October 29th, 2008
06:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Obama surges in Colorado, makes gains on Electoral Map

CNN has changed Colorado to 'leaning Obama' and Indiana to a 'tossup.'

CNN has changed Colorado to 'leaning Obama' and Indiana to a 'tossup.'

(CNN) - Does the road to the White House run through the Rocky Mountains? A new state poll in Colorado suggests that Barack Obama has doubled his lead over John McCain there, as the Democratic nominee claims more territory on CNN’s Electoral Map.

In a new survey — one of five new CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation state polls released Wednesday - 53 percent of likely Colorado voters questioned say that Obama is their choice for president, with 45 percent backing McCain. That 8 point lead for Obama is double the 4 point advantage he held in our last poll, taken two weeks ago.

"Older voters in Colorado have started to break Obama's way." CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Two weeks ago he was losing the over-50 crowd by a couple of points. Now he has a five-point edge among them."

Election Center: Check out CNN's Electoral Map

The new numbers in Colorado, along with similar findings from other new polls in the state, are factors in CNN's move of Colorado from a toss up state to lean Obama in our new Electoral College Map. CNN is also changing Indiana from lean McCain to toss up. A new CNN Poll of Polls in Indiana suggests McCain holds a two point lead over Obama in a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1964. The poll of polls is an average of the latest state surveys.

With the switch of Colorado’s nine electoral votes and Indiana’s 11, CNN now estimates that if the election were held today Obama would win states with 286 electoral votes and McCain states with 163, with 89 electoral votes still up for grabs. Two-hundred and seventy electoral votes are needed to clinch the presidency. Obama's estimate of 286 electoral votes is a jump from 274 in our most recent electoral college map.

Washington State is also being moved from lean Obama to safe Obama, though that move doesn't change the electoral count. The CNN Electoral College map is an estimate of what could occur if the election were held today. State polls, voting trends, campaign visits and advertising, are among the factors used in deciding the electoral college map.

Colorado is one of three western states that voted for George W. Bush four years where Obama now leads McCain. The others are Nevada and New Mexico. Democrats have been making major gains across the west at the state level the past two election cycles, and the party held its nominating convention in Denver this summer as part of a strategy to win over the region in the race for the White House.

CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider says that Obama's widening lead in Colorado is being "propelled by an amazing 15-point Democratic lead in Colorado's fast-growing suburbs. The nation's economy has faltered, and so has Republican support, for nearly 30 years the cornerstone of the Reagan coalition."

A CNN/Time/ORC poll released Wednesday also suggests that Obama is holding on to a strong lead in Virginia, with 53 percent of those questioned backing Obama and 44 percent supporting McCain. That 9 point lead is down from a 10 point lead Obama held in our last poll conducted in Virginia last week. No Democrat has won Virginia in a presidential contest since Lyndon Johnson carried the state in 1964.

Both McCain and Obama, campaigning in Florida Wednesday, are fighting hard to win the state's 27 electoral votes. The CNN/Time/ORC poll indicates that Obama holds a small 4 point edge there, 51 percent to 47 percent. George W. Bush carried Florida by 5 points as he won re-election as president in 2004.

Bush also won Georgia by 17 points over Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, in that election. But the CNN/Time/ORC poll suggests McCain holds a much smaller lead over Obama this time around. Fifty-two percent of likely Georgia voters are backing McCain, with 47 percent supporting Obama. That 5 point lead for McCain is down from an 8 point lead McCain held in our last poll, conducted two weeks ago.

And the CNN/Time/ORC poll indicates that Missouri, another state George Bush carried in 2004, is basically a dead heat. McCain holds a 2 point lead in the poll, 50 percent to 48 percent, well within in the survey's sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The poll was also expanded to include the major third party candidates, Independent Ralph Nader, Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. None of them are polling over 4 percent in any of the states surveyed, and none of them seem to be a factor in the outcome of the results in those five states other than Missouri, where Nader's 4 percent showing could have an impact.

But will he hurt either McCain or Obama?

"In most of the states we have polled in, the margin between Obama and McCain is the same in the two-way match-up as it is when we include the minor-party candidates," Holland said. "That indicates that Barr, Nader and McKinney together may be drawing equally from boththe Democratic and Republican candidates."

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation polls were conducted Thursday through Tuesday, with 774 likely voters in Colorado, 747 likely voters in Florida, 690 likely voters in Georgia, 825 likely voter in Missouri, and 721 likely voters in Virginia questioned by telephone.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (386 Responses)
  1. Chi4Obama

    So I guess McCain's strategy of going "negative" on Obama at every moment is working very well........For the Obama camp that is.

    Barack the vote
    America Unified '08

    October 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |

    Go Obama!

    We don't need or want Grumpy Gramps and Dimwit Diva!

    October 29, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Rob Johnson

    If Obama wins Colorado and Virginia, it's over, regardless of what happens in other swing states.

    It's worth noting that voters in the Mountain West, who have known McCain longer and better than the rest of the country, are abandoning him in droves.

    McCain supporters in other regions, ask yourself this:

    What do they know that I don't?

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Susan in Colorado

    People are suffering in my state. It will be interesting to see if the voters here stick with what got them there or will they step in a new direction.

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Setys

    Excellent. Please Vote early.

    Vote Obama/Biden

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. tiredofher


    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    It just takes old folks longer to process new information. I should know, I am an old folk.

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. No Bad News

    Okay, this is too much good news. Obama supporters let's be cautious and not fall into a trap. Go out and work as hard as ever, it's not over until it's over.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. JACK


    October 29, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. turn az blue

    change AZ to lean mccain! It's a 2-4% race here and that's with a 4% margin of error! TURN AZ BLUE!

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    Let’s be perfectly honest, there is only one thing that can save John Mcain now- BEING WHITE. I see and hear a lot of vernom about OBAMA but those who utter such vernom know very well that Senator Obama has said better things than Mcain, by far. At the backdrop of what the GOP has done to the economy and the world at large, I would have expected Mcain to have only one supporter- Cindy Mcain. As for me I vote Obama not because of his skin and mine, but I VOTE A NEW ERA, I VOTE HISTORY( which I will proudly claim to be a part of), I VOTE HOPE, I VOTE CHANGE. Thanks to those white folks out there who don’t look at COLOR. You are the REAL HEROES and GOD bless you.

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Bubba

    Bob BARR is running? Why? Who'd vote for him?

    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Spencer/VIRGINIA

    The negative ads only push Obama closer to the finish line.


    October 29, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Michelle, PA

    Keep it up, Obama supporters! There will be time to rest on November 5th, in the meantime work like you're 10 points behind.

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. CTSadler

    It's OK, though. McCain has Obama right where he wants him.

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. v.ananthan




    McCain / Palin 08

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Proud to be American

    Yeah! the news keeps getting better and better .... Go Obama and Biden!

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Emily

    This is great news. The only down-side is that now McCain and Palin will have to work overtime to find a smear. Obama goes up, they try harder to pull him down with their filth machine. Too bad their issues
    can't do it.

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Chi4Obama

    Does this mean that I can plan to attend Grant Park (Chicago), for Obama's "victory" party on Nov. 4th (smile)...............NOT QUITE YET!

    This is a good sign for Obama supporters. However, let's not get complacent. Just Barack the vote on Nov. 4th (or earlier if your state allows).

    America United '08

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. RD

    WTG one more red state turn blue

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Jeff G

    Arizona should be moved to toss up as well.

    October 29, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Phil from Indiana

    Good, hopefully this is another sign that we won't have to endure "John the Martyr" or "Sarah the under-qualified VP candidate" past next Tuesday!!

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. Kathleen

    Wonderful news and it looks like the best advice is....

    First – Don't take anything for granted – Vote early
    Second – Lines are long so take a chair and some food/water to share
    Third – Check you ballot before you submit
    and Last – If you are elderly or infirm go to the front of the line and ask for help.

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |

    Shame on MCAIN for thinking that he can win a campaign by pointing his short fingers. You point 1 to Obama and 3 are pointing at you. All about BLAME,BLAME, BLAME. From mr NASTY, NASTY,NASTY…Apart from talking about VIETKONG prison he has nothing to talk about. Always wanting to know about…‘THE EXTENT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP…’ . PATHETIC.

    Sarah had a good chance for the future had she come level-headed but she is BEATTLE-HEADED and has hooked into this BLAME culture- Shame

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. Punish the incumbent party (Republicans)

    Obama loses if you don't vote, and i for one will probably drink my self to no end if mccain/and that loser palin wins.

    October 29, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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