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. Polls are just that, polls

    Just FYI, in 2004 Kerry was suppose to win in a landslide according to "polls", and we all know the end result. So plesae don't jump up and down until the results are revealed on Nov. 5th.

    October 7, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  2. Gtnaustin

    Well I see that John McCain and the Republican Party have unleashed the 527's. I had been wondering where they were hiding. If this is not CLEAR AND DECISIVE evidence that John McCain DOES NOT represent change I don't know what is. I really had hope that this type of garbage would NOT be a part of this presidential campaign but alas - thanks for the disappointment John.

    This is also CLEAR AND DECISIVE evidence that John McCain and George Bush are ONE IN THE SAME as John McCain is using George Bush's playbook. It only proves that a vote for McCain is a vote for a 3rd George Bush term.

    While the rest of us, general, average go to work, take care of the family people struggle, John McCain and his array of 527's will blast the airwaves with enough garbage to fill the NYC landfill and then some. As has been said before:

    "IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID"!!!!!! Get a grip John and focus on what people want to hear about. I don't care about 10 years ago I care about YOUR plan to fix our devastated economy, bring this nation back into a positive standing in the world and usher in a new era of government (and you can skip the ear marks cutting line since you just added 150 million in earmarks to the bailout). We the people want to hear about the issues that WE care about not the issues YOU want us to care about. Remember, WE are the boss, you are just the hired help we hire to run the country.

    If I really want change - how can I vote for someone still playing the same old games that I have been SICK AND TIRED of seeing for the past two election cycles?

    --The Last Independent

    October 7, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  3. Sally from Cali

    Palin is turning off the American public. We see through her.

    On November 4th America is going to tell the world that hate mongering does not work with the majority of us. Hate mongering and divisive racist tactics don't work here anymore.

    October 7, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  4. Sandra Mordecai

    I predict a LANDSLIDE for Sen. Obama! Can you say Wipe Out?

    October 7, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  5. Gerald Simpson

    With McCain losing or tied in nearly all the swing states plus tied in some red states he now has to resort to yet another hail mary-
    fear / smear swift boat tactics.
    That boat won't float.
    Not this time.

    October 7, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  6. Republicans Hate America

    Do not get complacent democrats you must go to the polls on Nov. 4th and make the statement there and send these inbreeds back to the forest where they belong!

    October 7, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  7. Julie in NC

    I think that NC will go blue. With our large, probably underpolled, university enrollment and early voting that will encourage the young to get out the vote, we should go toward Obama. Some polls have him up 51-45, a six point lead. We will do our best to deliver the 15 electoral college votes on Nov 4!

    October 7, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  8. Paul DObro

    Going negititve can help bring down your oppenants numbers, but can it really raise yours up? McCain/Palin at there best was never higher then 48% in any national poll and that was short lived.

    How can a woman who had everyone complaining about the debate and getting the moderator and Biden to take it easy on her now wanting to take the gloves off.

    Does she now the troopergate report is due Friday? First Dude is answering questions via the fax machine (what no flights to Alaska during weekdays?).

    Atleast she stopped misquoting starbucks coffee cups.

    October 7, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  9. PA for Obama

    I am a minority in this country.

    I would like to know if anyone is going to take any kind of action towards McCain/Palin and the so called cop for their racist remarks?
    Is the democratic party going to do anything about it? A cop at a rally with kids around, whose job is the serve and protect the citizens, what is he trying to teach these your kids, that it is ok to be RACIST?

    October 7, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  10. Anonymous

    WAY TO GO.

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008-2016.




    October 7, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  11. bernard

    mcain is deep in it if you ask me . the media should pull the gop up for their negitive campagin the gop used palin to start it against obama . cnn and its ankers say nothing but they actualy take up the cause for the repubs yor a joke cnn still giveing it a go hay . well its over for these facists running the gop even the south the gop bastian is beginning to look better an better for obama . mcain will be all negitive hell act all indignant and if that dont work hell loose his famous temper on national tv then its game over . hes a gambler mcain he will try an pull something its to little to late . the republicans have caused a great depression with our economy ,THEY DISSERVE OUR TOTAL DISDANE THE REPUBLICANS . palin above the law in alaska she wont return to testify after being orderd bye the courts . see palins above the law like bush an cheney . throw them all out on nov 4 election day obama 08

    October 7, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. Waylon from Portland

    Finally, people are coming to their senses.

    October 7, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. Lorna, NY

    The more negative McCain goes, the higher Obamas poll numbers become. Negative campaigning will nto work this time...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

    October 7, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  14. John Smith III

    Obama and McCain have really been working the people in this election. I must say I'm really not happy with the way it has gone but it's our process nonetheless.
    This years election process was waaay too long. Hopefully they will look into changing the amount of time to campaign and then vote to less than 12 months.

    October 7, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  15. ks

    The election's over – but the Democrats should not get complacent – get to the polls and vote these mudslingers out.

    October 7, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  16. South Florida

    Good news for the new president Obama
    I can put something in Palin's mouth to make her stop talking.


    October 7, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  17. Ken in NC

    "New Obama Gains In Battleground States"? What is news worthy about that? I thought that was what one was supposed to do to win an election. Maybe it would be news worthy if someone told McCain and Obama that going negative is not the way to endear themselves to the voting public at a time when we are going down the toilet.

    October 7, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. Obamaguy420

    Aside from a major flub on behalf of the Obama/Biden campaign, I think the fat lady is starting to warm up her vocal chords.

    October 7, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  19. James Pfeiffer

    With McCain's choice of Palin, his refusal to specifically speak to the issues, his erratic and bullyish demeaner and his very real health issues, even die-hard Republicans sense the writing is on the wall. Any reasonable human being with even a tad of objectivity and intelligence can't seriously imagine a world with Sarah Palin as commander in cheif of the most powerful and aggressive country in the world. With his choice of Palin, McCain has single handedly turned, what could be the most important presidential election in our history, to an episode of American idle!

    October 7, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  20. vperry

    Senator McCain, please give the American people a plan for:

    creating new jobs for the future,
    lowering taxes,
    educating and retraining the workforce of the future,
    providing clean energy,
    rewarding saving,
    encouraging independence,
    staying free.

    Positive changes for the future. Give the American people hope. Let them know that they are the greatest. It is because of the American people that we will be okay.

    October 7, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  21. Anonymous

    WAY TO GO.

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008-2012.



    October 7, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  22. Glenn Doty, Columbia, SC

    7 toss up states, every single one of them had voted for Bush in 2004 – some of them by wide margins.

    In order to win, Obama has to win any 1 single state (he's up in all but seven).

    In order for McCain to win, he has to win all 7.

    This is good news. But in truth Obama will face tremendous resistance from the powers-that-be. He's going to need a landslide, and a new congress, in order to actually accomplish what absolutely NEEDS to be done to fix this mess that the republican party has gotten us into. Obama needs to win all 7 states, and maybe even a surprise win in one of the deep red states: Indiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisianna, South Dakota, Montana, or Arkansas...

    Can't let up just because things look a little better. We MUST win this one BIG if we are going to change something... rather than just get mired into the process.

    October 7, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  23. Asheville Mama

    Weren't they all GOP strongholds at one point. The GOP is no longer relevent to modern politics. Capitolism does not equal democracy, and it is a failed sytem when left unchecked. Generation X is getting older and wiser, and its time for us to take over our country. I have much respect for my elders, but it is time that the old white people (and i am white) step aside in this nation. Their ideas are just as old and dried up as their skin!

    October 7, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  24. Bob, Newport

    Good. The qualifications for Vice-President are the same as the
    qualifications for President. I would be horrified if it were Sara Palin,
    since she is not qualified for either position.

    Democrats 08.

    October 7, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. Only polls

    Wait for 28 more days to see outcome......

    October 7, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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