year – what happens in America really effects us and the rest of the world

    – when your economy does down the toilet, so does ours... only it drains in the opposite direction

    Looking forward to the Debate, hope both candidates don't spend too much time trying to tear each other down and focus on the Economy

    October 7, 2008 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  11. Sue in MI

    One more thing-the heartlessness of these two is stunning: first, Palin reacts with smiles and a topic change after Biden tells of the loss of his first wife in a car accident (did she even bother to listen to him?) and then neither of them can even acknowledge on the stump the death of Biden's mother-in-law this weekend. They have lost their humanity in their desire for power.

    October 7, 2008 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  12. Gigi

    We certainly cannot afford another term of the worst government we've had so far in our history. We certainly must come up as adults and decide what it's best for us, and know who's who, and what's what.
    We must come to term and stop sending our children to a war that has no meaning and is depleting our economic resources. We are all facing the worst economic crisis of our lifetime as a result of bad leadership, and an unregulated system that favors the rich. We must and should take our own responsibility of our future, not let the same group keep governing against all of us, the Joes-six-pack of America, and we must not let them fool us, pretending to be one of us, when they are all Wall Streeters.

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

    Thank you New Hampshire. McCain and Palin better realize that America does not want to hear trash and smears. We want to discuss the issues that are facing all of us. I know many people who have tuned out the Republicans because they refuse to have a decent campaign and discuss what is important.

    October 7, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  14. Mark

    For an Obama supporter this is fine news. Best not to take anything for granted, however. Palin/McCain are about to become nastier than ever and one never knows how negativity will play with the electorate.

    October 7, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  15. salem

    from newsreports (WaPo) yesterday ...Palin's rally....wow....very sick.

    "......Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy." ...."

    October 7, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  16. Deb

    This shows Americans are well aware of our economic distress and no amount of negative campaigning will deter us from the real issues.

    John McCain's poor judgment on the war, his poor judgement on his vice presidential pick and his poor judgment which resulted in the Keating 5 scandal are too many to entrust him with this country's future.

    America will vote for the change that we need to carry us through this very rocky road – Obama & Biden.

    October 7, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. Tom in Delaware

    My dream come true will be when MSM predicts an Obama win on election night then has this century's version of "Dewey defeats Truman" headlines, only to find out that the American people have rejected Barack Obama.

    That's when I go to New York City with a poster of the 'middle finger' and walk outside your offices all day laughing at the top of my lungs.

    Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, and so do I.

    Barack Obama does not possess the 'content of character' to get my vote.

    McCain/Plain '08

    October 7, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  18. Baby B

    McCain should just end this now and drop out. Save us all the time and just announce Obama the winner now. Do it for our Country!

    October 7, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  19. Frank in Deerfield, IL.

    McCain/Palin have inept capabilities and inane behavior. They have nothing to say so they say anything. This ticket is a unfortunate representation of a major American political party. Reading off of note cards, winking and unbecoming personal attack behavior just won't do it.

    October 7, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  20. Peter Ashton

    Senator McCain appears to be confused, desperate and angry at times. He seems to be out of touch with average folks and their concerns and appears to be thinking of himself. Senator Obama on the other hand connects with people and makes clear his plan to help turn our country around. I support and will vote for senator Obama to be our next president of the United States.

    Peter Ashton
    Enfield, New Hampshire

    October 7, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. Independent Dave, Iowa

    Thank you, Gov. Palin!

    October 7, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. Change Day 08

    I am confident that Obama will land a shocker in North Carolina. Elizabeth Dole (Rep.) will likely lose her senate seat also. The number of newly registered voters and enthusiasm will change the electoral map. As a republican, I see real trouble for the GOP. This stint of personal attack ads will likely push the map further in Obama's column. Thanks to Hillary, many in the US have heard all these attacks before.

    October 7, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  23. Bill Jay

    Obama should carry the election. McCain is out of touch with
    the current situation. Palin was a wrong selection for VP.
    This is the 1st time I vote democratic.

    October 7, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. SDunn

    Well duh! When you have Palin/McCain slinging lies and slime across the whole country! When you have people in your rallies calling the oponent a terrorist and yelling "Kill Him" then yeah I think you are spewing hate in your speeches! Palin/McCain are dividing this country even more with their hate speeches and we don't need any more of this in our leadership! GO AWAY!!!

    October 7, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  25. Veteran in Kansas

    I really did not start out as a Obama supporter, then John McCain started his drive for the right, then he spoke, then he made his first Presidental decision with long lasting effects and picked a running mate. Since then he has gone down hill at a rapidly increasing pace. I can not and will not support McCain in this election, Veteran or not it has nothing to do with the issues at hand, and neither does John.

    October 7, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
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